RAYMOND – Thomas Sawyer wanted to do “something amazing.”
That’s why Sawyer, 21, of Terry decided to go to nursing school at Hinds Community College. Hegraduated Friday, Aug. 1 with a degree in practical nursing and plans to continue his studies at Hinds toward an Associate’s Degree in Nursing while working.
“I chose nursing because I always wanted to have a job that I’d know that I did something amazing. I felt like nursing was that – and it turned out to be just that,” he said. “I chose Hinds because of the reputation of being the hardest school. I like a challenge. Hinds delivered more than anyone else will everknow, the way the instructors grew and molded me into a great nurse.”
Hinds Community College graduated about 390 students in one of three ceremonies, a 16.8 percent increase over last summer when 334 students graduated.
Dr. Robert Smith, a Hinds Agricultural High School graduate and president and CEO of Central Mississippi Health Services, addressed graduates at two of the three ceremonies, for nursing and allied health graduates.
“Today I congratulate you on entering the health care profession, the greatest profession of all – a healing ministry,” he said. “You have chosen well. The health care industry is one of the fastest growing in the United States today. All of you should be able to find some work that allows you to make a contribution to improving the health and wellness of Mississippians and Americans right now.”
“An important thing for you to remember is that as you help individual patients, you also contribute to improving society. That should be everyone’s objective,” Smith said.
Bob Mullins, Hinds graduate and former Hinds vice president for Economic Development at Eagle Ridge Conference Center, spoke to academic and career-technical graduates. After leaving Hinds, Mullins eventually became a senior manager of training and communications at Nissan North America. He retired from there in 2013.
“Like most of you, my college education started at Hinds Community College and it afforded me opportunities that assisted in my growth and development throughout life,” Mullins told about 160 academic and career/technical graduates. “It was a springboard for my understanding of how to learn, how to meet deadlines, and how to work with people. It was here (at Hinds CC) the groundwork was laid to help me further my education and ensure my success.”
As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is acomprehensive 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 2013. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.
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.