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Hinds CC names 2017 Homecoming queen
Posted by
13 October

Hinds CC names 2017 Homecoming queen

Kontessa McClendon of Clinton, a graduate of Clinton High School, was crowned queen at Hinds Community College’s annual Homecoming celebration on Oct. 12.

DeAuntray Smith of Jackson, a Forest Hill High School graduate, left, and Kontessa McClendon of Clinton, a graduate of Clinton High School, react to her being named the 2017 Homecoming queen at Hinds Community College on Oct. 12.

DeAuntray Smith of Jackson, a Forest Hill High School graduate, left, and Kontessa McClendon of Clinton, a graduate of Clinton High School, react to her being named the 2017 Homecoming queen at Hinds Community College on Oct. 12.

She is the daughter of Michael and Tammy McClendon. A Raymond Campus sophomore, she is majoring in elementary education. She is a Dean’s Scholar, a Resident Assistant at Marshall Hall, serves as president of I.D.E.A.L. Woman and is a tutor at the Writing Center.

Her escort was DeAuntray Smith of Jackson, a Forest Hill High School graduate.

Hinds Community College is celebrating its 100th year of Community Inspired Service in 2017. Hinds opened in September 1917 first as an agricultural high school and admitted college students for the first time in 1922, with the first class graduating in 1927. In 1982 Hinds Junior College and Utica Junior College merged, creating the Hinds Community College District. Today, as Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution with six locations. Hinds offers quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

 Hinds CC names Clinton graduate as Homecoming queen.
Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse crowns Kontessa McClendon of Clinton, a graduate of Clinton High School, as Homecoming queen for 2017 at Hinds Community College. Left is McClendon's escort, DeAuntray Smith of Jackson, a Forest Hill High School graduate. The flower girl was Hallie Faye Horne and crown bearer was Jax Mitchell.

Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse crowns Kontessa McClendon of Clinton, a graduate of Clinton High School, as Homecoming queen for 2017 at Hinds Community College. Left is McClendon’s escort, DeAuntray Smith of Jackson, a Forest Hill High School graduate. The flower girl was Hallie Faye Horne and crown bearer was Jax Mitchell.

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Hinds CC names 2017 Homecoming maids
Posted by
10 October

Hinds CC names 2017 Homecoming maids

Hinds Community College celebrates Homecoming Thursday, Oct. 12 with the presentation of the Homecoming Court and naming of the queen during the halftime of the game between the Hinds Eagles and East Central Community College Warriors. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Gene Murphy Field at Joe Renfroe Stadium on the Raymond Campus.web_Homecoming Court 2017-5

The Homecoming Court includes, front from left, sophomore maids, Kearra Keyes of Laurel, representing the Raymond Campus; Kontessa McClendon of Clinton, representing the Raymond Campus; Samayah Lyles of Pearl, representing Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center;  Breonna Owens of Jackson, representing Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center; Courtney White of Vicksburg, representing the Vicksburg-Warren Campus; and Denicia Diew of  Yazoo City, representing the Raymond Campus;

Back row, freshmen maids, Diamond Bigham of Champaign, Ill., representing the Rankin Campus; Kierra Carson of Jackson, representing Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center; Jasmine Elam of Vicksburg, representing the Vicksburg-Warren Campus; Kaci Cox of Forest, representing the Raymond Campus; Tiye Strong of Vicksburg, representing the Raymond Campus; Olivia White of Vicksburg, representing Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center and Kynsley Jones of Vicksburg, representing the Raymond Campus.

The women who are in the running for queen are sophomores McClendon, Lyles, Owens and White.

Hinds CC names Homecoming court.
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Alumni of Hinds CC Hi-Steppers perform at Homecoming
Posted by
05 October

Alumni of Hinds CC Hi-Steppers perform at Homecoming

Alumni of the Hinds Community College Hi-Steppers precision dance team each year practice and perform at the halftime show during Sept. 22 Homecoming.hinds-cc_alumni-hi-steppers

Alumni Hi-Steppers who participated this year include, from left, Teresa Edwards Delaughter of Clinton, Mary Beth Pinner Reeves of Brandon, Ranchelle White Wyatt of Clinton, Shanika Powe of Picayune, Carol Roberson Warren of Madison, Leslie Fant Fortenberry of Wesson, Deidre Wilson Harwell of Pearl, Cindy Madura Godfrey of Florence, Tracy Horton of Jackson, Amanda Huckaby Clark of Clinton and Becky Morrow Fowler of Brandon.

