Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse of Raymond and Hinds alumnus Dr. Robert Smith were honored with the Whitney Young Service Award from the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America on June 23.
Smith of Terry is the executive director of Central Mississippi Health Services.
The annual award is named for Whitney Young, a civil rights leader and president of the National Urban League who died in 1971. As part of the award, the council is creating a new $1,000 scholarship in honor of Muse and Smith to be awarded to an Eagle Scout this fall at Hinds.
Dr. Robert Mayo, retired Hinds Rankin Campus dean of students and a board member of the Hinds Community College Foundation, said he admires Muse for two talents: being a torchbearer and herding turtles.
He said Muse has been a torchbearer in awarding tens of thousands of diplomas over his career, including when he was a school superintendent, and leading in church and community service.
Mayo said Muse has been a torchbearer in a more unofficial capacity, including using his personal John Deere tractor to help Raymond neighbors break up a garden spot. “He does his tractor work for anybody who needs it,” Mayo said.
He also alluded to one of Muse’s favorite sayings: “If you ever see a turtle sitting on top of a fence post, you know it didn’t get there by itself.”
“Now I’m here to tell you that Dr. Muse has herded many of us turtles and told us not to be afraid to come out of our protective shells, to stick our necks out and try to help others in need in our community,” he said. “In so doing, he has made us move a lot faster and a whole lot further than we ever thought we could. He has inspired us to set goals for ourselves and our community.”
Muse called it a “special privilege for me to share this program with Dr. Robert Smith, who has been a close personal friend for many, many years. We’ve been up and down a lot of roads together and I’ve learned from him so much.”
He also noted that he had been involved with Scouting growing up but was not able to achieve Eagle Scout because his family moved. “Certainly I have remained interested and supportive of Scouting all my life,” he said.
Smith said he was pleased to be honored by the council alongside Muse.
“Nothing is more important, as you know, than providing a helping hand to our young men and women to grow up and become the leaders of tomorrow in an increasing competitive society,” he said. “I can never express enough appreciation for your support of us and this evening’s effort in continuing supporting the boy scouts of America whose moto is preparing young people for life.”
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.