Sam Guyton

Sam Guyton

Sam Guyton

By Emily Gouin

Since graduating from Mississippi State University in 1959, Sam Guyton has gone on to accomplish many things that go beyond his mere educational background – from being a member of the U.S. Air Force, to founding a non-profit organization with his wife.

Guyton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in both history and political science from MSU, and then furthered his education by earning his Bachelor of Laws from University of Virginia in 1965. MSU holds a special place in Guyton’s heart, as the school runs deep in his family history.

“It seemed I was predestined to attend MSU, as had my grandfather, uncles, aunt, and older brothers,” said Guyton.

His grandfather, Thomas Percy Guyton, graduated from then Mississippi A&M in 1898, and was a co-editor of the first Reveille, the university’s yearbook. His three uncles and aunt graduated from Mississippi A&M in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and two of his brothers also graduated from MSU: Earl Love Guyton in 1956 and Charles Guyton in 1961.

Most of Sam Guyton’s favorite college memories include his brother, Earl Love. Guyton claims that it was Earl Love who helped him adjust to the college atmosphere of studies and social life.

“I was at first overwhelmed being a freshman, but quickly got into the thick of going to classes, studying, having fun and interacting with people from different parts of the state and the country,” Guyton said.

Guyton was elected Freshman Class President, and him and Earl Love became the first brothers to serve together on the Student Association. “Later, I was elected Sophomore Class President, and after that Treasurer of the Student Association,” Guyton said.

After graduating from MSU, Guyton joined the U.S. Air Force in 1959, and was involved with it until 1962. At that point, he decided to go to law school at the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1965, and moved to Denver, Colorado, where he became a lawyer with the firm of Holland & Hart.

Guyton credits much of his success to the education and life experiences that he gained at MSU. “My professors took a personal interest in me and were always motivating and supportive… they taught me how to understand, evaluate and apply what I learned to issues in my life. This was crucial to my becoming a lawyer and having a successful career,” Guyton said.

After 27 successful years practicing law, Guyton was able to retire early. During his retirement years, Guyton has enjoyed working with his wife of 57 years, Jean Guyton, to build communities in different parts of the country. In 1998, the couple founded the Holland & Hart Foundation, a non-profit organization that hopes to create volunteer opportunities for the lawyers, staff, family and friends of Holland & Hart. Sam and Jean were the principal officers in charge of running the foundation with 15 offices in eight states.

Guyton and his wife currently reside in Lakewood, Colorado, and they have three children and one grandchild. They have stayed connected with the College of Arts and Sciences for decades, specifically the Department of Communication, where he has honored scholarship recipients.

When asked if he had any advice for current students, Guyton answered: “learn from each person you meet in life – your professors and fellow students. Remember you are a teacher and student to others. Apply the lessons taught in each course to all areas of your life.”

In his spare time, Guyton enjoys community service projects, community building and traveling.
He also enjoys many outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain climbing, skiing and fishing.