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3/8/2012 - Jackson, Miss.

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 25th Annual Higher Education Appreciation Day—Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) program.

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. In celebrating the program’s Silver Anniversary, a plaque was presented to former Representative Cecil Simmons, who sponsored Legislative Resolution #88, 1987 Legislative Session, which established the program and set February 21, 1988 as the first date for the recognition to be held.

“When Representative Simmons introduced the resolution establishing the program, his goal was to have one day each year set aside to recognize outstanding faculty members and students from each college in the state,” said Dr. Hank M. Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education. “HEADWAE students and faculty excel in the classroom and beyond and shine in every facet of their work.”

The honorees began the day with a visit to the State Capitol where they were welcomed by Governor Phil Bryant, 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 Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, chair of HEADWAE, as the keynote speaker, capped the celebration.

“It is a privilege to welcome all of our honorees here today as we celebrate their outstanding contributions to higher education,” said Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves. “I want to thank the students and faculty members for their commitment to academic excellence and the institutions of higher education for lending their support in this effort.”

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

“Whether you are a student or faculty member who is being recognized, you have made learning a priority, which is important not only for yourself but for our state as well,” said Dr. Clark. “You are crucial to our state’s future, and we are counting on you.”

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

Three sponsors, including AT&T Mississippi, Chevron Products Company and Mississippi Power Company were recognized as steadfast supporters of the program, having contributed to the HEADWAE program for the entire 25 years of its existence.

“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. “Thank you for setting a worthy example for all who are interested in and support academic excellence. It is our hope that you will continue to excel and successfully invest yourselves in your academic pursuits and service to others.”


View a list of the 2010-11 HEADWAE honorees.

Click on the following links for photos and cutlines:

University Photos

Community Colleges

Private Institutions


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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