Mississippi College

School of Nursing Commencement at Mississippi College Recognizes 20 New Graduates

December 14, 2012

Jenny Thaggard of Clinton weighed all the career options, but discovered nursing was her calling.

“This is what I loved,” Thaggard said moments before joining 19 classmates at Friday’s commencement for the Mississippi College School of Nursing.

Friends, family members and faculty were on hand for the morning ceremonies at Swor Auditorium on the Clinton campus.

Some, like December graduate Greg Tisdale of Saucier, already have jobs lined up. He plans to work at Baptist Hospital in Jackson after passing his national nursing board examinations.

Others say they are still looking.

Regardless, the new nursing grads are firmly committed to their profession to serve others.

“Originally I did not want to do nursing, but the Lord called me to be a nurse,” said new graduate Kaylan Duggar of Clinton.

Jennifer Bowen of Vicksburg summed up her 18 month experience as a student in the School of Nursing in one word – “amazing.”

The new MC graduates earning their bachelor of science in nursing will join a USA workforce that has been stung by a troubled economy in recent years.

The nation’s critical nursing shortage that existed from 1998 through 2010 is over, at least until 2020 when many Baby Boomer nurses will be retiring, researchers told “Bloomberg News” in March 2012. But other reports note that trends can quickly shift.

No matter what the job market looks like, the newest members of the Class of 2012 are delighted their long hours of study are over at Mississippi College.

 “We did it” some nursing students shouted in the hallway of Nelson Hall minutes before the ceremonies began.

Baptist Healthplex nurse practitioner Scott French, a graduate of the MC School of Nursing, delivered the keynote address.

As family members offered their congratulations on the Quad, Paula Humphries, 51, of Madison said she enrolled at MC’s School of Nursing after her children were grown. Two of them, Katie Kean, and Betsy Kean, are both Mississippi College graduates who were proud to join their mother at Friday’s special occasion.

“God called me to do something different,” Humphries said of her decision to become a nurse.

Two other graduations were booked at Mississippi College hours after the School of Nursing ceremony led by Dean Mary Jean Padgett.

Modern languages professor Emily Fokeladeh served as the keynote speaker at the undergraduate commencement in the A.E. Wood Coliseum Friday afternoon. She’s MC’s distinguished professor of the year for 2012.

Award-winning education professor Gerald Hasselman was set to address the Graduate School commencement beginning 7 p.m. Friday.

Photo: MC School of Nursing Magna Cum Laude graduate Anne McAtee of Lake Charles, Louisiana, gets help from faculty member Allison Hayes moments before Friday's commencement.

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