Andrew Nourse Alexander III (B.S. Physical Education, ’76) 70, Greenville – A native of Greenville, he earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law where he served as editor of the law journal for two years. He joined the Lake Tindall law firm where he spent his entire career and eventually became partner. He also served as attorney for the Greenville City Council for 20 years. He earned the Greenville Honors Its Own Bert Miller Volunteer Award in 2017 for his work as attorney for Delta Center Stage. — May 30, 2023

Gordon Louis Andrews (Ph.D. entomology, ’73; former faculty; retired Extension staff) 77, Water Valley – He attended college on a choral scholarship and earned a bachelor’s degree at Southeastern College before earning a master’s at Louisiana State University and a doctorate at Mississippi State. While studying at State, he studied insect pathology and had a grand assistantship to work on pathogens to control bollworm and tobacco budworm, which led to genetic advancements in cotton. He served as an assistant professor of entomology at MSU and later worked on the Boll Weevil Eradication Program in Panola and Coahoma counties. He later worked with the MSU Extension Service in Stoneville for more than 25 years doing research on insect control in row crops. He served the Rotary Club of Leland and sang in the American Red Cross Choir. — May 23, 2023

David Arant Sr. (B.S. agricultural economics, ’78) 66, Ruleville – He was a member of the Bulldog football team while at State before being sidelined by a knee injury. Following his graduation, he settled in Ruleville where he farmed the family land, ultimately helping found Delta Blues Rice with his son and brother. — Aug. 22, 2023

John Daniel Davis III (B.S. chemical engineering, ’67) 83, Flowood – A native of Greenville, he attended Mississippi College and served as an instructor in the U.S. Army at Redstone Arsenal’s Ordnance Guided Missile School in Huntsville, Alabama, before coming to Mississippi State. He worked in paper manufacturing and engineering consulting before founding Davis Specialty Chemicals in Ridgeland, which he operated until he was 80 years old.  — May 12, 2023

Charles H. Filgo (B.S. engineering, ’51) 95, Baton Rouge. Louisiana – While at State, he was president of the Engineering School and vice president of the civil engineering school. His career began with Exxon and he retired after 35 years as head of purchasing traffic and general services. He was also a proud Marine Corps veteran. — Aug. 11, 2023

Dr. Elton Mac Huddleston (B.S. accounting,  ’65; former faculty) 79, Tupelo – He was part of ROTC at Mississippi State and served in the Army following his graduation. As part of his service, he flew helicopters in Vietnam and later served as a flight instructor. He was a captain and received the Bronze Star and Distinguished Flying Cross, among other military honors. He later earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn and practiced in north Mississippi. He worked for Mississippi State as a faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Division of Development before returning to his veterinary practice in Pontotoc. He was executive secretary of the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association and the Mississippi Board of Veterinary Medicine. He later served Pontotoc County as a sheriff’s deputy and criminal investigator before being elected to the state House of Representatives, serving District 15 from 2008 until his death. In the legislature, he was chairman of the University and Colleges Committee and the Ethics Committee and was previously vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee. — Aug. 27, 2023

Isidro “Chilo” Matamoros (M.S. Animal Science, ’86; Ph.D. Animal Physiology,  ’90) 59, Honduras – A faculty member at Zamorano University, he was remembered by the American Brahman Breeders Association as a friend and supporter of the breed who instilled his passion in students by bringing them to the International Brahman Show each year. – May 10, 2023

Dr. Charles Weinacker Montgomery (B.S. pre-medicine, ’71) 73, Tupelo – Following his graduation from Mississippi State, he attended medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and completed residencies in internal medicine and hematology-oncology. He co-founded North Mississippi Hematology and Oncology Associates in 1979 and during his 44 years of practice helped establish Mississippi’s first licensed hospice. During his career, he received the Golden Tongue Blade Award for Physician of the Year and served as chief of staff at North Mississippi Medical Center. — June 3, 2023

Edna Ruth Morgan (B.S. education, ’65; M.S. agricultural and Extension education, ’81; former staff) 80, Starkville – She worked as a student secretary at Mississippi State University while in high school and returned as a student to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1965. She began her teaching career in Sayre, Alabama, before coming back to MSU as an office administrator in the Extension entomology department—becoming the first female professional hired by the office. She eventually earned a master’s in the field and was the first woman to serve on the executive board of the Mississippi Entomological Association. She retired from MSU after 42 years, turning her attention to studying the history of Starkville and Oktibbeha County. — June 14, 2023

Grady Elkins “Foots” Thurman (B.S. General Business, ’71) 73, Mayfield, Kentucky – While at Mississippi State, he served as editor of the student newspaper, The Reflector, during which time he authored an opinion piece that generated a great deal of controversy and resulted in a federal lawsuit related to the independence of student-led publications. He was a career banker who worked internationally in Brazil, as well as across the United States. In addition to a life-long love for the written word, he also had a passion for music. — July 29, 2023

George Tucker “Tuck” Russell (B.S. civil engineering, ’62) 85, Iuka – He began his civil engineering career with the Corps of Engineers in Little Rock, Arkansas, before moving to North Carolina to work on various navigational channel projects across the Southeast. He was instrumental in building the Tenn-Tom Waterway. He volunteered his time with Eight Days of Hope, an organization that provides disaster response helping to rebuild communities, and was active with the youth ministry of Iuka Baptist Church, where he was known as “the world’s oldest teenager” and served as a deacon and a Gideon. — Aug. 15, 2023

