Memorial service to be held for Cecil Mackey Sept. 1
Maurice Cecil Mackey, Jr. (“Cecil”), who served as Michigan State University’s 16th president and an economics professor, will be remembered at a public service at 11 a.m. Sept. 1, at the Peoples Church, 200 West Grand River, East Lansing, Michigan. A reception will be held following the service. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the East Lansing community are invited to attend.
Mackey, who served as an official for several federal agencies and president of three major universities, including MSU from 1979 to 1985, died on Feb. 8 at age 89.
Following top-level stints at the University of South Florida and Texas Tech University, Mackey, an Alabama native, came to MSU amid a financial crisis for the state of Michigan and the university.
Mackey also oversaw a time of growth during his six years as MSU president. He started a program for establishing endowed chairs, increased private financial support to the university and opened the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and other academic and athletic facilities.
Colleagues described Mackey, Michigan State’s 16th president, as a soft-spoken Southern gentleman and a man of principle. An avid runner and tennis player, he and his wife, Clare, remained in East Lansing following his tenure and Mackey continued teaching economics courses at MSU.
Mackey was born Jan. 23, 1929, in Montgomery, Alabama. His father was a musician and leader of a popular big band.
Mackey received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Alabama, and a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois.
In 1953, Mackey married Clare Siewert, a Detroit native who grew up in Chicago and also went to the University of Illinois. The couple had three children: Carol, in 1956; John, in 1966; and Ann, in 1968.