Michael Bryant and his daughter Mary Kathryn were dressed just alike in cap and gown and standing next to each other in the graduation line Thursday at Hinds Community College to receive their degrees in Health Care Assisting.Nursing and allied health students graduated from Hinds CC May 12.
Dad, 57, and daughter, 22, studied together at home in Star and quizzed each other as they rode together to classes.
“I’m going to go on to nursing school,” Mary Kathryn Bryant said. “He is retired and he has been interested in medical programs so we decided to go together.”
Dad said he couldn’t have done it without her. “It takes so much time. A lot of mornings getting up at 3:30 and studying but it was worth it. It’s been really good to have a study partner. There have been good days and bad days,” he said.
“Mostly good,” chimed in Mary Kathryn. “It’s been fun. I’m blessed.”
Michael Bryant already works part-time at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and plans to apply there and other hospitals. Mary Kathryn Bryant plans to attend nursing classes at night at Hinds. She’s hoping to talk her dad into joining her.
“We’ll see, he said.
Hinds is graduating nearly 1,200 over the three days of ceremonies, with more than 800 participating in one of the ceremonies. Those graduates will receive more than 1,500 certificates and degrees since some graduates will receive more than one credential.
Kelly Ann Collier, 28, of Vicksburg received her Associate Degree Nursing with a large audience of family members from five different states – Mississippi, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and New Hampshire.
They were all gathered “to watch me walk across the stage. It’s overwhelming. It’s emotional. They were so supportive throughout the program. I wouldn’t expect anything less,” she said.
Retired Hinds Community College allied health and nursing dean Mary Ann Sones was the speaker for the Thursday afternoon ceremony for allied health and nursing graduates. Sones began working at Hinds in August 1970.
“Today marks the successful conclusion of one, two or three years of diligent study. But it is really not an ending but a beginning,” Sones told graduates about their time at Hinds. “Today is a transition from one phase of your lives to another. It is the prologue that leads to new and different pathways. I truly hope that the days you have spent here may be but the prologue for happy and fulfilling days to come.”
Sones said that modern technology has improved health care, but that’s not what patients will remember. It’s the care they receive from the professionals.
“As you care for your patients, do so with diligence and humility. Treat them with respect and without being judgmental,” she said. “Listen and remember that many times you will need to listen rather than speak. You can learn a lot by listening. It may even be that what you learn is the very information you need to provide the best care for them.”
Of the total number of graduates, 127 are graduating summa cum laude, which is a perfect 4.0 grade point average; 130 are graduating magna cum laude, which is a 3.60 to 3.99 grade point average and 238 are graduating cum laude, which is a 3.20 to 3.59 grade point average.
“Community colleges are open door institutions,” Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse told graduates and their families. “We welcome all students who have the desire to achieve; our cost is low, our quality is high, and we understand that most students have family and job obligations that require some flexibility in program delivery in terms of time and place.
“And, we understand that not everyone comes to us with the same academic preparation. We are dedicated to helping students be successful in college-level work. That’s why quality instruction is the foundation for everything we do,” he said.
On Friday May 13, academic and technical graduates, except for those attending the Utica Campus, will have ceremonies as follows: 10 a.m., students whose last names begin with A-J and 2 p.m., those whose last names begins with K-Z. The speaker is Darrel McQuirter, president of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.
On Sunday May 15, about 100 students will graduate at J.D. Boyd Gymnasium on the Utica Campus at a 2 p.m. ceremony. Jackson State University President Dr. Carolyn Meyers is the speaker.
As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.