Congressman Harper shares life lessons at MSU-Meridian

MERIDIAN, Miss.—More than 50 business students and community leaders convened on Mississippi State University-Meridian’s Riley Campus Wednesday [Jan. 20] to hear Third District Congressman Gregg Harper share his experiences in Washington and discuss the impact of government in the everyday lives of citizens.

Harper, first elected to Congress in 2008, told the junior and senior business majors, many studying healthcare administration, about the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. Named after a 10-year-old childhood cancer awareness advocate who died of an inoperable brain tumor, the bi-partisan bill introduced by Harper and Peter Welch (D-Vt), diverts money previously used to finance national political conventions to the common fund at the National Institutes of Health. Funds support research for childhood cancer and other pediatric diseases and disorders. Harper called the successful passage of the bill, signed into law by President Barack Obama in April 2014, one of the highlights of his career.

Whether sharing legislation he was involved in or personal stories of faith and family, the congressman consistently stressed the importance of “being nice” in daily interactions with others.  “It doesn’t cost a cent,” he said, “and goes a long way.”

Harper told students to do whatever is needed to make people’s lives better.

For MSU-Meridian student Addison Swink, a Staff Sergeant with the 186th Air National Guard, Air Refueling Wing in Meridian, Harper’s talk was both inspiring and refreshing.

“I was very impressed with how personable he was,” noted Swink after the congressman took time to shake hands with all the students.

“Everything he shared with us this evening, from his involvement with the Gabriella Miller Act and helping bring the KC-135s back to Meridian, to his openness about his faith and his love for his family, spoke volumes about his character and what he stands for.”

Harper, who has lived in the Third District since 1972, resides in Pearl with his wife Sydney. The couple have two children, both Mississippi State graduates.

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MSU PHOTO ID: Following his talk to MSU-Meridian students [Jan. 20], Congressman Gregg Harper speaks with Addison Swink, a Staff Sergeant with the 186th Air National Guard, Air Refueling Wing in Meridian, who is studying healthcare services at the university. (Photo by Lisa Sollie)

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