Alumni News and Updates






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  • Welcome Ms. Theta of SAE Alumni!  We want all of you to continue, or renew, your interest in the chapter.  Some of you have kept in close contact with our chapter, and for that, we thank you.  Some of you may feel you have lost touch with the chapter, and would like to know what is going on with the new generation of Miss. Theta SAE’s.  We would like for all of you to register on the web-site and keep up with your fraternity brothers, and get to know the members of the active chapter.


    To become a registered member of the Mississippi Theta of SAE Alumni Association,  simply click on the form, fill it out, and you will be kept up to date with emails and letters about events and happenings with the chapter.  


    We look forward to having you register and become a member of the alumni association, and renewing friendships from your college experience.  This should be a great forum for rekindling your SAE spirit. 


    Again, welcome aboard, and Phi Alpha!


     Tommy Nusz, Entreprenuer, Family Man, & True Gentleman


    Since Tommy left the SAE house, he and his wife Terri (Foster) Nusz have led a life we can all be proud of.  It is men like this that we hold up as examples for our Active and Pledge members to strive to emulate.  I remember Tommy as a lively, athletic, funny, upperclassman, who was kind-hearted towards us lowly pledges.  As I gained active membership into the fraternity, I remember admiring his ability to balance his fun with his schoolwork.  Please read this article to re-acquaint yourself with Tommy if you have lost touch with him and Terri.  Phi Alpha Tommy, and way to go!


  • Mr. James Robertson, The Life of a True “True Gentleman”


    How do you, in a short article, describe a life that has so matched the meaning of the words in “The True Gentleman”?  As SAE’s, we all know the words, and most of us will never forget them.  The words are burned into our memory from so many forced recitations.  As pledges of SAE, we are immediately required to memorize them.  As fraternity actives, each fall, we make sure that the new pledges know these words, and can recite them without fail at command.  It is a rite of passage for SAE’s that I doubt will ever change.


    As we move through college and into our adult lives, maybe a few think back on what these words really mean.  We catch ourselves being reminded of the True Gentleman, and how the words written so long ago touch on so many aspects of how we carry ourselves, and deal with people in our lives.  We know that we should strive each day to embody these words in flesh and blood.


    Mr. James Robertson has lived these words through his life.  His life is a story of success that was built one step at time.  By the time he was 19 years old, both of his parents had passed away.  He and his brother, Mr. Bill Robertson, were faced with running a small farm with limited means during the throes of terrible economic times during the Depression.  To complicate matters, Uncle Sam came calling and Mr. James, like so many others, joined in the defense of his country.  He served his country in General Patton’s 3rd Army in Europe during the Battle of Bulge as an Infantry soldier.


    This rugged start in life did not deter Mr. James, and he would probably say it helped him to become successful.  We can look at his life as an example of what it means to be a True Gentleman.  I knew him as one of my best friends Dad.  He would take us to watch our beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs play football, and let us ride his horses, and play on his farm.  As I became older, and knew more of his story, I felt compelled to offer his story as one that might inspire young SAE’s to strive to be the best in everything they do.  To compete, but to compete fairly, and with honor.  The following is a short write-up that one of his children gave to me at my request.  It is predictably modest, and contains just the facts.  I hope that you will be as impressed and interested in this life as I am.

                                    ---John Garrard, Miss. Theta of SAE, 1980



    James C. Robertson

    704 Magnolia Drive

    Indianola, MS  38751


    James Cooke Robertson of Holly Ridge, Mississippi entered Mississippi State University in the fall of 1941 and pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  His brother, W.T. Robertson, was a member of the chapter at that time.  James volunteered for ROTC at Mississippi State and was called to active duty.  After completing basic training at Ft. McClellan, Alabama, and Officer’s Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, he  graduated as a Second Lt. in the spring of 1944.  Mr. Robertson was assigned to the 42nd Infantry Division at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma.


    Immediately after D-Day on June 6, 1944, Mr. Robertson was sent as a replacement to Europe.  He waded ashore on Omaha Beach on September 17, 1944 and was assigned to Company K of the 320th Infantry of the 35th Division, which was part of General George Patton’s Third Army.  After moving through Southern France, his company, as well as many others, was loaded onto trucks headed to Bastogne, Belgium for what is known as the “Battle of the Bulge”.  U.S. soldiers immediately launched an attack on Hitler’s elite troops.  Snow was two feet deep, and weather did not permit any air support.  After the weather cleared, the Air Force was able to provide much needed assistance.  Because of severe frostbite, Mr. Robertson was evacuated to a field hospital on December 25, 1944.  After a few days, he was flown to a hospital in Liverpool, England for a lengthy recovery.  As the war ended, he rejoined his unit in the Army of Occupation south of Cologne, Germany.


    Mr. Robertson was then assigned to a new division headed to the South Pacific, and the war with Japan.  While on board a ship in LaHarve, France with 15,000 troops, the atomic bombs were dropped.  These bombs ended the war with Japan, and Mr. Robertson returned to Mississippi.  He participated in the Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe Battle Campaigns, and received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal.  In 2009, Mr. Robertson was awarded the Legion of Honor Medal, by the French Government, in a ceremony at the French Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia.


    He continued his education at MSU, and in 1947, he served as President of SAE, and a member of the Interfraternity Council.  After graduation, Mr. Robertson returned to Holly Ridge, Misssissippi, and he and his brother Bill farmed together.  He and his wife, Anne (Barrett) Robertson, have been married for 57 years, and are the parents of four children who are all MSU graduates.  His son, James Cooke Robertson, Jr. (Jim), as well as his grandson,Christopher Polk were members of Mississippi Theta of SAE.  Grandson Baird Allen is an SAE at Millsaps College.


