Mississippi College

Back to the Bricks 2013 Welcomes Mississippi College Students

July 18, 2013

Robby Followell, who owns one of Mississippi’s best photography studios in the heart of Olde Towne Clinton, knows the value of business people building good relationships with Mississippi College students.

“And it’s crucial for new MC students to get to know businesses in the area,” says the 2007 Mississippi College graduate and owner of Followell Fotography.

Helping cultivate friendships and attract hundreds of new MC students to Clinton businesses is the goal of the 2013 Back to the Bricks event on August 26th. The brick streets of the city’s historic business district will come alive with a festival-like atmosphere that Monday from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

People are working hard to make the summer’s community block party a successful event for Mississippi College students – from freshmen to graduate students. Local businesses will set up booths with carnival-like games, coupons, promotional items, and loads of handy information to give new and returning MC Choctaws. There will be plenty of door prizes around.

Booked to shoot pictures at 32 weddings this year, Followell will shut off his camera during Back to the Bricks festivities. That evening, Robby plans to open his cozy Jefferson Street studio to the public.

The Meridian native was around when Back to the Bricks supporters tossed out the welcome mat out to students in previous years, and he’s looking forward to this year’s edition in late August. “It’s always a fun and a laid back atmosphere,” he says.

An award-winning photographer and former Mississippi College admissions staffer, Followell serves on the 12-member Back to the Bricks committee that’s putting the pieces in place for another top-notch event in this vibrant Hinds County community.

Officials with the City of Clinton, Clinton Chamber of Commerce, and Main Street Clinton are joining forces to host the annual event once again. This year’s theme is “You are Here.” Merchants, city leaders and others want students to get the message that “You are Here” to become involved in all the city offers.

Business people certainly know when the 2013-2014 academic year begins on the Clinton campus because they see an uptick in spending by students, faculty and staff. With more than 5,000 students, and 500 faculty and staff members, Mississippi College is a big driver of Clinton’s economic engine. MC is the largest private university in the state.

Back to the Bricks “contributes toward our desire for students to see the greater Clinton community as their home, not just a campus,” says Steve Stanford, vice president for administration and government relations.

The MC campus is just a few feet away from Olde Towne. A new university bookstore and Pimento’s Café opened about a year ago near the business district. Upstairs are ten lofts for Mississippi College graduate students. Visitors to the event in Olde Towne will get to see new restaurants like 303 Jefferson that opened July 8 with terrific meals cooked from scratch. Or they can see the art attractions at the Wyatt Waters Gallery. Now the office of new Mayor Phil Fisher, Clinton City Hall is another must-see stop for Olde Towne visitors.

One big change is in store for this year’s event. Staffers with Campus Dining will feed dinner to hundreds of Mississippi College students stopping by the city’s brick streets.

Much of the credit for making Back to the Bricks such a hit is the planning committee. In addition to Followell, other members include: Tracy May, Kay Brodbeck, Jan Cossitt, Tracey Harrison, Anna Boyd and Doug Amacker. Also serving: Marsha Barham, Tara Lytal, Jonathan Nutt, Debbie Gehris and T.J. McSparrin.

For more information, contact the Clinton Chamber of Commerce at 601.924.5912 or Main Street Clinton at 601.924.5472.

Photo: Mississippi College student leaders took part in the 2012 Back to the Bricks festivities in Olde Towne Clinton.

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