A Mississippi native now serving as an Ohio State University vice president has been selected as the new president of Mississippi College.
Blake Thompson, 43, will start July 1 as president of the 5,200-student college affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, succeeding Lee Royce, who retires June 30 after 16 years as president.
At Ohio State where Thompson joined its administrative leadership in 2009, he serves as vice president of the office of government affairs, representing the university at the local, state and federal levels, and as board secretary, one of three elected trustee officers at the 60,000-student university.
Thompson and his wife Jana are natives of the small north Mississippi community of Rienzi. The Thompsons are both graduates of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. Thompson earned his doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences at Ole Miss in 2002, following a bachelor’s degree there in 1997. Thompson also holds an executive master’s degree from the Georgetown University School of Business.
He has also worked in Washington as a deputy staff director for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and as legislative director for recently retired Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi. During Thompson’s time in D.C., Cochran also chaired the Agriculture Committee.
“Jana and I grew up and were educated here, and we developed our core values here in Mississippi,” Thompson said in a May 14 news conference at the Clinton campus near Jackson. “We then pursued professional opportunities in some of the most vibrant places in the country, but we always sensed that we wanted to come home.” The Thompsons have three children, ages 14, 11 and 8.
At Ohio State as board secretary, Thompson has been responsible for the leadership of the university’s governing board office, strategy and agenda development, and coordination of the trustee board’s academic, financial, governance, audit and advancement committee functions. He also led in the creation of the endowed Center for Science and Technology Policy with the nonprofit R&D organization Battelle, teaching in the areas of public and nonprofit leadership and public policy analysis; he has overseen Ohio State’s government internship program and currently is developing a course in university governance.
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Source: Baptist Press