Hinds Community College will rename three buildings on the Utica and Vicksburg-Warren Campuses this fall in honor of three distinguished current and former college employees.
The Utica Campus will rename two buildings at 2 p.m. Thursday Sept. 25. The Fine Arts Building on the Utica Campus will be renamed the Dr. Bobby G. Cooper Fine Arts Center, after the chairman of the Humanities Division and coordinator of music and art. He is best known as the director of the renowned Jubilee Singers.
The building that housed the band for Hinds Agricultural High School on the Utica Campus will be renamed the Louis Edward Leon Lee Building after the former band instructor and director.
The Multi-Purpose Building at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus will be renamed the Joseph L. Loviza Building at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, after the former Vicksburg Campus dean and Hinds Community College Foundation member.
Dr. Bobby G. Cooper, a native of Bolton, has provided service and leadership to the Utica Campus and the Utica community for more than four decades. Best known as the director of the Jubilee Singers, Cooper is credited with re-establishing the preeminence of the historical African-American spiritual vocal group that traces its roots to the 1920s.
Among his many recognitions are the five-time Academic Instructor of the Year award, Distinguished Academic Instructor, Life Star Award, Hinds Hero, Hinds Humanities Teacher Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award, and the 3E Award (Emphasis on Excellence and Enrichment)—the highest award given by the college. He has also been honored by the Mississippi Legislature as an outstanding faculty member with the Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence Instructor (HEADWAE).
Louis Edward Leon Lee, a native of Hazlehurst, began his tenure at Utica Institute in 1953, immediately after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in music at the Jackson College for Negro Teachers (now Jackson State University). He was a member of the Jackson College band and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. His career spanned 39 years as the music teacher and band director at Hinds Agricultural High School. Other than a brief sabbatical to serve his country in the U.S. Army, Lee served Hinds Agricultural High School, the Utica Campus and the entire Utica community well until his retirement in 1992.
Joe Loviza is a 1960 graduate of Hinds Community College and was the first employee of the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, serving for 20 years. Loviza began his career with the Vicksburg Warren School System as Director of Vocational, Technical and Adult Education. When the college began providing secondary vo-tech training in 1973, Loviza was employed to serve as the director, and later, dean, of the center. The center expanded to offer post-secondary classes and in 2002 was officially named the Vicksburg-Warren Campus.
Loviza served as Mayor of the City of Vicksburg, 1993-97. After his retirement, he continued to support the city by serving on numerous boards and committees, including the Vicksburg Warren School District Board. Loviza remains a loyal supporter of the college, working within the Alumni Association and as a contributor to the Hinds Community College Foundation.