M. Cecil Mackey (b. 1929 d. 2018)

M. Cecil Mackey President
Michigan State University

Maurice Cecil Mackey was born January 23, 1929 in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1949, he received his B.A. in economics from the University of Alabama and went on to receive an M.A. in economics in 1953. In that same year he married Clare Siewert. In 1955, he received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois, where he focused on economic theory, the history of economic thought, and the relationship of government to business and finance.

In 1956, Mackey was on active duty at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Denver. He served as an associate professor of economics and worked on the economics curriculum. In that same year his first child, Carol, was born.

In 1957, he was a lecturer of business law at the University of Alabama. A year later, he received his bachelor of laws degree from the University of Alabama. In 1958, Mackey was also admitted to the State Bar of Alabama and started studying law at the graduate level at Harvard University. From 1959 to 1962, he was an assistant law professor at University of Alabama.

In 1962, Mackey became Assistant Counsel for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly. In 1963 he became the director of the Office of Policy and Development for the Federal Aviation Agency. There he was in charge of long-range planning and economic research. In 1965, he became the director of the Office of Transportation Policy for the U.S. Department of Commerce and developed programs and policies for transportation systems.

In 1966, his second child, John, was born. In 1967, he became Assistant Secretary for Policy and Development for the Department of Transportation. He planned policies, programs as well as worked on regulation. In 1969, his third child, Ann, was born.

In 1969, Mackey was a visiting professor at the University of Maryland College of Business and Public Administration. He then went on to become a Professor of Law at Florida State University from 1969–1971. From 1971–1976, he served as the President of the University of South Florida. In 1976, he became President of Texas Tech University as well as a Professor of Law.

On August 3, 1979 Mackey was inaugurated as President of Michigan State University. He also became a Professor of Economics, a position he held until his death in 2018. He served as President until 1985.

Finding aid to the M. Cecil Mackey papers (UA 2.1.16)

President M. Cecil Mackey exhibit (On the Banks of the Red Cedar website)

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