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OUR STATE TOUR PRESENTED BY BANCORPSOUTH SCHEDULE
We are two weeks away from beginning our nine-stop, seven-day “Our State Tour Presented by BancorpSouth,” which will be spread over a two-month period this spring and summer.
Head football coach Dan Mullen, men’s head basketball coach Rick Ray, and I will join other university and athletic department officials at each of the events on the tour. The meetings will begin Monday, May 21 in Hattiesburg and conclude with the July 19 Central Mississippi Extravaganza in Jackson.
In addition to the personal appearances, fans, alumni and Bulldog Club members will be treated to videos highlighting the university and the athletic program. University merchandise, food and beverages will also be available for purchase.
It's always fun for us to go out and meet the fans, alumni and Bulldog Club members who make the trip to Starkville throughout the year to support us and what we do. This year, we've moved the tour a little later in the calendar to capitalize on the excitement as we begin to turn our focus to the next academic year with football just around the corner. As in everything we do, we will continue our pursuit to improve upon events and create wonderful experiences for those that support Mississippi State University.
Further information, including any admission costs, about each tour stop will be available at hailstate.com and the Alumni Association web site.
OUR STATE TOUR
Monday, May 21
Hattiesburg – Southern Oaks House and Gardens (1246 Richburg Rd.), 11:30 a.m.
Biloxi – Biloxi Yacht Club (408 Beach Blvd.), 6 p.m.
Tuesday, May 22
Meridian – Kahlmus Auditorium, MSU Meridian (1000 Hwy 19 North), 11:30 a.m.
Olive Branch – Whispering Woods Conference Center (11200 East Goodman Rd.), 6 p.m.
Wednesday, May 23
Greenwood – Leflore County Civic Center (200 Hwy 7 South), 6 p.m.
Monday, June 4
Birmingham – Greystone Country Club (4100 Greystone Dr.), 6 p.m.
Tuesday, June 5
Tupelo – BancorpSouth Conference Center (387 East Main St.), 6 p.m.
Thursday, June 7
Houston, Texas (location to come)
Thursday, July 19
Central Mississippi Alumni Association Summer Extravaganza – Jackson Convention Center (105 East Pascagoula St.), 5:30 p.m.
MEN’S TENNIS HOSTS NCAA FIRST/SECOND ROUND PLAY THIS WEEKEND
For the first time, our men’s tennis team will play host to the NCAA First & Second Rounds at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. Baylor, from the Big 12 Conference, Memphis, out of Conference USA, and Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Alcorn State join our men’s team for play that begins Friday. The winner of our two-day event moves on to the round of 16 on May 18 at the University of Georgia, which will host the remainder of the national championship. Our team is seeded first in the region and ninth in the country as it begins the road to the national title.
I hope that you are able to join us and support Coach Per Nilsson and his Bulldogs this weekend. We play Alcorn State on Friday at 2 p.m. in the first round. Hope to see you there!
NCAA tournament play is a ticketed event ($8 per person for an all-weekend adult ticket). Go to our web site (www.hailstate.com/NCAAtennis) for full information on the tournament, including a full ticket price listing.
The Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex continues to progress in a timely fashion at the far north end of campus, and is on schedule for an early 2013 completion of the project. Exterior framing and walls continue this week, as well as some interior framing, insulation, and sheet rock work. Approximately one-quarter of the exterior brick work is completed, as well.
Demolition work on the 40-year old drainage system under Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field is complete. The conduit is complete under the actual playing surface to connect communication lines between the east and west sides. About a foot of material has been removed from the surface of the playing field and the area is being prepared for new material. Completing the field level work now clears the way for the stadium expansion plans which will come closely behind.
As you may remember, we are moving the actual playing surface to the west to center it between the stands. Previously, the west sideline – which included a wider bench area and brick walkway between the stands and the fence protecting the back of the bench area – was several feet deeper than the east side. When complete, the field will be centered between seating areas and centered in front of the Seal Building at the south end of the stadium.
The new playing surface will be sand based, much like the new playing surface that was put in at Dudy Noble Field two years ago.
A much-needed expansion and complete renovation of the athletic training room in Humphrey Coliseum, which services both basketball and golf programs, as well as volleyball and soccer, will begin in the next three to four weeks. A new roof on the Hump is between one-half and two-thirds finished.
BULLDOG CLUB ONLINE INITIATIVE UPDATE
To this point, the Bulldog Club has sent its online fund-raising initiative to more than 42,000 email accounts, with one more submission scheduled. We have had a great response to this online initiative and continue to receive positive feedback.
If you or someone you know has not had the opportunity to see the video, click this link to view it now.
BULLDOG BASKETBALL JOURNEYS TO HAWAII THIS FALL
Make your plans now to join first-year men’s head basketball coach Rick Ray and his Bulldog team in Hawaii this fall for the prestigious EA Sports Maui Invitational, Nov. 17-22.
We are honored to be participating in the nation’s premier early season men’s basketball tournament. I have had the opportunity to attend this tournament in the past, and I can assure you, Maui is a pretty special place to be in November. We would love to have a good group of Bulldog supporters with us in Hawaii.
Visit our official away game travel partner totalsportstravel.com/mississippistate or call 888-367-8781 for more information.
TRACK & FIELD, SOFTBALL OPEN SEC TITLE PLAY TOMORROW
Our men’s and women’s track and field teams head to Baton Rouge, La., and our softball team travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for Southeastern Conference championship competition beginning tomorrow.
Our men’s track team is ranked 12th nationally, and our women’s team has a pair of defending SEC individual champions competing. The softball team, which I anticipate receiving an NCAA regional tournament bid next week, will test homestanding and top-seeded Alabama on ESPN tomorrow night at 7 pm in first-round SEC Tournament action.
Also, freshman golfer Ally McDonald from Fulton, Miss., will represent our women’s golf program in the NCAA West Regional at the Colorado National Golf Course in Erie, Colo.
We hope all of our student-athletes play their best in post-season action this weekend.
LUCAS NAMED EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Brenda Lucas, a friendly voice and face in the athletic ticket office, is our Employee of the Month for April. Brenda is completing her 24th year in athletics, having served in a variety of capacities -- including Bulldog Sports Properties and Media Relations -- before her current work in the ticket office.
When I was a student worker in the Media Relations office, I would sit by Brenda’s desk and help her stuff media releases into envelopes. She still greets everyone with the same smile she did back then.
MISSISSIPPI STATE WEEKEND HOME SCHEDULE
Friday, May 11 – Men’s Tennis v Alcorn State (NCAA 1st Round), 2 pm
Saturday, May 12 – Men's Tennis v TBA [if victorious Friday] (NCAA 2nd Round), 2 pm
MAROON FRIDAY CONTINUES THROUGH SPRING
We try to make your fashion decisions easy on Friday, and at the same time support Mississippi State. You have helped make each Friday a Maroon Friday, and it remains a great recruiting tool for Our State and a sign of which school is your school. Are you in the maroon?
We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved. There are three things you can do to help the athletic department at Mississippi State reach its desired goals –
1. Buy Season Tickets
2. Financially Support the Bulldog Club
3. Get Others To Do The Same
Thanks for taking the time to read this Update.