MSU Foundation announces 2018 officers, incoming members

Contact: Amy Cagle

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The Mississippi State University Foundation is welcoming new members to its 47-seat board of directors.

Again in 2018, the MSU Foundation is being led by Earnest W. “Earnie” Deavenport Jr. of Greenville, South Carolina, who is entering his third term as board chair. He is joined by returning 2017 officers D. Hines Brannan Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia, vice chair, and William A. “Lex” Taylor III of Louisville, treasurer. The three alumni began new one-year terms January 1.

Mississippi native Deavenport earned an MSU chemical engineering degree in 1960 and received a 2011 honorary Doctor of Science in the fields of business and engineering from the university. He is the retired chairman and CEO of Kingsport, Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical Company.

A 1970 industrial engineering graduate who earned an MBA the following year, Brannan is a retired managing director of Accenture. Fellow alumnus Taylor is chairman and CEO of The Taylor Group Inc. and president of Taylor Machine Works Inc. He earned a general business administration degree in 1977.  

Earnest W. “Earnie” Deavenport Jr.
D. Hines Brannan Jr.
William A. “Lex” Taylor III

Other leadership includes John P. Rush, MSU vice president for development and alumni who serves as board president and CEO; David Easley, executive director of finance, who is chief financial officer; and Jack McCarty, executive director of development, who serves as secretary. All three are MSU graduates.

Beginning inaugural three-year terms are:

—Timothy S. “Tim” Duncan of Kingwood, Texas. A 1995 petroleum engineering graduate, Duncan is president and CEO of Talos Energy LLC.

—Paul J. Karre of Pawleys Island, S.C. A 1974 BBA in management graduate, Karre is the retired senior vice president of human resources and communications of International Paper.

—Joffrey R. “Jay” Pryor of Houston, Texas. A 1979 petroleum engineering graduate, Pryor is vice president of business development of Chevron Corporation.

Seven alumni who have previously served are returning to the board in new three-year terms. They are:  

 —Hassell H. Franklin of Houston. A 1959 management graduate is chairman and CEO of Franklin Corporation.

 —David B. Hall of Meridian. A 1999 bachelor’s of forestry and 2002 MBA graduate, Hall is CEO and president of Hall Timberlands.

 —Wilbert G.  “Mickey” Holliman Jr. of Belden. A 1960 industrial management graduate, Holliman is the retired chairman and CEO of Furniture Brands International. He was awarded an honorary doctor of science by MSU in 2017.

 —Malcolm B. Lightsey Sr. of Ridgeland.  A 1961 bachelor’s and 1963 master’s of mathematics graduate, Lightsey is the retired president and CEO of SunTech Inc.  

—M. Diane Roberts of Louisville, Kentucky. A 1963 bachelor’s of zoology and 1964 master’s of zoology graduate, Roberts is a retired associate professor of business of Indiana University East.

 —Cynthia M. “Cindy” Stevens of Alexandria, Virginia.  A 1983 political science graduate, Stevens serves as Management Principal Government Relations for Deloitte LLP.  

 —Anthony L. Wilson of Gulfport.  A 1987 electrical engineering graduate, Wilson is the chairman, president and CEO of Mississippi Power Company.  

Also joining the board, by virtue of position, are Bradley M. “Brad” Reeves of Jackson, the university’s national alumni president, and Thomas B. “Tommy” Nusz of The Woodlands, Texas, in his first year as president of the MSU Bulldog Club. Reeves, who graduated from MSU in 2002 with a BBA in management of construction of land development, is attorney at the law firm of Randall, Segrest, Weeks, Reeves and Sones PLLC. Nusz, a 1982 MSU petroleum-engineering graduate, is CEO and board chairman of Houston-based Oasis Petroleum, which he co-founded.

Chartered in 1962, the MSU Foundation administers most of the campus-based fundraising activities and endowment funds. Record years of private support are part of “Infinite Impact: The Mississippi State University Campaign,” the largest fundraising endeavor in the state of Mississippi. To date, the campaign has reached nearly $810 million in commitments toward its $1 billion goal.

The MSU Foundation is available at and @MSU_Foundation.

Timothy S. “Tim” Duncan
Hassell H. Franklin
David B. Hall
Wilbert G. “Mickey” Holliman Jr.
Paul J. Karre
Malcolm B. Lightsey Sr.
Thomas B. “Tommy” Nusz
Joffrey R. “Jay” Pryor
Bradley M. “Brad” Reeves
M. Diane Roberts
Cynthia M. “Cindy” Stevens
Anthony L. Wilson