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MSU-Meridian News Bureau 601-484-0113
Contact: Lisa Sollie
MERIDIAN, Miss.—The board chairman of Southern Pipe and Supply Inc. will be the fall 2016 graduation speaker for Mississippi State University-Meridian.
Marty Davidson will deliver the Dec. 9 commencement address for the public program to begin at 11 a.m. at the MSU Riley Center for Performing Arts and Education.
More than 90 students are candidates for degrees.
A Lauderdale County native, Davidson represents the third generation of his family to lead the company that currently has more than 100 branches in seven Southeastern states. In 2013 Southern Pipe was recognized as the “Supply House of the Year” by Supply House Times, the national industry publication. More honors were bestowed this year as the company was recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as the “Best Company to Work for in Mississippi” and by Fortune Magazine, as one of the best 100 medium size companies to work for in the United States.
In addition to being named to the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame, Davidson has been honored with the East Mississippi Business Development Corp.’s Hartley Peavey Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Ellis Island Medal of Honor—a national recognition of contributions made by immigrants and their children—and the Meridian Star’s “Citizen of the Year” award.
He is a past president of both the Southern Wholesaler Association and East Mississippi Business Development Corp.
For many years, Davidson has been active in projects and organizations to benefit his community and state. In 2008, he received the first Neville Humanitarian Award for post-Hurricane Katrina contributions to rebuild L.O.V.E’s Kitchen, a local homeless assistance program.
He is current president of The Riley Foundation, chartered in 1998 to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Meridian and Lauderdale County. A major supporter of Mississippi State, the foundation’s partnership with the university had led to the development of the Riley Campus in downtown Meridian as well as a scholarship program that helps students pursue a four-year degree at MSU-Meridian.
He is also treasurer of the Hardin Foundation, and member of Rush Hospital’s board of directors. He is a past president of Temple Beth Israel.
In 2014, Davidson and his wife, the former Linda Glazer, were named “Philanthropists of the Year” by Meridian Community College. They are the parents of two children, Melanie and Jay, and grandparents of three.
For more about MSU-Meridian, visit www.meridian.msstate.edu.
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