MC

Mississippi College

MC Board of Trustees Welcomes New Leadership

January 16, 2008

Mississippi College's Board of Trustees will have new leadership with Roy Ward of Jackson serving as chairman for 2008.

Among other changes: Sen. Alan Nunnelee, a Republican lawmaker from Tupelo and the new chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently joined the 29-member MC board.

Ward succeeds banker Bill Sones, who completed his service in December as chairman of the MC panel overseeing the 4,600-student Christian university. An MC graduate, Sones is chairman, president and CEO of the Bank of Brookhaven.

"It's a unique time in the history of the college," said Ward, a member of the MC board for more than a dozen years. MC is in good shape with enrollment at record levels and the Clinton-based school in the midst of a $65 million fund drive.

MC's "Growing the Vision" campaign for academic programs, scholarships and building projects now tops the $52 million mark. There are new academic programs on board, including a new doctorate in educational leadership and on-line nursing classes, and dorms are packed.

A Jackson resident, Ward is the chairman emeritus of Horne LLP in the capital city. He has other strong MC ties. His son, Dr. Rob Ward is an MC graduate and psychology professor on the Clinton campus.

MC officials announced other changes on the board. Jackson businessman Wayne Parker is serving as the board's new vice chairman, while Jean Williams of Jackson is the board secretary in 2008.

Parker predicts Ward will build upon what Sones accomplished as chairman.

"I think he (Ward) will do an excellent job. He's very resourceful," said Parker, a Ridgeland resident who's president and board chairman of the LifeShare Foundation in Jackson. "He knows how to get things done."

Other new board members include: Troy Brand of Hickory, Dr. Cynthia Brumfield of Birmingham, Gaye Flynt of Oxford, Fred Hahn of Tuscaloosa, Ben McKibbens of Point Clear, Ala., Dr. Jasper McPhail of Clinton, and Dr. Randy Turner of Laurel. The terms of the new members expire in 2010.

A 1952 MC graduate, McPhail served for decades as a physician and medical educator. He worked for years as a missionary in India before retiring to Clinton. He's at work on several books. "We are deeply rooted at Mississippi College," said McPhail, whose family first began attending MC classes in the 1870s. "I've always been very interested in the college." Serving on the board, he said, "is one of the highest honors I've ever received."

The list of new trustees will replace departing members including Barry Corbett, Robbie Cross, George Dale, Dr. Dan Jones, Sones, and Tom Lee. Dale is a former Mississippi insurance commissioner who lives in Clinton. Jones is the vice chancellor of health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Lee is a federal judge from Scott County. MC's board is scheduled to meet again in March.

PHOTO: Roy Ward, chairman of the Mississippi College Board of Trustees