A group of longtime friends and former students of a recently retired Mississippi State political scientist is holding a May fund-raising event to create a campus scholarship endowment in his honor.
Professor W. Martin “Marty” Wiseman, former longtime director of the university’s John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Economic Development, will be honored at a May 22 dinner at Starkville’s Hilton Garden Inn. Open to all, the 6-9 p.m. event will be preceded by a social hour.
Wayne W. Weidie, an MSU political science graduate and spokesman for the group, said dinner participants — and others who might not be able to attend — are being asked to make tax-deductible gifts to the MSU Foundation in support of the Marty Wiseman Scholarship fund.
“Marty not only did an excellent job on behalf of the Stennis Institute and Mississippi State, but under his leadership the work of the institute contributed so much to our entire state,” Weidie said in a letter being distributed statewide.
A native Mississippian reared in Kosciusko, Wiseman holds four degrees from MSU. Politics and public service always have been a part of his life, beginning with his father, Robert, who was an MSU Cooperative Extension county agent and, later, a member of the Mississippi Legislature. His son, Parker, is a former MSU student body president now in his second term as Starkville’s mayor.
Prior to leading the Stennis Institute for more than two decades and teaching political science on campus even longer, Wiseman worked for a time with both the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and the extension service.
In addition to directing countless institute-developed service projects and programs requested by a wide spectrum of Mississippi governmental and local municipal and economic development agencies, Wiseman wrote a weekly newspaper column that sought to address current-event topics of interest.
Weidie, Jackon-based senior governmental affairs adviser for the Adams and Reese national law firm, previously was a top aide to then-Mississippi congressman Gene Taylor and, prior to that, an award-winning editor of the Ocean Springs Record, where he also wrote a statewide political column. He also is a member of the Stennis Institute’s advisory council.
In his letter, Weidie noted that Wiseman had been honored by his campus colleagues in December with a small retirement reception at Mitchell Memorial Library. “Several of us feel that we should do more to honor Marty’s service to MSU and our state,” he added.
He said the May 22 event is being developed with assistance from the office of MSU President Mark E. Keenum, who will be out of state on the day of the dinner but will address the audience by video.
MSU First Lady Rhonda Keenum and former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, both alumna of the university and close Wiseman friends, will be the featured speakers. Now MSU vice president for campus services, Tuck is a political science graduate Wiseman once taught.
Weidie said he and the other organizers are requesting donors to make checks payable to the MSU Foundation–with a “Marty Wiseman Scholarship notation–and mailed to him in care of 3908 Cambridge St., Jackson, MS 39216.
For additional information, he may be contacted by telephone at 601-292-0710 or 601-353-3234.