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.

Hinds CC Alumni Hi-Steppers perform each year at halftime.
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Hinds CC celebrates 1966, prior graduates during Homecoming festivities
Posted by
04 October

Hinds CC celebrates 1966, prior graduates during Homecoming festivities

As part of the annual Homecoming activities, Hinds Community College hosted the 50 + luncheon for graduates of the 1966 class and prior. 

Those representing the classes between 1960 and 1965 were, from left, Barbara Smith Boyd of Learned, 1960; Mary Bess Beard Boyd of Bolton, 1960; Bill Ferguson of Learned, 1960; Dean Liles of Plano, Texas, 1961; Warrene Hand Holliday of Terry, 1962 and Alice Shuff Connelly of Raymond, 1963.

Those representing the classes between 1960 and 1965 were, from left, Barbara Smith Boyd of Learned, 1960; Mary Bess Beard Boyd of Bolton, 1960; Bill Ferguson of Learned, 1960; Dean Liles of Plano, Texas, 1961; Warrene Hand Holliday of Terry, 1962 and Alice Shuff Connelly of Raymond, 1963.

Among those who attended were the class of 1966, from left, Michael Beauchamp of Raymond, Dr. Lynn Weathersby of Florence, Tom Shuff of Raymond, Becky Bryant Holbrook of Raymond, James “Hoppy” Bennett of Hattiesburg, Pat Towler Bennett of Hattiesburg, Dennis Allen of Baton Rouge and Connie Beth Palmer Allen of Baton Rouge.

Among those who attended were the class of 1966, from left, Michael Beauchamp of Raymond, Dr. Lynn Weathersby of Florence, Tom Shuff of Raymond, Becky Bryant Holbrook of Raymond, James “Hoppy” Bennett of Hattiesburg, Pat Towler Bennett of Hattiesburg, Dennis Allen of Baton Rouge and Connie Beth Palmer Allen of Baton Rouge.

 

Representing the classes of the 1950s were, from left, Mark Chaney of Vicksburg, 1950; Ray Boyd of Bolton, 1953; John Emory of Jackson, 1954; Douglas Moore of Jackson, 1954; Ross Alman of Lampe, Mo., 1958; Homer Boyd of Learned, 1956; Peggy Fugate Blalock of Brandon, 1958 and Pruitt Blalock of Brandon, 1958.

Representing the classes of the 1950s were, from left, Mark Chaney of Vicksburg, 1950; Ray Boyd of Bolton, 1953; John Emory of Jackson, 1954; Douglas Moore of Jackson, 1954; Ross Alman of Lampe, Mo., 1958; Homer Boyd of Learned, 1956; Peggy Fugate Blalock of Brandon, 1958 and Pruitt Blalock of Brandon, 1958.

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.

 

 

 

 

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HCC students select homecoming queen
Posted by
23 September

HCC students select homecoming queen

RAYMOND – Latashanna Ransom, of Laurel, was crowned homecoming queen at Hinds Community College during festivities Sept. 22 on the Raymond Campus.

Latashanna Ransom, of Laurel, was crowned homecoming queen at Hinds Community College during festivities Sept. 22 on the Raymond Campus. With her are Casey Larry, from left, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse and former queen Jamellia Williams. (Tammi Bowles/Hinds Community College)

Latashanna Ransom, of Laurel, was crowned homecoming queen at Hinds Community College during festivities Sept. 22 on the Raymond Campus. With her are Casey Larry, from left, Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse and former queen Jamellia Williams. (Tammi Bowles/Hinds Community College)

Ransom, the daughter of Natalie Amos and Cortias Nixon, is a graduate of Laurel High School. She is a sophomore studying Broadcast Journalism on the Raymond Campus. She was escorted by Casey Larry, also a sophomore at the Raymond Campus.

