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About MC

Walter Hillman

A new Mississippi College leader from the Northeast emerged as the South struggled in the post-Civil War years. Succeeding Urner, the Rev. Walter Hillman faced enormous challenges, but received little compensation. He earned $1,000 annually as president starting in September 1867. He continued to hold a second job as president of the Central Female Institute in Clinton. During his first year, the college’s low enrollment was the chief concern. There were just two MC freshmen and nine preparatory students on campus. By his final year, there were 190 students enrolled. Due to enrollment gains, financial improvements and support from the Mississippi Baptist Convention, historians lauded MC’s second Baptist president. Hillman was born January 9, 1829 on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. His father was a sea captain in the whaling business. Hillman earned his bachelor’s degree at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1854, but soon moved to Mississippi College. The Baptist college needed a math and science professor, and led Urner to contact Brown officials. He and his wife, Adelia, formed a splendid team. She accepted a faculty position at the Central Female Institute in Clinton. By 1856, Hillman became the institute’s president of the institute and served until his death in 1894. The Central Female Institute was renamed Hillman College in 1891 and merged with MC in the early 1940s. Today, Hillman College artifacts are displayed in the Clinton Visitor Center. ”Mississippi College With Pride” sums up the administration of Walter Hillman as “a return to successful operation when failure seemed inevitable.”