Dr. Beckley recognized for 25 years as President of Rust College

David L. Beckley, Rust Class of 1967, the longest tenured senior college President in Mississippi, was appointed president of Rust College on January 16, 1993 and assumed the position on July 1, 1993.  Before assuming the position as 11th president of Rust College, he served as 12th president of Wiley College in Marshall, TX (1987-1993).

Since returning to Mississippi, he has been elected Chair of the Mississippi Association of Independent Colleges, President of the Mississippi Association of Colleges, member of NCAA Division III Presidents Council, President of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC), Chair of the Member Presidents of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) 2000-02, Board of Directors of the Methodist Health Systems, Inc., Memphis, Tennessee, and the University Senate of the United Methodist Church where he chaired the Black College Commission and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Senate, Yocona Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Secretary of the Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare Board of Directors (2015-present), Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare Foundation (1999-2000), Black Methodists for Church Renewal, United Methodist Senior Services of Mississippi, Inc. (1999-2008), the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (2002-2008, 2011-Present), the CREATE Foundation Board, Chair Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Board of Directors, Mississippi Access for Justice Commission (2009-2014), Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Commission, Batesville Job Corp Community Advisory Board, The United Methodist Church Connectional Table (1998-2012), and the Board of Directors of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (2012-2016).  He is a member of Asbury United Methodist Church in Holly Springs, Phi Delta Kappa Educational Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Professional Men’s Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi National Fraternity, Inc., and a 33° Mason.

Dr. Beckley became the third alumnus to serve his alma mater as president.  In addition to the Rust College Bachelor’s Degree, Beckley holds both the M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Higher Education Administration from the University of Mississippi.  He is also a 2010 graduate of the FBI Citizen’s Academy.

Since accepting the presidency of Rust College, the College’s endowment fund has grown from $13 million to $36 million, reaffirmation of regional accreditation with Specialty Accreditation received for the Department of Social Work by the Council on Social Work Education.  The College celebrated the 48th consecutive year of a balanced budget with the close of the 2015-2016 fiscal year in June of 2016.

Among his recent awards are the Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America; Outstanding Education Alumni Award, University of Mississippi School of Education; Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education; Citizen of the Year, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Service Award, NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association); and President of the Year, National Association of African American Honors Programs.  Beckley is a U. S. Army Veteran with service in Vietnam 1970-71.

He and his wife, Dr. Gemma Douglas Beckley, have two daughters, Jacqueline B. Lampley, a public school teacher in Birmingham, Alabama, and Dr. Lisa B. Roberts, an associate professor at Jackson State University, Jackson, MS; one granddaughter, Christian Samone Lampley; and a grandson, David A. Roberts.

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