William Ellis “Bud” Kirkpatrick

William Ellis “Bud” Kirkpatrick, 82, of Hattiesburg, MS, died May 18, 2018, at his home. Kirkpatrick established the first public relations office at The University of Southern Mississippi in 1972, where he served as director. In 1997, he was named Assistant to the President for University Relations and held this position until his retirement in 2002. Kirkpatrick holds the distinction of being the longest continuous serving employee in the history of the University, with 45 years of continuous service. Kirkpatrick most recently received a Forrest Health Spirit in Action Award, which is presented for an individual’s commitment to the community. Kirkpatrick committed his adult life to promoting the Pine Belt. Services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church with burial in Lake Park Cemetery in Laurel. Visitation was from 5-7 p.m. Monday, May 21, at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg and began at 10 a.m. Tuesday until service time at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church. Kirkpatrick was born in Louisville, MS, attending school until the third grade when his family moved to Winnfield, La. He graduated from high school in Winnfield and attended Centenary College in Shreveport, La.“ He also received a diploma from Copiah-Lincoln Junior College. He attended Mississippi Southern College/USM, where he received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1958, and M.S. in Recreation in 1964. He became a student employee of the R. C. Cook University Union in 1957. Upon graduation in 1958, Kirkpatrick became Director of University Union and Student Activities. He and Virginia LaVigne of Laurel met in 1957, and were married in 1959. Their first home was an apartment on the third floor of the Student Union Building. His tenure at USM allowed Kirkpatrick to create and serve organizations that benefitted both the university and students, including being the originator and director of the National Spirit and Sportsmanship Workshop and the National Collegiate Communicators Workshop, serving as the national advisor for Associated Student Governments of the United States, creating the University Photo Service at USM, and founding and editing the Collegiate Scene Magazine.“ In 1972, Kirkpatrick moved into a broader role serving the USM community as the Director of Public Relations, where he created The Golden Eagle Sports Show for television and the Golden Eagle Radio Network. He created USM’s first basketball highlight television program, The M.K. Turk Show; developed, produced and directed USM’s first live football and basketball telecasts to a commercial television station. He also contributed greatly to the arts by creating Southern Exposure, a song and dance troupe, Pops-In-The-Pine Belt and Pops-By-the-Pier, which brought together the USM symphony, choral groups and the Jazz Lab Band to take USM beyond the campus. Kirkpatrick’s nature and lifestyle was to follow Christian principles in all he did and to all his accomplishments give God the credit. At the top of his resume he penned the following verse: “…..for whatever herein has been done, all Praise and Glory To God and his only Son.” The Kirkpatricks became members of Parkway Heights United Methodist Church serving the youth and music pro- grams, and many boards and commissions through the years. Kirkpatrick taught the Men’s Bible Class for 30 years. He also served as Communications Coordinator for the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 1995, when Oseola McCarty donated $150,000 to Southern Miss, Kirkpatrick managed the public relations and related activities of McCarty. This included her day-to-day activities, travel, public appearances and supervising the publication of two books. In preparation for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Kirkpatrick developed the original local idea and concept for Olympic teams to conduct pre-Olympic training at the Southern Miss. The project, which began in 1994, became a jointventure with Rick Taylor, director, of the Hattiesburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Hattiesburg, Forrest County, and other sponsors. The teams from Kenya, Malawi and Equatorial Guinea, lived, trained and had their meals on campus and in Hattiesburg from June 15-July 15,1996. Hattiesburg and USM received an international award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International in New York City for this pre-Olympic training project. Other recognition included two gold awards, one platinum award and the 1996 Edward L.

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