Latashanna Ransom, right, and her escort, Casey Larry, react as Ransom is announced homecoming queen at Hinds Community College during festivities Sept. 22 on the Raymond Campus. (Tammi Bowles/Hinds Community College)

Latashanna Ransom, right, and her escort, Casey Larry, react as Ransom is announced homecoming queen at Hinds Community College during festivities Sept. 22 on the Raymond Campus. (Tammi Bowles/Hinds Community College)

Latashanna Ransom, right, and her escort, Casey Larry, react as Ransom is announced homecoming queen at Hinds Community College during festivities Sept. 22 on the Raymond Campus. (Tammi Bowles/Hinds Community College)

Latashanna Ransom, right, and her escort, Casey Larry, react as Ransom is announced homecoming queen at Hinds Community College during festivities Sept. 22 on the Raymond Campus. (Tammi Bowles/Hinds Community College)

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Five inducted into Hinds Sports Hall of Fame for 2016
Posted by
13 September

Five inducted into Hinds Sports Hall of Fame for 2016

RAYMOND – Key pieces of Hinds’ success on the gridiron and other fields of play have been inducted into the college’s Sports Hall of Fame for 2016.

This year’s Hinds Sports Hall of Fame inductees were:

  • John Earl Hagan, track and field, 1962-1964
  • Jaret Holmes, football, 1994-1995
  • Christi Smith, softball, 1988-1990
  • Oliver “Pete” Stone, basketball, 1970-1971
  • Freddie Townsend, basketball, 1969-1971
John Earl Hagan

John Earl Hagan

Hagan, a Jackson native, was a key cog in the Eagles’ track and field machine in the early 1960s.

Hagan excelled in the 100-yard dash, 440-yard and 880-yard relays and low hurdles for the Hinds “thinclads” pair of state champion teams. The sprinter was the 100-yard dash state champion and anchored the two relay teams during each title run. He was also a manager on the Hinds football team.

After Hinds, he attended Mississippi State University on a track scholarship. He made the President’s List and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

In 1971, he became district executive director of the Elk River Boy Scouts, in Alabama, and was named among the “Outstanding Young Men of America” at the time. Later, he became assistant scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop for developmentally challenged boys.

He lives in Homewood, Ala., outside Birmingham, and continues to work today, as owner and director of an assisted living facility. His three sons, Greg, Chris and Joshua also participated in football and track.

Jaret Holmes

Jaret Holmes

Holmes, a Clinton native, starred on two state champion football teams during his time at Hinds.

Holmes was the placekicker on teams that lost just two games and competed in a bowl game and the National Junior College Athletic Association playoffs. An All-American his second year, Holmes was also a star in the classroom, landing on the Deans’ and President’s lists both years with a 4.0 GPA and, in 1995, won the Eagle Award given to the college’s best male and female athletes.

He graduated from Auburn University in 1998 after a stellar career on and off the field. Off it, he carried a 3.5 GPA and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree. On it, he was an All-Southeastern Conference selection in 1996 and 1997 and became the first kicker to win the university’s Pat Sullivan Award for Most Outstanding Player. His best moments came his senior year – the game-winning kick in the “Iron Bowl” game against Alabama, a 52-yard field goal in the SEC Championship Game and a field goal of the same distance in the Peach Bowl, both records at the time.

He spent time on the rosters of six different NFL teams from 1998 to 2002, appearing in 11 regular season games with the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars. After the 1999 season, the Bears sent him to NFL Europe, where he was Special Teams Player of the Year with the Berlin Thunder. His stint with the Giants in 2000 came during the team’s run to Super Bowl XXXV.

In 2003, Holmes returned to Mississippi and opened Holmes Specialty Advertising Inc. Today, the company employs 15 people and serves hundreds of customers from its two offices in Clinton.

Holmes lives in Edwards with his wife, Sarah Webb Holmes. They have two daughters and one son.

Christi Smith

Christi Smith

Smith, a Pearl native, was a two-time All-American shortstop for the Hinds Lady Eagles.

She entered Hinds having won the Best Offensive Softball Award at two different high schools, Northwest Rankin and Pearl, plus an array of other merits for softball and track. At Hinds, she was a vital cog in a scoring machine that won the state and Region XXIII championships in 1989. Her .614 batting average was tops on the team.

In 1990, Smith was selected for an Eagle Award, given to the college’s best male and female athletes. In addition to her duplicating her place on the National Junior College Athletic Association’s All-America team, her batting average (.592) once again led the team. Off the field, she was two-time Academic All-American as well, with a 4.0 GPA.

After Hinds, she earned a nursing degree from Mississippi University for Women. For the past 20 years, she has been employed by Baptist Health Systems, winning numerous awards for her work. In 2015, she was among three nurses honored for outstanding Team Nursing for the year’s first quarter.

