MSU, Habitat for Humanity break ground on 10th Maroon Edition home

Rev. Sarah Jo Adams-Wilson looks on during the groundbreaking for the 10th Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity home. Digging in to get the construction started are, from left, Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity President Charles Ware, Habitat partner Lou-Quan Lucious and her grandmother Gracie Jones, and MSU President Mark E. Keenum. (Photo by Logan Kirkland)

Contact: James Carskadon

MSU President Mark E. Keenum gives a hammer to Lou-Quan Lucious, who will be the owner of the tenth Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity home, during Tuesday’s [Aug. 14] groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo by Logan Kirkland)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A decade-long tradition continued Tuesday [Aug. 14] as Mississippi State University and Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity broke ground on the 10th Maroon Edition home.

Located on Chisholm Street, the home will be built this fall by volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and MSU for partner family Lou-Quan “Quan” Lucious and her two children. Lucious, a supervisor at McDonald’s, is expecting her third child this September.

During Tuesday’s ceremony, MSU President Mark E. Keenum drove the ceremonial first nail and presented Habitat for Humanity with a $5,000 check from the university.

“I’ve now been a part of 10 homes and it’s something that I’m very proud of,” Keenum said. “We’re about helping other people. A lot of the people working to build this home will be employees, retirees, and more importantly, students of Mississippi State. What better experience for students to share than to help someone have a new home?”

Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity has provided over 60 homes to local families. The 2018 Maroon Edition home is in the Sunset neighborhodd, where several other Habitat for Humanity homes are located.

“When you look at the Habitat website, it says that we solidify and build strong communities,” said Charles Ware, Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity president. “What it doesn’t say is that it’s a game-changer for the new homeowner.”

The new home will provide a better environment for Lucious and her children. She applied to be a Habitat homeowner and was selected in 2017, but the build was in a different location and she elected to put off being a homeowner to live in Sunset, which is closer to family. Last fall, she worked on the Maroon Edition home being built for her friend, Habitat partner Kareema Gillon.

“I learned a lot working on Kareema’s house,” Lucious said. “It showed me that I have to work hard for something I really want. I had to put work into it to get this. I had to put my mind to it.”

The Habitat home is part of the service-learning component of the Maroon Edition First-Year Reading Experience, which encourages students to read a common book. The 2018 Maroon Edition book is “Calico Joe” by MSU alumnus and bestselling author John Grisham.

Students can work volunteer shifts on the Habitat home during Dawg Days events and throughout the fall semester. The Maroon Edition program was initiated by MSU’s Office of the Provost in 2009 and has since brought students together around a common book and united approximately 3,600 volunteers to build new homes for 10 Habitat partner families. The first Maroon Edition book also was a Grisham novel, “A Painted House,” which inspired the Habitat partnership for the program.

“Habitat, for me, is about creating homes and creating spaces where families can live and grow and learn and love each other,” said MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt. “We are delighted at Mississippi State to be able to send students here to help create hope.”

For more on the Maroon Edition program, visit

Students, faculty, and staff that are interested in volunteering to build the Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity home can visit the Maroon Volunteer Center’s website at For more on Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity, visit

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