Jacob Francis Selzer (staff) 60, Columbus – A native of Louisiana, he attended Northeast Louisiana University before relocating to Columbus in 1996 and beginning a career in food and custodial services at Mississippi State. He was a fixture on campus and never met a stranger, always offering a friendly word to those who crossed his path. He was a college sports enthusiast, with immense school spirit, often volunteering at or attending events. — May 15, 2023

Robert Preston Stringer III (attended) 75, Starkville – He was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity while at Mississippi State and enjoyed booking notable musical acts to play on campus. He is credited with creating well-known vintage Bully and “Flying M” designs for The Reflector in the 1960s and 1970s. He was the first student enrolled in the inaugural architecture class at MSU and went on to become a member of the American Institute of Architects. He was a cartoonist for The Reflector and was named SEC Cartoonist of the Year in 1998. He served in the U.S. Air Force before pursuing his architectural endeavors in Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee and Venezuela. — July 24, 2023

Walter Stubbe (B.S. management, ’65) 80, Starkville – A native of Laurel, he was a member of Sigma Chi and the MSU Track Team while at State. A lifelong entrepreneur, he opened three gift stores while working full time at Fisher Marine West Point as vice president of sales. He began selling gift lines all over the South in the 1980s. In 1993, he and his wife purchased a small Tennessee candle company which they renamed Aspen Bay Candle Company. He would go on to own other candle and fragrance brands throughout his life. He continued to work in sales until three weeks before his death. — Aug. 2, 2023

A black and white photo of a football player holding a trophy.

In Memory of Johnie Cooks

Johnie Cooks (B.S. teaching, coaching, ’82; M.S. athletic administration, 95), who was a member of the 1990 Super Bowl-winning New York Giants team, died July 6, 2023. He was 64.

A native of Leland, Cooks was a legend in Bulldog football. During his MSU career from 1977-81, he was a three-time All-SEC linebacker. At the time of his last game, he was fourth in career sacks and fifth in total tackles in the university’s record books. He was the Bulldog’s leading tackler in the 1978 and 1981 seasons, passing the century mark both years. He recorded a career high 24 tackles during his junior year against Auburn.

In 1980, he led State in one of its most memorable wins in program history—a 6-3 victory against the No. 1 ranked Alabama team coached by Bear Bryant. He had more than 20 tackles that game and stopped the Crimson Tide on the goal line with a game-clinching forced fumble—a play that still brings Mississippi State fans to their feet.

Cooks was placed on five All-America teams following the 1981 season and was one of 12 finalists for the Vince Lombardi National Lineman Trophy. He was picked second overall by the Baltimore Colts in the 1982 NFL draft. During his professional career, he spent six years with the Colts, three with the Giants and one with the Cleveland Browns.

In 1998, Cooks was named an SEC Football Legend, having previously been named to MSU’s M-Club Hall of Fame. In 2004 he earned a spot in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and his name became part of the Davis Wade Stadium Bulldogs’ Ring of Honor in 2011.

A man in a suit and tie smiling.

In Memory of Prentiss McLaurin Jr.

Prentiss Cortez “Mac” McLaurin Jr. (Professor Emeritus) 80, Starkville – He retired in 2010 from Mississippi State University as head of the Center for Governmental Training and Technology, now the Center for Government and Community Development, with MSU’s Extension Service. During his time with the university, he was the first chairman of the John C. Stennis Scholarship Committee, an active faculty representative and adviser to numerous student groups.

His 60-year career also included serving the city of Starkville as an alderman and city chief administrative officer and coordinator of city-federal programs, community development and intergovernmental relations. He led the city’s efforts to earn $30 million in federal funds which were used for major community development projects.

At a national level, McLaurin was selected for the Intergovernmental Relations Steering Committee and the Finance and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee of the National Association of Counties. He earned full membership in the International City-County Management Association and was on the national board of directors of Dizzy Dean Baseball Inc.

He served as a member of Gov. Kirk Fordice’s Task Force on Governmental Accountability and Reform, as well as the Committee on Supervisor Education, which he chaired, and the education and certification advisory board. He was a member, president and director for the Starkville Rotary Club; director and president of the Starkville Baseball Association; director of the Starkville Post 13 American Legion baseball program; assistant manager of the Junior and Senior American Legion baseball teams; commissioner and member of the Investment Committee of the Golden Triangle Regional Solid Waste Management Authority; member of the Starkville Election Commission; member of the Total Quality Management Team and the Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce; and director of Prairie Opportunity Inc. — Aug. 22, 2023

Remembering Sidney Ray “Sid” Hill Jr.

Sidney Ray “Sid” Hill Jr. (Professor Emeritus) 79, Oxford – A native of Birmingham, Alabama, he attended the University of Alabama before transferring to Birmingham Southern College where he obtained a bachelor’s in history. He later earned master’s and doctoral degrees in speech communication and rhetoric from the University of Florida.

Hill began his 36-year career at Mississippi State in 1972 in the Department of Communication. He was initially brought on to help bolster the university’s intercollegiate debate program but his role within continued to grow until 1987 when he became its third department head. He helped usher the department through growth in the 1990s which included the addition of academic concentrations in public relations and broadcasting.

Upon stepping back from his administrative role in the late 1990s, Hill continued to be a strong presence among the faculty until his retirement in 2008. He had a reputation among students for being tough but fair, and he took great pride in seeing the success of the thousands of students he influenced over the years.June 11, 2023