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Graduation Ceremonies Set for Mississippi College International Students

Mississippi College international students from China are pictured at MC's Scholarship Dinner April 18. Office of Global Education Director Mei-Chi Piletz and Wen Weng, the office's student advisor, are among those pictured at Anderson Hall.

Mississippi College leaders will celebrate the accomplishments of 73 international students at ceremonies to showcase their MC graduation this spring.

The special event is set for May 4 at First Baptist Church Clinton. Mississippi College is home to 435 international students from more than two dozen nations.

President Lee Royce will join Office of Global Education Executive Director Mei-Chi Piletz and other leaders on the Clinton campus to salute the Class of 2017.

One day after the ceremony, the MC international students from 11 nations will take part in the Christian university’s official commencement exercises May 5-6. Gov. Phil Bryant will be the guest speaker at the May 5 ceremony for the Graduate School at the A.E. Wood Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m.

MC students come from China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan, France, Germany and other nations around the globe.

Seeking his master’s degree at Mississippi College has proven to be a very satisfying experience, says graduate student Salem Alqahtani of Saudi Arabia.

“Education is a long journey that requires patience, commitment and dedication. Here at Mississippi College, I found friends who support me and professors who teach me to be passionate about my studies in order to successfully pursue my goals,” Alqahtani said.

A 26-year-old graduate student in health services administration, Salem will join others taking part in what is called a “graduation celebration.” It is a type of reception in their honor.

Royce will be on hand to greet the international students at the 2 p.m. event that Thursday.

 There has been tremendous growth in international enrollment at Mississippi College since Dr. Royce first arrived as the school’s leader in 2002. Fifteen years ago, there were only nine international students enrolled at the Christian university.

At the annual International Festival at Swor Auditorium, students from many lands shared their culture, fashions, and musical talents with the audience in Clinton in early April.

A large delegation of international students from China attended MC’s Scholarship Dinner on April 18 featuring former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

MC’s global outreach is strong. Many students from across the USA travel to other nations on church mission trips around the world.