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.
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.
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.
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.
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.