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Delta State alumnus recognized by State Senate, House of Representatives

By April 3, 2007General
David Abney stands with fellow Delta State University graduate, Senator Bob Dearing as the resolution honoring his achievements is read on the State Senate floor. David Abney, Delta State graduate, take a moment to pose with the Mississippi legislators responsible for authoring the Senate and House of Representative resolutions honoring Abney and his employer, United Parcel Service. All sported Delta State baseball caps. From left: Billy Hewes, 49th Senate District, of Gulfport; Sen. Bob Dearing, 37th Senate District, of Natchez; Rep. Percy Watson, 103rd House District, of Hattiesburg; Sen. Willie Simmons, 13th Senate District, of Cleveland; Rep. Jack Gadd, 13 House District, of Hickory Flat; David Abney, Rep. David Norquist, 28th House District, of Cleveland; Rep. Linda Coleman, 29th House District, of Mound Bayou; Rep. Willie Perkins, 32nd House District, of Greenwood.

Delta State University alumnus, David Abney was recognized yesterday on both the Senate and House of Representative floors in Jackson. Concurrently, Abney’s employer, United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS) was honored with its own resolution, recognizing “its 100th year anniversary and commending the company for its contributions to the citizens of Mississippi.”

A 1976 graduate, Abney earned his bachelor’s of business administration from Delta State. The resolution, initially authored by Representatives Linda Coleman and David Norquist of Bolivar County in the House and in the Senate, Delta State graduate, Senator Bob Dearing and Senators Buck Clarke, Willie Simmons and Johnnie Walls of Bolivar Country, honored Abney “on being named Chief Operating Officer of UPS, for his interest in the future of young Mississippians and for his continued support of Delta State University.”
Abney, who was recently elevated to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President of UPS Airlines, was in Jackson for the presentation and returned to Delta State’s campus today for the second annual International Business Symposium. The two-day event, which he and his wife, Sherry sponsor, culminates Friday, March 30 inside the Bologna Performing Arts Center’s Delta & Pine Land Theatre.
As COO for UPS and President of UPS Airlines, Abney directs all operations worldwide of its sophisticated global transportation network, including the eighth largest airline in the world. He oversees the pick-up and delivery of 14.8 million packages and documents daily to a service area that includes every address in the United States, as well as to over 200 countries and territories.
In addition to his corporate responsibilities, he is a Trustee of The UPS Foundation, which is the charitable arm of UPS. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Air Courier Conference of America and the U.S.-Japan Business Council. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Southern Center for International Studies and the Coalition of Service Industries, while sitting on Delta State’s Foundation Board.
At a reception following the resolutions, Delta State President, Dr. John M. Hilpert welcomed comments from Charlie Williams, Chief of Staff for Governor Haley Barbour; Ned Mitchell on behalf of Delta State’s Alumni/Foundation and Carolyn Walsh, Region Vice President for UPS.
Williams offered, “On behalf of the Governor, I congratulate Delta State University and David Abney on a great, great day. We are very proud. Delta State is a great University with the good fortune to have such accomplished alumni.”
Mitchell, a Delta State graduate, himself, concurred, “I am delighted to be here representing the Alumni/Foundation, as we are so very proud to have David Abney as one of board members. He has come in with ideas and helped us manage our endowments. He has done a great job and we are proud to be associated with him and his company – UPS.”
On behalf of UPS, Walsh acknowledged, “I am not here representing just UPS at large, but also the 2,200 UPSers employed right here in Mississippi. We are proud of David and it is obvious his Delta State degree has served him well.”
In response, Abney recognized “all those that made today possible,” including the legislators, the Delta State staff and administration and the UPS family in attendance. “I have been fortunate to live the American dream,” he explained. “I have been blessed to have a wonderful family.”
He continued, “I am grateful to the state of Mississippi and Delta State University for taking a chance on a kid in 1974 whose hair was as long as his dreams were big. I was the first in my family to attend college and would not have without that scholarship, and I would most certainly not have had any of the successes I have had without Delta State University. They gave me the confidence I needed to succeed in the business world.”
In conclusion, the Greenwood native questioned, “Where do I go from here? Well, when the day does come that I look toward retirement, I want to leave UPS a better company than when I started; and I want to continue to preach international opportunities. As a young man, I thought anything north of Memphis was international. I want our youth of this state and beyond to see the global world, the international opportunities – that is my intention.”