Mr. Jeffrey Huddleston Class of 1985

The Office of Alumni Affairs at Mississippi Valley State University is sadden to announce the passing of our dear alumnus Mr. Jeffrey Huddleston, C’85. Jeffrey was currently serving as the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at Overton High School in Memphis, TN.

Jeffrey huddleston Please find below information regarding the funeral arrangements for Mr. Huddleston:

Friday November 21, 2014 New Hope Baptist Church 2356 Elvis Presley Blvd. Memphis, TN  4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Funeral: Saturday, November 22, 2014
New Hope Baptist Church
2356 Elvis Presley Blvd. Memphis, TN 11:00 a.m.

Funeral Arrangements entrusted to: N.J.  Ford & Sons Funeral, Inc. 12 South Parkway West Memphis, TN

Hawkins C’97, Receives NASPAA Spotlight Award

valeria hawkins 2On Nov. 5,  MVSU Alumna Valeria Hawkins of Clarksdale, Miss.,  was recognized with a Spotlight Award at the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration’s (NASPAA) conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. NASPAA is an organization of nearly 300 graduate programs in public policy, public affairs, public administration and public/nonprofit management.

Hawkins was recognized for her  work as the Mississippi Program Manager with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program for her efforts to help reduce the epidemic of childhood obesity in the Mississippi Delta. The Alliance is a national nonprofit founded by the American Heart Association and W.J. Clinton Foundation. Valeria is one of 10 award winners in the Spotlight Award category, which was given out during NASPAA’s annual awards luncheon. The recipients were chosen for outstanding contributions toward solving public sector problems.

Member schools were asked to nominate alumni or faculty from all levels of government, as well as the nonprofit and consulting sectors for this award. The recipients were selected by the Spotlight Award Subcommittee, a part of NASPAA’s Marketing Committee and chaired by George Dougherty, Jr., of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

Congratulations Dr. Chresteen Friday-Seals, C’58

Dr Seal_school boardDr. Chresteen Friday-Seals, recently won the November 4th election to represent District 4 on the Cleveland School Board District in Cleveland, MS.

Alumnus appointed to the State Food Distribution Advisory Council

Edward Hill2Edward H. Hill C’02, Director of West Bolivar County Consolidated School District’s Child Nutrition Program, was recently appointed to serve on the State Food Distribution Advisory Council.  The National School Lunch Program regulations contain a requirement for the State educational agency to oversee a State Food Distribution Advisory Council which meets periodically and provides recommendations on the commodity program.  Council members are appointed for three-year staggered terms; in addition, members must represent a variety of schools and administrative levels. The Food Distribution Project Director is a member of the committee, but is a non-voting member.  The council conducts a food-preference survey and gathers information; the council reports findings to the State Office of Child Nutrition.  The state, in turn, informs USDA of the council’s recommendations.  Activities of the council are vital links in the State information network.  Recommendations by the council have often resulted in documented programs improvements.  Hill will serve the following counties in Mississippi:  Desoto, Marshall, Tunica, Tate, Coahoma, Quitman, Panola, Lafayette, Bolivar, Sunflower, Leflore, Tallahatchie, Yalobusha, Grenada and Carroll.

Edward earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) in 2002.  While attending MVSU, he served as the Pre-Alumni Club President for two consecutive terms. In addition, Mr. Hill is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and “proud” active member of the MVSU National Alumni Association, Inc., and the Bolivar County, MS Alumni Chapter.

MVSU Alum Recognized by Oprah during the ‘Life You Want Weekend’ in Washinton D.C.

Jas Boothe ’99 of “Final Salute” Recognized for Her Outstanding Commitment to Provide Housing for Homeless Female Veterans
jaspen Boothe_10.27.14 oprah winfrey award
Amy Purdy (far left) with Jas Boothe (middle), founder of Final Salute, Inc, recipient of the Toyota “Standing O-Vation” Award; and Oprah Winfrey (far right)
 Photo Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc. / George Burns
Los Angeles – “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend,” Oprah Winfrey’s eight-city arena tour and transformational weekend, announced the third Toyota “Standing O-Vation” award recipient on Saturday, September 20 in Washington D.C. The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” recognizes extraordinary people who are making positive changes in their communities and  inspiring others to do the same.  Oprah Winfrey and Team Toyota brand ambassador Amy Purdy honored Jas Boothe of Final Salute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization Boothe founded to help homeless female veterans in the United States  by providing them and their children with transitional housing.  As a recipient of the  “Standing O-Vation” award, Final Salute  will receive a $25,000 grant from Toyota in support of their outstanding commitment to supporting homeless female  veterans in the local Washington D.C. community. 
Click here to see Jas Boothe’s story (with embed code):  
After losing her own home and belongings during Hurricane Katrina, and overcoming a devastating cancer diagnosis, Jas Boothe faced homelessness and the loss of her job firsthand. Once back on her feet, Boothe recognized the availability of helpful programs for male veterans, and the lack of such services for women.  She knew she had to help meet this desperate need for female veteran housing programs. Today, Final Salute has three homes in Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio, and has helped more than 300 female veterans and their families from 15 states and territories.  For more
information, visit
“Today was one of the proudest moments of my life, standing on stage with Oprah Winfrey and Amy Purdy to receive a standing ovation for the work we do at Final Salute,” said Jas Boothe.  “I’ve made it my life’s mission to give back to the brave women who have fought for our country, and this grant of $25,000 from Toyota will allow us to help even more homeless female veterans.” The driving force behind The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” stems from the automaker’s commitment to fostering women’s interests. While reflecting the kind of stories that define the brand, The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” is an opportunity to celebrate remarkable women who are not only making the world a better place, but also motivating others to spark their own journey of personal change.
“Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” will include additional presentations of Toyota’s “Standing O-Vation” awards during the following tour stops:
Sept. 26-27      Newark, New Jersey       Prudential Center
Oct. 17-18        Houston, Texas               Toyota Center
Oct. 24-25        Miami, Florida                  American Airlines Arena
Nov. 7-8           Seattle, Washington        KeyArena at Seattle Center
Nov. 14-15       San Jose, California        SAP Center at San Jose
About “Oprah’s The Life You Want” Weekend:
“Oprah’s The Life You Want” Weekend is an eight-city arena tour and transformational weekend featuring Oprah Winfrey and a team of special guests, sponsored by Toyota and Olay.  Each tour stop spans two days. On Friday nights, Oprah takes the stage, bringing her personal story and insights to life in a one of a kind intimate evening.  Then on Saturdays, Oprah leads a day-long gathering of thousands with handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons including Iyanla Vanzant, star of OWN’s  hit series “Iyanla Fix My Life,” regular O Magazine contributor, best-selling author and spiritual life coach; best-selling author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert; and one of Time 100’s Most Influential people, Pastor Rob Bell. Additionally, world-renowned author and pioneer in mind-body medicine Deepak Chopra will take the stage in select cities. “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” is
produced by Harpo Studios, 
O, The Oprah Magazine, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and WME Live, and is presented by Toyota and Olay.
For more information on the tour, please visit and follow on Twitter/Instagram @LifeYouWantTour #LifeYouWantTour.

