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By the Book: Chief Administrative Officer, Marketing Guru Lands MC’s Award of Service

Support for the Department of Christian Studies from Dennis Keveryn, 2023 Award of Service recipient, is helping Mississippi College students retain masterworks of the Christian faith.
Support for the Department of Christian Studies from Dennis Keveryn, 2023 Award of Service recipient, is helping Mississippi College students retain masterworks of the Christian faith.

Dennis Keveryn recognizes how powerful the written word can be.

The retired marketing executive for the Chevron Oil Corporation and longtime chief administrative officer for the city of Laurel credits the Christian University for exposing him to one of the most meaningful times of his life.

While taking a class in the New Testament at Mississippi College, Keveryn was introduced to H.I. Hester’s book, “The Heart of the New Testament.” It was, in a sense, a revelation.

“I was playing baseball and enjoying myself at MC, and I wasn’t looking forward to taking that class,” Keveryn said. “But that course has meant more to me in my life and my Christian walk than anything else that’s happened to me. The book wasn’t preaching – it was more of a history of the Bible.

“When I left Mississippi College, I sold all my books, but I missed that one so much that I bought another copy. Of all the wonderful things I remember from Mississippi College, that by far is the most outstanding.”

Keveryn’s appreciation of MC’s role in his life led him to help other Mississippi College students recognize and retain masterworks of the Christian faith. His financial support has helped the Department of Christian Studies obtain Logos Bible software for Christian Studies majors. The software is registered to each student at no cost, so when they graduate, they have a head start toward building a Bible-centered library for their own personal use.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone as generous and humble as Dennis,” said Barbara Brown, director of donor services. “In my work at Mississippi College, I see so many people who truly want to pour into our students and help them along their journey. Without knowing them or without any recognition, they want to share with them so they can be equipped to go out into the world and share the love of Christ.

“Dennis is one of those kind people. He has a heart for the Lord that is evident to all who know him.”

In recognition of his contributions to Mississippi College, particularly the countless Christian Studies majors who have benefited from his generosity, the National Alumni Association at Mississippi College has selected Keveryn to receive the Award of Service on Saturday, Oct. 21. The award recognizes MC alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary service to MC students.

Keveryn and other outstanding MC alumni selected for major Homecoming Awards in 2023 will be recognized during the Alumni Association Awards Brunch from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Anderson Hall on the second floor of the B.C. Rogers Student Center.

“Dennis continues to make MC a priority,” said Donna Sharp, president of the MC Alumni Board of Directors. “He has given very generously through many years. The Logos Bible software has made a huge difference, especially for our students pursuing full-time Christian service.”

Keveryn grew up in Laurel and attended MC primarily because it was a Baptist-affiliated university.

“My parents were really supportive of my decision,” he said. “Our pastor’s son was up there – he was a little older than me – and I knew another MC student, Barry Landrum, who became a pastor. But I was young and didn’t know what I wanted to do.

“I did not feel called to go into the ministry, and back in those days, if you went to MC, you either were going to become a preacher or a doctor, or you had to pick something else.”

He enjoyed playing baseball and spent four years on the Choctaws diamond squad. His one claim to baseball fame: he never hit a home run in college.

“I’ll carry that to the grave with me,” the former second baseman said.

He did well in a business course, found success in an economics class, and before he knew it, found his calling. Keveryn obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in economics from MC and later earned a master’s degree in management from the University of Oklahoma. That set him up for a 33-year career in marketing for Chevron. He served as chief administrative officer of Laurel for another 11 years.

Keveryn and his wife, Janet, have been married for almost 54 years. The couple are active members of the First Baptist Church of Laurel.

Through the years, he managed to hold on to that second copy of “The Heart of the New Testament.” He digs it out whenever he wants to dive into the facts of the Bible and recall his days at Mississippi College.

“I still remember in class discussing why Jesus came to Earth when he did,” Keveryn said. “The world before that had always been at war, and you couldn’t travel. It was more or less a time of peace, and the Romans had built roads so the disciples could move about and spread the word. And the disciples went to their deaths over what they had seen. Not one of them backed down.

“When Christ came along, when He died and rose again, the Jewish leaders would have looked under every stone and done everything they could to find His body, because Christianity was beginning to take off and spread. And you know what? They never did. The book means so much to me because of its historical accuracy, and I am grateful to have encountered it at Mississippi College.”

Tickets to the Homecoming Brunch cost $25 apiece, and RSVP is required. Click here to register or for more information.