Mississippi College

MC School of Business Honors Jim Coggin

April 21, 2009

Persistence, developing a strong faith in God, and learning to be flexible are some of the key ingredients to a successful life.

Those were among the nuggets of advice that Mississippi businessman Jim Coggin delivered to outstanding students in the Mississippi College School of Business.

Coggin presented his "seven simple truths" at the MC School of Business Honors Day luncheon Tuesday on the Clinton campus.

The MC graduate is well-versed in the subject after retiring in May 2007 as president and chief administrative officer for Saks Incorporated. The Tupelo native spent 36 years with the retailing giant, starting in 1971 with McRae's in Jackson. Saks grew to a company with more than 350 stores and $6 billion in sales by 1998.

A Vietnam veteran who holds a bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University and M.B.A. from Mississippi College, Coggin also encouraged students to become lifelong learners. Next week, the Mississippian will be inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame.

On Tuesday, the MC School of Business recognized Coggin with its Executive Excellence Award, with his wife, Pat, joining him for the occasion.

As parents, professors, President Lee Royce and others supplied the applause at Anderson Hall, the MC business students are well on their way to the road to enhancing their achievements. Some of the students say graduate school is a wise course to take while America grapples with a recession. Others are venturing out into the workforce.

Saluting some of MC's best and brightest, the spring awards luncheon, said business dean Marcelo Eduardo, "is one of the most important events in the life of the School of Business."

Among the award winners: 19 students received the Sandra Parks Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in honor of the accounting professor who's in her 32nd year of teaching on the MC campus. There were 17 business students recognized as Delta Mu Delta members.

Those spotlighted for special awards were business students Jennifer Baker, Amanda Barlow, Thad Burke, Kelcie Messer, Jay Davis, Allyson Lewis, Stephanie Meadows and Lauren Parkin.

An MC senior from Madison, Parkin sports a perfect 4.0 average and has served the Student Government Association as secretary. Others like Jennifer Baker of Winter Garden, Fla. have been leaders as president of Mortar Board.

The event at the B.C. Rogers Student Center also honored professor Lloyd Roberts, a former MC administrator who once served as MC's interim president. He held the post before the arrival of Dr. Royce in 2002.

Roberts, who received three degrees, including his doctorate from the University of Mississippi, was named the outstanding teacher of the year for the School of Business.

The Clintonian remained humble after Eduardo presented him with his latest award. "This is quite an honor," he said. But the veteran MC educator quickly turned the focus to many of the excellent students he's instructed in MC classrooms over the years in Self Hall. "Teaching is the best job in America," Roberts said.

It was a busy day for the MC School of Business that is teaming with Mississippi Public Broadcasting to host best-selling author and economist Harry Dent. His speech this evening at Swor Auditorium beginning at 6 p.m. is open to the public and will be broadcast statewide on MPB later this year.

Photo: MC School of Business Development Director Katrina Pace, businessman Jim Coggin, business dean Marcelo Eduardo

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