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3/28/2013 - Jackson, Miss.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett delivered keynote address

Senator Terry Burton presented a copy of Senate Concurrent Resolution 558 to Gloria Miller, Coordinator of Student Affairs and P-20 Initiatives for the Institutions of Higher Learning, on the floor of the Senate last week.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 558 established February 26, 2013 as Higher Education Appreciation Day Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) and set that day apart as a special day to congratulate and express public and private universities, colleges and community colleges for their outstanding instructional guidance and academic excellence. Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves serves as chair of the program. Miller serves as the coordinator of the program. View a copy of Senate Concurrent Resolution 558.

Sixty-eight outstanding students and faculty members from 34 Mississippi public and private universities and colleges recently received special recognition from the Mississippi Legislature during the recognition held in February at the State Capitol and the Marriott Hotel.

HEADWAE was established in 1987 by legislative resolution to honor individual academic achievement and the overall contribution of the state’s public and private institutions of higher learning.

“Today’s Higher Education Appreciation Day is a small way that the Legislature can say ‘thank you’ for a job well done,” said Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves. “We appreciate your commitment to excellence and to ensure that a quality postsecondary education can be achieved right here on Mississippi’s many college campuses.”

The honorees began the day with a visit to the State Capitol where they were recognized by the Senate and House of Representatives and given a tour of the Capitol. An awards luncheon at the Marriott Hotel in Jackson, with Former United States Secretary of Education William J. Bennett as the keynote speaker, capped the celebration.

Dr. Bennett is one of America’s most important, influential and respected voices on cultural, political and education issues. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he studied philosophy at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and earned a law degree (J.D.) from Harvard. He is the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute.

Dr. Bennett has held two White House cabinet positions. He served as Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan and was the nation’s first Drug Czar under the first President Bush. He has taught at Boston University, the University of Texas and Harvard and is the author of more than 24 books, including two New York Times number one best sellers. Dr. Bennett’s latest book, entitled Is College Worth It?, will be released in may. His three-volume set of the history of the United States, America: The Last Best Hope, has been widely praised.

He and his wife, Elayne, reside in North Carolina and are the parents of two sons. View a biography of Dr. William J. Bennett.

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Hank M. Bounds offered congratulations to the students and faculty honored at the luncheon.

“The students are selected based on their academic achievements, campus leadership skills and service to the community,” said Dr. Bounds. “The faculty representatives are leaders, both on campus and in their field of study, who demonstrate their dedication to their students every day.”

Dr. Eric Clark, Executive Director, State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, also congratulated the honorees.

“To the students who are being honored, all of the hard work you have put into your studies is a wise investment and will pay off,” said Dr. Clark. “To the faculty members, thank you for putting so much time, effort, and energy into your students and into your institution. You are making a difference in the lives of countless people and your work is to be commended.”

Corporate sponsors for the HEADWAE program include: Atmos Energy, Jackson; AT&T, Jackson; BancorpSouth, Tupelo; BankPlus, Jackson; Chevron Products, Pascagoula; ERGON, Flowood; Entergy, Jackson; Georgia-Pacific (KOCH Companies), Baton Rouge, LA; Huntington-Ingalls, Pascagoula; JBHM Education Group, Jackson; Mississippi National Guard, Jackson; Mississippi Power Company, Gulfport; Nissan-Canton; Puckett Machinery, Jackson; Sanderson Farms, Laurel; Trustmark Bank, Jackson; and Valley Services, Inc., Flowood.

“Congratulations to the faculty and student honorees that are recognized this year,” said Dr. E. Harold Fisher, Executive Director, Mississippi Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. “Each is to be commended for setting a worthy example for all who are interested in and support academic excellence.”

View a list of 2012-13 HEADWAE honorees.


View the following links for photos and cutlines:


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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