Mississippi State University Libraries Mississippi State University Mississippi State University

The Morris W. H. (Bill) Collins Speaker Series

Speakers
Photo of Susan Boone Vincent

March 1, 2001     Video

Mayor Susan Vincent's entry into a position of political leadership was not a sudden, radical change of direction in her life. Rather, it was a transition, the culmination of her family's long history of active civic and political involvement. Her father, the late Dr. H.L. Boone, was a widely respected physician in Laurel, noted for his compassion and charity. For many years, he served as team physician for the Laurel High School football team.

The Mayor's mother, the late Billie Barbour Boone was a tireless advocate of the beautification of Laurel. She was also heavily involved in politics on both the local and state levels.

Following her mother's example of political activism, the mayor's older sister, Molly Boone Newton, played a major role in the congressional race of Trent Lott and served on his staff in Washington, D.C.

As a young wife and mother, Susan Boone Vincent quite naturally became involved in the cultural and civic life of Laurel. She continued her mother's activism for the preservation and beautification of Laurel. But despite her participation in two gubernatorial campaigns, Mrs. Vincent did not get drawn into the political arena until her appointment to the Planning Commission for the City of Laurel. At that point, she realized that the greatest opportunity to effect positive change in the community lay in political involvement.

Mrs. Vincent's first attempt to become a part of the political process was an ambitious one. She opposed an incumbent of long standing for a seat in the State Senate. Following a very effective but unsuccessful campaign, Vincent ran for Mayor of the City of Laurel in 1993, once again facing an incumbent. But this time her efforts were met with overwhelming success. She was re-elected Mayor in 1997 and is already making preparations to run again in 2001.