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Travelers, to Rust College Founder's Day Schedule - Anita Ward to perform

Rust College to Celebrate 147 Years of Service and Education


Ms. Andrea D. Cooper is Miss Rust College


HOLLY SPRINGS, MS - Students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will celebrate the 147th Founders’ anniversary of Rust College and the 108th Commemoration of the Founding of Mississippi Industrial College, November 8-10, 2013.


“As we embark upon our 147th Founders’ Weekend, our hearts are filled with joy and anticipation,” said Rust College president Dr. David L. Beckley. “We stand today, even stronger than in the past, on the legacy and shoulders of those who came many years before us to make Rust College what it is today. Rust has been fortunate to have the strong support of our alumni, friends, and the United Methodist Church and we celebrate this continuing support and express our thanks.”


The festivities will begin Sunday, November 3rd at Asbury United Methodist Church with the Bell Ringing Ceremony. The Bell Ringing Ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m., before worship service, to pay homage to the founders of Rust College and to celebrate the institution’s 147 years of existence. Led by Rust College President and First Lady Drs. David L. and Gemma Beckley, faculty and staff members, students, and church members will ring the bell at Asbury United Methodist Church 147 times to commemorate each year of Rust College ’s service to the community. Asbury United Methodist Church is located at 225 West College Avenue in Holly Springs .


The Golden and Silver Anniversary classes of Rust College and Mississippi Industrial College – Classes of 1963 and 1988 – will be honored during the Alumni and Friends Awards Banquet on Friday evening, November 8th at 6:00 p.m. in Shaw Cafeteria. Each class member will be presented a commemorative diploma recognizing their particular class. Awards will be presented to donors who have given financial gifts to the College during fiscal year 2012-2013.


The crowning of Miss Rust College 2013-2014 will take place following the banquet during the Coronation and Ball at 8:30 p.m. Friday evening. Miss Andrea D. Cooper will be crowned during “A Night of Elegance Wrapped in Blue”. Andrea, a senior, majoring in English

Education, hails from East Saint Louis , Illinois . She is the daughter of Kenneth D. Cooper, Sr. and Dinnia Cooper. Her favorite pastime is spending time with family and friends, laughing and talking. Her campus organizations and affiliations include: Chief of Staff of the Student Government Association, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society, Pre-Alumni Council, Ebone’ Fashion Club, Resident Assistant, and Miss Senior Class.


Come out and enjoy a parade on Saturday morning, November 9. The annual Founders’ Day Parade, a Rust College and Holly Springs tradition, will welcome bands, cheer and dance teams, local and regional churches, schools and organizations to strut their stuff around the Holly Springs Square . The parade will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. 2013 Founders’ Day

Parade. The annual Concert of Bands will follow the parade at 1:30 p.m. in the McMillan Multi-Purpose Center .


The Bearcats and Lady Bearcats will battle it out on the hardwood during the Homecoming basketball game Saturday night. They will tip-off against the Magicians and Lady Magicians of LeMoyne-Owen College at 5:30 p.m. in the McMillan Multi-Purpose Center . This long-standing rivalry will bring in a capacity crowd, so it is suggested that patrons get there early!


On Sunday, November 10th, Rust College honor its founders, Rev. Albert Collier McDonald and Rev. Moses Adams. Alumni and friends may join President Beckley at Hillcrest Cemetery in Holly Springs at 9:30 a.m. Transportation will be available from campus. 


Rust College will welcome home alumnus Anita Ward Richardson, ‘78, who will serve as speaker for the 147th Founders’ Convocation, Sunday, November 10th, at 11:00 a.m. Anita is a grammy-nominated artist who burst onto the music scene with her disco hit “Ring My Bell”. While attending Rust College , Anita was a member of the Rust College A’Cappella Choir, where she quickly became a featured vocalist. Her first professional recording was with the choir as they accompanied opera singer Leontyne Price. Anita’s hit “Ring My Bell” is still popular around the world. It was featured on Wii’s Gameplay “Just Dance (November 2009), and has been featured on the soundtracks of 14 movies over the past three decades; as recently as 2010 in “The Book of Eli”. Rust College will also recognize alumni who participated in the drama club or Theatre Guild while attending Rust or Mississippi Industrial College .


There is still time to enter your organization in the 2013 Founders’ Day Parade. To enter your organization, church or business, or for more information about the 147th Founders’ Celebration, please contact the Office of Public Relations and Alumni Development, 662-252-8000  or      662-252-8000     ext. 4911.




Rust College is a historically black, co-educational, senior liberal arts college founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The College is related to the United Methodist Church , and is dedicated to serving students with a variety of academic preparations, through instruction in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural science, business, technology, and education. Rust College provides an opportunity for education to all, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or ethnic background.