MSU grads to hear IHL head; alums Rouse, Thompson to be honored

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> STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi’s higher education commissioner will be featured speaker for both of Mississippi State’s 2016 spring graduation programs.
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> Glenn F. Boyce will deliver the 7 p.m. May 6 commencement address for degree candidates in the university’s Bagley College of Engineering and its Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, along with the colleges of Education, Forest Resources, Veterinary Medicine, and Agriculture and Life Sciences and its School of Human Sciences.
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> The 10 a.m. May 7 program will involve the university’s College of Business and its Adkerson School of Accountancy, along with the colleges of Arts and Sciences, and Architecture, Art and Design and its School of Architecture.
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> More than 2,600 students are scheduled to receive degrees at the Humphrey Coliseum programs. Processionals for the Friday and Saturday events begin 30 minutes beforehand.
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> In addition to the awarding of traditional diplomas, alumni James L. “Jim” Rouse of Houston and J.F. “Bud” Thompson Jr. of Meridian will receive honorary doctorates. Both are 1962 graduates.
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> “This will be a very meaningful commencement in that we’re honoring two of our most loyal alumni in Jim Rouse and Bud Thompson and our graduates will have a chance to hear a challenge from IHL Commissioner Glenn Boyce,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “Dr. Boyce has been a transformative leader in Mississippi higher education for many years and our students will enjoy the chance to benefit from his wise counsel.”
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> A Madison resident, Boyce was promoted in April 2015 to his current duties with the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning. He previously was associate commissioner for academic affairs.
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> He came to the College Board after having held the Holmes Community College presidency for nearly a decade. Under his leadership, HCC enjoyed a record enrollment and gained recognition from the international Aspen Institute as one of the nation’s highest achieving community colleges.
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> During Boyce’s tenure, Holmes also produced a record number of graduates and, for several years, led peer Mississippi community colleges in the percentage of students completing degrees.
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> Boyce serves on the board of directors for the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation. He also is a founding board member of the State Longitudinal Data System that works to enhance research and analysis efforts linking early childhood, K-12 and workforce educational systems to improve students’ career readiness.
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> Additionally, he has co-chaired the Education Achievement Council in Mississippi, served as a trustee for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and held several posts with the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges.
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> He earned a bachelor’s degree in education and doctorate in educational leadership, both at the University of Mississippi, and a master’s in higher education administration from Mississippi College.
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> Thompson’s honorary doctor of public service degree will be presented Friday night. He is both the owner of Insurance Solutions of Mississippi and a partner at Thompson Limited Partnerships that received the 2011 Hartley D. Peavey Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence given by the East Mississippi Business Development Corp. An MSU mathematics education graduate and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he initially worked as a public school teacher and coach.
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> Beyond serving on the boards of the university’s alumni association and foundation and as Bulldog Club president, Thompson and wife Sue have established an endowed scholarship at his alma mater.
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> Thompson also is a longtime member of the MSU-Meridian Deans and Directors Advisory Board and, in 2014, was honored by Meridian Community College with selection to its Eagle Hall of Fame.
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> Rouse will receive an honorary doctor of science during the Saturday morning program. An Illinois native reared in Germantown, Tennessee, he retired in 2004 after a 42-year career with ExxonMobil, including 18 years as its vice president. In addition to receiving an industrial management degree from Mississippi State, he simultaneously was commissioned into the U.S. Army after having served as campus ROTC cadet commander.
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> Rouse also has a long history of service to his alma mater. He has been a board member and president of the MSU Foundation, member of the College of Business’ Executive Advisory Board and Bulldog Club Executive Committee. Last year, he was named to the business college’s top 100 alumni after having been selected as its 2010 alumnus of the year and as MSU’s 2012 national alumnus of the year.
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> Complete information about MSU’s 2016 spring commencement is available from the Office of the Registrar at 662-325-2022 or www.registrar.msstate.edu.
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> MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
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> Glenn F. Boyce, Mississippi’s higher education commissioner, will be featured speaker for both of Mississippi State’s 2016 spring graduation programs.
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> PHOTO ID #2: J.F. “Bud” Thompson Jr. will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree during MSU’s Friday evening commencement program.
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> PHOTO ID #3: James L. “Jim” Rouse will receive an honorary doctor of science degree during MSU’s Saturday morning commencement program.
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