Oliver "Pete" Stone

Oliver “Pete” Stone

Stone, a Vicksburg native, was the big man in the middle for Hinds’ state champion basketball team in his only season at the school.

Stone had entered Hinds from a single season at Mississippi State University. Once at Hinds, Stone, the team’s starting center, and his Eagles teammates had their way on the hardwood in 1971. They finished 24-1 and swept the state playoffs and finals, where they defeated Northeast Mississippi Community College 82-72 for the title. The talented squad also featured two other future Hinds Sports Hall of Famers, forwards Wade Evans and Randy Shelton, and one of this year’s honorees, guard Freddie Townsend.

Stone made first team All-State and led the team in scoring. After finishing up at Southeastern Louisiana College, he pursued a career in business in his hometown, where he and wife, Amy, live. He is the president of Unitech, Inc.

Freddie Townsend

Freddie Townsend

Townsend, a Pelahatchie native, was another key piece of Hinds’ championship basketball team during his sophomore season.

Townsend, a guard on the near-perfect team Hinds fielded in 1971, excelled in the backcourt under head coach Robert Garrison’s first team after succeeding longtime coach Troy Arlis Ricks. During his freshman season, Townsend was fifth in scoring on the 11-member team.

He finished up his college basketball career at Belhaven University, where he was the school’s Most Valuable Player during his senior year and shot 92.5 percent from the free throw line, a mark that led the NAIA. In the classroom, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business and Physical Education.

After college, he managed his family’s farm for 10 years, then went to work at Hudspeth Center as a recreation therapist. He retired from there after 30 years, a time during which he was heavily involved in Special Olympics as a basketball and equestrian coach. He was also a longtime deacon and volunteer with Concord Baptist Church.

Townsend died in August 2015. He was survived by his wife of 41 years, Jan Massengale Townsend, and their two daughters, Jennifer Townsend Harper and Jeanette Townsend.

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Hinds CC students select Homecoming Court for 2016
Posted by
13 September

Hinds CC students select Homecoming Court for 2016

Hinds Community College students have selected the members of the Homecoming Court for 2016. The winner will be crowned at halftime festivities on Sept. 22 in the football game between Hinds and Pearl River Community College at Joe Renfroe Stadium on the Raymond Campus.

Sophomore maids are, front from left,  Scottilyn Lloyd of Brandon, Raymond Campus; Kayla Boler of Vicksburg, Vicksburg-Warren Campus; Cynterrial Fairley of Brandon, Jackson-Academic/Technical Center; Latashanna Ransom of Laurel, Raymond Campus; Lindsey Jeselink of Clinton, Jackson-Nursing/Allied Center; Kennedy Garner of Brandon, Rankin Campus; Whitney Jackson of Madison, Raymond Campus.

Hinds Community College students have selected the members of the Homecoming Court for 2016. The winner will be crowned at halftime festivities on Sept. 22 in the football game between Hinds and Pearl River Community College. Sophomore maids are, front from left, Scottilyn Lloyd of Brandon, Raymond Campus; Kayla Boler of Vicksburg, Vicksburg-Warren Campus; Cynterrial Fairley of Brandon, Jackson-Academic/Technical Center; Latashanna Ransom of Laurel, Raymond Campus; Lindsey Jeselink of Clinton, Jackson-Nursing/Allied Center; Kennedy Garner of Brandon, Rankin Campus; Whitney Jackson of Madison, Raymond Campus. Freshmen maids are, back from left, Shenise McKinnis of Pelahatchie, Raymond Campus; Carly Saldana of Vicksburg, Vicksburg-Warren Campus; Kennedey Wilson of Jackson, Jackson-Academic/Technical Center; Parriss Rhone of Pearl, Rankin Campus; Bailey Howell of Brandon, Jackson-Nursing/Allied Health Center; Cyla Logan of Edwards, Raymond Campus; Myia Harris of Clinton, Raymond Campus. Candidates for queen are sophomores Kayla Boler, Cynterrial Fairley, Latashanna Ransom, Lindsey Jeselink and Kennedy Garner.

Freshmen maids are, back from left,  Shenise McKinnis of Pelahatchie, Raymond Campus; Carly Saldana of Vicksburg, Vicksburg-Warren Campus; Kennedey Wilson of Jackson, Jackson-Academic/Technical Center; Parriss Rhone of Pearl, Rankin Campus; Bailey Howell of Brandon, Jackson-Nursing/Allied Health Center; Cyla Logan of Edwards, Raymond Campus; Myia Harris of Clinton, Raymond Campus.

