2002 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Stevens

House Concurrent Resolution 32

(As Adopted by House and Senate)


     WHEREAS, James "Joe" Ferguson, of Washington, D.C., departed this life on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, in wake of the tragic attack on America, causing a great loss to his family and friends; and

     WHEREAS, Joe Ferguson, born in 1962, was a native of Durant, Mississippi, and the son of Mrs. Barbara Harrell of Durant, Mississippi, and graduated from Durant High School in 1980; and

     WHEREAS, Joe Ferguson's higher education matriculation consisted of attending Holmes Community College during the summers of 1979 and 1980, and receiving his bachelor of science degree in geography from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1984,  after which he enrolled in the graduate program at Southwestern University in San Marcus, Texas, before transferring to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he received his master's degree in geography; and

     WHEREAS, in 1987, while working on his graduate studies at Ohio University, Joe Ferguson was selected in a national competition to intern at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., and for this scholastic achievement was honored by the House of Representatives; and

     WHEREAS, the selection of Joe Ferguson as an intern for the National Geographic Society was an outstanding achievement as he was the first Mississippian ever chosen to participate in the society's intern program; and

     WHEREAS, Joe Ferguson, a fourteen-year veteran of the National Geographic Society, most recently served as Director of Geography Education Outreach Program, and through his passion and dedication had become a creative leader of the society team charged with enhancing the teaching and learning of geography in classrooms throughout America; and

     WHEREAS, in addition to his duties at the National Geographic Society, he was a Board Member of the Geography Education National Implementation Project (GENIP), member of the National Council for Geography Education, the National Council for Social Studies, the National Middle School Association, and devoted much of his time to tutoring math and serving as mentor for the students in his neighborhood middle school; and

     WHEREAS, at the moment of his untimely death, Joe Ferguson  was in the process of accompanying three area school teacher-student pairs on an educational trip to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary near Santa Barbara, California; and

     WHEREAS, his final hours in service to young citizens through his association with the National Geographic Society reveal the depth of his commitment to others and to one of the things he truly loved--the study of geography; and

     WHEREAS, Joe Ferguson was an active member of Unity Church of Washington, D.C., and leaves the following survivors to cherish his memory:  mother, Barbara Harrell; brother, Randy Ferguson; grandfather, Bob Noyes; and his beloved dog, Winston; and

     WHEREAS, the Legislature finds it most appropriate to pay special tribute to an outstanding Mississippian such as James "Joe" Ferguson, a man who dedicated his life to serving God and his family, as well as to enhancing the quality of geographic education within the United States:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life of James "Joe" Ferguson and express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends upon his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of James "Joe" Ferguson and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.