Mary Beth Graves Named Mississippi College Staff Member of the Year
Mary Beth Graves personifies Mississippi College’s core values as a Christian university with a love for students, a mission for service and an outreach to the community.
For 25 years, the Clinton resident excelled as an MC employee. School leaders recently recognized her accomplishments by naming Graves the institution’s Staff Member of the Year.
At MC’s spring commencement in early May, Graves received the Van “Doc” Quick Staff Award for 2016-17. It is a marvelous tribute to MC’s beloved longtime administrator, an icon in the university family even after his passing a few years ago.
The award recognizes a dedicated staff member for providing exceptional service to the 191-year-old university. During her quarter-century on the job, Graves did just that.
A Mississippi College graduate, Graves served the past dozen years as the administrative assistant to Stan Baldwin, dean of the School of Science and Mathematics.
“Her work ethic and dedication to the staff and faculty is exemplary,” Dr. Baldwin said. “Her dealings with students embody all Christian virtues, most notably patience and kindness.”
Receiving an award with Doc Quick’s name on it serves as a noteworthy achievement Mary Beth will forever cherish. “Doc Quick was such a champion for MC. He knew everyone and always greeted you with a smile and kind words – many times humorous words.”
Heartfelt stories about the quick-witted dean of students continue to circulate among alumni and other university friends.
Over the years, Mary Beth made major contributions on the Clinton campus. Highlights include her service as an officer with the Staff Club, including one year as president. She served her alma mater as a Freshman Experience leader. She helped develop the Quality Enhancement Plan. QEP played a key role in Mississippi College’s successful re-accreditation approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Working in an office on the first floor of the Hederman Science Building, Mary Beth’s smile has been spotted in other university settings. She previously worked as a staff member for the School of Education, and at the MC School of Law in Jackson. Mary Beth joined the MC staff in August 1992.
Growing up in Baldwyn, Mississippi, near Tupelo, Mary Beth earned her MC degree in psychology Summa Cum Laude.
Away from the Clinton campus, Mary Beth and her husband, MC biology professor Joe Graves, remain devoted to church and family. The couple attends Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison. They have a daughter, Leslie Barker, of Memphis. The William Carey University graduate serves as executive director of the Caritas Village, a neighborhood community ministry.
Their son is Dr. Alan Graves of Memphis. An MC graduate, Dr. Graves works as a radiologist. Their two grandkids are 11-year-old Gabriella, and eight year-old Max Graves.
Getting recognized at graduation day surprised Mary Beth, but supporters point out she was a terrific choice for the award. She was honored for her positive impact on MC students, faculty and staff.
“I am humbled to have been chosen for this award knowing that there are so many excellent staff members at Mississippi College,” Mary Beth Graves said. “I have worked with tremendous bosses, faculty and staff. I am thankful to each of those for supporting and teaching me throughout my 25 years here.”
Making each day of work a blessing to others on the Clinton campus, Graves relishes MC’s caring, close-knit atmosphere. She always enjoys working with students. “We have great students and that makes it all worthwhile. I am honored to have the privilege of being part of this university.”