Mississippi College

MC Building Named in Honor of Laney Lanier

September 19, 2007

Mississippi College's Laney M. Lanier physical plant building is named after a loyal MC employee who devoted more than four decades of his life to his alma mater.

A 1956 MC graduate, Lanier served as MC's business manager for 20 years, from 1953 to 1973, and retired. He quickly returned to work and spent another two decades running the college's credit union before retiring a second time when he was in his 80s.

The Daleville, Ala. native "loved the college - he dedicated his life to MC," said his son, Dr. Lauren M. Lanier, a retired superintendent with South Pike Public Schools. "It was family for him."

Lauren Lanier, who now lives in Osyka, Miss., and his father graduated from the Baptist-affiliated college in Clinton the same year.

Today, MC is showing its love for Laney Lanier, as workers put the finishing touches on a six-inch tall sign on the brick building. It houses the physical plant office, the telecommunications office and the MC switchboard.

Laney Lanier was the type of person who really never left the college even after he retired for a second time. He often came back to the Clinton campus to check on things or visit former colleagues. He was a longtime Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church in Clinton. "He was a sweet man," said Bettye Stewart, who recently retired as an executive assistant to three MC presidents.

Laney Lanier was 96 when he died in 2002, the same year his wife, Gertrude White Lanier, a 1955 MC graduate, passed away. Laney Lanier first joined the MC family when he attended MC's Clarke College branch in Newton, and went into the ministry at small churches before continuing his studies on the main campus in Clinton.

Laney Lanier, who lived in Clinton, was simply a loyal MC alum who tirelessly gave back to his alma mater again and again. To show their appreciation, Lauren Lanier, his aunt, Myra Hudson of Daleville, Ala. and his sister, Rebecca Lanier Kohl of Grapevine, Texas created the Laney Mack Lanier Endowed Scholarship Fund in 1980. The fund is designed to assist MC ministerial students and art students with the costs of their education.

MC runs in the family in so many ways for their family. Becky Lanier Kohl received her MC degree in the early 1960s.

Dale Beard, an employee with Rainbow Signs in Jackson, late this morning installed the Lanier sign with its plastic molded letters. The building used to house the credit union where Lanier worked for many years after his first "retirement." That office has moved to a spot in the basement at Alumni Hall.

Getting the sign put up "was a long time coming," Lauren Lanier said by phone today from his home in Pike County. "I appreciate the college for doing this."

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