Delta State University alumnus Fred Carl Jr. was bestowed with one of the university’s highest honors – an honorary doctor of science degree, during 2011 Spring Commencement ceremonies.
Carl is the founder, chairman, president and CEO of Viking Range Corporation. A native of Greenwood, he attended Mississippi State University and graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree from Delta State University. He is a U.S. Navy Vietnam-era veteran, having served as a search and rescue helicopter air crewman.
Carl was inducted into the National Kitchen and Bath Association Hall of Fame in 1994 and was selected as the Mid-South Entrepreneur of the Year in 1996. He has also been inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame and the Leflore County Hall of Fame. In 2002, Carl was named Man of the Year by the Greenwood Commonwealth. The Mississippi Legislature honored Carl in 2004 with a concurrent resolution commending his career and civic contributions. In 2006, he was awarded one of only 11 national American Spirit Awards by the Small Business Administration for his volunteerism and leadership in providing goods and services to areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005. He was also inducted into the 2009 Innovators Hall of Fame by the Mississippi Technology Alliance.
Carl serves on the Executive Committee of the board of directors of the Mississippi Partnership for Economic Development, and is also a member of the board of trustees of the Culinary Institute of America. He was a member of the Governor’s Summit on Higher Education and the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal in the wake of Katrina, serving as co-chair of the Housing Committee. He was subsequently appointed by Gov. Barbour as the housing chairman for Gulf Coast rebuilding.
A supporter of music and the arts, Carl is a member of the advisory board of the Mississippi Blues Foundation, an affiliate of the Mississippi Blues Commission, of which he is past chairman. He is also a member of the advisory board of the B. B. King Museum. He made a generous donation to Delta State in 2003, which helped establish the Delta Music Institute. He has been recognized as Delta State’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year and is a member of the Delta State Hall of Fame.
Carl is past-president of the Greenwood Country Club and a former member of the Vestry of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Greenwood.
He and his wife, Margaret, have one son.