Roy H. Ruby
By Emily Gouin
Roy H. Ruby has bled maroon and white for his entire life, having a love for Mississippi State University that began at a very young age because of his father.
“My father loved Mississippi State University, and love is contagious,” said Ruby. "I loved State before I ever saw it."
Originally from Belzoni, Mississippi, Ruby earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961 and a Master of Arts degree in 1966 from MSU, both in political science. He went on to earn a Doctorate of Education in higher education and student personnel from the University of Mississippi in 1973. After this, Ruby returned to MSU, where he worked for 40 years. He served as vice president for student affairs for 17 of those years, and was the dean of the College of Education for three years. He retired in 2004, but returned to serve as Interim President of the University in 2008.
Ruby believes that MSU played an important role in preparing him for his profession and life after graduation.
“The liberal education that I received from the College of Arts and Sciences had a very broadening impact on me,” Ruby said. "I learned many things in many different fields which served me well as an administrator in higher education.”
The Cultural and Racial Minorities course taught by professor Dorris Rivers was Ruby’s favorite undergraduate course. His favorite classes in graduate school were all political science courses taught by Dr. Tip Allen, whom Ruby considers a mentor. “Dr. Allen was my favorite faculty member,” Ruby said. “He was a great teacher, a strong advisor, and showed me, by example, the love of learning.”
Ruby credits Dr. Robert L. Jones as his professional mentor. He also mentions his father and uncle as mentors in life, saying they taught him the dignity of work and countless important life lessons.
Some of Ruby’s fondest memories as a student at MSU include living in Old Main as a freshman, joining a fraternity, and being in Advanced ROTC. “Perhaps the most memorable part of the college experience is the friendships made,” Ruby said.
Many members of Ruby’s family have also attended MSU. His father, A.R. Ruby, graduated from Mississippi A&M in 1929, where he played on the baseball team under Coach Dudy Noble. R. Ruby’s daughter Mary received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from MSU in 1985, and his son Robert received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1992.
Ruby’s advice to students is to keep priorities in order - “academic work first and campus social life second." He also encourages students to understand that learning is the ultimate goal, not just good grades.
Ruby enjoyed a career at an institution that he loves, and he wishes that for others as well. “When I had the honor of giving the commencement address, I said to the graduating class, ‘I hope in your life you will have the opportunity to work for a company, an organization, or an institution that you can love as much as I have loved Mississippi State.’”
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