Marsha Dickson Barbour grew up in Monroeville , Alabama .  In 1965, her family moved to Canton , Mississippi , where she graduated from Canton High School .  She majored in marketing at the University of Mississippi and received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in December of 1970

Marsha and Haley Barbour were married in December of 1971 in Canton , Mississippi .  Afterwards, they moved to Yazoo City , Haley’s hometown, and raised two sons – Sterling (31) and Reeves (26).   Life in Yazoo City emphasized family activities at school and church, and a strong commitment to community service. 

Mrs. Barbour is working to support her husband’s agenda for Mississippi and wants to contribute to making a difference in the lives of all Mississippians.  She is especially active in early childhood development issues and tourism.  Regular visits to read to the students at elementary schools around the State are a priority on her schedule.  Mrs. Barbour believes a good education is essential to a child’s future success in life. 

Since becoming First Lady, Mrs. Barbour has served as Honorary Chairman of numerous charitable events and causes including women’s initiatives and the arts.  She is on the Board of Directors of the USA International Ballet Competition held every four years in Jackson , Mississippi , and a member of Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free, an initiative of First Spouses.  Joining other first spouses, governors and officials from 49 states, she supports the Internet Keep Safe Coalition or iKeepSafe, a national campaign to teach children the essentials of Internet safety.

Mrs. Barbour received the First Lady Youth Leadership Award presented by Jobs for America ’s Graduates (JAG) in December of 2004.  Following Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, she has spent countless hours on the Mississippi Gulf Coast identifying problems and helping find solutions for those devastated by the storm.

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