HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Student government was not on the mind of one Presbyterian Christian School graduate when he was in high school.
Fast forward four years, and Gregory Alston is the current Associated Student Body President at the University of Mississippi.
"That's something that I really wanted to do to try and make a difference at our university," said Alston.
He does not only serve Ole Miss in this capacity. Alston is the head of all student body presidents in Mississippi's eight public universities through his role with the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) council.
"I really enjoy meeting with those presidents at the other universities because I get to hear what they're doing on their campuses, and I can also share with them what we're doing at Ole Miss," said Alston.
Even though he always knew he would attend Ole Miss, Alston does not let that loyalty get in the way of working together with the other presidents for what is best for higher education in Mississippi.
"It's not really that we can't really relate to them," he said. "There are things happening at every university in this state that's happening at Ole Miss, too, so we work really well together."
Alston has served on the ASB Senate since his freshman year, receiving Senator of the Year for 2011-2012. Before running for president, he served on the Cabinet as Director of Athletics and Recreation. Aside from student government, Alston has been heavily involved in local and statewide political campaigns as a staff member and volunteer.
Alston credits his leadership skills to the experiences he had here at home: receiving his Eagle Scout award, participating in Boys State, and, of course, a supportive family. His love for Mississippi has strengthened over the years and during his time in these leadership roles, and he is not looking to leave the state anytime soon.
"A lot of people say they want to get out of Mississippi, but I'm not one of those people," said Alston of his future plans. "I do want to stay in Mississippi."
Alston will graduate from Ole Miss in May with a degree in public policy leadership. After that he hopes to attend law school and then use his degrees to better the state that nurtured him into the leader he is today.