Mississippi College

McCarty Family Right at Home at Mississippi College

October 17, 2013

Dine at the Caf, study at Mississippi College’s Leland Speed Library or cheer for the Choctaws, and chances are good that an MC student named McCarty will be nearby.

It’s been that way for three generations in the McCarty family with roots at the Christian university dating back to the 1950s.

This fall, five McCarty family members, from Flowood and Meridian, are enrolled as undergraduates on the Clinton campus. Two McCartys, brothers Lee and Ross, seniors from Meridian are making plans to graduate in 2014. But more family members are anxious to take their place and earn their MC diplomas in the years to come.

MC is simply the home away from home for the handful of McCartys.

“I really enjoy having my family here,” says sophomore Kaitlin McCarty, 20, a Northwest Rankin High graduate from Flowood. “We meet for lunch or breakfast or just meet to talk,” says the communication major. “I considered other schools, but this was where I’m supposed to be. It’s always a lot of fun to pass each other and wave.”

Kaitlin’s brother, freshman Austin McCarty, 18, is just as upbeat about his Mississippi College experience. “It’s been an incredible journey so far,” Austin said on a bright October afternoon in Central Mississippi. “The people here have been amazing. They are so open and friendly.”

Encouraged by his dad, Brian McCarty (MC Class of 1983) to attend his alma mater, the 2013 Northwest Rankin graduate only applied to one institution, Mississippi College.

With grandparents and parents bleeding Blue and Gold for decades, it’s hard to imagine the McCarty kids would go to college anywhere else.

Their family connections go back more than a half-century ago when John McCarty began his Mississippi College studies in the School of Education to become a teacher. A 1956 MC graduate, he also decided to attend the Baptist-affiliated school because his high school sweetheart, was a Mississippi Baptist Hospital nursing student taking science classes at MC. That worked out just fine for the Forest resident because Mary Helen “Ducky” McCarty is now his wife.

Their two sons, Britt and Brian, inherited the couple’s love for Mississippi College.

“God opened the doors to attend MC and it is a decision I never regretted,” said Britt McCarty, a 1981 MC alumnus who’s a Meridian dentist. “The relationships formed while at Mississippi College have been lasting ones and my education totally prepared me for dental school. There were also many opportunities for service and leadership.”

Britt McCarty served as Student Government Association president during his senior year and was selected for the university’s Hall of Fame.

Britt and Amy McCarty’s three children are adding to the family’s legacy of success.

Ross McCarty, 21, is a biology major expected to go to dental school. Lee McCarty, 22, is a business administration major planning to go to graduate school. Britt’s oldest daughter, Mary Ann McCarty, 18, is a freshman Christian Studies major. “It seems now that all of the rest of our children automatically know they will attend Mississippi College,” including his 11-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter, Britt McCarty said.

“The best thing I have observed from seeing my kids on campus and hearing them talk about life at school is that there is a much stronger Christian environment and presence on campus than even when I attended college,” added the Meridian dentist. “That makes a mom and dad feel good.”

Homeschooled in Lauderdale County with his brother and sister, Lee McCarty was sold on Mississippi College after going on his initial Preview Day tour. He enjoys seeing his siblings and Flowood cousins daily at MC, whether they’re hanging out in the Quad or walking to classes. “I have no regrets – I love it here.”

Looking to the future, Lee envisions encouraging the next generation of McCartys to follow his example. The president of Shawreth, a student senator last year and member of the Baptist Student Union, he’s active in the life of Mississippi College. He sees no downside for more McCarty family members doing the same. “I would love for my kids to come here – Mississippi College has such a family heritage for us.”

Brian McCarty and his wife, Connie, believe the Baptist-affiliated institution with more than 5,000 students possesses the right ingredients for their two families. “It’s a safe environment with an emphasis on growing as a Christian, while growing as a person,” says Brian, a regional trainer with Electronic Tracking Systems. “It has an overall friendliness, kindness and respect that is prevalent campus wide.”

Photo: Five McCarty family members are Mississippi College undergraduates this fall. They are Kaitlin McCarty of Flowood, Ross McCarty of Meridian, Austin McCarty of Flowood, Lee McCarty and his sister, Mary Ann McCarty, of Meridian. Kaitlin's brother is Austin. Ross and Lee are brothers and their sister is Mary Ann. The McCarty family members are first cousins.

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