Photo Cutline: Spring 2014 graduation speakers are, from left, Robert Graham, Timothy Moore, Malcolm White and Congressman Bennie Thompson. 

Hinds Community College will see its fourth year of record-breaking graduation numbers over seven ceremonies May 15-16 and May 18 on both the Raymond and Utica campuses.

With approximately 1,150 students receiving their diplomas, the college expanded its typical five ceremony plan into seven ceremonies to accommodate the large crowds. Last year, Hinds CC graduated 2,040 students total, including summer and fall graduation. For 2014that number jumped to 2,257.

“The college faculty and staff made a plan and a pledge to get more students to the graduation stage, and I am very proud of their effort and commitment to helping our students be successful,” said Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse. “The value of an associate degree or a career/technical certificate is demonstrated in marketable job skills and higher earning power.”

All nursing and allied health students will graduate in three ceremonies on Thursday, May 15, at 8:30 a.m., noon, and 3:30 p.m. with doors to open at 7:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. All other academic graduates will attend their ceremonies on Friday, May 16, at 8:30 a.m., noon, and 3:30 p.m. with doors to open at 7:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. All Raymond Campus ceremonies will take place in Hogg Auditorium of Cain-Cochran Hall.

The Utica Campus graduation ceremony, which also includes Hinds Agricultural High School, will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, in the J.D. Boyd Gymnasium.

Timothy Moore, president and CEO of the Mississippi Hospital Association, will speak to all nursing and allied health graduates May 15. Supervisor Robert Graham, who is getting a degree from Hinds Community College, will speak to academic graduates at the 8:30 a.m. ceremony on May 16. Malcolm White, director of tourism for the Mississippi Development Authority, will speak to academic graduates during the noon and 3:30 ceremonies May 16. Congressman Bennie Thompson will speak to all Utica Campus and Hinds AHS graduates May 18.

Moore has served as president and CEO of Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) since Sept. 1, 2013.  MHA is the statewide organization that represents and serves all types of hospitals, health care systems and their patients and communities.

Prior to his current role at MHA, Moore served as president of North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.  Moore earned his master’s degree in health care management from the University of New Orleans, as well as a bachelor’s degree in industrial science at Mississippi State University.

Graham is District 1 Supervisor for Hinds County, serving his second term in office. The area for which he is responsible covers northeast and north Jackson.  Graham was first elected to office in 2008; he has served as board president three times and as vice president once.

Graham retired from the Jackson Police Department in 2007 after 30 years of service as a 911 dispatch commander, a reserve lieutenant, a police academy instructor, a Crimestoppers coordinator and a public information officer.

In 2010 Graham decided to return to school after 20 years.  In deciding which institution of higher learning to attend, he says there were several factors that led him to choose Hinds Community College:  its unique location, flexibility, availability of on-line classes and friendly atmosphere.

“Hinds gave me the foundation to continue my education and to pursue an advanced degree in Criminal Justice.  I can truly say Hinds Community College has made the difference in my education and in my future,” he said.

White, director of tourism for the Mississippi Development Authority, is responsible for the overall management, development and implementation of Mississippi’s story along with the creation of economic growth and opportunities for Mississippi through tourism.

White worked his way through the ranks of the hospitality industry and, along with his now deceased brother Hal, opened Hal & Mal’s in Jackson. White is the founder of the Mal’s St. Paddy’s  Parade, which benefits the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children and attracts more than 75,000 visitors from around the country to Jackson each year, and WellsFest, a family festival also held annually in Jackson.

He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is chairman of the Mississippi Blues Commission and Mississippi’s Bicentennial Organizing Committee.

Thompson, originally from Bolton, is a graduate of Hinds Agricultural High School. After graduation, he earned a Bachelor of Science from Tougaloo College and a Master of Science from Jackson State University.

Thompson first worked as a school teacher and then served as alderman from 1968 to 1972 and mayor from 1973 to 1980, both in his hometown of Bolton. From 1980 to 1993, Thompson served as a Hinds County supervisor and was the founding member and president of the state’s Association of Black Supervisors. Thompson was elected to Congress in 1993 to represent the Second District of Mississippi and is now serving his 11th term.

He is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi. He is also the only Democrat in the Mississippi Congressional Delegation.

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