By STEVEN NALLEY
Mississippi University For Women president Jim Borsig will discuss MUW’s economic impact on the local community at a meeting of the Town and Tower Club at 7 a.m. Tuesday in the Mary Ellen Pope Banquet Hall in MUW’s Hogarth Dining Center.
Nora Miller, MUW vice president for finance and administration, said this study is the first study of MUW’s economic impact in the last seven years. Bob Neal, a senior economist with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, began the study in late spring, Miller said.
“With Dr. Borsig coming from the board office where Bob works, it was just kind of natural,” Miller said. “(Neal’s findings show) we have a substantial impact not only through our own expenditures — for faculty, construction and other commodities and contractual service — but also (through) the spending of our students in the economy and all the indirect jobs that spin off as a result of these various components.”
Sid Caradine, president of the Town and Tower Club, said the club unites members of the Columbus community with members of MUW’s community for mutual benefit and appreciation. The tower in the club’s name refers to the clock tower on MUW’s campus, he said, and the club typically meets for lunch on a quarterly basis.
“There are a lot of clubs like that which bridge the gap between the community and the university,” Caradine said. “Some cities call it the ‘Town and Gown Club.’ We’ve been around for about 20-25 years.”
The club also hosts a prayer breakfast each year contemporaneous with Washington, D.C.’s National Prayer Breakfast, Caradine said, but this will be the first time the Town and Tower Club has tried holding its quarterly meeting in the morning. It will also be the first time Borsig has addressed the club, he said.
“He’s a great person, a great leader,” Caradine said. “The alumni really like him. He’s in very high esteem in the community, from the (Columbus-Lowndes) LINK board to the city council to all of the major businesses.”
The breakfast costs $10, and Caradine said the event is open to non-members. Reservations must be made by noon Monday by calling or e-mailing Andrea Stevens at email@example.com  or 329-7148. With students returning to town, Miller said, the time is right for Borsig to discuss economic impact.
“It’s just kind of kicking off our academic year with our students, faculty and partners in the community,” Miller said. “I think this really gets to the mission of what Town and Tower is all about.”