Mississippi College

Mississippi College Administrator Jim Turcotte Leads Clinton Chamber

January 7, 2014

Jim Turcotte cares deeply about his hometown of Clinton, Mississippi.

A longtime Mississippi College administrator, Turcotte will expand his role in 2014 to promote the vibrant city of more than 25,000 residents as president of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.

The Clintonian begins his year-long duties January 1 after wrapping up 12 months as president-elect. At the chamber, Turcotte will work closely with Mayor Phil Fisher, other city leaders and the business community to make a difference.

A 1983 MC alumnus, Turcotte seeks to strengthen partnerships between his alma mater and the city, enhance the business climate, press for technology improvements, and bring citizens on board to brighten Clinton’s future.

Working in key administrative posts at Mississippi College for two decades, Turcotte is well-qualified with deep hometown roots and a solid commitment to public service.

“I want to make the relationship between the city and the college even stronger,” Turcotte said in December at his campus office in Nelson Hall. “Now we are enjoying a positive time in our history,” he said. “I’m encouraged about the future of Clinton. We have a large number of very dedicated individuals who love this town.”

On his MC emails, Turcotte’s tagline is always the same. “Let’s do something great for Mississippi College.” The same can be said for his desire to entice people to work to make Clinton one of the South’s premier communities. The Clinton public school district is rated one of the best in the Magnolia State. Mississippi College is among the South’s top 27 regional universities, says “U.S. News & World Report,” in its fall 2013 college guide.

Turcotte brings much to the table as he strengthens town-gown relations, and advances the city’s quality of life – from the business world to the ballfields and classrooms, colleagues say.

“Dr. Jim Turcotte has long championed the Mississippi College-Clinton collaborative relationship and should provide excellent leadership for 2014,” said MC School of Education Dean Don Locke. “Jim has a strong grasp of the mutual needs of both the community and the college and has been a visionary for how we can move in a positive direction.”

MC’s vice president for enrollment services and dean of students, Turcotte is a Clinton High graduate who became a standout as an MC Choctaws kicker. He played on the university’s football team capturing its first Gulf South Conference championship in 1979. Turcotte joined former teammates at the squad’s reunion at Robinson-Hale Stadium earlier this fall.

Mayor Fisher is delighted Turcotte will make an impact with Clinton’s leadership team.

“I look forward to working with Jim over the next year,” said Fisher, the successor to 20-year Mayor Rosemary Aultman. “We have already talked about issues of mutual interest and ways to work together to make Clinton even better.”

Jim Turcotte’s family ties to Mississippi College are extensive. His mother, Eleanor Turcotte, worked for the dean of women on the Clinton campus for many years. His father, Ernest Turcotte, is a CPA with his own practice in Clinton for more than three decades. His parents have lived in Clinton since 1960.

Jim’s wife, Jenny, is an MC nursing graduate working at St. Dominic Hospital. Their oldest son, James, 25, is a Mississippi College alumnus in the graduate musical program at LSU where he’s studying opera. Their daughter Megan, 22, is a senior studying public policy at the University of Mississippi. The couple’s youngest son, Austin, 20, is a Hinds Community College freshman. Other members of the Turcotte family have played vital roles in state government circles in Mississippi for generations.

Jim Turcotte was enriched by his undergraduate experience at the Baptist-affiliated university. “I grew in my academic ability and walk with the Lord while at MC. I made lifelong friends here and was inspired to serve students and their families in the role I currently do for the college. Mississippi College has had a profound impact on my life and I am blessed to serve the school in my role as vice president.”

It doesn’t take long for Dr. Turcotte to walk from Mississippi College to the chamber office in Olde Towne. Projects on his 2014 wish list include broadening the chamber’s ties to social media, boosting membership development, recruiting new small businesses, and encouraging area residents to shop in Clinton.

While nearby communities like Pearl, Madison and Ridgeland are enjoying extensive retail growth lately, Clinton is making strides forward, too.

MC business professor Nancy Anderson points to the positives of new businesses popping up on the brick streets of Olde Towne and elsewhere around the close-knit community. A small business owner, she’s pleased to see Turcotte serving as chamber president. “Certainly, he will create stronger bonds between the college and the city.”

Turcotte isn’t waiting until early January to focus on various initiatives. He’s held meetings recently with Mayor Fisher and young business leaders to advance the growing city bordering Jackson. “I will continue to bring key people together for the common good of all of Clinton.”

Guests at the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner on January 23 at Mississippi College’s Anderson Hall will get a glimpse of the city’s future during speeches by Fisher, Turcotte and other local leaders.          

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