Roses and thorns 12/3/17




A rose to Mississippi State Professor of History Emeritus John Marszalek for his tireless work in establishing the U.S. Grant Presidential Library at MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library. This week, the university held a grand opening ceremony of the Grant Library, which is now housed a $10 million, 2,100 square foot expansion of the library. While there were many, many people whose efforts should be acknowledged, it's fair to say the Grant Library would never had arrived without Marszalek, who succeeded John Y. Simon as director of the Grant Foundation in 2008. His long years of advocacy for making MSU the permanent home of the Grant Library was essential in making that dream come true. Many contributed, but Marszalek stands above all the rest in that effort. Generations of Mississippians, as well as scholars from throughout the world, will benefit from his tireless work on this project.



A rose of remembrance to Jimmy Galloway and Bettye Kerby, both of whom recently passed away after years of dedicated, selfless service to their communities. Galloway, 64, was in the insurance business, but he was also known for his service to his community. While he was a behind-the-scenes contributor, his service to his community did not go unnoticed -- after returning form his final cancer treatment shortly before his death, neighbors lined the streets to welcome him home, a tribute to their friend and neighbor that was of great comfort to him in his final days. Like Galloway, Kerby, 87, lent her talents to a wide variety of causes -- from schools to church to the Salvation Army. If there was a need anywhere in her hometown, Kerby always seemed there to answer the call. Although Galloway and Kerby did not command the spotlight, their contributions to our city should never be forgotten. They endure as a wonderful example of how a private citizen can enrich and improve their communities.




A rose to Mississippi State University Athletics Director John Cohen for his masterful handling of the sudden football coaching search. Although the resignation of coach Dan Mullen on Sunday caught Bulldog fans by surprise, Cohen had anticipated the possibility of such a move as far back as October and had already devoted hours of research into possible replacements by the time the opening emerged. Cohen's attention to detail, thoroughness and proactive approach to the situation culminated in the widely-heralded selection of Joe Moorhead as the Bulldogs coach just three days after Mullen announced his decision to leave. Great leaders anticipate changes, rather than react to them. You'll not find a better example of this than Cohen's handling of the coaching search. In one short year, Cohen has established himself as an excellent leader for MSU athletics. He is not a rising star. He is a risen star.



A rose to all the kids who participated in this year's Main Street Columbus Holiday Arts Contest. As always, the arts contest is a perfect complement to the holiday season. This year's award winners were Austin Shelton, Caroline Harmon, Sophie Kerstetter, Chloe Dowdle, Jasmine Dozier, Jayden Lee, Karlie Brown, Landry Allison, Zavaria Evans and Elise Jensen. As in past years, the contest winners have been chosen as Junior Grand Marshals in the Columbus Christmas Parade, which is set for 6 p.m. Monday. The contest drew submissions from between 200 and 300 schoolchildren from throughout the county. Congratulations for a job well done and for adding a festive element to our downtown Christmas celebration!




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