Renowned author, alumnus John Grisham returns to MSU for Fall Convocation address

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, left, and best-selling author John Grisham are pictured at an MSU event in 2013. Grisham is returning to campus Tuesday [Aug. 28] to give the keynote address for the university’s Fall Convocation. (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A 1977 Mississippi State accounting graduate and one of the world’s best-selling authors is returning to campus Tuesday [Aug. 28] to deliver the keynote address at his alma mater’s Fall Convocation.

At 5:30 p.m. in Humphrey Coliseum, John Grisham will share words of wisdom with incoming freshmen and transfer students beginning their educational journeys at the state’s leading university. Students should arrive by 5 p.m. to receive the Fall Convocation coin as a memento of the occasion.

“We’re deeply honored that John will be returning to campus to speak with our new freshmen and transfer students during this very special time in their lives, and we look forward to welcoming him back,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.

In addition to Grisham and Keenum, students will hear remarks from MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner, Student Association President Mayah Emerson and Vice President Jake Manning, Black Student Association President Marsei Hogan, and Holland Faculty Senate President Randy Follett.

The MSU State Singers and Famous Maroon Band will perform the National Anthem and the university’s alma mater, “Maroon and White.”
Following Grisham’s presentation, a reception will take place in Humphrey Coliseum’s Mize Pavilion.

John Grisham’s “Calico Joe” is the 2018 selection for Maroon Edition, MSU’s 10th common reading program. Approximately 5,000 copies of the novel were given to incoming students arriving on campus this fall.

Grisham’s novel “Calico Joe” is this year’s selection for Maroon Edition, MSU’s 10th common reading program. Approximately 5,000 copies of the novel were given to this fall’s incoming students. Grisham’s “The Painted House” was the first-ever Maroon Edition selection when the program started in 2009.

A native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Grisham attended law school at the University of Mississippi. He practiced law for nearly a decade in Southaven and later served for seven years in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Since first publishing “A Time to Kill” in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year — all international best-sellers. There are currently more than 300 million Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Originally published by Doubleday, nine of his novels have been turned into films — “The Firm,” “The Pelican Brief,” “The Client,” “A Time to Kill,” “The Rainmaker,” “The Chamber,” “A Painted House,” “The Runaway Jury” and “Skipping Christmas” — as was an original screenplay, “The Gingerbread Man.” “The Innocent Man,” in October 2006, marked Grisham’s first foray into non-fiction, and “Ford County,” in November 2009, was his first short story collection. His most recent novel — “The Rooster Bar” — was published in October 2017. For more, visit

Maroon Edition activities are held throughout the year for students at all class levels, as well as interested administrators, faculty and staff members. More on these events can be found at

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Monday, August 20, 2018 - 3:43 pm