Candidates for queen are sophomores Kayla Boler, Cynterrial Fairley, Latashanna Ransom, Lindsey Jeselink and Kennedy Garner.

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Hinds CC always home for ‘50s hoops star, Alumnus of the Year
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13 September

Hinds CC always home for ‘50s hoops star, Alumnus of the Year

RAYMOND – They say home is where the heart is, and for Dr. Wayne Lee home has been many places since his days on hardwood for Hinds and in small-town schools in Mississippi.

Lee, of Ponchatoula, La., returned home, in a way, to Hinds Community College’s Raymond Campus this summer to catch up with his alma mater and the man who has shaped it for a generation.

Dr. Wayne Lee

Dr. Wayne Lee

Lee will be honored as Alumnus of the Year along with Alumni Service Award recipient Sen. Dean Kirby of Pearl and Sports Hall of Fame inductees John Earl Hagan, a Jackson native who lives in Homewood, Ala.; Jaret Holmes, a Clinton native who lives in Edwards; Christi Smith, a Pearl native who lives in Flowood; Oliver P. “Pete” Stone of Vicksburg and the late Freddie Townsend of Pelahatchie at a dinner at 5 p.m. Sept. 22 at Mayo Gym on the Raymond Campus.

“I knew Dr. Clyde Muse when he was coaching at Canton High School in the early 1950s,” said Lee, referring to Hinds’ longtime president. Lee attended Clinton High School at the time. “We used to play Canton when I was there. I played basketball and ran track.

“He’s a great guy, a principled guy. You can believe what he says and he has run a great program. Easy to know, easy to talk to.”

Lee was a guard and forward on the Hinds basketball team for Coach Troy Arlis Ricks, the legendary Hinds basketball coach from 1951 to 1970. “I was the skinny kid with a scholarship to play basketball – and poor as a son of a gun.”

For his part, Muse remembers Lee as quite the formidable foe for his first squad in Canton.

“When I first came to Canton in 1952, I was coaching basketball, junior high football and track,” he said. “Wayne was a player for Clinton High School. When I say player, I mean player – he was good. He was one of the best high school centers I ever carried a team up against.”

His hoops career continued at Delta State, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Drafted into the Army, he served two years, mostly in Germany. “I set up a division basketball team over there, where we traveled around to villages and towns and played teams there. It kept me sane. I was so glad to get home I kissed the ground when I got back to Mississippi.”

He coached hoops and taught for five years, in Anguilla and Belzoni, before earning his first master’s, in biology, from Mississippi College. He credits the man for whom today’s Hinds science building is named for creating his first molecule of interest in science.

“It was T.T. Beemon who turned me on to biology,” Lee said. “He was a great instructor and took time with his students back then. He loved botany and zoology and he made his students buy into his love of it.”

After a short stint in sales, he returned to school, this time to the University of Southern Mississippi, where in 1972 he earned another master’s degree, in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. He took his skills to Louisiana, where he worked for the state for the next 28 years, 24 of them at Southeastern Louisiana University as a professor of physical education and health studies courses. In the middle, he worked four years with the state’s Department of Education, in educational support and research development.

In 1995, he was inducted into the Hinds Sports Hall of Fame. Then and now, he said, it’s easy to note what’s changed and what hasn’t about the place that gave him his start.

“This building right here wasn’t here, for one thing,” he said of Fountain Hall, built in 2010. “There was a cattle dairy across the street from here.

“My ex-students who are teaching and working here now say the staff and instructors are still concerned about helping the student accomplish things in life and moving on ahead.”

In 2000, he returned to his college alma mater in Cleveland, Miss., for his final years in the health education classroom, which ended earlier this year. His and Muse’s ties to Delta State have benefited Hinds several times over.

“I got to really know him again when he came back to Delta State,” Muse said. “He has continued to be very interested in Hinds, served on the Sports Hall of Fame committee for many years. And one of the ways he’s helped us a lot is recommending people to Hinds for employment. We’ve gotten many very good employees that he either taught or knew at Delta State.”

One former student remembers a unique teacher whose love of teaching was symbolized by his two most fun-loving, furry fans.

