MSU deer pens to be dedicated to former university employee


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Posted: 6/10/2003


The Captive Deer Complex at Mississippi State will be renamed Saturday [June 14] for Rusty Dawkins, its longtime head who died last year.

Dawkins, a 40-year-old Starkville resident and Noxubee County native, had served for 15 years as coordinator of the 11-acre animal care facility established nearly 30 years ago by the university's department of wildlife and fisheries as part of its research program.

A public ceremony, the renaming program begins at 9:30 a.m. at 965 Blackjack Rd. Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, an Oktibbeha County native, and state Sen. Tim Johnson of Madison, an MSU graduate who serves as vice chairman of the Senate Forestry Committee, will be among those making comments.

During the 2003 session, the Mississippi Legislature passed a resolution commending the life of Dawkins and expressing sympathy for his death.

Bruce Leopold, head of the department of wildlife and fisheries, said the dedication will honor Dawkins' exemplary work as animal care facilities coordinator.

"We decided to dedicate our deer facilities, which have been in operation for almost three decades, to Rusty Dawkins because of his profound dedication and long-term support of our deer research and his love of Mississippi State University," Leopold said.

In addition to his work at MSU, Dawkins was a 21-year veteran of the Starkville Fire Department, where he was battalion chief.

For more information about the event, telephone Karen Brasher at (662) 325-8530.

NEWS EDITORS/DIRECTORS: Rain location is Tully Auditorium of Thompson Hall.

Wildlife and Fisheries