Letter From The President

Dear New Freshmen,

Welcome to the Mississippi State family and our Maroon Edition common reading program. Before you join us on campus this fall, I hope you will take the time to read our 2017 book selection, "The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates" by Wes Moore.

The author Wes Moore grew up in a tough neighborhood in Baltimore where it would have been easy to slip into a life of crime and drugs. But thanks to a network of mentors and supporters, as well as a bit of good fortune, he was able to excel. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Johns Hopkins University, he became a Rhodes Scholar. He is also a former U.S. Army captain and paratrooper and the founder and CEO of a successful company.

"The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates" examines how two young men with the same name growing up at the same time in the same neighborhood end up in two very different places. The other Wes Moore is currently serving a life sentence after killing a police officer during an armed robbery. While the book does not offer simple solutions to the many challenges of poverty, I believe you will find it offers hope – hope that strong families and communities can make a crucial difference.

During the upcoming academic year, you will be able to participate in activities and discussions about the book and the many relevant issues it raises, and Wes Moore will speak at Fall Convocation in August. Have a great summer, and make sure to read "The Other Wes Moore." You will find it rewarding and inspirational, and I look forward to talking with you about it.

Mark E. Keenum

When you sell a man a book, you don't sell him 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. --Christopher Morley