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Keenum's investiture to be scaled down

STARKVILLE — Next week’s investiture of Mark E. Keenum as Mississippi State’s 19th president will include members of Mississippi’s congressional delegation and Gov. Haley Barbour, among other special guests. However, Keenum has requested that the event be trimmed in lieu of state and university budget cuts.

Keenum, a university alumnus who became the land-grant institution’s chief executive in January following a public service career in Washington, D.C., is to be installed formally Oct. 16. “A New Chapter of Service” is the overall theme of the day’s events.

The public ceremony, which also will be broadcast to overflow campus locations, begins at noon in the Bettersworth Auditorium of Lee Hall.

The congressional delegation includes senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and congressmen Gregg Harper and Travis Childers.

Gov. Barbour will lead a state delegation that also includes Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Attorney General Jim Hood, Auditor Stacey Pickering, Treasurer Tate Reeves and Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Lester Spell.

College board officials, representatives of other Mississippi institutions of higher learning, and Starkville and Oktibbeha County representatives also will participate.

“At Dr. Keenum’s request, we have scaled back investiture events in recognition of the economic realities our university and state face,” said Amy Tuck, investiture committee chair. Events all will take place during a half-day period; there will be no formal dinner or related social activities, she added.

During the investiture, Keenum will make a major announcement regarding the launch of new student scholarships and faculty support.

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