Hattiesburg, Miss., May 10, 2013 - Sen. John Polk will speak at one of William Carey University’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. in Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus. Nearly 800 students will graduate from WCU in four ceremonies. This ceremony is for students receiving undergraduate degrees from the school of arts and letters, school of nursing and school of natural and behavioral sciences.
Sen. John Polk, owner and chairman of the corporation for Polk’s Meat Products, Inc., was elected to a four-year term in the Mississippi State Senate in 2011. He serves District 44, representing parts of Forrest, Lamar, and Perry Counties. In August of 2012, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves appointed Sen. Polk as Chairman of the Senate Universities and Colleges Committee. He has served on multiple other committees as well, including Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency, Education, Elections, Energy, Finance, Housing, Ports and Marine Resources.
Originally from Prentiss, Sen. Polk graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in communications and radio-television-film in 1971. He began his career as news director of WHSY radio in Hattiesburg, and then worked for the USM Office of Public Information before joining the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in Jackson as its first staff assistant for public affairs. In 1973 he married Jan Barrett and in 1974, they bought their current business, Polk’s Meat Products, Inc. Through the years Sen. Polk has also owned and operated a radio station, been involved in cattle farming, tree farming, a pizza restaurant, and dabbled in interstate trucking.
Sen. Polk has served on the board of directors of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, the University Foundation, and is a past president of the International Alumni Association. In 1998 he was inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame. He and Jan live in Lamar County and are members of Temple Baptist Church where he sings in the choir. They have two children; Brian Polk and Julie Polk Breazeale, and three grandchildren: Barrett Blake, and Olivia.