SEC alumni professionals on campus for conference

Mississippi State will host some 80 university alumni association professionals from across the Southeastern Conference attending APSEC 2012 this week.

The annual meeting of Alumni Professionals of the Southeastern Conference begins on campus Monday, Aug. 6 and continues through Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Officials of all 14 SEC institutions will take part in programs at the Colvard Student Union and Hunter Henry Center. Each school's association will present breakout sessions to share ideas and best practices from an array of areas including chapters, events, marketing and communication, and alumni relations.

This marks the first APSEC with officials from the University of Missouri and Texas A&M University, which joined the conference earlier this year. They will join colleagues from the universities of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, along with Auburn, Louisiana State, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt universities.

"Mississippi State is very excited to serve as host institution for this year's APSEC conference," said Jimmy Abraham, associate vice president for development and alumni who serves as executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. "We have great respect for all the alumni professionals in the Southeastern Conference, and we will be able to learn first-hand from our peers, as well as share with them information about our Alumni Association."

"The reach of alumni associations in the SEC is huge, collectively representing and working with nearly three million alumni worldwide," Abraham said. "The programs and events put on by our associations have a profound positive impact on the institutions we represent."

Since 1991, the conference alumni associations have rotated the annual meeting among the respective campuses. MSU last served as host in 2000.

Keynote speakers for this year's APSEC include:

--Greg Sankey, the conference's executive associate commissioner and COO. The Birmingham, Ala., resident heads the day-to-day operations and previously served as associate commissioner. He is an alumnus of the State University of New York College at Cortland who also holds a master's degree from Syracuse University.

--Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. A practicing attorney for nearly three decades before joining ALSAC, he is a political science graduate of Marquette University and holds a law degree from Loyola University in Chicago, Ill.

Also speaking will be Roy H. Ruby, emeritus MSU student affairs vice president and College of Education dean, and Amy Tuck, the university's vice president for campus services.

Ruby, a Mississippi Delta native with a 40-year administrative tenure, retired from MSU in 2004, then returned in 2008 to serve briefly as interim president. He holds MSU bachelor's and master's degrees in political science, as well as a doctorate in higher education and student personnel from the University of Mississippi. He was MSU's 2010 National Alumnus of the Year.

Tuck was Mississippi lieutenant governor 2000-08 before returning to her alma mater, where she received a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in public policy and administration. A Maben native, she also is a graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law.

In addition to the formal conference schedule, Abraham said the three-day program also includes networking activities to help strengthen personal relationships among the participants. Next year's conference will be held at the University of Kentucky, he added.

Mississippi State has nearly 124,000 living alumni. The university's alumni association was founded June 17, 1885, by the first three graduating classes of what then was Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College. A full-service organization, it now includes 93 chapters.

Sheri Pape | MSU Foundation

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