PEARL – Hinds Community College graduated 611 students during the summer semester at its six locations.
Among 319 participating in two ceremonies July 27 at the Muse Center on the Rankin Campus was Tierra Williams, of Jackson, who earned an Associate in Arts degree from the college.
In all, 391 credentials were conferred to the 611 who graduated from the college.
Jasmine Coleman lost her mother several years ago and has dedicated each step in her education to her memory.
“It was sudden to have lost her, just before my high school graduation,” Coleman said. “So, I’ve dedicated both my high school and college graduations to her.”
Coleman, 22, of Jackson, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education, a field she’s eager to enter spread her caring sense and motherly instincts.
“I have a son, Morgan, who is two, so he’s in that dedication as well,” Coleman said.
Yolanda Houston, the college’s district director of Teacher Education, based on the Utica Campus, is a close confidant to Coleman and a family friend.
“I taught her in grade school,” Houston said. “I’ve watched her mature and be strong through adversity and still be able to graduate.”
Of the total graduating, 197 did so with honors. That includes 85 who earned the cum laude designation, which is a 3.2 to 3.59 grade point average. Another 47 graduated magna cum laude, or a 3.6 to 3.99 grade point average, and 65 graduated summa cum laude, or a 4.0 grade point average. The total field of honor graduates equaled about one-third of the summer graduating class.
Crystal Mays had waited a long time to celebrate a graduation in her family, which made her sister’s commencement from Hinds Community College all the sweeter.
“I’ve waited a long time for this,” Mays said amidst tears as she watched her sister, Eronda Graham-Daniels, walk across the stage after earning her Associate in Arts degree. “This is why I talk so much about finishing school.”
Peggy Hobson Calhoun, who represents District 3 on the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, spoke to graduates at both ceremonies. Calhoun implored graduates not to give up when adversity strikes when they enter the workforce.
“You may think your vision of becoming successful is too difficult to realize, but it can become real,” Calhoun said. “I don’t know what your aspirations and pursuits are, but don’t blind your vision. Hold on to your visions and your dreams. Your vision defines what it is you want to accomplish out of life.”