National society honors Foglesong with top alumni award

Contact: Maridith Geuder

MSU President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong
MSU President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Citing career accomplishments that reflect its guiding principles, a national engineering honor society is recognizing Mississippi State President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong with its highest professional award.

Tau Beta Pi, the world's largest professional organization in engineering, is naming the university leader as its 2007 Distinguished Alumnus. Given each year since being established in 1997, the honor will be presented at the group's annual meeting Oct. 13 in Dearborn, Mich.

"The program was established to recognize alumni who have continued to live up to the ideals of Tau Beta Pi and to foster a career of liberal culture on the local, national and international scales," said TBP executive director James D. Froula. Foglesong is being recognized for outstanding lifetime achievements, he added.

An Apollo 8 astronaut and an endowed chairholder of engineering at Princeton University are the two most recent selections for the award.

In addition to receiving a commemorative plaque, Foglesong will have a $2,000 scholarship given in his name to a deserving student member of Tau Beta Pi.

MSU president since 2006, Foglesong earlier spent 33 years in public service, retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a four-star general.

Foglesong, who holds bachelor's through doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from West Virginia University, is a former president of Tau Beta Pi's West Virginia Alpha Chapter.

Since arriving at MSU, he has launched a comprehensive strategic planning effort, FutureState 2015, and established leadership initiatives for high school students, as well as individual programs for incoming freshmen, sophomores and juniors, and a leadership academic minor.

Under his leadership, MSU has adopted its first-ever comprehensive honor code, established a Center for America's Veterans, initiated an African-American studies program, and created new outreach and economic development programs such as the Mississippi State Community Action Teams.

Enrollment, which had declined or was flat for the past two years, hit a record high this fall of 17,039--including an all-time high in number of freshmen, graduate students and African-Americans, among others.

Also since coming to MSU, Foglesong has been designated by President George W. Bush as co-chair of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.

During his military career, he served as a cabinet- and presidential-level national security adviser, as well as commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe. He has served the United States in nearly 20 countries and, over his career, accumulated 30 military awards for leadership and technical skills.

Foglesong is the author of 57 publications covering a wide range of topics.

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Wed, 10/03/2007 - 05:00