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Boys State begins Sunday at UM

By Michael Newsom

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi will host the American Legion’s Boys State beginning Sunday, allowing young men from across Mississippi to perform the duties of state and local governments during a weeklong event designed “to develop tomorrow’s informed, responsible citizens.”

UM was chosen to host Boys State this year and will host it again in 2017 and 2018. As many as 400 delegates will stay on campus and be able to take advantage of the many resources of the university’s departments and programs.

Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter said the partnership between Ole Miss and Boys State is a natural one.

“Both Boys State and the University of Mississippi have a long history of nurturing young leaders and helping them develop their potential, so it’s only natural that we try to combine our efforts,” Vitter said. “We welcome all the Boys State participants to our campus and look forward to watching them mature and begin to serve our state and nation in the years to come. We expect great things from all of them.”

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, U.S. Reps. Gregg Harper and Trent Kelly, Gov. Phil Bryant, Attorney General Jim Hood, Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, as well as State Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford, and State Rep. Shane Aguirre, R-Tupelo, and several other officials are among those who will address the delegates.

The young men will learn how city, county and state governments function through simulating those jobs. They also hold debates and give speeches ahead of the Boys State elections. The election results will be announced live at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Nutt Auditorium.

The delegates will also participate in a Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. Monday at the flagpole in the Lyceum Circle.