Rotary Club of Jackson was pleased to welcome Alfred Rankins, Jr.,  Commissioner IHL


Invocation was given by David Raddin, VALIC Financial Advisors, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Allan Cole, Hampton Inn & Suites Jackson Coliseum, the Four Way Test was then led by Janet Scott, President Elect.  Mike Pepper, Mississippi Road Builders Association then introduced visiting Rotarians and guests.


Mayo Flynt then addressed the club with an update on the Pearl River flood control project, commonly referred to as “One Lake”. After decades of debates and discussion, the time has come to move the project forward in a meaningful way.  You can do this two ways:

1.      There is a public meeting on the project, July 24 at 6pm at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum.  Please plan to attend and express your support for the project.

2.     Submit a positive comment about the project.  Visit , click on Flood Control Project and scroll until you see “submit a comment”.  You can also email or mail comments to P.O. Box 32090, Flowood, MS 39232.


Becky White, Chairperson of the Social Media Committee, then gave a brief presentation on the need for social media and the benefits to the club. Social Media has revolutionized the way we connect with friends, business acquaintances, colleagues, etc…Social media  allows us to instantly reach people that we might not otherwise have contact with regarding certain issues.  So to improve our social media presence, download the app., like our pages on Facebook, post information on our Twitter or Facebook page and make suggestions on how to improve our social media presence.


William Bynum, President of Jackson State University, then introduced today’s speaker, Alfred Rankins, Jr., Commissioner of the Institute of Higher Learning.

Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr. serves as the deputy commissioner for academic and student affairs for the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and has extensive higher education experience.  In this role, he serves as the system’s chief academic and student affairs officer, advising the Board of Trustees and the Commissioner of Higher Education on all matters pertaining to academic programs, policy and planning; student access, readiness and success; and faculty affairs.


Dr. Rankins presentation, Mississippi Public Universities-Advancing Our State Together, focused on the return on investment the state sees as a result of higher quality education, specifically a Bachelor’s degree.


Mississippi’s Public Universities contribute to a richer, better Mississippi and touch the lives of all Mississippians through teaching, outreach, service and research.


For ever $1 the state invests in MS Public Universities, there is a $3.21 return to the MS economy.


Expenditures of MS Public Universities generate $2.46 billion in economic impact around the state.


In the lasts five years, MS Public Universities have seen a 9% increase in degrees conferred and a 38% increase in STEM degrees conferred.


Universities help raise the per capita income and grow business.


MS is below the national average of Bachelor degree attainment, but to grow the rate of completion to the nation average, the impact would be profound:

·        Increase the median income 38%

·        Decrease the poverty rate 32%

·        Decrease infant mortality 31%

·        Decrease unemployment 23%

·        Decrease incarceration 28%


Mississippi Public Universities provide a great return on investment for students and our state.