Holmes will honor these recipients at 10 a.m. in McDaniel Auditorium.
Derek Starling, Sr. ‘86
Alumnus of the Year
Holmes Community College will honor Derek Starling, Sr. of Madison as the 2022 Alumnus of the Year among one of the college’s highest alumni honors. Starling is the Alumni Association’s outgoing President of which he served the college for a two-year term and prior to that role he served two years as vice president.
Starling will be awarded this honor during a presentation in McDaniel Hall Auditorium on October 27. The presentation will be part of Holmes’ Homecoming festivities and Starling will also be recognized on the field prior to the game against Southwest Mississippi Community College.
A graduate of Canton High School, he played men’s varsity basketball under Coach Bennie Kimble from 1984-1986. During his time as a Bulldog, Starling, the team captain, was named to the All-Region 23 Team, MJCAA All-State, and chosen to play in the MJCAA All-Star game. Other accolades he received included the Academic Award, the Sportsmanship Award, the Ras Branch Award, and the Bulldog Award. In 2017, he was inducted into the Holmes Sports Hall of Fame for his basketball accomplishments.
Outside of basketball, Starling was president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), a Hall of Fame inductee, an honor student, and on the Homecoming Court in 1985. He was not the only Starling child who attended Holmes, either: his sister, Diane Starling Jackson, and his brother, Dwayne Starling, are Holmes alumni, as well.
Starling recalls many fond memories from his time as a Bulldog.
“I was very fond of calculus class with Mr. Bogan and drafting class with Mr. Miles,” Starling said. “I also had great memories of the quotes from Coach Kimble. By playing basketball at Holmes, we were able to travel to the far reaches of this great state and meet some wonderful people, all while being great ambassadors for this great college. Finally, I remember all the evenings we spent sitting outside all over the campus.”
Upon graduation from Holmes, he attended Mississippi State University and earned his bachelor’s in industrial and systems engineering with a minor in mathematics. Starling’s basketball career ended in the fall of 1986 while at MSU, due to a knee injury. He is the owner and Principal of SOL Engineering Services, headquartered in Jackson. Prior to owning SOL Engineering, he served as corporate director of quality and enterprise resource planning at Proliance, Inc., in New Haven, Connecticut. He has also worked as vice president of Magnolia Management Group and as quality section manager of Baxter Healthcare, Inc.
Some of the honors that Starling has received include: Small Business Administration’s Mississippi Business Person of the Year (2015); Starling served on the Canton School Board for 17 years, eight of which he served as chairman; MSU Department of Industrial & System Engineering Advisory Board member (2018-present); inducted as a fellow into the society of American Military Engineers (2022) and a lifetime member of the Holmes Alumni Association.
Starling and his wife, Daphenia, have one son, Derek, who is 16.
Kay Gowen Asken '63
Distinguished Service Award
Kay Gowan Asken is the 2022 Holmes Community College Distinguished Service Award Recipient. Holmes Alumni Association gives out this deserving award to a committed individual who shows dedicated service to the college.
Asken, a native of McAdams, attended Holmes from 1961-1963. She has been the secretary of the Alumni Association for the last six years and prior to that role, she was among those who were instrumental in getting the 1963 class together for their 50th class reunion.
After Holmes, Asken went to work for the University of Mississippi Athletic Association as a receptionist under the renowned John Vaught and Tad Smith.
From 1966-1982, Asken took on the most important role of her life while her husband completed Pharmacy School at the University of Mississippi. She was a stay-at-home mother raising three children: Martin, Bob and Leta.
Asken was a committed employee of the State of Mississippi for 25 years working in several offices, from the State Personnel Board as the administrative secretary confidential to executive director, the Office of the Attorney General in the legal collection division, then serving as executive secretary to the executive director for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and last serving at Jo Lesley State Veterans Home as a Veterans Service Officer.
In 1976, Asken did additional studies at Mississippi State and at Mississippi College in 1984-1985. Asken’s other career experience includes serving as a legal secretary for Morgan & Morgan of Kosciusko (1980-1983), Daniel, Coker, Norton and Bell (1983-1984) and Timothy Gowan (1987-1988).
Asken was involved in the Winona Junior Auxiliary and the Winona Garden Club as a member for 10 years and served as president for two years.
Asken resides in Sallis and has five grandchildren: Mathew Bozone (32), Cathryn Bozone(29), Erin Bozone (29), Sadie Bryan (18) and Sophie Bryan (15).
Taylor Cain Bishop ‘14
Young Alumnus of the Year
Bishop native of Sallis, attended high school at Central Holmes Christian School in Lexington and graduated from Holmes in 2014. While attending Holmes, Bishop was valedictorian, a Hall of Fame inductee, Math Award recipient, vice president of Phi Theta Kappa, an active member of Holmes Plus and an Ambassador.
In 2016, Bishop earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Mississippi. While Bishop was attending Ole Miss, he was a Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society Member and a Lyceum Scholarship recipient.
After college Bishop went to work for Hunter Engineering Company in Durant as a production supervisor and quality engineer. Currently, Bishop works as a plant engineer at Entergy in the Attala Power Generation Plant. He has served as an interim physics instructor at Holmes.
Bishop is the son of Melanie and Cliff Bishop of Sallis. He attends Sallis Baptist Church and is a member of the Attala County Board of Directors for the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.
Maj. Gen. William J. Lutz, USAF (Retired)
Veteran of the year
Major General William J. Lutz will be recognized for his service in the United States Air Force and the Mississippi Air National Guard at Holmes Community College on October 27 in Goodman.
Lutz, a Madison County Native, retired with 38 years of service. In 1968, graduated from Mississippi State University and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force Reserve. The same year, Lutz entered the U.S. Air Force Pilot Training School at Webb Air Force Base, Texas and continued on with forward air control training in the summer of 1969. He was called to Vietnam in August of 1969 as a forward air controller.
In 1970-1975, Lutz continued to serve in the Air Force in several different capacities in the Special Wing Operations as a Fighter Pilot. The next several years he was promoted to the Air Ground Operation School instructor.
Continuing to follow his love of flying he joined the Mississippi Air National Guard 172nd Airlift Wing as a C-130 Pilot then a C-141 Pilot and retired in 2006 from the Air Force with the rank of Major General as Assistant Adjutant General and Commander MS ANG. His command pilot experience totals more than 8,000 flying hours including over 900 combat missions and 1950 combat hours.
Lutz furthered his degree in 1982 when he graduated from Mississippi College Law School and continued to serve completing Air Command and Staff College in 1985 in Maxwell Air Force Base and National Security Management, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., 1989.
Lutz and his wife Betty, reside in Ridgeland. He served as the Chancery Judge for Holmes, Leake, Madison and Yazoo counties for 11 years (1995-2006) and currently serves as the Senior Status Mississippi Trial Judge.