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From Firepit Lightings to Class Reunions and a Parade, MC’s Homecoming 2023 Offers Something for Everyone

Tailgating on the Quad provides plenty of opportunities for MC alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends to socialize before the big Homecoming game on Saturday.
Tailgating on the Quad provides plenty of opportunities for MC alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends to socialize before the big Homecoming game on Saturday.

Mississippi College has welcomed the largest class of new students in its history, thanks primarily to the Leland Speed Scholarship, which makes exceptional Christian education available to the state’s undergraduate students.

MC has launched the Institute for Southern Storytelling at the Gore Arts Complex, a state-of-the-art facility that will ignite a creative spark for generations of budding authors, documentarians, photographers, and artists.

And MC has partnered with the city of Clinton and local developers to create one of the most eagerly anticipated upscale development projects that will provide mixed-use retail and living space to attract retailers, restauranteurs, bankers, and hoteliers from throughout the Southeast to University-owned property directly across Highway 80.

Now is the perfect time to “Let the Good Times Soar.”

The MC family plans to do just that Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 19-22, when faculty, staff, students, alumni, and their families will gather on the Clinton campus to celebrate Mississippi College Homecoming 2023.

Lori Bobo, director of university events, said every Homecoming at MC is special, but one school’s celebration in particular, along with an athletic “reveal,” promises to make this year’s schedule of events unique.

The School of Nursing at MC will welcome members of its original Class of 1973 to campus on Friday for a 50th-anniversary celebration that will recognize the entire class as the school’s distinguished alumni of the year. And prior to the football game on Saturday, MC’s new Choctaw athletics mascot will make its first appearance. While officials remain tight-lipped about the mascot’s identity, Bobo said this year’s Homecoming theme couldn’t be more appropriate.

“We knew that we were going to be revealing a new mascot at Homecoming, so we wanted a slogan that tied into that reveal and recognized our academic theme of ‘Rise Higher Together,’” Bobo said. “The theme ties together everything we do at MC and is a common thread for the weekend.

“We’re going to have a good time at Homecoming, and we’re going to soar while we do it.”

Among the events planned for MC Homecoming 2023:

Lighting of the Firepits (6 p.m. Thursday, west of Nelson Hall; 6:45 p.m. Latimer House, overlooking Robinson-Hale Stadium)

MC’s Homecoming festivities will kick off Thursday evening when a pair of custom-made firepits expertly crafted by Louis Riley ‘91, a former Choctaw football player, sculptural artist, and master welder in Denver, Colorado, will light the night for the first time on the Clinton campus.

Each firepit is designed as a large globe with intricate graphic images cut into the steel. They boast 240,000-BTU burners surrounded by lava rock media, promising a mesmerizing display of warmth and beauty.

Homecoming Golf Tournament (10:30 a.m. Friday registration, Patrick Farms, Pearl)

About two dozen teams will compete in the annual four-person scramble with a shotgun start to earn one of three top prizes in the Homecoming Golf Tournament. Men and women linksters of all stripes will enjoy a cookout lunch, and everyone will receive an MC golf umbrella.

Registration fees of $75 per person cover green fees, cart rental, range balls, and lunch. All MC alumni, students, and guests are welcome to participate. To register for the tournament, click here.

Naming Ceremony for the Dr. Kirk Ford Seminar Room (4 p.m. Friday, Jennings Hall Courtyard)

MC’s professor emeritus of history and political science will be honored by departmental faculty and staff when space in Jennings Hall will be named the Dr. Kirk Ford Seminar Room.

For more information about the naming ceremony, email Dr. Steven Patterson at

School of Nursing 50th Celebration (5 p.m. Friday, Gore Arts Complex)

The School of Nursing’s first graduating class will be recognized during a special celebration in the newly christened Entergy Theater.

Renowned artist Wyatt Waters has immortalized the half-centenarian nurses by incorporating the statue of Florence Nightingale displayed in Cockroft Hall and the school’s traditional seal into a magnificent painting that vibrantly captures the spirit of the school.

Members of the Class of 1973 will each receive a print of Waters’ work, and a reception will follow in the GAC courtyard.

To RSVP to attend the event, click here.

Blues and Gold Gathering (7 p.m. Friday, Belhaven Town Center, Jackson)

2000 to 2005 Class Gathering (7 p.m. Friday, Latimer House)

Class gatherings are at the heart of what makes Homecoming celebrations special, and younger alumni will have an opportunity to reminisce with their peers at a pair of class assemblies.

