“If you want to know what true friendship looks like, what a true, good heart looks like, that’s what it looks like,” senior John Pyles said of Michael Weeks, Mississippi State University's latest Mr. MSU.
Pyles, Weeks’ fraternity brother and the chaplain of Beta Upsilon Chi, was in the midst of test week and initiation week when his grandfather passed away from cancer. Barely making it to Brandon in time for the visitation, Pyles was shocked to see Weeks, the president of a fraternity in the midst of one of its busiest week of the year, standing in the back of the receiving line. Weeks walked through the line, offered his condolences, gave Pyles a hug, then made the two-hour drive back to Starkville for classes the next morning.
“He had so much going on, dropped everything, drove to Jackson, and did that to support me...If anyone could have any shadow of a doubt of what kind of person Michael Weeks is, that night should remove any of those doubts,” Pyles said.
For Weeks, it has never been about the title, achievements or personal goals. Instead, it has always been about the people.
“I’m at Mississippi State to get a good education and my schoolwork is something that I care about and I take it very seriously but I don’t want that to be something that characterizes me or defines my time at Mississippi State. I want to love people first,” Weeks said.
Despite initially feeling conflicted about applying for Mr. MSU, Weeks said he decided to go for it because it would allow him to give back to the school that has given him so much.
“It’s a really cool opportunity for me to be able to pour in everything I have to these younger bulldogs that are going to love and serve the university the way I have been privileged to do,” Weeks said.
Pyles said he was confident Weeks’ motivations for applying to be Mr. MSU were far from self-serving.
“He saw it as a platform to bring glory to God, to let his light shine, to give him more influence and even more of a platform to do that. That’s why he did it and it’s easy to say that, but I can honestly say and believe that’s why he did it because of the person that he is and the person that I’ve seen him to be over the past two years,” Pyles said.
Weeks, a native of Madison, grew up attending MSU football games. He always believed he would end up at MSU for college. Weeks said he loves MSU because students are able to get all of the perks of attending a bigger SEC school while still experiencing a close family atmosphere.
“It’s a mystery to me how Mississippi State does it but I think it's super special because you’re at a campus with 22,000 students but it doesn’t feel that way. So, really thankful for that. I just feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds here,” Weeks said.
Weeks said his role as president of the BYX fraternity has prepared him to serve as Mr. MSU by teaching him to lead and serve others.
“It’s been awesome getting to lead a group of guys through college because college is not the easiest thing and a lot of us stumble along the way, so it’s been really cool to love on those guys well and hopefully lead them humbly through their time at Mississippi State,” Weeks said.
Also involved in the Roadrunners program, Weeks said he has loved getting to meet and talk to prospective students. He has also loved getting to know his fellow Roadrunners.
Judd Williams, the faculty adviser for BYX, admissions counselor in the office of Admissions and Scholarships and an MSU alumnus, served as a Roadrunner and on the BYX executive board when he attended MSU. He said this allows him to relate to Weeks’ own college experience. Williams spoke highly of Weeks' character, saying he is always willing to lend a helping hand to any of his fellow Roadrunners.
“You’ll probably hear a lot of people say this about Michael Weeks if you ask them but he is one of the most humble human beings that I have ever met in my entire life,” Williams said.
As a senior kinesiology major, Weeks hopes to become a physical therapist. He said his experiences as President of BYX, a Roadrunner and now as Mr. MSU will be valuable for his future career.
“Through these positions, I’ve learned what it looks like to really step into my personality and be comfortable in that and I think that’s going to help me relate well to people in my profession,” Weeks said.
Williams said he is confident Weeks represents the spirit of MSU.
“He recognizes that it’s not just him that he’s representing,” Williams said. “He’s representing the university, he’s representing his fraternity, he’s representing the Roadrunners, he’s representing his family and ultimately he’s representing Jesus and I think he exemplifies that really well.”