Mississippi College

Rev. William Smith III to Lead Alumni Association

March 4, 2008

The Rev. William P. Smith III of Tupelo will soon become the new leader of the Mississippi College Alumni Association.

MC's alumni aboard will meet on the MC campus in Clinton Friday and Saturday. The leadership gavel will go to Smith, who's this year's president-elect.

A Portsmouth, Va. native, Smith is a 1959 MC graduate where he earned a bachelor's degree in speech and minored in Bible on the Clinton campus.

Later. Smith received masters degrees at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary and the University of Mississippi. He's pastored churches in Mississippi, and served for 20 years as director of missions with the Lee County Baptist Association before retiring. He and his wife, Mary Ellis, a member of the Class of 1959, are parents of two children, both MC graduates.

With 4,600 students, Baptist-affiliated MC is the state's largest private university. Founded in 1826, it is the second oldest Baptist college in America and Mississippi's oldest institution of higher learning.

During the past 12 months, MC's alumni board was led by John McCormick of Brandon, a 1965 MC graduate, who served as president. Ross Aven, a 2004 MC graduate, is the director of alumni affairs. The office is headquartered at Nelson Hall.

Also expected to move up in the alumni ranks: Nancy Nielsen Davis, a 1961 graduate from Clinton, will serve as president-elect in 2008-2009. She has served this year as first vice president. Retired lawyer William M. Dye Jr., a 1954 MC graduate from Oxford, is expected to become first vice president of the association board.

MC has about 30,000 alumni.

During their meetings on the Clinton campus, MC alumni should get an update on the Christian university's $65 million "Growing the Vision" campaign. Announced in Fall 2006, the fund drive has generated $58 million for scholarships, academic programs and building projects. Alums will also hear a report on Homecoming 2008 activities in the fall.

The Alumni Association maintains alumni coordinators around Mississippi and in such states as Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, Arizona, Alabama and California.

For more details on the association, contact Ross Aven at 601-925-3228 or aven@mc.edu

PHOTO: Reverend and Mrs. William P. Smith, III

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