Tenth Maroon Edition home dedicated Monday

MSU President Mark Keenum presents new Habitat for Humanity homeowner Lou'Quan Lucious with a Bible Monday at the home's dedication. The home was the 10th Maroon Edition house, built primarily by members of the MSU community. (Photo by Megan Bean, MSU)

Staff Writer

Lou’Quan Lucious received quite the Christmas present Monday.

The Starkville native was handed the keys to her own Habitat for Humanity home in a ceremony. Lucious’ home was the 10th Maroon Edition Habitat For Humanity Home, built primarily by students, faculty, staff and others from the Mississippi State University community. Construction on the home began in the fall semester, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held in August, with MSU President Mark Keenum driving the ceremonial first nail.

A mother of three, Lucious applied for a Habitat for Humanity home three times before being approved, and has volunteered on other Habitat for Humanity homes.

“I’m really excited,” Lucious said. “Like I said before, I’m really more excited for my children. (I’m able to) show them something better.”

The home is located on Chisholm Drive in the Sunset neighborhood in west Starkville.

“It was a long, long road,” Lucious said. “This was actually my third time. I’m just really, really excited that I finally made it, and finally got through it for my children. I was very eager, and I just kept on it until I got it.”

She said even though the work was hard, she enjoyed helping to build her own home and other Habitat for Humanity homes.

“We laughed, we joked,” Lucious said. “It was also a learning experience.

She was presented with a tool kit, homeowner’s manual and other items she might need as a new homeowner. Keenum also presented her with a Bible.

“She gets a tool kit, she gets a blanket, but also this is a house that was built with love, and showing love, we wanted to present as Habitat for Humanity and as the university, The Holy Bible,” Keenum said.

Keenum also spoke to the importance of the university being involved in Habitat for Humanity and other community service.

“We want our students to come to Mississippi State to get a great education and prepare themselves for their life,” Keenum said. “I always preach it’s how you live your life that’s going to impact the kind of life you’re going to have, and the success that you’re going to have.”

He also lauded the members of the MSU community who had participated in the project, and said the university’s 10 years working with Habitat for Humanity was a “wonderful partnership.”

“We’re really glad to see it finally work out,” said Starkville Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Joel Downey. “It shows that persistence and hard work pay off.”

The Maroon Edition program began in 2009, and brings students together with a common reading experience and other projects and events. This year, the Maroon Edition book was “Calico Joe” by bestselling author and MSU alumnus John Grisham.