June Orientation Welcomes Freshmen to Mississippi College
June 9, 2014
Outstanding academic programs and the chance to play NCAA Division II football attracted freshman Buck Covington to Mississippi College.
“MC has a great kinesiology program and I want to play football,” says Covington, 18, an offensive lineman, guard and tackle for the Madison Central High Jaguars.
The Madison, Miss. resident is pumped about wearing the Blue and Gold for the Choctaws under new head coach John Bland. Mississippi College returns to the Gulf South Conference action this fall for the first time since 1996. The team’s home opener at Robinson-Hale Stadium is against the University of North Alabama on September 13.
Covington was among hundreds of new students and parents gathering on the Clinton campus for a blitz of orientation activities in early June.
On the June 5-6 schedule, there was plenty of food, live music, games, prayer time, visits to residence halls and meetings with academic advisers. Experts supplied handy tips on how to be successful in college. Parents attended sessions with MC leaders on financial aid, academics and career services.
Making new friends and getting ready for his freshman year starting in late August, Covington already knows quite a bit about life at the Christian university from his family. His sister, Allie Covington, received her nursing degree at Mississippi College a few years ago, and now works as a nurse at St. Jude Hospital in Memphis.
Buck Covington’s future roommate, Chris Adcock, 18, a Madison Central High graduate, also comes well-informed about the 5,000-student university in metro Jackson. His two brothers are Mississippi College alums. There are several key reasons why he’s the latest in the Adcock family to become an MC Choctaw. “Being a Christian university was a big factor.”
“MC also did a good job helping out with scholarships,” says the incoming freshman and business major. Chris also considered such schools as Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama.
Traveling from communities across the Magnolia State as well as states like Florida, Michigan and Alabama, the new students were warmly greeted by President Lee Royce, admissions staffers and others at orientation events.
After making his first visit months ago following a friend’s advice, Joshua McKinney of Birmingham, Alabama felt that Mississippi College was “the right place to be.”
McKinney, 18, plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the university’s administration of justice program. In addition, the Oak Mountain High graduate hopes to win a spot on Coach Bland’s roster as a defensive end. When the Choctaws battle GSC teams like West Alabama and North Alabama in Clinton this fall, he expects to see some friends from his home state.
The opportunity to join Coach Butch Ard’s successful track team helped attract incoming freshmen like Alex Buchanan and Michael Cavonis from Indian Rocks Christian School in Largo, Florida. Another friend from the same private school in south Florida, Preston Heeren, joins them on the Clinton campus this fall.
It wasn’t too many years ago that Mississippi College senior Megan Kaye Donahoe of Indianola attended summer orientation on the Clinton campus. The daughter of MC graduates, the public relations major loved every minute. “I made a lot of friends,” Megan said. “I got my initial idea of what MC is all about. It was fun.”
Photo: Incoming Mississippi College freshmen Preston Heeren, Alex Buchanan and Michael Cavonis, all graduates of Indian Rocks Christian School of Largo, Florida, are pictured at an MC summer orientation on June 5.