http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Building graduates: The Importance of a degree at Hinds CC Utica Campus
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Building graduates: The Importance of a degree at Hinds CC Utica Campus

Hinds Community College-Utica Campus celebrated the academic success of 104 students earning associates degrees, technical certificates and career certificates. Graduates gathered early for pictures, stories of achievement and for the traditional grand processional from the administrative building to the gym.

Mississippi Valley State's President Dr. William B. Bynum Jr. gives an inspiring speech to the graduates on May 14 at Hinds Community College-Utica where he served as keynote speaker.

Mississippi Valley State’s President Dr. William B. Bynum Jr. gives an inspiring speech to the graduates on May 14 at Hinds Community College-Utica where he served as keynote speaker.

The weather was hot, but it was no bother to the students who had anticipated this day and were excited that their day had finally come.

Guest speaker for the event was Mississippi Valley State University President, Dr. William B. Bynum Jr. Bynum charged participants to be mirrors of Marian Williamson’s quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not out Darkness, that most frightens us.” He also expressed to students that getting a college degree is similar to accepting their call to Christ God Almighty and that their true test begins now.

Graduates included one summa cum laude, five magna cum laude and 26 cum laude honorees. The class combined traditional with non-traditional students, athletics and brainiacs, all striving for the same thing, success! Students pursuing degrees received a necessary framework that many students need to be successful in life.

Amier Gardner of Demopolis, Ala., graduated on May 14 with an Associate in Arts degree. Gardner plans to attend Alcorn State University majoring in engineering.

Amier Gardner of Demopolis, Ala., graduated on May 14 with an Associate in Arts degree. Gardner plans to attend Alcorn State University majoring in engineering.

The theme of the graduation was that of inspiration. A college degree to some receives the stigma of being overrated and too much work. The lure of quick money and fast living takes precedence. This ceremony was designed to show other students that success is obtainable and that the hard work does pay off. A college degree in today’s time will help almost anyone achieve his or her goals. Students are learning that it is never too late to get the degree needed.

“A small minority of people have been able to be successful without a college degree. The majority of us out here are going to need that education and that degree to try to do some of the things that we would like to do in life. Therefore, it is important to have that degree. I have always been congratulatory of people who make it without it, but that is not the norm, by no means.” said Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, vice president for the Utica Campus.

Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson introduces the keynote speaker at the May 14 graduation ceremony at Hinds Community College-Utica.

Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson introduces the keynote speaker at the May 14 graduation ceremony at Hinds Community College-Utica.

One such student who can appreciate Dr. Jackson’s views is Joseph Christmas of Crystal Springs. Christmas is a non-traditional student who wanted to restart his life with an Early Childhood Education degree. He hopes to attend Jackson State University and plans to one day teach small children. Christmas decided on Hinds because of the family atmosphere and great teachers.

Non-traditional student graduate Joseph Christmas received a degree in Early Childhood Education on May 14 and plans to continue his education at Jackson State University. He hopes to one day become a teacher.

Non-traditional student graduate Joseph Christmas received a degree in Early Childhood Education on May 14 and plans to continue his education at Jackson State University. He hopes to one day become a teacher.

Honor student and graduate Caitlin Richmond graduated May 14 with an Associate in Arts from Hinds Community College. She plans to continue her education at Tougaloo College. She hope to become a medical researcher.

Honor student and graduate Caitlin Richmond graduated May 14 with an Associate in Arts from Hinds Community College. She plans to continue her education at Tougaloo College. She hope to become a medical researcher.

Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse spoke to graduates May 14 about the important roles they play at Hinds Community College.

Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse spoke to graduates May 14 about the important roles they play at Hinds Community College.

Another honored graduate was Caitlin Richmond of Greenville. Richmond celebrated a number of accomplishments, graduating magna cum laude, receiving an honor cord for Phi Theta Kappa and receiving an associate in arts degree. Richmond plans to continue her education at Tougaloo College. Her plans are to become a medical researcher.

Most of the graduates already had their next steps in mind. Some would return to Hinds for additional degrees, others would join the workforce, and many would go on to universities.

”Education is the most important thing we have in our society today. You are here today because you believe that education could make a difference in your life. We are so pleased that you are here,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse.

 

Hinds CC Utica graduates inspired by MVSU president.

 

Hinds Community College is celebrating its 100th year of Community Inspired Service in 2017. Hinds opened in September 1917 first as an agricultural high school and admitted college students for the first time in 1922, with the first class graduating in 1927. In 1982 Hinds Junior College and Utica Junior College merged, creating the Hinds Community College District. Today, as Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution with six locations. Hinds offers quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

 

Sunnye McDonald of Crystal Spring, center, graduated from Hinds Community College-Utica on May 14 with an Early Childhood Education degree. With her are from left, Steven McDonald, Rita McDonald and T.J. Keys, right, all of Crystal Springs.

Sunnye McDonald of Crystal Spring, center, graduated from Hinds Community College-Utica on May 14 with an Early Childhood Education degree. With her are from left, Steven McDonald, Rita McDonald and T.J. Keys, right, all of Crystal Springs.

Graduate Xavier Smith of Edwards strike a pose with Janelle Moody of Edwards after receiving his Associate in Arts degree May 14 at Hinds Community College-Utica.

Graduate Xavier Smith of Edwards strike a pose with Janelle Moody of Edwards after receiving his Associate in Arts degree May 14 at Hinds Community College-Utica.

Graduate Justin Hall of Indianola, center, receives his degree in residential services on May 14. Shown here with his family from left, Chandra Hall, Jason Hall and, Danielle Hall, right, also from Indianola.

Graduate Justin Hall of Indianola, center, receives his degree in residential services on May 14. Shown here with his family from left, Chandra Hall, Jason Hall and, Danielle Hall, right, also from Indianola.

Graduate Nicholas McKinney of Greenville, center, received an Associate in Arts degree May 14 from Hinds Community College-Utica. With him are from left, Lucille Shavers, Markevia Shavers, both of Greenville, and Alexis Hayes of Yazoo City, right.

Graduate Nicholas McKinney of Greenville, center, received an Associate in Arts degree May 14 from Hinds Community College-Utica. With him are from left, Lucille Shavers, Markevia Shavers, both of Greenville, and Alexis Hayes of Yazoo City, right.

Utica Campus Vice President Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, center, poses with Spring 2017 graduation speakers left, Mississippi Valley State University President Dr. William B. Bynum Jr. and Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse at Hinds Community College-Utica on May 14.

Utica Campus Vice President Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, center, poses with Spring 2017 graduation speakers left, Mississippi Valley State University President Dr. William B. Bynum Jr. and Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse at Hinds Community College-Utica on May 14.

Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson with her executive council and keynote speaker at the 2017 Spring Graduation at Hinds Community College-Utica. From left are Dr. Mitchell Shears, Kenisha Shelton, Dr. Timothy Rush Sr., Dr. William B. Bynum Jr., Dr. Marquise Loving and Larry Edwards.

Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson with her executive council and keynote speaker at the 2017 Spring Graduation at Hinds Community College-Utica. From left are Dr. Mitchell Shears, Kenisha Shelton, Dr. Timothy Rush Sr., Dr. William B. Bynum Jr., Dr. Marquise Loving and Larry Edwards.

Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson spends Graduation Day/Mother's Day with mother Mary Mays on May 14 at Hinds Community College-Utica.

Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson spends Graduation Day/Mother’s Day with mother Mary Mays on May 14 at Hinds Community College-Utica.

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  • Cathy Hayden

    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.

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