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Mississippi College

Ribbon Cutting for Mississippi College’s New Student Hangout Space

April 26, 2013

Mississippi College’s new hangout space for students features a 90-inch flat-screen TV, comfortable chairs, a ping pong table, coffee shop and places where they can unload their heavy backpacks.

To celebrate the opening of the cozy facility in Alumni Hall, President Lee Royce joined students, Clinton city leaders, and other university supporters at ribbon-cutting ceremonies Thursday.

“I’ve been here multiple times – this is really a great place,” said MC student Megan Donahoe of Indianola as she stood a few feet away from the café serving Starbucks and hefty chocolate chip cookies. “To see all the hard work come together – this makes me really excited.”

Megan and former Student Government Association President Taylor Stringer were part of a fact-finding team that visited five other colleges in the South to pick up ideas for the carpeted facility on the Clinton campus.

“I’m glad it’s here – it’s great to see this dream come true,” said Stringer, a graduate student in the MC School of Business.

“This is a good place to hang out with my friends,” said junior Emma Thomas of Madison as she took a break from her computer.

It took a year of planning and hard work before the facility finally opened in April. But Jim Turcotte, vice president for enrollment management and dean of students, recalls he devised a 25-page proposal for a hangout space when he served as MC’s student body president 30 years ago.

It was fitting that Turcotte addressed the April 25th ribbon cutting ceremonies. It took three decades, but his dream finally became reality.

The hangout space is located on the site of MC’s former bookstore that moved to Olde Towne Clinton in the fall. Its history goes back several decades.

Jehu Brabham, who once tallied a record of 57 points in one game for the Choctaws basketball team during the 1970-71 season at Alumni Gym, remembers when the hangout space served as the men’s locker room for the hoops squad. The Clinton alderman said it will be a splendid addition to his alma mater and see extensive use year-round.

Already seeing growing audiences watching international soccer championships, the NBA Finals and news broadcasts on the giant TV screen, it will be a popular place where students can enjoy each other’s company, Royce said. “This has come together wonderfully.”

Others in attendance included new student body president Edward Moak of Brookhaven, 2012-2013 SGA President Josh Carver, Board of Trustees members Roy Ward, Bill Sones and Ralph Barnes, and Clinton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director T.J. McSparrin.

Leaders with Shane Ormon Construction Management/Design, the Clinton-based project contractors, and designer Paula DeYoung of Clinton joined the ribbon-cutting ceremonies at Mississippi College.

Photo: President Lee Royce, MC students, administrators, trustees and Clinton leaders cut the ribbon at the new student hangout space on April 25.