PRCC names Frierson Alumnus of the Year | People
The following is a press release from Pearl River Community College:
As a state legislator, Herb Frierson of Poplarville probably has a broader perspective on the impact of his alma mater Pearl River Community College than anyone else.
In fact, he says the entire community college system gives Mississippi tax payers more bang for their buck than any other part of the state’s education structure.
“I think it’s the best educational value in the state of Mississippi,” he said. “It’s probably some of the best dollars invested by the state.”
Frierson will be honored as the PRCC Alumni Association’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year during Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 13, on the Poplarville campus.
“Herb is very connected with education after serving as a high school teacher for many years,” said Ernie Lovell, executive director of the PRCC Foundation. “In his years in the state legislature, he has been a strong proponent of the community college system and the tremendous role it plays in training a strong work force throughout our communities and the state.
“Herb has been an advocate for legislation in our state that has helped propel the mission of Pearl River Community College and our sister colleges. Herb has always shown great pride in our college as an active supporter of our programs.”
A native of Poplarville, Frierson carried on a PRCC tradition established by his maternal grandfather, Homer Ladner, who graduated from Pearl River County Agricultural High School before World War I. The tradition was continued by his parents, Mauree Ladner Frierson and J.Q. Frierson, in the years immediately before World War II.
Herb Frierson enrolled in the fall of 1976.
“It was convenient,” he said. “I just lived seven miles away. I stayed at home to save some money.”
Prominent among his PRCC memories are classes taught by the late D.R. Davis, who was named Alumnus of the Year in 1994.
“I had a lot of classes under D.R. Davis,” Frierson said. “He was one of the best teachers I ever had.”
A marketing major, Frierson transferred to Mississippi State University after one year at PRCC but maintains close ties to some of the friends he made on campus.
“I made a lot of good friends while I was there,” he said.
Frierson earned the bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State in 1981 and coached and taught high school in Columbia and Picayune and taught at Stone County High School. His teaching career ended in 1991 when he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1991. Frierson has been re-elected four times and works as a real estate appraiser when the legislature is not in session.
He currently serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and as a member of the Apportionment and Elections, Conservation and Water Resources, Education, Legislative Budget and Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks committees.
As Appropriations chairman, he has an insider’s view of the state’s financial situation and predicts community college funding will always be found.
“I can’t guarantee that it will be at the level they request, but they will always be a priority,” he said.
Throughout his career, Frierson has maintained contact with PRCC and its administrators.
“I have, at times, been active in the Alumni Association,” he said. “Most of my involvement in the past 21 years has been through the Legislature.”
Frierson and his wife, Cheryl, have a son and a daughter.