Larry Brown walked across the stage with a golden cord around his neck and satisfaction in his heart.
“I came back to school to inspire my grandkids,” Brown, 51, said minutes before graduating from Hinds Community College cum laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting.
It was an even bigger family affair than that for Brown. His sister, Linda Brown Long, 53, was also among the more than 800 students who graduated in three ceremonies Friday, Dec. 18 at the Muse Center on Hinds’ Rankin Campus.
Long earned her Associate Degree in Nursing on Friday. They walked in the midday ceremony with the academic and career-tech students simply to be on the same stage for family members.
“I pursued nursing to go into hospice,” Long said, adding an experience taking care of an older family member showed her the way to her new vocation.
“For me, it was taking care of my father who inspired me,” Long said.
It was a time for family for Keren Garrett as well.
Garrett, of Jackson, who earned an Associate of Applied Science in Landscape Management Technology, gathered with eight members of his family, including his nephew, Brayden, and his 94-year-old great-grandmother, Maudia Taylor. Garrett said he wants to start his own architectural firm.
“It was wonderful,” Taylor said of seeing her great-grandson walk across the stage. “My heart was big.”
Hinds conferred more than 1,300 credentials, including one-year career certificates or two-year technical certificates for career-technical programs or associate degrees. Some students are receiving more than one credential.
Graduating summa cum laude, with 4.0 grade point averages, are 156 students. Ninety-two graduate magna cum laude with GPAs of 3.6 to 3.99, and 135 graduate cum laude with GPAs of 3.2 to 3.59.
“We as educators look forward to the day in which we can celebrate the achievements of our students,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse.
“My challenge for each of us today is that we’ll choose to be like those people who ride the rollercoaster with both hands held high in the air,” Hughes said. “The truth is they are “all in” and because of that, they experience the joy of the ride to its fullest. You too can experience ultimate joy in life and success if you approach it by going “all in.”