The Northwest Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees welcomed William H. Austin, Jr. of Lake Cormorant as the newest member of the board at its February 13 meeting. Austin replaces Dr. Robert Smith as a DeSoto County representative.
Austin is a lifelong resident of DeSoto County and is the sixth generation of his family to live there. He earned his Bachelor’s of Business Administration from The University of Mississippi in 1956 and became the general manager of his family’s business, Austin Farms and Dairies. The farm was sold in 1969, and Austin returned to Ole Miss to study Law. He earned his Juris Doctorate in 1972. After practicing law in Hernando for five years, he formed his own firm, Austin Law Firm, where he remained senior partner until his retirement in 2001. His firm is now located in Southaven and his daughter, Mary Austin Monteith is now senior partner.
During the majority of his law career, he served as attorney for the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors. In September 2001, he accepted a part time consultant position as executive director of the DeSoto County Regional Utility Authority. Austin is involved in a number of professional associations, including the Mississippi, Tennessee, American and U.S. Supreme Court Bar Associations; Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees member; Commissioner of the Mississippi Memorial Stadium; past president of DeSoto County Economic Council; member of the state committee of Employee/Teacher Relations for the Mississippi National Guard, director of DeSoto Bank and he served two terms as president of the Mid-South Fair (first person elected outside of Tennessee).
Austin served for 20 years with the Mississippi National Guard, retiring with the rank of major. He is a 33rd degree Mason and a member of the University Club of Memphis. He and his wife Linda have two daughters, one son and four grandchildren.
For more information on Northwest, visit the website at www.northwestms.edu.
Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears, left, welcomed new board member William H. Austin, Jr., center, to the Northwest Board of Trustees at the Feb. 13. Austin will represent DeSoto County on the board. Also welcoming Austin is Milton Kuykendall, right, chairman of the Board of Trustees. (Photo by Sarah Sapp)
Story by LaJuan Tallo, Communications Assistant