MC

Mississippi College

MC Golf Tournament Tees Off Homecoming Festivities

October 24, 2008

Mississippi College alumni don't come close to matching the skills of golf stars like Tiger Woods or legends on the green like Jack Nicklaus.

Neither do the professors, administrators and students who teamed with alums at an MC Homecoming tournament Friday at the Live Oaks Golf Club.

But for 18 holes on a sunny fall afternoon it really didn't matter how the MC players performed on the Jackson course.

It was all about good food, fun and fellowship as 40 to 50 Mississippi College supporters and a few friends got together to tee off the college's Homecoming Weekend.

Dr. Bill Hurt, pastor at First Baptist Church in Decatur and a 1983 MC graduate, came dressed to play with an outfit from back in the 1920s. Golf legends like Bobby Jones or the late Payne Stewart might have worn such attire.

Moments before he polished off his pre-game meal, MC education professor Gerald Hasselman, an avid golfer in metro Jackson, was asked if he brought his "A" game to the Homecoming tournament. Without missing a beat, the St. Louis Cardinals fan insisted "I always bring my A game."

The pre-game luncheon - hamburgers, beans, sweet tea and a brownie - was just right to get the tournament off to a good start.

By early afternoon, President Lee Royce delivered the opening prayer as MC golfers awaited in their carts. And then they were off to the fairways at the course off U.S. 49.

Among those spotted in the crowd of golfers: MC business professor Randall Robbins, education professor Tom Williams, and athletic director Mike Jones.

Bill Townsend, vice president for advancement, Jim Turcotte, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, and Rory Lee, the leader of the Mississippi Baptist Children's Village, were among others on the links. Some of the alums working up as sweat on the course: longtime IBM employee Dick Henderson of the Class of 1968, and Jackson native Billy Earnhart, a member of the Class of 1963. Earnhart now lives in Fairhope, Ala.

Some students also showed up to play. Others like MC business student Lijun Yan, a native of China, came along to watch friends display their putting talents and long drives.

While MC people enjoyed the outing, they also engaged in a little shop talk. Royce and Lee, a former acting president at MC, found a few moments to get caught up. Both have speaking roles at the Mississippi Baptist Convention next week in Jackson.

Alumni Affairs Director Ross Aven thanked the MC crowd for taking part in what is expected to remain an annual MC event to kick off the Christian university's Homecoming weekend.

Homecoming activities Saturday include the Dixie Division Table Tennis Tournament at the Baptist Healthplex at 9 a.m. It features the nationally ranked MC team against some of the best collegiate players in the South. MC's day to welcome thousands of alums to the Clinton campus includes afternoon tailgating on the Quad, and a women's soccer game at 1 p.m. at Longabaugh Field. The Choctaws play football at 6 p.m. against East Texas Baptist University with the game at Robinson-Hale Stadium followed by live music and a bonfire on the Clinton campus.

PHOTO: Business Professor Randall Robbins and MC alumnus Justin Jackson

Photo: MC Golf Tournament Tees Off Homecoming Festivities