Mississippi College alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years are invited to the Blues and Gold Gathering off-campus, while a core group of graduates who settled in the Jackson metropolitan area enjoy welcoming their former classmates from out of state at the 2000 to 2005 Class Gathering.

For more information about the Blues and Gold Gathering or the 2000 to 2005 Class Gathering, email Karen Howell Bennett at

Decade of the Seventies/50-Year Club Reunion (7 p.m. Friday, Alumni Hall)

On the other end of the spectrum, members of MC’s Golden Anniversary Class of 1973 will be welcomed into the 50-Year Club by members of the Classes of 1970 through 1979 in the Grand Hall.

The 1973 class picture and medal ceremony is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the M Club Room. To register for the reunion, click here.

Follies (7 p.m. Friday, Swor Auditorium, Nelson Hall)

An MC Homecoming tradition for a number of years, Follies is a competition that showcases new club and tribe members in themed skits with original choreography, music, and sets.

The dancers infuse clever humor about life at Mississippi College into their performances, lending an “insider’s perspective” to the production.

After the performances, awards will be presented for Best Club Performance, Best Tribe Performance, and Best Overall Performance.

To purchase tickets for Follies, click here.

Coach “Hap” Hudson Homecoming 5K Run/Walk (7:30 a.m. Saturday, Cockroft Hall and downtown Clinton)

The Department of Kinesiology’s landmark Homecoming event, the 16th annual 5K race and walk through the streets of Olde Towne Clinton, is named for a beloved professor, coach, and member of the MC Athletics Hall of Fame.

Proceeds from the race go to a scholarship at MC established by Hudson and his wife, Johnnie Ruth.

To register for the “Hap” Hudson 5K Run, click here.

National Alumni Association Awards Brunch (11 a.m. Saturday, B.C. Rogers Student Center)

A pillar of Homecoming, the annual homecoming brunch sponsored by the National Alumni Association honors the University’s distinguished alumni.

Award recipients this year will include Wayne Arthur “Art” Stevens, ’86, ’89, Alumnus of the Year; Dr. Lee, ’06, and Suzanne Anderson Walker, ’04, Young Alumni of the Year; Dr. “Susan” Ruth Cope Fortenberry, ’03, and Dr. Malinda “Mindy” Mallory Prewitt, ’95, Order of the Golden Arrow; C. Kent Adams, Award of Excellence; and Dennis Keveryn, ’65, Award of Service. The 30 distinguished departmental alumni award recipients across all academic areas will also be recognized during the brunch.

An RSVP is required to attend the brunch. To register, click here.

MC Singers in Concert (1:30 p.m. Saturday, Provine Chapel)

The nationally acclaimed Mississippi College Singers, the University’s premier choral ensemble that has performed at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and has toured throughout Europe and South Africa, will give a homecoming concert under the direction of Dr. Beth Everett, MC director of choral activities.

Reunion Row Tents and Tailgating (2 p.m. Saturday, The Quad)

One of the most visible signs that Homecoming has arrived at Mississippi College is the display of tents throughout the Quad on Homecoming Saturday.

Members of MC Classes ending in 3 and 8, from 1958 through 2018, inclusive, will gather at their respective tents on Reunion Row to share memories and tell stories about their time at MC. Men’s service clubs, women’s social tribes, academic departments, and athletics teams will be well-represented with tents.

The social event of the Homecoming season will culminate with a delicious tailgate meal at 4 p.m. along Nelson Drive. To register for a delicious tailgate meal, click here.

Homecoming Parade (3:30 p.m., College Street)

Mississippi College faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends will celebrate the Choctaw spirit by parading down College Street. The gameday atmosphere will be enhanced by MC’s Marching Band, cheerleaders, and dance team as they head a lineup of creative handmade floats, the Homecoming Court, National Alumni Association award recipients, members of the Mississippi College football team, and MC President Blake Thompson on a march toward Robinson-Hale Stadium.

Homecoming Football Game (6 p.m. Saturday, Robinson-Hale Stadium)

Homecoming festivities will reach a crescendo at the gridiron contest between Mississippi College and visiting Chowan University, a Division II opponent from Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Pregame ceremonies will include MC’s long-awaited mascot reveal, and the Homecoming Court will be recognized during halftime.

To purchase tickets for the Homecoming football contest, click here.

Dozens of school, departmental, social club, and athletics reunions and activities are also slated for Homecoming weekend. To view a complete schedule of events for Mississippi College’s 2023 Homecoming, click here.