Ed Blakeslee has officially passed the gavel to Bob Owens, the incoming president of the board of trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. Owens served as vice president of the board during Blakeslee’s term. Trustee Aubrey Patterson will serve as vice president during Owens’ term. Owens was appointed to the IHL board by Gov. Haley Barbour in 2004. His term will expire in May 2015. His a partner in the law firm Owens Moss, PLLC, in Jackson. Owens holds a bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University and earned his law degree from Florida State University College of Law. He is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and the Charles Clark Chapter of the American Inn of Court. In addition, he is past president of the Magnolia Bar Association and is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Hinds County Bar Association. Named Alumnus of the Year by the JSU Department of History in 1997, Owens has received numerous awards, including the Jack H. Young, Sr. Award for the lawyer contributing the most to the profession, the R. Jess Brown Award, and the NAACP of Mississippi’s Lawyer of the Year Award. In 1993, he was appointed to a U.S. Magistrate Selection Committee by a Chief United State Judge. He has served on the Mississippi Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee and the Mississippi Bar Disciplinary Complaints Tribunal. Owens is married to Chancellor Denise Sweet Owens. They have four children, Selika, Bobby, Brittany and Jason.