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Ex-MVSU president dies at home

ITTA BENA — Ernest A. Boykins Jr., who lead Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) as its president for 10 years, has died. He was 78.

Boykins died Sunday at his home after a lengthy illness, the university announced on its web site. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Boykins was MVSU president from 1971-81. During his tenure, Valley was designated a university in 1974 and offered its first master’s program in 1976.

Boykins oversaw campus improvements that included construction of the football stadium and several resident halls.

The Vicksburg native earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Xavier University in 1953, a master’s degree at Texas Southern University and a doctorate from Michigan State University.

Before going to MVSU, Boykins headed the division of Arts and Sciences at Alcorn State University. He joined the faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi after leaving MVSU.

Survivors includes his wife, Beverly Malveaux, a son and three daughters.


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  1. THEODORE WEST-Natchez,ms

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family doing this time, as you celebrate the life of a great educator.As a former student of Dr,Boykins at ASU .I am sure he touch many lives the same way he touched mine . Encouraging us to be the best we could be and that success and failure was within each one of us but the choice was ours to make. Thanks Dr. for your encouragement.

  2. Jacqueline Walker Mims

    President Boykins was MY/OUR President, because he reign while we were in attendance at the VALLEY. And he Crowned me!!! We were able to attend the homegoing service for him in Vicksburg, MS.
    I have some wonderful pictures of him and us as students, also memorabilia I will treasure. I would like to share with Mrs. Beverly Boykins. He was known for sending clippings of us to us when he saw or read information about us as students in newpapers. Thanks so much for your leadership, professionalism, and guidance. I thought of the family as we think of the President Obama family now, they were like Royalty to me, on campus but not untouchables. Much Love & Peace to the Family and we will see him again!!! Jacqueline 77″ “Staying GREEN to Preserve the VALLEY”

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