Parents Club Celebrates First Anniversary
October 8, 2008Mississippi College professors scooped up chocolate, vanilla and assorted flavors of ice cream to dozens of parents Saturday.
Part of MC's Family Weekend, the friendly gathering at the B.C. Rogers Student Center coincided with the first anniversary of the MC Parents Club.
Known as MCPC, the organization is growing as a new academic year begins. MC parents are forming chapters around the state and across state lines. The first officers will be named by January. Parents from Texas, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and other states expressed interest in getting involved during weekend festivities - from a football game to food and fellowship on the Quad.
"This year, the focus is empowering parents to lead," said Jessica Followell, co-sponsor of the parents club and an MC residence director. Officers will include a president, vice president, secretary and social director of each chapter with committees springing up to offer assistance.
Once chapters are created, MC parents will work with MC alumni, admissions, students and other groups to promote the 183-year-old Christian university based in Clinton.
"We know we need the leadership of our parents to make MCPC not just another club, but an intentional resource connecting our parents to the students and our campus," Followell said.
MC parents from as close as metro Jackson communities and as far as Birmingham, Ala. stopped by for the social event at the B.C. Rogers Student Center. President Lee Royce, MC debate team coach Merle Ziegler, foreign languages chair Beth Stapleton and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard were among those on hand for the ice cream social.
Followell and Ashley Krason, coordinator of residence life, are working together to build support for the MC Parents Club. Similar organizations are popular on campuses from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York and the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland to large universities in Texas. Parents' group will help arrange send-off parties for students, boost recruiting and offer their prayers year-round.
"MCPC got off to a great start last year and is steadily growing," Followell said. "Last year the focus was getting the word out to parents."
MC parents are sold on the new organization.
Said Pearl Buckley of Jackson: "A Parents Club is an awesome idea. It is a great idea for parents to know each other. It's also a great opportunity to promote the school."
Buckley enjoyed the cookies and ice cream Saturday with her husband, Clevie Buckley, and their daughter Miracle Buckley, 19, a sophomore and music major at Baptist-affiliated MC. Pearl Buckley said she plans to play an active role with MCPC later this fall.
PHOTO: Dr. Beth Stapleton and other MC faculty members serve up ice cream at an MC Parents Club event.