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Thad C.
Republican MS

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  • Tribute to Dr. Robert E. Wolverton, Sr.

    by Senator Thad Cochran

    Posted on 2015-12-14

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    COCHRAN. Mr. President, I am pleased to commend the remarkable 66-year, and still counting, career of Mississippi State University professor and lifelong educator, Robert E. ``Bob'' Wolverton, Sr., of Starkville, MS. His many years of hard work and dedication continue to inspire the Mississippi State family to learn more and achieve more for the betterment of our State and Nation. I congratulate Dr. Wolverton for his important contributions to higher education throughout his distinguished career. He and his wife, Peggy, are well respected and admired throughout the university and community.

    Mr. President, I ask that a December 1, 2015, article from Mississippi State University, titled ``MSU honors Wolverton with naming of new building rotunda,'' be printed in the Record.

    The material follows: [From the Mississippi State University, Dec. 1, 2015] MSU Honors Wolverton With Naming of New Building Rotunda (By Harriet Laird) Starkville, MS.--An accomplished professor and lifelong educator whose career spans more than six decades will be honored by Mississippi State with the naming of a select area in one of the university's newest and largest buildings.

    Robert E. ``Bob'' Wolverton Sr., former vice president for academic affairs and longtime professor of classics, will see his name etched into the rotunda of MSU's new classroom building, a 150,000 square foot structure currently under construction in the heart of the 137-year-old campus. The honor comes while the 90-year-old educator is still active as a member of the MSU faculty.

    Seeing more than 2,000 students walk each day through the facility's rotunda once construction is completed in the fall of 2016, this naming reflects Wolverton's dedication to educating students for 66 years, 38 of those at Mississippi State.

    ``Simply put, Dr. Wolverton is a venerable institution at our university,'' said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. ``At an age where most professors have long since retired, Dr. Wolverton continues to inspire his students, his colleagues, and this administration through his true wisdom and the passion he still has for the subject matter he imparts. What a fitting honor that the rotunda in one of our soon-to-be iconic buildings will forever bear his name.'' Wolverton began his tenure at MSU in 1977 when he became the university's vice president of academic affairs, having served previously as president for the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio. In 1986, he began teaching in the Department of Foreign Languages, now the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, serving as the unit's head from 1991-1996.

    A two-term chair of MSU's Robert Holland Faculty Senate, he last held the title eight years ago at age 82, with many regarding him as the ``elder statesman'' in such a position at any college or university.

    Also an MSU John Grisham Master Teacher, the highest honor given for excellence in classroom instruction, Wolverton has been honored with the MSU Alumni Association Faculty Achievement Award and College of Arts and Sciences Humanist Award.

    ``All of us admire Bob Wolverton for his unwavering commitment to excellence in [[Page S8633]] teaching and to the students of MSU,'' said Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president. ``Through his many years of service, he has established himself as a tremendous asset to the university. I am so proud that we have chosen to recognize Bob by naming the rotunda in his honor.'' Wolverton holds a bachelor's degree in classics from Hanover (Indiana) College, a master's from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina. He has been on the faculty at the University of Georgia, and Tufts and Florida State universities.

    Active in the community, he was honored in 2001 as one of Mississippi's ``Ageless Heroes'' by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi. He has served as a board member for the Starkville Friends of the Library, president of the Starkville-MSU Symphony Association, and was a founding member of the Starkville Community Theatre. ____________________

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