Chris Behr

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Christopher Behr

By Emily Gouin

Mississippi State University played a crucial role in Christopher Behr’s childhood and his education, but his deep ties to the College of Arts & Sciences go beyond his years as a student.

Behr’s father, Lyell C. Behr, was a professor of chemistry, head of the Department of Chemistry, and then dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. C. Behr was raised in Starkville during this time and grew up living in the Hand house next to Eckie’s Pond on MSU’s campus.

“I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. I left in 1978 and returned in 2000, and I’m never going to leave here again. There’s no better place to be,” Behr said.

Behr graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology. He completed medical school in Jackson, Mississippi, followed by residency training at the University of Tennessee at Memphis. After that, he completed four years of active duty in the United States Navy. He has been practicing emergency medicine and urgent care in Starkville ever since his honorable discharge.

Behr’s greatest memory from MSU is when he received his diploma from his father and former dean at graduation. He considers his father to be his greatest mentor. 

"He taught me that nothing would come my way unless I worked for it, and that I could achieve anything in any chosen field as long as I was willing to work hard enough to be the best at it,” Behr said.

Behr’s years at MSU taught him how to be humble, work hard, and remain grounded. “It taught me that I was now at a much higher level and nothing was going to come easy anymore. I’ve never looked back,” Behr said.

Many of Behr’s relatives have also attended MSU. His wife, Bette Trevillion, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication in 1978. His brother, Emil Holiner, also received his bachelor’s degree in communication in 1975.

Behr said that he could not pick just one favorite faculty member but that three of his favorites were Drs. Lewis Brown and Ronald Altig from the Department of Biological Sciences and Dr. George Buehler from the then Department of Foreign Languages (now called the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures).

His advice to students is to “Study every day. Go home, eat dinner, and review everything you saw and heard in your classes that day. Don’t take the night off during the week. That’s what the weekend is for.”

Behr’s interests include MSU sports and the music of The Who. In his free time he enjoys model railroading, collecting and listening to records, and playing keyboard musical instruments.

Behr believes that despite all that he has accomplished in life so far, his greatest success still lies ahead.


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