In 2001, when Bradford Fair,’05 crossed the graduation stage of Clarksdale High School he knew without a shadow of a doubt where he would attend college.
Mississippi Valley State University was the place for him, much like it had been for his brother Byron, and their father, Marshall, who attended the university when it was known as Mississippi Vocational College.
“Valley was the place for me. I wanted to be at an HBCU and I wanted to be close to home. That narrowed the search to a very small number of one,” said Fair.
From Valley, Fair received a full band scholarship that he maintained and allowed him to march in the band for four years, he served as Mr. MCIS (Mathematics, Computer and Information Sciences) his freshman year and also became a part of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Because he is skilled in piano, percussion and organ he was able to serve as the pianist for the MVSU Jazz Band. He also performed at events which featured B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, Coretta Scott King, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, as well as other notable university events.
“Being here at Mississippi Valley was special for me,” said Fair. “I thrived and became the man I am today. The professors and the family atmosphere at The Valley is second to none.”
After graduating from MVSU with a bachelor of science degree in computer science, Fair decided to return home to Clarksdale. He began to manage his family’s business - Royal Funeral Home.
He has held computer technician roles in the Coahoma County and Clarksdale Municipal school districts. Currently, he is an IT specialist for the Desoto County School District, which is the second largest school district in the state of Mississippi.
Following the death of his father in 2008 and his mother, Bobbie in 2016, Fair became CEO of Royal Funeral Home.
“With all that I have lost I have also gained a great deal. I have a wonderful son in B.J. (Bradford Jr.), I love my community and God has blessed me to run my family’s business while also doing what I love.”
As a student at Valley, Fair was involved with a lot of activities he said that experience was the foundation to how he is able to juggle so much now.
“I was in everything I could (join) and now, everything I do is like second nature,” said Fair. I’m not afraid of any challenge, and when you are a Valley grad, you have to tackle the world with fearlessness.
Always looking for ways to impact his community, Fair created Divine Outreach Ministries in 2008. Because he is a cancer survivor, diagnosed when he was merely eight months, he started the ministry as a way to expose his community to something he felt would uplift them.
Divine Outreach Ministries, which is a ministry set aside to expose the Mississippi Delta to artist who can bring a positive spirit to the area through the ministry of speaking, singing and other talents. Fair has brought to the Clarksdale area national recording artist Marvin Sapp, Tamela & David Mann also known as Cora and Brown from Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns, Rance Allen, Tyga Graham who played Bobby in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself and the Gospel recording quartet, The Walls Group.
“It is my desire to continue to plant good seeds in the good ground of Clarksdale much like Mississippi Valley State planted good seeds into me.”