“I’ll never forget his love for his two dachshund hound puppies that ‘lived’ at his office,” said Mark Stanton, district director of Student Recreation at Hinds and pupil of Dr. Lee’s while the former worked on his MSE at Delta State.

While working in Intramurals at DSU, Stanton’s office shared a hallway with Lee’s, making for memorable mornings.

“I could hear when they would arrive each day, running down the hall to his office and they, much like him, were eager to start the day, ready to help his students the same ways he did – loyal, caring, happy to see them, but also expecting of their respect.”

Loyalty might endure, but tablets have replaced slate as a raw material of classroom settings these days. Still, changing his teaching style in the age of technology wasn’t even a thought for Lee.

“I haven’t changed since 1959 in how I teach the basic subject matter,” he said. “Of course, eight-year-olds can do more stuff on their iPhones than I can. And grading is easier since you can set it up by computer now.”

Brian Oakes, assistant football coach and physical education instructor at Hinds, was also a graduate student of Lee’s at DSU. Lee’s tech-savvy is better than that – and he’d have it no other way, as a friend and former student, Oakes said.

“At the age of 82 years young, he still calls, texts and sends emails to check on me,” Oakes said. “I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Lee and the passion he has displayed as a lifetime educator.”

One message he’s made sure to get across to his students through the years is persistence in finding ways to pay for college.

“Nowadays, there’s so many ways you can pay for school,” Lee said. “Back in my day, either your parents had money or you got a scholarship. Thank goodness I got a scholarship, or I don’t know what I’d be right now. Without Hinds Community College and Delta State, I don’t know what I’d be.”

Homecoming events for 2016 are:

Wednesday, September 21

50+ Reunion & Luncheon

10 a.m., Fountain Hall

Honoring the college class of 1966 and high school and college classes prior

 

Thursday, September 22

5 p.m., Mayo Gym

The Alumni Recognition Dinner honoring Alumnus of the Year Dr. Wayne Lee, Alumni Service Award Recipient Sen. Dean Kirby and the 2016 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees including John Earl Hagan, Jaret Holmes, Christi Smith, Oliver P. “Pete” Stone and Freddie Townsend (posthumously)

 

Homecoming football game

Hinds vs. Pearl River Community College

7 p.m. Joe Renfroe Stadium

Halftime presentation of Homecoming Court, Alumni Awards recipients and Sports Hall of Fame inductees; performances by the Eagle Marching Band and Hi-Steppers with a special appearance by Hi-Stepper Alumni

 

For tickets or more information, call 601.857.3363.

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Rankin legislator demonstrates deep support, named Hinds CC Alumni Service Award recipient
Posted by
13 September

Rankin legislator demonstrates deep support, named Hinds CC Alumni Service Award recipient

State Sen. Dean Kirby referred to himself as a “spoke in the wheel” in 2009 during the celebration of the new Career-Technical Education building Hinds Community College had then recently acquired.

But  Kirby of Pearl, this year’s Alumni Service Award recipient, is much more than that when it comes to support of community colleges, Hinds Community College in particular and especially the Rankin Campus.

He will be honored along with Alumnus of the Year Dr. Wayne Lee and Sports Hall of Fame inductees John Earl Hagan, a Jackson native who lives in Homewood, Ala.; Jaret Holmes, a Clinton native who lives in Edwards; Christi Smith, a Pearl native who lives in Flowood; Oliver P. “Pete” Stone of Vicksburg and the late Freddie Townsend of Pelahatchie at a dinner at 5 p.m. Sept. 22 at Mayo Gym on the Raymond Campus.

kirby-headshot

A legislator since 1992, Kirby was a key player in the 2008 Legislature in helping Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse persuade legislators to support a special appropriation to purchase what was the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Gulf Coast Regional Training Center on Commercial Park Drive off Greenfield Road in Pearl.

“We never would have been able to acquire the building from the plumbers union without his assistance and without his knowing how to get it done,” said Muse, who has known the Rankin County legislator and retired insurance executive for more than 20 years. “He was able to work through the minefield and get us some help to enable us to buy that building, which, by the way, is one of the finest buildings in the entire district. We’ve got it full of students right now.”

At the time, Kirby chaired the Senate Finance Committee, which handles capital improvement bonds. Hinds paid $3.2 million for the building that appraised for three or four times that with a special Fiscal Year 2009 state bond appropriation along with additional capital funding support from Rankin County.

