Mississippi State faculty, staff, students and alumni may submit nominations until Jan. 14 for honorary doctoral degrees that will be awarded at the university's spring 2022 commencement ceremonies. Nominations, including supporting materials, should be sent to the Honorary Degree Committee in care of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. Names of nominees will be kept confidential until they are approved.
Under IHL guidelines, persons eligible for the doctor of laws, doctor of science, doctor of humane letters, doctor of creative and performing arts, or doctor of public service must have demonstrated nationally recognized sustained achievement in scholarship, public service, creative and performing arts, or professional activity.
Faculty, staff and administrators of the university and elected or appointed public officials are ineligible for an honorary degree until one year after leaving their position. Candidates for public office also are ineligible.
Prior Mississippi State honorary degree recipients include John H. Bryan Jr., former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Corp.; Leo W. Seal Jr., chairman and CEO of Hancock Bank in Gulfport; Harry Charles F. Simrall, dean of engineering at Mississippi State until his retirement in 1978; Dave C. Swalm, retired petroleum products company owner; G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, former 3rd District congressman from Meridian; Hunter Henry, retired Dow Chemical Co. executive; Bobby Martin, president of The Peoples Bank in Ripley; Jack Cristil, radio play-by-play announcer for MSU football and basketball games for more than 50 years; Charles B. Cliett, head emeritus of the aerospace engineering department; Hartley D. Peavey, owner and chief executive officer of Peavey Electronics in Meridian; James Worth Bagley, chairman and CEO of Lam Research Corporation; Will D. Carpenter, retired vice president and general manager, New Products Division, Monsanto Company; Myrna Colley Lee, acclaimed theatrical designer; William G. Riley, Meridian physician and philanthropist; Fred E. Carl Jr., founder of Viking Range Corp.; Richard C. Adkerson, president and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.; Bobby S. Shackouls, retired chairman, president and CEO of Burlington Resources Inc.; Earnest W. "Earnie" Deavenport, retired chairman and CEO of Eastman Chemical Company; Richard Holmes, the first African American student to attend Mississippi State who went on to hold a distinguished career in medicine; Robert B. Deen Jr., a founding member of The Phil Hardin Foundation and The Riley Foundation; James L. Flanagan, distinguished electrical engineer and National Medal of Science winner; the Honorable William F. Winter, former governor of Mississippi; Robert V.M. Harrison, architect who was instrumental in establishing MSU's architecture academic program; Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme; Sebastião Barbosa, executive administrator in EMBRAPA in Brazil and champion for fighting global poverty and food insecurity; Charles W. "Tex" Ritter, retired president and CEO of Attala Mills; Tommy E. Dulaney, founder of Structural Steel Services Inc.; J.F. "Bud" Thompson, owner of Insurance Solutions of Mississippi and partner with Thompson Limited Partnerships; Jim Rouse, retired vice president of ExxonMobil; William M. "Bill" Cobb, founder and president emeritus of William M. Cobb and Associates Inc.; Mickey Holliman, retired chairman and CEO of Furniture Brands International; Frank J. Williams, retired chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court; Robert C. Clark Jr., former Speaker Pro Tempore, Mississippi House of Representatives; George H. Bishop, founder of GeoSouthern Energy; Kenneth D. Johnson, retired U.S. Air Force colonel; John J. Fraiser Jr., attorney and former legislator; Hassell Franklin, chairman and CEO of Franklin Corporation; Richard A. Rula, president of Hemphill Construction Company; and Hines Brannan, retired managing director of Accenture.
For more information or with questions, contact the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President at 662-325-3742.