Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.— Bulldog determination.
That’s the very characteristic University of Mississippi Medical Center head Dr. LouAnn Woodward urged new graduates to exhibit during her Friday and Saturday [May 5 and 6] spring commencement address at Mississippi State University.
“You will be faced with making hard decisions in the absence of complete information, and you will have to act in order to move yourself and our state forward,” advised Woodward, a Carroll County native and MSU microbiology alumna who leads the state’s only academic health science center.
“It is not about you; it’s about the world around you and how you are a part of it. From this point forward, your actions, decisions and life impact more than just you,” she emphasized. “They impact your family, community and state. Mississippi needs you and the best you have to offer.”
Woodward, who serves as UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs and UM School of Medicine dean, also encouraged the roughly 2,900 newest members of the Bulldog alumni family to travel, see the world, expand their horizons, and most of all, make a difference.
“No matter where you land, you can contribute to the advancement of this state,” she said. “Wherever you go in the future, ring true to yourself and your roots. Remember where you came from and the people who are back home rooting for you.”
After graduating from MSU, Woodward entered medical school and completed a residency in emergency medicine at UMMC, where she also is a tenured professor of emergency medicine.
Beyond holding the prestigious rank of Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Woodward is a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Mississippi State Medical Association, Society of Academic Emergency Medicine and American College of Emergency Physicians, among other groups.
In 2008, Woodward was named Outstanding Business Woman by the Mississippi Business Journal.
During Friday evening’s ceremony, two-time MSU petroleum engineering graduate William M. Cobb of Dallas, Texas, received an honorary doctorate of science. A nationally recognized petroleum reservoir engineer, the Kewanee native and former MSU assistant professor has been recognized as the MSU Bagley College of Engineering’s 2016 Alumnus of the Year, as well as Alumni Fellow and Distinguished Engineering Fellow of the college. Along with an endowed chair, he and his wife Carolyn support the Bill and Carolyn Cobb Loyalty Scholarship and a petroleum engineering alumni scholarship at MSU.
Another honorary doctorate of science was presented on Saturday morning to W.G. “Mickey” Holliman Jr. of Tupelo. Born in Columbus and raised in Shuqualak, Holliman is a 1960 industrial management graduate and longtime supporter of MSU academics and athletics. Co-founder and former president and CEO of Action Industries (now known as Lane Furniture Industries), he went on to serve in similar positions at Furniture Brands International before retiring in 2008. Holliman was selected as both the MSU Alumni Association’s National Alumnus of the Year and College of Business’s Alumnus of the Year in 1998. Currently, he is a member of the MSU Foundation and president of the Bulldog Club.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.