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Alumni Campaign Generates Hundreds of Protective Masks

Taylor Ormon, associate director of the MC Career Services Office
Taylor Ormon, associate director of the MC Career Services Office

Mississippi College alumni are stepping up to support a new campaign to create protective face masks for the university family.

More than 200 masks will soon be delivered to the Clinton campus. Hundreds of additional masks are expected to arrive to meet the needs of students and employees for the fall semester.

Alumni in at least five states are participating so far.

Mississippi College administrator Jim Turcotte leads the campaign with help from colleagues.

He’s been pleased with the response since the drive began in late May to meet MC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have had several conversations with our volunteer mask makers,” Turcotte says. “It has been encouraging to talk to alumni and friends who want to help in this way.”

The MC mask makers are residents of Louisiana, Tennessee, Arizona, North Carolina and Mississippi. Nearly two dozen volunteers signed up as of June 10. There’s always room for more alums and friends to sew Blue & Gold masks or go with other designs.

Kathryne English is sewing Mississippi College masks at her home in Mesa, Arizona.

“Although I don’t have blue and gold fabric per se, I think I can help out,” says English, a 1980 MC graduate and retired teacher. “And with God’s blessing, maybe it will help, just a little bit.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, the Mississippi native believed it would be a good time to finish home projects and work on quilts. But the former Clintonian decided she could help her nation, and began making masks.

A former Jackson Prep math teacher, Kathryne will deliver the masks to Mississippi College this summer when visiting her dad in Clinton.

Others joining the campaign include Career Services Office associate director Taylor Ormon and staff member Vicki Williams of the Communication Department. So is Dr. Turcotte’s wife, Jenny.

“This is an exceptional way for MC alumni to get involved and give back to a special place,” Ormon says. “Our hope is that our MC family will come together to support the health of our students, faculty and staff.”

The Alumni Office staff is working with the university’s academic deans to hand out masks in time for fall classes starting August 17.

“We want to make sure these masks will be widely distributed to faculty, staff and students,” Turcotte said.

The university’s vice president for enrollment services and director of alumni affairs, Turcotte believes the mask campaign is critical to diminish the spread of the coronavirus.

When alumni ask what they can do for their alma mater, Turcotte suggests the new option of creating face masks. Protective masks are needed, he said, so the university can “help us make a healthy and safe restart.”

President Blake Thompson recently announced the university plans to welcome back students for traditional fall classes and activities in August. Students start arriving on the Clinton campus to move into residence halls August 8.

The new alumni campaign began as Memorial Day Weekend neared.

For additional details, contact Jim Turcotte at 601-925-3315 or