Passing the Gavel
The last meeting of the Rotary program year marks a transition in leadership. President Zach will pass the gavel and bell to incoming President Briar.
July 4, NO meeting
July 11: MSU International Students
Roy Jafari, from Iran, is the current president of the MSU International Students Advisory Board. Andy Gaston will introduce him.
For the Record—June 20
Invocation and Pledge: Nancy Walsh
Present — 109 (39 exempt)
Absent — 74 (21 exempt, 12 honorary)
Makeup reported: Gary Jackson in Winona
Guests: Member guests were Suzie Lear of Michelle Amos, Lori Arinder of Grant Arinder, Dianne Jackson of Gary Jackson and Gene Jones of Don Trotter. Guest of the club was Joel Coleman, Starkville Daily News.
- President Zach reminded members that volunteers are still needed for the annual district foundation and membership conference, which we will be hosting along with the Columbus Club on July 15-16 at The Mill.
- Grant Arinder, Youth Exchange chair, thanked guest speaker Scott Stricklin for the complimentary MSU football tickets provided for each year’s RYE student.
- The president gave kudos to Bricklee Miller for her leadership in the county’s securing a key grant to complete the bike/walking path from South Montgomery into the MSU campus.
- He reminded members to vote for Starkville businesses and institutions in The Dispatch Best of the Triangle poll.
- John Robert Arnold led the club in singing Happy Birthday to Brian McCaskill.
For the 2016-2018 program years, Nancy Lifer will become the board representative for community members with five or fewer years of club membership. She fills the seat vacated by Carey Edwards who moved to Columbus.
Polio Eradication Realities
When was the last time there was polio in Europe? If you guessed 2002, the year the region was certified polio-free, you were wrong. The last time polio affected a child in Europe was last summer. (Learn more in the July Rotarian or online at Rotary.org)
Proposed New Member
Gena Lea Standridge has been recommended for membership by O.A. Cleveland. She is is district sales manager for Sysco Foods. Her prior positions with the firm included southern regional and area sales manager. Her recommended classification is Food Service-Wholesale.
MSU Athletics: A Year of Historic Finishes
June 20 — Mississippi State Athletics has great momentum under Director Scott Stricklin who said, “This year the level to which so many of our sports, student athletes and coaches achieved is historic.”
Track and field provided two national champions. Senior Marta Freitas won the 1500 meter at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Sophomore Curtis Thompson made school history by winning the javelin competition.
Eleven student athletes earned first or second team All American in their sports. There were three Academic All Americans. And, more than half (180) of all athletes had a grade point average above 3.0. Thirty-three had 4.0 GPAs.
Half of the university’s 16 sports were in post-season play. Five different sports finished in their top-16. Nine different teams were in top-25 at some point in the year. And, it was the second straight nine-win season for football with a sixth straight bowl appearance.
Women’s basketball saw its second straight year in the SEC top-3 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. The program hosted first and second round games of the NCAA tournament.
Men’s tennis made the Round of 16. Women’s outdoor track and field finished 13th. The men finished at number nine for their second straight year in the Top Ten.
The baseball team won the SEC season championship and hosted regional and super-regional series. Head Coach John Cohen was named SEC Coach of the Year for leading the Bulldogs to their first league title since 1989.
When introducing Stricklin, Dave Boles said, “A little over a week ago, I was hoping Scott would cancel out, because I was hopeful he would be in Omaha.”
“We are the first school ever to go from last to outright SEC season champion in the next year,” said Stricklin. “The turnaround says a lot about those young men.”
Five different sports broke single season attendance records.
On top of State’s on-the-field excellence, the Athletic Department had two national champs. Stricklin was named the Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. And, the athletic marketing group won the 2016 Marketing Team of the Year Award presented by SuperFanU, at the annual National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators Convention
Stricklin expects the highest finish ever in the national Director’s Cup standings. State will be in the top 50.
“We’re at a bit of a disadvantage in the Director’s Cup,” he said. “They rank you on your top 20 sports that finish the highest. We only have 16 sports. Stanford wins every year, because they have 36 sports.”
He noted that MSU hosted the SEC softball championship to rave reviews about Nusz Park, the sport’s new facility.
Softball venue upgrades have helped to lift the setting for the Pitts Tennis Center as well. Said Stricklin, “There’s no better place to watch a match in the U.S.”
In facilities improvements, a new permanent wood floor will be installed in Humphrey Coliseum this summer. The two-decades-old removable floor has lost much of its flexibility. And, a new Peavey sound system is going in to the Hump.
The $55 million Dudy Noble upgrade is cleared to start next June.
Clarifying Leftfield Lounge arrangements, Stricklin explained although there will be permanent units, “we will give people options to define their particular spot as far as decorating it.”