Longtime Mississippi State University supporter Richard C. Adkerson is receiving the university’s 2011 national alumnus of the year award. The 1969 MSU graduate is president and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer. A Phoenix, Ariz., resident, he also is co-chairman of McMoRan Exploration Co., an international oil and gas exploration company.
In 2007, a $5-million gift by Adkerson to the College of Business was recognized by naming in his honor the college’s School of Accountancy.
Adkerson graduated with highest honors in accounting and, a year later, received a master’s in business administration. Also in 1970, he scored second highest nationally on the certified public accounting examination. He additionally is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
Previously, Mississippi State honored Adkerson for continuing assistance to academic and athletic programs. In 1989, he was named outstanding accounting alumnus; two years later, the business college selected him as its alumnus of the year. In 2010, the land-grant university recognized him with an honorary doctoral degree.