Communication golf tourney a success


Winning team members for the MSU Department of Communication 7th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament were (from left) Dave Sites, research associate III, Agricultural Economics; Ed Lewis, professor and head, Chemistry; Griffin Burk, graduate student, Chemistry; and Gerald Rowland, assistant professor, Chemistry.

Fifty-six alumni, students and friends played in the recent Mississippi State University Department of Communication 7th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament.

Food and drinks were provided by Aramark, Clark Beverage Group, Kroger, The Little Dooey and McAlister’s Deli for the event at the MSU Institute of Golf.

The tournament raised approximately $4,000 for the department. Proceeds from the tournament again benefitted the Lora J. DeFore Memorial Endowed Scholarship, which aids students who earn internships in distant locations with living and travel expenses. Over the past two years 11 scholarships have been provided to students through this scholarship program named after a former faculty member who passed away in 2009 following a long battle with cancer.

DeFore was known for encouraging students to seek internships in order to advance their education and experiences. Recipients of the scholarship must secure an internship through personal initiatives, maintain an overall grade-point average of a 3.0, and have completed at least 45 hours of academic coursework.

Prizes were awarded to the top three teams in the top two flights. Teams were able to choose from six green fees packages from golf courses across Mississippi, including Bay Pointe (Brandon), Clear Creek (Vicksburg), Dixie (Laurel), Hattiesburg Country Club, Laurel Country Club, MSU Institute of Golf, and the Refuge (Jackson).

Championship flight winners were Griffin Burk, Ed Lewis, Gerald Rowland and Dave Sites with a score of 54 ($125 MSU Institute of Golf gift certificate for each); Paul Brown, Zack Chesser, Tony Eiland and Charlie Johnston with a score of 56 ($75 MSU Institute of Golf gift certificate for each); and Dodie Colvin, Taco James, Taylor James and Michael Jolly with a score of 59 ($50 MSU Institute of Golf gift certificate for each).

First flight winners were Mitch Blakney, Matt Dantin and Alex Wawryszczuk with a score of 64 ($25 MSU Institute of Golf gift certificate for each); Tim Adkins, Harold Critcher, Spence Helmes and Randy Thrash with a score of 64; and John Arledge, John Forde, Mark Lehman and Matt Mathews with a score of 66.

Ed Lewis also won a 32” television donated by WCBI in a pre-tournament putting contest by sinking a long putt. Additionally, prizes were provided for numerous hole contests throughout the day:

• closest to the pin on holes, 2, 10, and 13: Steve Rogers ($40 Jim’s Clothing gift certificate, two rounds at LeFleur’s Bluff in Jackson, and two rounds at Pine Belt National in Moselle);

• longest drive on hole 6: Josh James (two WWE tickets at the Bancorp South Arena);

• closest to the pin on hole 8: James Parker (travel tool kit donated by Entergy and a screwdriver set donated by East Mississippi Lumber Company);

• longest drive on hole 11 and longest putt made on hole 16: Taco James ($50 Hotel Chester Beer Garden gift certificate and $50 Visa gift card donated by Statewide Federal Credit Union); and,

• closest to the pin on hole 15: Colin McNamara (four rounds of golf at the Links in Starkville).

Although there were no winners this year, the tournament also had two hole-in-one sponsors. Mitchell Automotive provided a new Chevy Cruz for hole 15 and LogoStore USA offered $1,000 in Cutter and Buck Merchandise for hole 2.

“This has become a great event for us each year,” according to John Forde, head of the department of communication. “In addition to raising a significant amount of money for various scholarships now over the seven years, we’ve also had the chance to reconnect as faculty with alumni and promote the department through a positive event. It’s also been a fantastic means for our students to learn through the tournament and to meet other alumni and sponsors. Our sponsors have been phenomenal, and we have a number of alumni and others who have played in all of the tournaments.”

Paige Crane, a Communication Ambassador and intern for the department, expressed how she feels about the tournament.

“The golf tournament has been such a great opportunity for me because I was able to see my work benefit the department. I’m very grateful for the Ambassadors and volunteers who helped the day of the tournament and in preparation beforehand. I cannot wait to see how the tournament grows in years to come,” said Crane.

Plans are being made for the fall 2014 tournament again to be held at the MSU Institute of Golf. Former players and sponsors are encouraged to provide feedback to the department about next year’s tournament.

Complete prize lists and other details of past tournaments are available at Photos from this year’s tournament can be found on the departmental website (under photo galleries) and Facebook page or on the Statewide Federal Credit Union’s Facebook page and blog at and

For more information, please contact Forde at or 662-325-3320 or Crane at

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