Henry Brevard Receives Engineer of Service Award

Longtime benefactor recognized for generosity, philanthropy

Henry Brevard

Henry Brevard

For the past 25 years, Henry Brevard has been a pillar of support to the School of Engineering at the University of Mississippi. Fittingly, the chairman of the board of B&B Concrete Co. Inc. was recently presented the school’s Engineer of Service Award for the longevity of his efforts.

In 1991, he made an initial $1 million gift to the School of Engineering in order to establish the Brevard Family Scholarship Endowment in Engineering. Since the fall 1991 school semester, the endowment has provided partial undergraduate scholarships to more than 500 students.

In 2001, Brevard and his family established the Elizabeth B. Brevard Council Scholarship Endowment to provide academic scholarships for students to attend Ole Miss. The family established the Brevard Family Engineering Chair at UM in 2012.

To honor Henry Brevard and his family for their support for the engineering school, the university renamed the Old Chemistry Building as Brevard Hall in April 2011.

“Henry Brevard is a natural recipient for the Engineer of Service Award,” said Kevin Gardner, UM development officer for the engineering school. “While pouring foundations for decades, he has been methodically laying a firm foundation for the School of Engineering.

“His sacrificial involvement has abundantly strengthened our program. It is difficult to measure the height and breadth; but rest assured, his impact has and will continue to inspire and influence generations upon generations.”

In 1987, Brevard was named the UM Engineer of Distinction. The next year, he was inducted into the UM Alumni Hall of Fame. Brevard is also a member of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, the Ole Miss Associates, the Chancellor’s Trust and the Lyceum Society.

Brevard’s other contributions to his alma mater include serving as president of the UM Foundation, a president of the engineering alumni chapter, chairman of the school’s board of advisers and chairman and charter member of the Woods Order. He is also a former board member for UM’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture and a former member of the board of directors for the UM Alumni Association.

Brevard co-founded B&B, a concrete materials supply company with plants throughout north Mississippi, in Tupelo in 1949. Brevard is also president and chairman of the board of Concrete Industries Inc., a real estate firm with ready-mix concrete plant holdings in north Mississippi.

A native of Amory, he graduated from Amory High School in 1939. Later, Brevard earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UM in 1943. As a senior student, he served as a student instructor in the Department of Civil Engineering. He was also member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity.

Upon graduation, he enlisted as a cadet in the Army Air Force, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was then selected to remain at the Hondo Air Field as an aerial navigation instructor. Just before the end of World War II, he completed B-29 aircraft combat training.

Brevard married the former Mae Elizabeth (Beth) Boozer, and the couple was married almost 67 years before Mrs. Brevard passed in 2013.

After his discharge from the service, Brevard was employed by the Design Section of the U.S. Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg. He worked for the Corps for almost a year, assisting in the design and development of such projects as the Grenada Dam and reservoir.

He later worked for the Mississippi Highway Department as a structural engineer in the Department of Bridge Design in Jackson. He moved to Tupelo, where he and his father-in-law, Riley Boozer, co-founded their concrete company. That same year, Brevard was admitted into the National Society of Professional Engineers. He is the oldest practicing Professional Engineer in Mississippi.

Active in community affairs, Brevard is a former chairman of the board of Mississippi Methodist Senior Services Inc., the North Mississippi Medical Center and North Mississippi Health Services. He is a founding trustee and former chairman for the North Mississippi Health Services Foundation (now the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi) and 50-plus-year volunteer for the Yocona Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, serving on the Camp Yocona redevelopment committee.

Other roles Brevard has filled include former president of the Yocona Area Council, former president of the Tupelo Kiwanis Club, a member of the board of directors of First Citizens National Bank in Tupelo and a local advisory board member for Deposit Guaranty National Bank. He is a former board member for the Mississippi Economic Council, the MUW Foundation, the Baddour Center, the CREATE Foundation, the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, the Tupelo Art Gallery (now the Gumtree Museum of Art) and the highways and parkways committee for the Community Development Foundation.

A faithful member of First United Methodist Church in Tupelo, Brevard has given the church a priority of his time and resources. He is a former lay leader, former chairman of the finance committee, former chairman of the long-range planning committee, former chairman of the building committee, former delegate to annual conference, former member of the administrative council, former member of the trustees, and former teacher in either the youth or adult Sunday school program for more than 45 years.

In 1997, Brevard and his family donated a 21-lot subdivision, equipped with utility hook-ups and a concrete street in Verona, to Northeast Mississippi Habitat for Humanity for use in building houses for worthy recipients. He and his wife established an endowment fund at the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi to support community health needs, such as school nurses and immunizations.

Brevard was awarded the Silver Beaver for Distinguished Service to Scouting in 1967. He was selected as the Yocona Area Council’s Eagle Class Honoree in 1992 and again in 2015. In 2002, Brevard was honored as a Distinguished Citizen by the council. He was named Tupelo’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Tupelo Junior Auxiliary.

Brevard was recognized as a fellow by the North Mississippi Health Services Foundation. Criteria for selection as a fellow included service, advocacy, volunteerism and philanthropy. He and his wife received a McLean Award for Philanthropy from the CREATE Foundation in 2007. Brevard was inducted as a member of the inaugural class of the Mississippi Concrete Industries Association’s Hall of Fame in 2013.

Henry and his late wife have two children: Elise Brevard Smith (Mike) of Ridgeland and David Brevard (Shawn) of Tupelo. They have three grandchildren: Riley Smith and Lizzie Brevard of Washington, D.C., and Stewart Brevard McMillan (Victor) of Tupelo.