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Former DSU President Lucas to receive lifetime achievement honors at Mississippi Pinnacle Awards

By April 3, 2024General

CLEVELAND, Miss. — Sales and Marketing Professionals (SMP) has announced its Humanitarian honorees for The Mississippi Pinnacle Awards, recognizing outstanding contributions to the community and professional excellence. Former Delta State University President Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas, a distinguished leader with an illustrious career spanning multiple decades, will be awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest humanitarian honor.

The award ceremony will take place at Lake Terrace Convention Center on Tuesday, April 9 in Hattiesburg. This black-tie event will bring together industry leaders, professionals, and community members to celebrate the remarkable achievements of individuals who have made significant contributions to the state.

Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas, a native of State Line, has left an indelible mark on higher education and community service throughout his career. Notably, Dr. Lucas served as the fourth president of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, from 1971 to 1975, before assuming the presidency at the University of Southern Mississippi.

During his tenure at Delta State University, Dr. Lucas implemented visionary initiatives aimed at enhancing academic programs and elevating the institution’s reputation as a center of excellence in higher education. His leadership was instrumental in securing reaccreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, leading to Delta State College’s transformation into Delta State University in 1974.

Transitioning to the University of Southern Mississippi in 1975, Dr. Lucas continued his legacy of transformative leadership, spearheading initiatives that propelled the university to new heights of academic distinction and community engagement. Under his stewardship, the University of Southern Mississippi witnessed significant advancements, including the establishment of the Teaching and Learning Resource Center, the Faculty Senate, and the Center for International Education.

Dr. Lucas’s unwavering commitment to education and service extends beyond the confines of academia. He has been actively involved in various civic and charitable organizations, including serving as Chair of the Mississippi Arts Commission, Chair of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and Chair of the Hattiesburg Salvation Army Advisory Board, among others.

Commenting on Dr. Lucas’s contributions, Michael Marks, chair of the statewide awards, said, “Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas exemplifies the epitome of leadership and dedication to community service. His visionary leadership at Delta State University and the University of Southern Mississippi has left an indelible legacy, shaping the lives of countless individuals and enriching the fabric of our society.”

SMP is a statewide organization comprising owners, managers, and account executives involved in sales and marketing across diverse industries. The organization aims to foster professional development, networking opportunities, and community engagement among its members, contributing to the overall growth and success of businesses and individuals in Mississippi.