The answer is yes. In Starkville, we believe. And it has nothing to do with the numbers on a scoreboard at the end of 60 minutes. Statistics on passing and running yardage, tackles or touchdowns don’t begin to depict the stat sheet of what we believe.
We believe in the story of a small Mississippi town and its partnership with a land grant institution. We believe in the traditions built between the two that somehow inspire a nation — a nation with outposts throughout the globe.
We believe in the drive and commitment of our student athletes — on the field, in the classroom, in the community, in the spotlight. On a national stage or a secluded practice field, we believe they deserve nothing less than the unwavering support of the place they will call home for four years — the place their grandchildren will visit in years to come.
We believe in Mississippi’s young people. And their potential to change our state and the world when enabled with a higher education. We believe in agriculture and engineering and business and architecture and the arts — disciplines of excellence where the collective field of play is finding ways to impact real people through research and technology and innovation. We believe in the MSU winning records where they count the most — growing better food, making greener products, building stronger structures and communities.
We believe in a small community moved to show its true colors to the world with hand-painted signs and sentiments hung on brick and mortar. We believe in the signs that don’t make it to ESPN. The ones like “come on in” or “now open.” The signs of open doors between a town and gown welcoming students and locals and teachers and alumni to this shared cultural economy of Maroon and White.
Yes, we believe in Main Street — that thriving gathering place of traditional Southern culture we call “downtown” — growing as the center of a vibrant and diverse retail community. We believe in the power of the entrepreneurial spirit found here that emanates through small businesses, professionals, franchise owners and the representatives of worldwide companies who weave the fabric of Starkville business. We believe in Highway 12 and 82 and 25, thoroughfares showcasing the creativity and passion of an economy that stands in support of a great university. And we believe in every street and lane and avenue in between.
So, for those who wonder if we still believe, the answer is YES. We believe in a special team of young men, led by a special group of men and women, playing a time honored game in a special place we call Mississippi State University. We believe in the roar of Davis Wade Stadium. In the call of “Hail dear ole State.” In the clang of a bell founded in our “cow college” roots. We believe in the community of doctors and restaurateurs and shop owners and farmers and builders who have created the hometown of all who deem themselves “Bulldogs” since 1878.
And WE BELIEVE this is just the beginning.