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Order of Golden Arrow Award Goes to Congressman Gregg Harper


Congressman Gregg Harper

U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper earns high marks for a distinguished 10-year career in Congress and faithful support of his alma mater, Mississippi College.

Stepping down in a few months to wrap up his service in Washington, Harper will receive the Order of the Golden Arrow Award at MC’s 2018 Homecoming. The 1978 Mississippi College graduate will be honored at a 6 p.m. awards dinner on the Clinton campus on October 26.

The Order of the Golden Arrow Award recognizes individuals for their outstanding personal achievements during their careers. The award salutes people for exceptional performance or leadership that’s truly extraordinary.

The prestigious honor for Mississippi’s Third District Congressman is well deserved, MC leaders say.

“Gregg Harper is a very Christian gentleman of whom all of us at MC are very proud,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard. A Pearl attorney prior to his initial election to Congress in 2009, Harper is “a dedicated public servant,” he said.

Mississippi College trustee Andy Taggart and Harper were undergraduates on the Clinton campus in the 1970s. They lived nearby in the same college residence hall. They’ve remained close friends ever since.

“Gregg Harper is one of the best of our best of all time,” says Taggart, a Ridgeland attorney. “We are all so grateful for his willingness to give a decade of his life to service in the Congress.”

Taggart is delighted his friend will return to his native Mississippi after leaving Congress in 2019 to “make our state and communities better.”

Besides being an effective legislator, Harper is “a wonderful Christian role model for our Mississippi College students,” said Wayne VanHorn, dean of the School of Christian Studies and the Arts.

Earlier this year, Harper, who chairs the House Administration Committee, announced he won’t seek re-election. The five-term congressman spent time over Christmas and New Year’s with his family and decided a decade in Congress was long enough.

“I never intended for this to be a career, and it will soon be time for another conservative citizen legislator to represent us,” Harper said.

The 61-year-old Republican overwhelmingly won re-election in 2016.

At the time of the announcement, Pennsylvania Rep. Bob Brady, the top Democrat on the House Administration Committee, praised Harper. In a statement, he called him a “true gentleman.”

Harper sought bipartisanship in the Congress where it has been possible, Brady said. “He has managed the House in a truly professional manner and he has always focused on the people of Mississippi’s Third District. His polite, but results focused, approach has made this institution a better place.”

Harper’s district stretches from Wilkinson County in southwest Mississippi to Starkville in Oktibbeha County, and includes the northeast corner of Jackson. The district stretches into east central Mississippi.

Harper and his wife, Sidney, an MC graduate, have a son, Livingston, a daughter, Maggie, and son-in-law, Brett along with a grandchild, Lee. The Harpers are active members of Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon. Gregg Harper served many years as a Sunday school teacher for high school and college students.

A graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School, Harper practiced law for 27 years, including service as prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland. Gregg was a chemistry major at Mississippi College.

The Mississippi congressman and his wife, Sidney, remain deeply committed to supporting families raising children with special needs. Gregg founded the Congressional Internship Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.

Tickets to the awards dinner at Anderson Hall cost $25. For more information on MC’s 2018 Homecoming on October 26-27, contact Lori Bobo of the Alumni Affairs Office at 601-925-3252 or lbobo@mc.edu