Mississippi State's 2002 gathering of Alumni Fellows will involve, among others, the first international student to graduate from the School of Architecture and one of the state's most widely read news columnists.
Sponsored and organized by the university's alumni association, the 13th annual fellows program features eight graduates of distinction who are returning to campus Oct. 24 and 25 to share experiences and offer career guidance to current students and their faculty mentors.
This year's MSU Alumni Fellows and the academic unit that selected them include:
From left to right,
Top row, left
--Robert A. Haupt of Hayward, Wis., College of Forest Resources;
Top row, right
--James E. "Ed" Hester of Benoit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences;
Second row, left
--Jerry D. Moore of Madison, Ala., College of Engineering;
Second row, right
--Behzad B. Nakhjavan of Auburn, Ala., School of Architecture;
Third row, left
--Bettye H. Neely of Grenada, College of Education;
Third row, right
--James J. "Jim" Rouse of McLean, Va., College of Business and Industry;
Bottom row, left
--Sidney L. "Sid" Salter of Forest, College of Arts and Sciences; and
Bottom row, right
--Dr. Sylvia Y. Stewart of Jackson, College of Veterinary Medicine.
Chosen by each college and school, they carry the honorary title permanently.
John V. Correro, executive director of the Mississippi State University Alumni Association, said the fellows program recognizes the ultimate measure of a university--the quality of its alumni.
"For more than a decade, alumni fellows have enriched our students' university experience by exposing them to outstanding professionals who are willing to discuss the specific competencies, attitudes and efforts needed to succeed," Correro said. "We are most appreciative of each participant's time and dedication to make it so successful."
Robert Haupt is a 1992 master's degree graduate in forest products. Today, he is global technology manager for Dynea Paper Overlays, a leading international manufacturer of adhesives, industrial resins and other bonding products. Formerly of Aurora, Ill., he also holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois. During the 1990s, he held the rank of senior research chemist at the company's global research and development group in Norway, where his fluency in Norwegian, German, Hungarian, Russian, and Spanish proved an invaluable asset.
Ed Hester, a 1955 agricultural engineering graduate, is managing partner for H&H Farms in Bolivar County, where he was raised. In addition to being active in a host of agricultural and related organizations, he has held leadership positions, including the presidency of the Mississippi Soybean Association and the vice presidency of the Delta Council. Hester has been recognized with numerous honors during his career, including the Lancaster/Sunbelt Expo's Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award in 1995.
Jerry Moore, vice president emeritus of ADTRAN Inc., received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1962. The Barlow, Ky., native went on to complete master's and doctoral degrees in the same field from the universities of New Mexico and Alabama, respectively. After several university teaching and industrial management positions, Moore founded his own telecommunication test equipment company that merged in 1989 with ADTRAN, the Huntsville-based designer, developer and manufacturer of high-speed digital transmission equipment.
Behzad Nakhjavan, a 1981 architecture graduate, is a professor of architecture at Auburn University. After leaving MSU, the Iran native went on to complete a master's degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., before beginning a professional career in Orlando, Fla. In 1988, he joined the faculty of Auburn's College of Architecture, Design and Construction, where he since has been honored numerous times for innovative teaching and design. Since 1990, he also has maintained a private practice in the city of Auburn.
Bettye Neely is assistant superintendent of the Grenada School District and a member of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning. A Grenada native, she received a doctorate in curriculum and instruction in 1999. Previously, she had earned a bachelor's degree in English from Mississippi Valley State University, a master's in elementary education from Jackson State University and an educational specialist degree in administration from Delta State University. As assistant superintendent, she supervises the school district's federal programs, grades 6-12 curriculum and the testing program. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove appointed her to a 12-year College Board term in 2000.
Jim Rouse, a 1962 industrial management graduate, is vice president of ExxonMobil and the world's largest energy company's senior official in Washington, D.C. A former Memphis, Tenn., resident, he previously was a vice president of the Exxon Corp., for which he now has worked some four decades. He is a member of the board of directors of the MSU Foundation and the College of Business and Industry's Senior Executive Advisory Council.
Sid Salter, a 1988 political science and history graduate, is Perspective Editor for the Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi's largest circulation newspaper, and a syndicated columnist to more than 60 other state papers. Before joining the Clarion-Ledger, he was the award-winning editor of the Scott County Times in Forest, where he continues to reside. During a career that began in the mid-1970s, he has received numerous journalism honors, including two J. Oliver Emmerich Editorial Excellence Awards, the highest tribute bestowed by the Mississippi Press Association. In 1992, MSU invited Salter to donate his personal and professional papers to the prestigious Mississippi Writer's Collection in Mitchell Memorial Library. He is a past Mississippi Press Association president.
Sylvia Stewart is a 1981 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine, where she received the Small Animal Award of Excellence at the completion of her studies. A year after graduating, she opened a full-service emergency clinic for small animals in her hometown of Jackson, the first of its kind in Mississippi. Before enrolling at MSU, she received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Jackson State University. She is a member of the City of Jackson Planning Board, Leadership Jackson and a number of other professional and community organizations.