Mississippi College

Lt. Gov. Bryant and U.S. Sen. Wicker Address MC Commencements

March 10, 2008

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker will deliver commencement speeches to Mississippi College's Class of 2008 at separate events in early May.

An MC graduate, Bryant is booked for a speech Friday evening, May 9, at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Clinton campus. The graduation begins at 7:30 p.m.

A Republican, Bryant began serving as lieutenant governor in January after a dozen years as state auditor. The Moorhead native will speak to graduates of the MC School of Education, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Nursing and Interdisciplinary Studies. Beginning this summer, Bryant plans to teach political science classes at MC. He is currently helping the 4,600-student Christian university with fund-raising projects.

Wicker, a Republican and former First District congressman, was recently named by Gov. Haley Barbour to serve on an interim basis as Mississippi's junior U.S. senator. He will serve about a year of the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, who resigned in late December. Wicker is now a candidate for a full six-year Senate term in a special election to be decided in November.

A Pontotoc native and former state senator, Wicker also comes to the Clinton campus with MC ties. His wife, the former Gayle Long of Tupelo, is a former MC trustee. The senator will speak to graduates of the School of Business, the School of Christian Studies and the Arts, and the School of Sciences and Mathematics. The ceremony on Saturday May 10 begins at 10:30 a.m. at the A.E. Wood Coliseum.

Recently, officials with the Mississippi College School of Law announced their commencement speaker will be the state's first female U.S. District judge. She is Sharion Aycock, a 1980 graduate of the MC School of Law and co-editor of the MC Law Review. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October 2007, Aycock was sworn in as a federal judge on Jan. 11 during ceremonies at Itawamba Community College in Fulton.

MC Law School commencement is May 9 at First Baptist Church in Jackson beginning at 10 a.m.

Having two separate graduations on the Clinton campus reflects a university that is growing at a fast pace in recent years.

"It is affirming to see the positive results of several years of record breaking enrollment classes," said Jim Turcotte, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs. This will "enable us to make this a special and personal time for the students," he said.

Student Government Association President Aaron Graham said the MC commencement committee realized this year's graduating class plus their guests was too large to squeeze into the coliseum at one ceremony.

MC seniors were presented with two options: either one commencement with limited guests per student or two commencements with unlimited tickets.

Photo: U. S. Senator Roger Wicker

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