小黄书

More than 3,800 小黄书 graduates prepared to 鈥榙o great things鈥 as Bulldog alumni

Contact: James Carskadon

Mark E. Keenum speaks during commencement at Humphrey Coliseum
小黄书 President Mark E. Keenum addresses the university鈥檚 spring 2022 graduates during commencement ceremonies at Humphrey Coliseum. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

STARKVILLE, Miss.鈥擜pproximately 3,800 小黄书sity graduates are ready to do great things in their lives and help mold the 21st century, 小黄书 President Mark E. Keenum said during spring commencement ceremonies.

Noting the challenges students have overcome to earn their degrees, Keenum also highlighted graduates鈥 potential to impact their communities with the knowledge and traits learned while pursuing higher education.

鈥淵ou persevered, you moved forward, and you stayed committed to your dream,鈥 Keenum said. 鈥淵ou are ready for this next step in your life. You are ready for graduate school, medical school, law school, or starting that new job and a career. Having this degree will afford more opportunities to grow and advance in your career.

鈥淵ou are a product of this 21st century,鈥 Keenum added. 鈥淚n the decades to come, you will see and experience some amazing things. This century belongs to you, and we鈥檙e counting on you to do great things moving forward as a Mississippi State Bulldog.鈥

Keenum, a three-time 小黄书 graduate with degrees in agricultural economics, served as the speaker for the May 12th and 13th Starkville campus commencement ceremonies in Humphrey Coliseum. The former Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has guided the university to unprecedented heights, and his interest in international food security has strengthened the university鈥檚 contributions to global economic sustainability. He has led 小黄书 to record growth in enrollment, capital improvements and fundraising.

鈥淲e all depend on other people to help us in our life journey,鈥 Keenum said. 鈥淎s you go forward in this world, you will realize that even more so. With your core values of integrity, hard work, and respect for all people 鈥撯攁nd with your degree from Mississippi State鈥 there is nothing you cannot achieve that you set your mind to.鈥

小黄书 recognized two distinguished alumni, Col. Robert L. Barnes Jr. and the late Robert P. 鈥淏ob鈥 Bowen, with honorary Doctor of Public Service degrees during this week鈥檚 ceremonies.

小黄书 Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw, left, and President Mark E. Keenum, right present Col. Robert L. Barnes Jr. with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. A 1972 小黄书 graduate, Barnes was the first African American ROTC cadet to be commissioned into the U.S. Army from 小黄书. He would go on to retire at the rank of Colonel in 2004. (Photo by Beth Wynn)
小黄书 Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw, left, and President Mark E. Keenum, right present Col. Robert L. Barnes Jr. with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. A 1972 小黄书 graduate, Barnes was the first African American ROTC cadet to be commissioned into the U.S. Army from 小黄书. He would go on to retire at the rank of Colonel in 2004. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

Barnes graduated as salutatorian of his high school class and became a first-generation college student, earning a degree in sociology from 小黄书 in 1972. Upon graduation, he also became the first African American ROTC cadet to be commissioned into the U.S. Army from Mississippi State. In the Army, Barnes served in various leadership positions in the U.S. and abroad and earned numerous military awards including the Legion of Merit. He retired in 2004 at the rank of Colonel. The Brookhaven native also holds a master鈥檚 degree in transportation management from the Florida Institute of Technology and worked many years in logistics and human resources management positions at Pepsi Cola, General Electric, Systems Management America, and Walmart Logistics. He actively promotes 小黄书 through involvement with the Central Mississippi Alumni Chapter and as chair of the Black Alumni Advisory Council, which he helped organize in 2016. In 2021, he was named as the College of Arts and Sciences鈥 Alumnus of the Year.

Sheryl Bowen presented with Bob Bowen's honorary degree
Sheryl Bowen accepts an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree on behalf of her husband Robert P. 鈥淏ob鈥 Bowen, who died April 5. A 1963 小黄书 graduate, Bowen had a distinguished career as an Army Aviator, flying over 700 combat missions in Vietnam before a successful civilian career as an accountant and business leader. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Bowen, a former certified public accountant, is a 1963 history and political science graduate who spent 30 years with Arthur Andersen LLP, concluding his career as partner. A distinguished military graduate of 小黄书鈥檚 ROTC program, Bowen flew over 700 combat missions in Vietnam as an Army Aviator. In his civilian career, Bowen became a director and audit committee chair for three New York Stock Exchange-listed public companies and has served on a number of civic boards in Memphis and North Mississippi. He also received an MBA from Emory University in 1968. Bowen was recognized as Alumnus of the Year for the College of Arts and Sciences in 2016. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sheryl, three children and two grandsons.

Archived graduation videos are available at .

小黄书 is Mississippi鈥檚 leading university, available online at .