    SAE Connections

    Mr. James C. Robertson, Sr.- Miss. Theta of SAE, 1942, EA Miss. Theta, 1947

    Mr. William T. Robertson, Sr.- Brother, Miss. Theta of SAE, 1939, EA Miss. Theta, 1942-1943

    Mr. Jim Robertson- Son, Miss. Theta of SAE, 1980

    Irene Robertson Long- Daughter, Miss. Theta of SAE Little Sister, Phi Delta Chapter of Chi Omega

    Mrs. Betty Barrett Robertson Rogers-Daughter, Miss. Theta of SAE Little Sister, Phi Delta Chapter of Chi Omega

    Mrs. Susan Robertson Allen- Daughter, Miss Theta of SAE Little Sister, Phi Delta Chapter of Chi Omega

    Mrs. Elyette Poindexter Robertson- Daughter in Law, Miss. Theta of SAE Little Sister, Phi Delta Chapter Chi Omega

    Mr. Lawrence Long- Son in Law, Miss. Theta of SAE, 1974

    Mr. Denton Rogers- Son in Law, Miss. Theta of SAE, 1968

    Mr. Christopher Polk- Grandson, Miss. Theta of SAE, 2005

    Mr. Baird Allen- Grandson, Miss. Delta of SAE (Millsaps College), 2009

    Mr. Alexander (Xan) Robertson- Nephew, Miss. Theta of SAE, 1972

    Mr. Alexander (Xan) Robertson, Jr.-  Great Nephew, Miss. Theta of SAE, 1999

    Mr. Elliott Robertson- Great Nephew, Miss. Gamma of SAE, 2002, EA Miss. Gamma, 2004




    We Are Proud of Durr Boyles, MS Theta Alumni, Business Leader, & Soldier


    1997 National Alumni Association President going beyond the call of duty

    Former Alumni Association national president and engineering graduate Colonel Durr Boyles is not your typical Bulldog alumnus. Since last December, Col. Boyles has been serving his alma mater, and more importantly, his nation, with the 168th Engineer Brigade out of Vicksburg.

    Col. Boyles, who is also a principal at Boyles Moak Insurance Services in Jackson, is a proud member of the Mississippi National Guard, a role that was influenced by his father, a retired National Guard colonel, and also his time as a ROTC cadet at Mississippi State.

    “Mississippi State made it easy to be in the ROTC because there was an accepted friendly environment surrounding the military on campus,” said Col. Boyles. “I had three fraternity brothers who were in ROTC, and knew many other MSU students as well. ROTC was a very positive experience for me.”

    His graduation in 1982 proved to be one of the proudest moments in his Bulldog and military career. While the country was still recovering from the scars of Vietnam, Col. Boyles and eleven other MSU ROTC members took a stand for their country at graduation.

    “At the time, it was not a popular endeavor to join the military,” he said. “After receiving my diploma at the graduation ceremony, as instructed, I walked to the back of the coliseum removed my robe to uncover my dress army uniform underneath.”

    Soon twelve ROTC cadets walked down the middle isle toward the front. At first they experienced sporadic cat calls and whistles from the crowd, but through the procession, intermittent claps began to outnumber the jeers.

    “As we approached the podium,” he continued, “the entire coliseum was applauding. It was a magical moment for me. I felt very proud to receive my commission as second lieutenant that day and I became aware that perhaps this single, small, event characterized that as a country we were heading in a renewed patriotic direction.”

    The memory of his graduation and commissioning ceremony is one that Col. Boyles carries with him to this day.

    Currently, Col. Boyles is serving a one year deployment in Afghanistan. While there he is serving as Deputy Commander of the 168th Engineer Brigade, which is the engineer command for combat engineering, construction engineering and mine clearing for the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.

    Among the many responsibilities while deployed, the 168th Brigade is helping assist the Afghanistan National Army and Afghanistan Border Patrol with construction efforts at their locations. They are also providing schools for the Afghan people to help develop construction skills that will provide a trade for citizens to learn and earn a better living.

    Col. Boyles is one of many Bulldog graduates defending his country overseas. MSU is proud to be the home to thousands of brave men and women serving in military and civilian roles.

    “While I’ve been in Afghanistan, I have met a number of Bulldogs,” said Col. Boyles. “You’ll be proud to know that several MSU graduates are serving in key positions in Special Forces, aviation, engineering and with the CIA/NSA organizations here. Bulldogs are serving their country in some very important roles in Afghanistan.”

    The MSU Alumni Association is proud to have so many military volunteers and professionals as part of the Bulldog family. It is individuals like Col. Boyles that make MSU and the United States a better place.

    “In May of this year, we invited all of our former national presidents back to campus to thank them for their service to Mississippi State” said Jimmy Abraham, associate vice president of development and alumni and executive director of the Alumni Association. “All of us could not help but think of Durr, and while we wished he could be with us and we missed him, he would not be anywhere else but serving his country. Durr is an outstanding person and a true Bulldog who loves our university so much, and we are so very proud of him, as we are all of our men and women in uniform.”

    When he isn’t overseas, Col. Boyles resides in Jackson with his wife Robin and children, Graham, 18, and Conner, 15. Apart from his education at MSU, Col. Boyles also holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College. He is scheduled to return home this December.

    “My experience in Afghanistan has been very rewarding,” said Col. Boyles. “I am proud and humbled by the young men and women who are only a few months or years out of high school performing complex tasks under very, very difficult circumstances. If you ask me why I am here, it’s to be here with the officers and noncommissioned officers I have served with previously; and, to be with the youngsters who are here to serve our country with a devotion to a cause that is much greater than themselves.”

    The MSU Alumni Association thanks Col. Boyles, the 168th Engineering Brigade and all of the men and women serving our nation all around the world.