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Sigma Nu Alumni Excelling with Honor

Chapter & Alumni News

Epsilon Xi Alumnus Elected to Law School Hall of Fame

The late Judge Allen Pepper (Mississippi) was posthumously named to the University of Mississippi Alumni Association’s Law Alumni Hall of Fame in March of 2017. This distinction comes from the Law Alumni Chapter of the Alumni Association.

Pepper took the oath of Office as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Mississippi on July 21, 1999, having received the nomination on March 8, 1999. Before his appointment to the bench, he maintained a solo law practice for 30 years in Cleveland.

A native of Belzoni, Pepper graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1963. Along with his membership in the Legion of Honor, he participated in the Concert Singers and Army ROTC. Following two years active duty as an officer with the 101st Airborne Division of the U. S. Army, he returned to Mississippi and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1968.

He was a nominee for the office of president of the Mississippi Bar in 1991 and was also president of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. Pepper was a public defender for 26 years, a member of the Mississippi Public Defenders Association, and a participant in the Mississippi Pro Bono Project. He held membership in both the National and the Mississippi School Board Attorney’s Association and was an adjunct professor at Delta State University.

Active in civic affairs, he was chairman and a 12-year member of the Bolivar County Elections Commission and was president of the Lions Club, the Crosstie Arts Council, and the Bolivar County Ole Miss Alumni Club. He was vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Foundation and a director of the Delta State University Booster Club and Sunburst Bank of Cleveland, now Regions Bank.

He was vice president of the Fifth Circuit District Judges Association, on the board of directors of the Federal Judges Association, a former member of the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council, and a member of the American Inns of Court. Pepper also served as chairman of the Administrative Board, Finance Committee, and Pastor Parish Relations Committee of the First United Methodist Church, where he was a Sunday School teacher, choir member, Habitat for Humanity Volunteer, and served as Scout Master of the Cub Scout Pack. In 1996, he was recognized for his contributions to the community by being chosen King of the Junior Auxiliary Charity Ball.

Alumnus Sworn In As Louisiana State Treasurer

Ron Henson (Louisiana Tech/Arkansas) was sworn in as state treasurer in January of 2017. The oath of office, administered by 1st Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Duke Welch, took place in Gov. Huey P. Long's office at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

The position of State Treasurer has been a constitutional office since Louisiana's statehood in 1812. Treasurer Henson is the 23rd person to hold the office since the position of state treasurer was decided by an election of the citizens of Louisiana. Prior to 1855, the Treasurer was elected by the General Assembly. Treasurer Henson was preceded by John Neely Kennedy, who resigned upon his election to the U.S. Senate. He will serve until a special election is held later this year.

"I have dedicated my life's work to public service," said Treasurer Henson. "It has been my honor to serve in leadership roles across state government, and it is my honor to carry on the example set by U.S. Sen. John Kennedy. John has mentored me and supported me since we first worked together in Gov. Roemer's transition office. I would not be Treasurer today if it weren't for John Neely Kennedy."

Henson was named first assistant treasurer in 2000. In that role, he oversaw a budget in excess of $10 million and more than 80 employees. He previously was undersecretary of both the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. He was deputy chief of staff to Gov. Buddy Roemer and served 14 years in the newly created Legislative Fiscal Office. A native of Arkansas, Henson holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Louisiana Tech University and attended the University of Arkansas.

Eastern Kentucky Alumnus Joins VMI Athletics

Alumnus Korey Bruck (Eastern Kentucky) was recently named Assistant A.D. for Academics and Compliance at the Virginia Military Institute. Bruck comes to the Institute by way of the United States Military Academy where he served as an athletic support coordinator since February 2015.

At West Point, Bruck coordinated academic services for the football program as well as the sports of women’s lacrosse, swimming and diving, track and field and cross country. Among many assignments, his core focus was to design and implement academic action plans for both at-risk and high achieving cadet-athletes in the areas of time management, organization, study skills, note taking and test taking.

A native of Beavercreek, Ohio, Bruck monitored and evaluated study hall and tutoring programs and facilitated recruiting for prospective cadets, both athletes and non-athletes. In addition, he served as a liaison to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and coordinated the Cadet-Athlete of the Month program.

Prior to West Point, Bruck served as a graduate assistant in the Student-Athlete Academic Success Center at Eastern Kentucky University. His primary duties at EKU involved providing academic advising as well as class selection and scheduling. He also communicated grade information and study hall updates to coaches and served as the tutoring coordinator assistant for training new tutors and approving payroll hours.

He is a member of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics. Bruck earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Eastern Kentucky in May 2014. Two years prior, he earned a bachelor of arts, history and political science from EKU in May 2012. 

Senator Roger Wicker (Mississippi) Joins Republican Leadership Team

This past January Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell named Sen. Roger Wicker (Mississippi) as part of the Republican leadership team for the next two years. Wicker and the other members of the team will control much of the Senate operations.

“As a member of the Senate Republican leadership team, Sen. Wicker brings invaluable insight to our conference on issues that affect American families,” McConnell said. “He is firmly committed to working with our colleagues and the incoming administration on increasing jobs, improving the economy and strengthening our national security.”

For the past two years he has served as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. As NRSC chairman during the last election cycle, Wicker led the effort for the GOP to retain their majority in the Senate despite 24 Republican held seats up for re-election and 10 Democratic ones. This effort also included raising more than $120 million over two years to assist in election efforts. Wicker has been praised for avoiding mistakes of past NRSC heads by organizing his team quickly after taking the post and starting fundraising efforts early.

Wicker is the first Mississippian on the team since fellow alumnus Sen. Trent Lott (Mississippi) left office in 2007.

“It is quite a responsibility and an honor,” Wicker said. “I hope (McConnell) had a good view of my work ethic and contribution to the team (as NRSC chairman) ... I would hope this is beneficial to the people of the state of Mississippi.” 

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