STARKVILLE, Miss. – U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper is presenting his congressional papers to Mississippi State University during a formal ceremony Friday [Oct. 5] at the Starkville campus.

Harper and MSU President Mark E. Keenum are signing the donor agreement during at 2:30 p.m. ceremony at the Old Main Academic Center. The collection is to be housed in MSU Libraries’ Congressional and Political Research Center, which now includes 10 congressional collections and numerous other state and local officials’ collections.

Friday’s ceremony includes remarks from U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The event is free and open to the public.

Harper, who resides in Pearl, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 and has spent the last 10 years representing Mississippi’s third congressional district. He announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection. During a 2017 ceremony to officially open a $10 million expansion to MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library, Harper told Dean of Libraries Frances Coleman that he would be donating his papers to MSU.

“Serving as a Member of the United States House of Representatives has been the highest privilege and honor of my life. The opportunity to serve the people of the Third District, our state, and our country is something that my wife, Sidney, and I will never forget,” Harper said. “I am grateful for the important role Mississippi State University, along with the Stennis Institute, continues to play in producing researchers and leaders in public service. My hope is that my papers will add to Mississippi State’s impressive collection and foster leadership and research initiatives on campus for years to come.”

“I am extremely grateful that Congressman Harper has chosen to house his congressional papers at Mississippi State,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said. “He was sworn into Congress the same week I became president at MSU, and it has been a great pleasure to work with Congressman Harper on several initiatives over the last decade. The results of his leadership will long remain evident in Mississippi, and I am proud that by maintaining his collection in our outstanding facilities at Mitchell Memorial Library, the next generation of leaders will be able to learn from his example.”

During his time in Congress, Harper has served as chairman of the Committee on House Administration and the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress, and he has been a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he serves as chairman of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. A longtime supporter of those with disabilities, Harper founded the Congressional Internship Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.

The congressman’s papers are among MSU’s first collections from an official serving in the digital age. The papers will include social media content, thousands of digital photographs, videos and more. They also contain constituent correspondence on local and national issues, speeches given from the floor of the House of Representatives, public statements, press releases, news clippings and memorabilia items from Harper’s tenure in Congress.

An alumnus of Mississippi College and the University of Mississippi School of Law, Harper spent 27 years as a practicing attorney before being elected to Congress. He previously served as prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland, and was a member of the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board.

Harper remains active in his community as a member of both the Pearl and Rankin County Chambers of Commerce. He and his wife of 39 years, Sidney, are members of Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon, where he served for many years as a high school and college Sunday school teacher. The Harpers have a son, Livingston, a daughter and son in law, Maggie and Brett Bailey, and a grandson, Lee. Maggie received her bachelor’s degree from MSU, and Livingston is a graduate of MSU’s ACCESS program for students with intellectual disabilities.

As a security precaution, those entering the Turner A. Wingo Auditorium at Old Main Academic Center will pass through metal detectors. Anyone planning to attend the event is encouraged to arrive early. Limited parking will be available in the Old Main Academic Center parking garage and the surrounding area. Two SMART routes, the Research Route and the Old Main Route, provide direct shuttle service to the Old Main Academic Center. For more route details, visit smart.msstate.edu or call 662-325-5204.

For more on MSU Libraries’ Congressional and Political Research Center, visit lib.msstate.edu/cprc.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

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MSU Photo ID: U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper speaks during a 2017 grand opening ceremony for a Mitchell Memorial Library expansion that includes a new space for MSU Libraries’ Congressional and Political Research Center, which will now house the congressman’s papers. (Photo by Megan Bean)