Hinds Community College’s Rankin Campus celebrated the college Centennial as well as nearly 35 years of the campus’ existence with a meet-and-greet reception at the Muse Center on Sept. 12. A cornerstone of the celebration was a video tracing the history of the campus from the 1982 ground-breaking to the present.
The Rankin Campus opened in fall 1983 with vocational courses for high school students during the day and college students at night. The campus is the second largest of the Hinds six locations, enrolling more than 3,000 students.
Among those attending the event were former and current Rankin County supervisors, Rankin County legislators and other public officials including Chancery Clerk Larry Swales, who is president of Hinds’ Alumni Association.
“I take my hat off to the people who had the vision to want to build a community college in Rankin County. It’s a tribute to all of you. You have made this happen. It’s your tax dollars and your leadership that made this campus what it is today,” Swales said. “Hinds Community College is about opportunity. It’s an investment in our community by giving students of all ages an opportunity to better their lives by acquiring marketable skills and by increasing their educational attainment.”
Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse also reminisced about Rankin County leaders who deserve credit for the campus, especially supervisors.
“They recognized that this county had a very low percentage of citizens with opportunity for a post-secondary education. They wanted to do something about it,” he said. “This campus belongs to the people of Rankin County because you, along with the leadership of the board of supervisors, have in fact helped to develop this campus.”
Speaking on behalf of students was freshman Honors program student Jake Watts. He graduated from Pearl High in May, was president of the student body and was named Mr. Pearl High School, among many other honors.
“When I thought about college, I wanted to go somewhere where I wouldn’t be just a number. I wanted to feel like I knew the instructors and my fellow classmates. Hinds was by far the best choice for me. I know my time here will prepare me for transferring to a four-year university,” he said. “The Honors program at Rankin gives me this opportunity. The Honors program allows me to push myself both inside and outside the classroom through rigorous classes and opportunities through community service.”
Watts is among about 500 students receiving a Hinds Community College Foundation scholarship, said Jackie Granberry, executive director of the Hinds Community College Foundation. “About 25 percent of the Foundation scholarships are given to Rankin County students,” she said.
Rankin Campus Vice President Dr. Norman Session said Watts is representative of the students the campus attracts.
“All of our students on the Rankin Campus have a wonderful opportunity to work on all the courses they need to then transfer to a university or straight to the workforce. Our excellent faculty and staff help prepare them for life after Hinds,” he said.
Hinds CC Rankin Campus celebrates Centennial.
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.