Mississippi College

MC Boosts Growing the Vision Goal

October 28, 2008

Mississippi College leaders are increasing the goal of the university's "Growing the Vision" campaign, and now plan to raise $80 million.

President Lee Royce discussed the new goal for the campaign - previously $65 million - during a meeting Tuesday with MC alumni attending the annual meeting of the Mississippi Baptist Convention in Jackson.

Launched in the fall 2006, the campaign will boost scholarships, academic programs, endowment support, and capital improvements to the MC campus.

During a breakfast gathering at First Baptist Church in Jackson that featured sausage and biscuit, coffee and fruit on the menu, Royce said he believes the five-year campaign will be completed by MC's Homecoming in Fall 2011.

MC trustees and other leaders recently agreed to increase the size of the campaign after a weekend retreat in Alabama. In recent days Royce has also discussed the new campaign level during fall meetings with MC faculty and staff and with alumni, who were on the Clinton campus for the 2008 Homecoming last weekend.

While the nation's economy has taken quite a few hits lately, MC is continuing to prosper with enrollment surging to record levels this fall and new academic programs added. An engineering/physics programs for undergraduates, on-line nursing, and a five-year executive law degree are among the new additions.

In remarks to about two dozen alumni, Royce said the 4,857 MC students enrolled this fall is up by 220 from the previous record of a little over 4,600 a year ago. Enrollment has been up steadily since the 3,300-student mark when he arrived as MC's leader in 2002. "That's quite a growth rate," Royce said.

The international student population at MC has zoomed up from less than a dozen in 2002 to 320 students from 26 nations today.

Among those on hand to greet the president were Bill Smith of Tupelo, president of the MC Alumni Association, Rev. Chip Stevens, pastor of First Baptist Church in Starkville, Hugh Plunkett, minister of music at First Baptist Church in Magee, and Tony Beazley, chaplain at the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital in Jackson. MC administrators Eric Pratt, Bill Townsend, and Ross Aven plus retired administrator Doc Quick also sat in as the president fielded questions from the audience.

The Mississippi College Singers will perform at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Wednesday morning, with Royce to deliver remarks a little more than an hour later at 9:40 a.m. More than 1,000 visitors are expected at the two-day meeting. The Baptist Convention represents more than 700,000 Baptists across the state. Pastor Mickey Dalrymple of Fairview Baptist Church in Columbus is the organization's president.

PHOTO: Chatting before the first session are MBC Associate Exec. Director of Church Growth Steve Stone, of Madison, Mississippi College President Lee Royce, and MC alum Carl Savell, of Clinton.

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