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Day of Giving Lets MC Alumni Support Current Students, Participate in Founders Day Celebration

MC President Blake Thompson selects a piece of cake while celebrating Founders Day 2022 with faculty, staff, and students on Pedestrian Street. This year, alumni and friends of MC can join the festivities from afar by participating in “A Day of Giving on Founder’s Day.”
MC President Blake Thompson selects a piece of cake while celebrating Founders Day 2022 with faculty, staff, and students on Pedestrian Street. This year, alumni and friends of MC can join the festivities from afar by participating in “A Day of Giving on Founder’s Day.”

On the fourth Tuesday of every January, Mississippi College faculty, staff, and students have gathered along Pedestrian Street on the University’s main campus in Clinton to recognize the institution’s birthday and participate in Founders Day activities.

They enjoy tasty slices of cake with blue-and-gold icing from Meme’s Brickstreet Bakery; piping hot cups of a unique MC blend of java from BeanFruit Coffee Company, owned by Paul Bonds, an MC alumnus; and dynamic photo opportunities at a “selfie booth” to let the world know that the oldest institution of higher education in the state and the second-oldest Baptist-Affiliated college in the country is marking another successful year.

For the first time on Jan. 24, alumni and friends of MC will have the opportunity to join the party from afar and support student engagement efforts on campus by participating in “A Day of Giving on Founders Day,” sponsored by the MC Foundation.

“It’s rare to have a university as old as we are, so we want to take every opportunity to celebrate that,” said Katrina Pace, executive director of the MC Foundation. “One of the sustaining factors that has made us such a great university and has allowed us to continue to grow for almost 200 years is the generosity of our alumni and the support of our community.

“Our donors have played an integral role in our success, and having a Day of Giving on Founders Day highlights that special relationship.”

Alumni and friends of Mississippi College can log onto the University’s Day of Giving webpage that day and make a gift that will benefit the Office of Student Engagement. To lend a spirit of competition to the Founders Day festivities, donors will have the opportunity to select a social club or tribe on campus to “support” with their donation.

The clubs and tribes will be credited with participation points for each designated donation that will count toward the student organizations’ cumulative “Club or Tribe of the Year” total. Donors are not required to have been members of a club or tribe to choose one on whose behalf they wish to make their donation.

The largest single gift made on behalf of a club or tribe will net that organization a Derby Day package that will include a wagon, a tailgating table, a cooler, and a tent bearing the respective organization’s logo.

All of the donations will benefit “the office that most directly impacts students’ lives on campus,” Pace said. “The Office of Student Engagement provides all the things that make campus life comfortable and create the type of welcoming environment students enjoy at MC.”

Student Engagement provides services and opportunities that foster leadership development through student involvement. It equips students with the skills and experiences to help them discover their created purpose and strengths while empowering them to embrace their place on campus and in the Kingdom by using their talents to serve.

Some of the programs the office oversees on campus include the Campus Programming Board, First Year Experience, Orientation, Welcome Week, student organizations, MC Dance Marathon, Family Weekend, student productions, and intramural athletics.

To thank Day of Giving donors for their support, a social media booth will be set up along Pedestrian Street so students can record messages of appreciation that will be posted to the Day of Giving site.

Taylor Ormon, director of foundation relations, said, “Our donors are generous to us, and we’re thankful for every one of them. This Day of Giving is an opportunity for our students to understand the importance of staying active and involved with our university throughout their lives.

“This Day of Giving will provide the things that make MC feel like a family on campus and give students a sense of comfort and community. Giving back is what the event is all about.”

Following a brief acknowledgment of the school’s founding during chapel services in Swor Auditorium on Jan. 24, MC faculty, staff, and students will gather on Pedestrian Street to acknowledge the day in 1826 when the Mississippi Legislature passed the act establishing Hampstead Academy on five acres of land in Hinds County.

In 1827, Hampstead Academy was renamed Mississippi Academy, and in 1830, the institution was ultimately renamed Mississippi College. The first coeducational college in America to grant degrees to women, MC became affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention in 1850.

The Christian University known for academic excellence and commitment to the cause of Christ, has grown to offer more than 80 undergraduate majors, more than 50 graduate areas of study, three doctoral programs, a law school, and one of the state’s leading physician assistant programs.

Inextricably linked to the surrounding Clinton community, MC has survived the Civil War, the Great Depression, and two world wars. Not all universities acknowledge their Founders Day, but MC’s celebration helps remind faculty, staff, students, and the community how important the institution’s history and heritage are as it continues moving forward to its bicentennial in 2026.