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School of Media and Communication

William "Bud" Kirkpatrick

From student and student worker to Assistant to the President for University Relations, William E. “Bud” Kirkpatrick served the University of Southern Mississippi at multiple levels. Spending his early years in Mississippi and Louisiana, Bud earned his bachelor’s from USM in 1958 and his master’s in 1964. During his undergraduate program, Bud was a student worker for the R.C. Cook University Union, and after graduation he became director of the Union and Student Activities until 1972. His tenure allowed him to create and serve several organizations that benefited 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 Bud 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. Bud also contributed greatly to the arts by creating Southern Exposure, a song and dance troupe, and Pops-In-The-Pine Belt, which brought together the USM symphony, choral groups and the Jazz Lab Band to take USM beyond the campus. In 1995, when Oseola McCarty donated $150,000 to Southern Miss, Bud managed the media frenzy and related events that lasted two years.

From 1997 until his retirement in 2002, Bud rounded out his time at USM as Assistant to the President for University Relations, but he has remained active in his church as well as in the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the Sales and Marketing Executives International of Hattiesburg and Laurel. Among his many USM awards and honors throughout the years, he earned two outstanding staff awards, an outstanding service award and was inducted in the Alumni Hall of Fame in 1995. Nationally he has been recognized with several Who’s Who awards and was honored with a scholarship in his name for USM Mass Communication and Journalism students. Bud and his wife Virginia have two children and one granddaughter.