Tyler Barnett

Tyler Barnett
Photo by Beth Wynn

Tyler Barnett is a fifth-year senior from Brookhaven who jokes how he enjoyed Mississippi State football so much last year that he’s back this fall just to watch quarterback Dak Prescott’s final season.

Actually, the Copiah-Lincoln Community College transfer now completing a marketing degree will graduate from the university in December. While looking ahead to many exciting prospects, Barnett says he plans to relish the last semester on campus.

He also enjoys how his marketing major mixes business principles with creativity and plans to apply both after beginning work with the family business, Paul Barnett Nissan.

Back in Brookhaven, he will follow in footsteps of his father and grandfather in two major ways. "I love cars and I love airplanes; they are my two favorite things,” he declares, adding, “I get to work with cars and play with airplanes."

The Barnetts currently own several small planes and have purchased, restored and sold a number of others over the years. For business purposes, the aircraft enable quick travel to vehicle auctions that otherwise might be too great a distance for driving.

Flying also comes in handy for vacations—and even for school. Barnett recalls how a trip to MSU for orientation was little more than daytrip due to the short air commute.

He credits his grandfather, a pilot and flight surgeon during the Korean War, for beginning the family’s love for flying. He also proudly notes how his father soloed on his 16th birthday and earned a pilot's license at 18.

For Tyler Barnett, soloing took place a year ago. He plans to complete the licensing process this semester.

Wherever automobiles and airplanes may carry him in the future, Barnett will take along many positive memories from his time in Starkville. "The best thing about being at MSU probably is the people," he says.

He also will not forget a feeling of friendliness that seems to permeate campus air. "Even the teachers are the same way,” he observes. “When you talk to them outside of class, it's just like talking to a friend."