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Mississippi College

Brandon Resident Katelyn Williams Receives Nelson Cup Award at Mississippi College

May 21, 2014

Katelyn Anne Williams achieved success in the classroom, wowed people with her photography skills and stayed active as a student leader at Mississippi College.

For her many accomplishments as an undergraduate on the Clinton campus, MC officials honored the 21-year-old Brandon resident with the Nelson Cup Award.

Presented at the spring commencement on May 10, the prestigious award is named for the late Dr. D.M. Nelson, president of Mississippi College from 1932 to 1957. The honor goes to the student who maintains the highest academic average during four years at the Baptist-affiliated school.

Receiving her bachelor’s degree in communication with a remarkable 3.97 grade point average, Katelyn was the perfect choice for the Dotson McGinnis Nelson, Sr. Cup, school leaders say.

“Katelyn brightened up every place where she went with her wit, sharp analogies and humble attitude,” said Communication Department Chairman Cliff Fortenberry. “As bright and well spoken as she is, Katelyn never was one to boast on herself, but was complimentary to all around her.”

In numerous ways, Williams was “deeply involved in campus life and the activities of the Communication Department as well,” Fortenberry said. “She set the curve in her classes and also unselfishly helped others succeed.”

A 2010 Brandon High graduate, Katelyn plunged into the fabric of campus life the moment she walked through the school’s front gates on College Street.

“Being a student at Mississippi College was so special because of all of the opportunities I had to serve the campus as well as build relationships with not only other students, but also with professors, staff and administration,” Williams said.

Her extensive list of activities on the Clinton campus ranged from the Swannanoa social tribe to the Student Government Association. She loved spending time with the MC Scouts to recruit students and participated in Welcome Week to make newcomers feel at home. “I will miss MC so much, but feel very prepared to enter into this new stage of life! MC will always be home to me.”

Katelyn, her twin sister, Kelsey, and their infectious smiles seemed to be everywhere on campus as undergraduates. The daughters of Terry and Lanette Williams are both high achievers and no doubt bound for greater success ahead.

Their younger sister, Kendall Williams, 17, an incoming Brandon High senior in August, is expected to be the latest member of the Rankin County family to attend Mississippi College.

This summer, Katelyn Williams will serve as an intern at Show Hope in Nashville, Tennessee. The non-profit group focuses on aid to families believing God is calling them to adopt. The MC grad plans to keep working in the adoption field and continue her photography business.

As one of the newest members of the Class of 2014, Katelyn is thankful to the caring professors at the Communication Department and others at her alma mater for helping guide her path. “I will forever be grateful for all that MC has done for me.”

Photo: Katelyn Williams, and her sister, Kelsey Williams, take a photo following the spring 2014 commencement at Mississippi College on May 10. The 21-year-old twins are Brandon residents.