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Cow College: 1950s' Mississippi State College Comes to Tumultuous Life in Gripping Coming-of-Age Novel by Former Student

Melding his own experiences with bold fiction, Thomas R. Lawrence whisks readers back almost sixty years to follow the life and times of those who lived the ‘high life’ at what is now Mississippi State University. Sharing stories of girls, beer, burgers and bourrée, the post-WWII boom kicks into full swing as the novel’s young and impressionable characters set out to make college the best time of their life.


Opelika, AL -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/24/2014 -- While today’s universities are often stressful hubs of targets, never-ending testing and fierce competition among students, experiencing college in the 1950s was a much more enjoyable and care-free affair. Capturing the escapades, exploits and opportunities of education during this post-war boom, Tom R. Lawrence is delighted to announce ‘Cow College: Tales of Mississippi State College in the 1950s’.

While primarily a work of fiction, Lawrence injects heaps of fact and nods to the past on each and every page; stemming from his own experiences attending MSC and reveling in all of the freedoms and fun of that great decade that is now just a distant memory.


COW COLLEGE is a collection of 13 stories about the author's four years at Mississippi State University (then College) from 1957 - 1961. It is a work of fiction, but there is an underlying element of truth in each story and many of the people, places and major events are actual. Tom Lawrence calls his work "fictional fact or factional fiction" and states, "...if the tales did not actually happen this way, they should have."’

The protagonist, Tommy Larch, along with his best friend, Benny Bowman ,fit right into the campus life, for they haunt the halls of Mississippi State College for Women, just 20 miles to the east and become regulars in the beer halls in Columbus. Hunting , fishing and sports abound.

“My story captures the end of an era; one we’ll never get back yet one that shaped the future for generations to come,” says Lawrence. “These days Mississippi State University is a much larger institution and, like most Universities these days, it is pretty darn expensive. When I attended in the 1950s tuition was $99 a semester, I paid $99 for a dorm and I could enjoy a hearty student plate for 45 cents. How things have changed!”

Continuing, “Ironically, for a book about a college, there’s very little mentioned about education! The coming-of-age stories of those who attended MSC are far more interesting than what they did in class.”

Former students and critics have flocked in their droves to leave positive reviews. Chip Burson comments, “Hunting, fishing, football, coeds, beer, bourbon, burgers and bouree', four years in the trenches of higher education, what's not to like?”

Former Student, Roy H. Ruby, adds, "Cow College is living proof that higher education has a value outside the classroom. It tells of a common experience which resulted in an uncommon education."

‘Cow College: Tales of Mississippi State College in the 1950s’, published by Front Porch Press LLC, is available now: http://amzn.to/1plQXGH.

About Tom Lawrence
Tom Lawrence grew up in the Mississippi towns of Ruleville, Cleveland, and Jackson, where he graduated from Murrah High School before embarking on his college career at Mississippi State University. He describes himself as a "serial entrepreneur” and began his writing career after fifty years in the financial services industry. His first book "Delta Days, Tales of the Delta", was published in the summer of 2011. The author of numerous short stories and magazine articles, Tom founded Front Porch Press, LLC, the publisher of this book, to provide an outlet for new Southern writers. He currently lives in Opelika, Alabama, where he devotes his time to writing, publishing, and his financial consulting business.