Mary Margaret Pritchard
By Hannah Bateman
Representing one of our newest alumni for our 60th anniversary, Mary Margaret Pritchard started her career working at the very place that supports those at the end of theirs. Pritchard, a Madison, Mississippi, native, received a job a few weeks after graduating from Mississippi State at the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi where she serves on their communications team as the communications specialist.
When asked what her fondest experience at MSU was, Pritchard, who earned her bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in biblical studies in 2016, said she cannot name just one because each have shaped who she is today.
“My experience while at MSU was: the anthem of the Chapel of Memories singing to me each day at 5 o’clock; the cold dew in the grass of the Drill Field tracking my steps as I shuffled to my 8:00 a.m. class; the anxious sensation of walking into my first class freshman year, thankful to have my best friend beside me; realizing that some days should have been spent with my friends rather than studying and other days should have been spent studying than being with friends; staying up all night in the Chapel of Memories for a friend who needed me; proudly sporting a sunburn after staying through an entire, unforgettable MSU football game; making sure the Chapel of Memories lives up to its name; understanding that sometimes I had to live outside of my memories to appreciate them once all is said and done,” said Pritchard.
Pritchard says the classes and faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences taught her to always be thankful for each opportunity to present what she has learned. Although she cannot name one particular class as her favorite, Albert Bisson, a faculty member in the Philosophy and Religion department, was her favorite faculty member and her mentor. Pritchard states that Bisson gave more of himself than could ever be returned.
“He taught me religions of the world and cultures I wouldn’t have otherwise known about, but as a person, one-on-one, he taught me to think beyond myself and my current situation. Without having to speak a word, his very character challenged me to consistently strive for honesty, integrity and humility,” Pritchard said.
As for her favorite tradition at MSU, she said that tailgating in the Junction Saturday mornings before a football game is her most cherished. Living in Hull Hall, MSU’s oldest residence hall which resides at the heart of campus, for half her time at MSU heightened this tradition.
“I would wake up each Saturday morning during the football season to the sound of cowbells and spirited fans long before the game itself started. Looking out my window, I could see generations of purebred bulldog-fans proudly walking by in their maroon and white attire. There was a difference in the air those days. Everyone knew, win or lose, that MSU was the best there is,” Pritchard said.
When asked to offer advice to current and future students, Pritchard said to give each day its own appreciation.
“Realize sooner than later that once you graduate and move away, you are not only leaving a place and a people, you are leaving a life. Find a place and a group of people you can retreat to, be welcomed to, and grow with. Do all this, and you will not only leave Mississippi State better than you found it, you will be a better person for it,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard enjoys wood-burning and painting for her small woodworking business, ShouldCouldWood, that she has owned and operated since March 2013. She also enjoys playing board games and spending time with her husband, her dog and her church.
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