Congratulations Timothy Lampkin C’08!

Timothy lampkinTimothy E. Lampkin, was appointed to the 2014-2015 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy by the Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant and Federal Co-Chairman Christopher A. Masingill. The DLI Executive Academy is a yearlong leadership development program coordinated by the Delta Regional Authority for regional leaders that prepares them to collaborate and address the most-pressing issues of the Delta region. Lampkin is currently the Community Development Officer for Southern Bancorp Community Partners (SBCP) in Clarksdale, MS. He works with the city, county, and local nonprofits to identify funding for community development projects. Since joining in November 2013, he has helped secure over a half of million dollars for projects in Coahoma County. Timothy earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Mississippi Valley State University, M.B.A. from Delta State University, and a M.S. in Organizational Performance from Bellevue University. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning from the University of Arkansas. Some of his afflations’ include the Placemaking Leadership Council, American Management Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mississippi Broadband Initiative, Christian Community Development Association, and the Federal Voting Rights Observer Program.

Young Named Director of Alumni Affairs

WJY PhotoWillie James Young, Jr. was recently named the new director of alumni affairs at Mississippi Valley State University.

“I’m very excited about being here at Valley,” Young said. “It’s kind of like a homecoming, but it’s also an opportunity to make a difference.”

Most recently, Young has worked as the personnel director for the Greenwood Public School District, a position he held from July of 2003 until June of this year.

As director of alumni affairs, Young hopes to reconnect with as many alumni as possible. He is building a database of alumni contact information in order to keep alumni abreast of current events at Valley. “There’s strength in numbers,” Young said. He hopes to get more alumni volunteering their time and resources to the university in order to help the institution in its mission to meet the educational needs of its students.

A native of Greenwood, Miss., Young has been instrumental in the development of the lives of many young people, in particular young men, in the Leflore County area. Because of his desire to develop the whole person, he has often gone far beyond the call of duty to give love, support and time to the young people of this community.

In 1980, Young began his professional career in Greenwood at Republic Finance, Inc., where he eventually became a branch manager. In 1992, he became the owner and manager of C&W Collection Services and an independent associate for Pre-Paid Legal Services (now LegalShield) in 1998. He has worked as a lead counselor with Three Rivers Community Economic Development Corporation’s Leflore County Juvenile Report Center in 2001-2002, and as director of the Education and Training Institute’s Leflore County Fatherhood Initiative Program from 2002-2003. He served as head coach of the Greenwood High School Baseball Team during the 2003 season.

Young is a 1976 graduate of Greenwood High School, where he was involved in the baseball program and other school activities. He graduated with honors in 1980 from Mississippi Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. While at MVSU, he was captain of the MVSU Baseball Team and the Most Valuable Player during the 1980 season. He was also a member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society.

“As a first generation college graduate, I truly understand the value of our wonderful university and the impact it has had on the lives of so man,” Young said.

Throughout the years, Young has dedicated his service to several community projects. He has served as co-founder of the Davis School Male Mentor Program, president of the Davis School Parent Teacher Association, a member of the Greenwood Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee, and coach/secretary-treasurer of the New Stone Street Baseball League.

A member of the Baptist faith, Young is a member of Salem Missionary Baptist Church, where he serves as superintendent of the Sunday school.

“I am a true believer that, to whom much is given, much is required,” Young said. “I encourage all alumni to be an even greater part of the bright future of our beloved alma mater.”

An avid baseball fan, Young enjoys hunting, fishing, baseball, golf and cooking in his spare time.

Young and his wife, Wanda Young, are the parents of two adult children, Courtney JeLecia and Willie, III. He is the son of the late Willie J. Young, Sr. and Mary Young of Greenwood.


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