UM Alumni Association Welcomes 2018-19 Officers

Augustus Collins to lead organization for coming year

UM Alumni Association 2018-19 officers (from left,) Kirk Purdom, Candie Simmons, Lampkin Butts, Leon Collins, Matt Lusco and Andy Kilpatrick. Photo by Jim Urbanek/UM Alumni Association

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Alumni Association introduced its elected officers for 2018-19 at its annual meeting Oct. 6 as part of Homecoming activities.

Augustus L. Collins (BBA 82), of Madison, was named president, a one-year term that changes each Homecoming. Collins is chief executive officer for MINACT Inc., a major job development and training corporation.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to serve the Ole Miss family,” Collins said. “I look forward to supporting the university, our students, our alumni and friends.”

Before accepting his position with MINACT, Collins was adjutant general of Mississippi and served as the commanding general of both the Mississippi Army and Air National Guard. He was promoted to the rank of major general in March 2012.

Collins served on active duty in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, as well as commanding the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2006. He was promoted to brigadier general on May 10, 2005, while in Iraq, making him the first African-American to attain the rank of general in the history of the Mississippi National Guard.

“(Leon’s) heart is all in,” said Bobby Bailess (BBA 73, JD 76), of Vicksburg, the association’s outgoing president. “He and his wife, Debra, are the kind of people that you want to lead this association. Support Leon and Debra as they serve you.”

Matt Lusco (BBA 79), of Birmingham, senior executive vice president and chief risk officer for Regions Financial Corp., was named president-elect. Lampkin Butts (BBA 73), of Laurel, president and chief operating officer of Sanderson Farms Inc., was elected vice president.

Athletics Committee members include Andy Kilpatrick (BBA 87), of Grenada, and Candie Simmons (BBA 02, MBA 15), of Ridgeland. Kilpatrick serves as counsel for the Mississippi State Board of Architecture. Simmons serves as a senior vice president and geography marketing strategist for Regions Financial Corp. in Jackson.

Kirk Purdom (BA 93), the Alumni Association executive director, serves as treasurer.