PEARL – With 24-hour cable news and social media, it can be a negative world out there. But Hinds County Board of Supervisors President Mike Morgan told Hinds Community College graduates that they don’t have to fall prey to all the negativity.
There are ways to combat the negativity by, instead, being positive. “Say thank you. You’re acknowledging something good. People need to hear that. Get in the habit,” Morgan told about 170 students graduating with career or technical certificates and associate degrees in academic or career-technical programs.
He asked them to do begin the habit as soon as the graduation ceremony was over.
He also told graduates to “stay connected to the unconnected world. It’s a beautiful day outside. Did you notice it? You couldn’t have ordered a better day. There is bad stuff out there but there has never been a better time to be alive. It’s the best it’s ever been right now.”
Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse reminded graduates that they are part of a long tradition that began when the college was founded in 1917 as an agricultural high school.
“The power of education is that it drives our vision for a better life. And, while the graduates today represent a diverse set of circumstances, they are connected by their belief that a community college education is a step up to a broader opportunity to build a better life and to contribute to the communities we live in,” Muse said.
Among those graduating at the Friday 8 a.m. ceremony was London Duke of Vicksburg, who also earned a High School Equivalency certificate a few weeks ago through the MIBEST program at Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg-Warren Campus. She was also recently inducted into the Alpha Iota Kappa chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society for two-year colleges.
“I had dropped out of school in the eighth grade, got pregnant and didn’t finish,” said Duke, 26. “I had first taken my GED ages ago and also didn’t finish.”
MIBEST is Mississippi’s version of the nationally recognized Integrating Basic Education and Skills Training program. The program allows adult students to train for a job skill while earning their high school equivalency certificate at the same time. Students are prepared to be job-ready in six months to a year, train in high-demand areas and earn national certifications.
“They push you to continue and do your best,” Duke said. “It’s especially true, because here I am. I’m excited about the career opportunities no matter where I go after Hinds.”
Hinds Community College has five graduation ceremonies spanning May 10, 11 and 13. Over the five ceremonies, Hinds is awarding 1,839 degrees and certificates to 1,319 people, with some people receiving multiple credentials in academic, career or technical programs. This is the largest number of credentials Hinds has ever awarded for one graduation season.
Over the academic year including summer 2017 and fall 2017 ceremonies, the college will have awarded more than 3,900 credentials, a 12 percent increase over last year and an 85 percent increase over five years ago.
Of the 1,319 spring graduates, 265 achieved cum laude, 3.2 to 3.59 grade point average; 204 achieved magna cum laude, 3.6 to 3.99 GPA and 137 achieved summa cum laude, 4.0 grade point average. Nearly 900 are expected to participate in one of the five ceremonies.
On Thursday, May 10, Phyllis Polk Johnson, executive director for the Mississippi Board of Nursing, spoke to nursing and allied health graduates.
Other speakers at the Muse Center at the Rankin Campus on Friday, May 11 were state Sen. Josh Harkins, of Flowood, at 11 a.m. and Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, at 3 p.m.
Tom Joyner, a nationally syndicated radio and television show host, will speak to graduates at the Utica Campus during a ceremony 2 p.m. Sunday, May 13.
As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2016. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.