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11/19/2007 - Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas C. Meredith was one of three alumni inducted into Western Kentucky University's (WKU) 16th Alumni Class Hall of Distinguished Alumni during a homecoming luncheon on Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

"I am truly honored by this selection. This outstanding university is rapidly gaining national prominence," Meredith said.

A native of Ownesboro, Kentucky, Meredith served as the eighth president of WKU.

Meredith holds a bachelor of arts degree in social studies from Kentucky Wesleyan College, a master of arts degree in education administration and supervision from Western Kentucky University, and a doctor of education in administration and supervision with an emphasis in secondary and higher education from the University of Mississippi. He also completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University and was a participant in the Higher Education Roundtable at Oxford University.

At WKU, Meredith's leadership and innovative programs set a course for growth and success that continues today.  Meredith built the budget reserve from $250,000 to $4 million, created the school's first strategic plan, revamped fund-raising efforts, oversaw construction of two residence halls (including one that bears his name), increased academic standards and programs, established the Distinguished Professor program, created the Institute of Economic Development, enhanced the community college, expanded information technology infrastructure, and implemented the Athletic Hall of Fame and the Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

In addition to serving as president of WKU and Commissioner of Mississippi's public university system, Meredith has also served as Chancellor of the University System of Georgia and Chancellor of the University System of Alabama.

Meredith has served on numerous educational and corporate boards, including serving as President of the National Association of System Heads; the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and the Southern Regional Education Board. His numerous awards include 100 Most Influential Georgians (2002 and 2003); 100 Most Influential Atlantans (2002); Alabama Academy of Honor (2001); Owensboro High School Hall of Fame (2001); Kentucky Wesleyan College Distinguished Alumni Award (1999); and Distinguished Educator Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Mississippi (1997).

Dr. Meredith and his wife, Susan, have two sons, Mark and Matt. A print-quality photograph of Dr. Thomas C. Meredith is available at http://www.mississippi.edu/meredithcolor.jpg.

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the eight 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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