Kirby remembers well when Muse approached him about helping to get state funding for the building.

“It helped at the time that the lieutenant governor was Phil Bryant, who had gone to Hinds. Dr. Muse came to me and said, ‘Dean, we’ve got this great deal. It will really help your area and it will really help Hinds a whole lot,’” Kirby recalled.

Kirby said it didn’t hurt either that the words “Gulf Coast” were in the name of the building just a few years after Hurricane Katrina. After he made his case from the podium of the Senate floor, “everybody said it’s a great deal.”

The building now houses classes for plumbing, electrical, welding, industrial maintenance, practical nursing and Associate Degree Nursing with about 200 students and 24 total employees.

A Pearl High School graduate, Kirby’s relationship with Hinds goes back to his years as a Mississippi College basketball player when he was teammates with former Hinds basketball players or adversaries against current Hinds players.

“When I was at Pearl High School everyone knew about Hinds,” he said. His Mississippi College freshman basketball team played the Hinds team, which was then based on the Raymond Campus. He’s close friends still with many Hinds alumni from the basketball days, including Harlan Stanley, J.W. Barnes and Rep. Tom Weathersby, his colleague in the Legislature.

Years later when he opened his insurance office and Hinds began construction of the Rankin Campus, which opened in 1983, he met Jimmy C. Smith, who is retired as vice president of the campus. As the campus was being constructed, Smith had an office in a trailer nearby.

“Dean was very supportive. His office was right there on Airport Road. I got to know him when I was in the little trailer house across the street from him. I could go to his office and sit down and talk to him,” Smith said. “He was very supportive of education, period. As far as funding for the community colleges, he was my point person. I would always go to him any time there was a bill that Dr. Muse was working on.”

Said Kirby: “I’ve tried to be involved as much as I could without being in the way. Anything Dr. Muse asked for, I tried to get. He knows a lot more about running a community college than I do. If he says that needs to be done, then I believe him.”

Kirby calls the campus in Pearl one of the greatest engines of economic progress in the county. “I never dreamed how much it would mean to Rankin County, how important it would be to those people that are maybe married and out of school and want to continue their education. It’s really been helpful,” he said. “I’m really excited about Hinds and what it has done for Rankin County, and hopefully we’ve been as good to Hinds as Hinds has been to us.”

Over the years Kirby and Muse have collaborated many times for the community college system, but none of their projects has been more successful than the Rankin Campus Career-Technical Education building, which got a new attractive and more visible boulevard street entrance over the summer.

Kirby said he helped negotiate the purchase of the land with the Pearl mayor, who wanted part of the land for a new fire department. “I was involved in the initial negotiations for the right away. I got a call from Dr. Muse saying, ‘We need a better entrance because it’s behind a couple buildings. Do you think you can handle that?’” Kirby said.

Most recently, Kirby spoke to the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College Trustees at their summer conference.

“I requested that he come to the coast and provide for all the community colleges an update on the Legislature. He came and did a great job. He has always been ready to help the community colleges and particularly Hinds,” Muse said.

“He is one of the finest legislators that we have at the Capitol. He is very competent, he always does his homework on every piece of legislation that comes to him and his committee. He always has an open door for the community colleges.”

 

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 2015. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

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Hinds CC schedules homecoming activities for alumni Sept. 21-22
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13 September

Hinds CC schedules homecoming activities for alumni Sept. 21-22

Hinds Community College celebrates homecoming Sept. 21-22 with activities honoring alumni.

Wednesday, September 21

50+ Reunion & Luncheon

10 a.m., Fountain Hall

Honoring the college class of 1966 and high school and college classes prior

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Thursday, September 22

5 p.m., Mayo Gym

The Alumni Recognition Dinner honoring Alumnus of the Year Dr. Wayne Lee, Alumni Service Award Recipient Sen. Dean Kirby and the 2016 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees including John Earl Hagan, Jaret Holmes, Christi Smith, Oliver P. “Pete” Stone and Freddie Townsend (posthumously)

 

Homecoming football game

Hinds vs. Pearl River Community College

7 p.m. Joe Renfroe Stadium

Halftime presentation of Homecoming Court, Alumni Awards recipients and Sports Hall of Fame inductees; performances by the Eagle Marching Band and Hi-Steppers with a special appearance by Hi-Stepper Alumni

 

For tickets or more information, call 601.857.3363.

 

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 2015. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

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