MC

Mississippi College

Staff Club, Gearing up for a Great New Year

September 19, 2007

Mississippi College's Staff Club enjoyed fellowship, music and a speech from President Lee Royce at this year's initial fall luncheon.

About 45 members feasted on chicken, veggies and strawberry shortcake at the hour-long event Wednesday in Anderson Hall in the B.C. Rogers Student Union.

A full-time mom with three kids and 1989 MC graduate who was a member of the Naturals, Kathy Gautier entertained the audience with selections of Christian praise music. A member of First Baptist Church Jackson, the Ridgeland resident also touched on her years as a student here. "I have many fond memories of MC."

Rather than discussing MC's record-setting enrollment of more than 4,600 students or give an update on the $65 million "Grow the Vision" campaign, Royce devoted his speech to the topic of happiness. And he supplied all the scholarly references to back it up.

Some studies show that much (some 70 percent) of one's personal happiness is linked to the closeness of friendships and family, plus relationships with co-workers and neighbors, he said. Such things as having a sense of humor, taking time for exercise (a brisk walk will do), and getting an adequate amount of sleep are all factors that increase happiness levels.

"We have a fantastic Healthplex," Royce reminded staffers interested in getting more exercise after the hearty meal. The Baptist Healthplex at MC marks its 10th anniversary next month.

Turning off the TV, volunteerism, believing in oneself and being open to new ideas are all avenues to increase happiness, research studies have found, he said.

MC encourages faculty and staff to take on volunteer projects in their community. The Christian university allows employees to devote up to three hours per month to community service without taking away from vacation time.

Next month, the Staff Club will gather for a food demonstration led by a Sodexo executive chef Christine Blaha who will focus on fall food ideas - anything from tailgating to goodies for holiday gatherings, said Tracy May, club vice president.

Tracy is working with president-elect Lisa Leavell on the lineup for this year's programs that will include something for everyone, all staff areas, male and female.

Cindy Hampton, the club's treasurer and MC's trainer/help desk coordinator, said the group is conducting a fall membership drive through Oct. 17. It costs $6 to join and $6 per meal. There were 57 employees in the Staff Club last year, she said. For more details on becoming a member, call Hampton at 925 3485 or email her at hampton@mc.edu.