Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus graduated about 125 students on Saturday, May 18.
The morning started with a bell-ringing ceremony at the iconic Utica Campus belltower and a processional into J.D. Boyd Gymnasium led by Utica Campus faculty and alumni.
This year’s ceremony also honored the Golden Class of Hinds Agricultural High School alumni from 1969 who celebrated their 50-year reunion.
The speaker for the graduation ceremony was former Secretary of Agriculture and Congressman Mike Espy, who spoke along the themes of courage, commitment and control.
“Learning is a lifelong activity. When you have that knowledge, no one can ever take it away from you,” he said. “You should consider your degree your sword as well as your shield … You are equipped with the best knowledge this great college can offer.”
Throughout five different ceremonies spanning three days, Hinds awarded a total of 1,706 credentials to 1,254 graduates, with some graduates receiving more than one credential. At the Utica Campus, 125 graduates were awarded 162 credentials.
Of the spring Hinds Community College graduates, 260 achieved cum laude, 3.2 to 3.59 grade point average; 197 achieved magna cum laude, 3.6 to 3.99 GPA and 126 achieved summa cum laude, 4.0 grade point average. At the Utica Campus, 19 graduates achieved cum laude, 14 achieved magna cum laude and three achieved summa cum laude.
As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.
Cathy Hayden is a 30-year career journalist with a bachelor's degree in journalism and English from the University of Mississippi and a master of theological studies from Spring Hill College in Mobile. Hayden, who covered education at The Clarion-Ledger for 17 years, came to Hinds Community College in January 2007.