Mississippi College Gears up for Founder's Day
Mississippi College supporters will mark Founder’s Day with Blue & Gold cake, cups of hot coffee, fellowship time, and a chapel program.
Activities are set for January 26 as MC stakeholders celebrate a venerable institution dating back to 1826. Cake and coffee will be served to the university’s faculty, staff, and students outside the B.C. Rogers Student Center following a chapel program in Swor Auditorium.
The one-day event spotlights a Baptist-affiliated university surviving the Civil War, the Great Depression, and two world wars. The global COVID-19 pandemic is the latest major challenge facing the Mississippi College community.
MC professors, staff, and students all have a unique perspective on Founder’s Day as the university notes its 195th birthday on the Clinton campus.
“Had it not been for the vision of those who founded Mississippi College, my entire educational course would have been totally different,” professor Laurie Lawson says.
“Founder’s Day helps us reflect on the past as we build the future,” says Lawson, director of MC’s social work program. The Mississippi College graduate also serves as the leader of the 4C’s in Clinton. It is a nonprofit operating a food pantry and supplying other services to assist needy people in metro Jackson. Lawson first got involved with the organization as an MC student volunteer.
In Jennings Hall classrooms, Laurie Lawson teaches students while serving as a mentor and role model. The Hinds County resident reflects on the work of visionaries creating the college on a few acres in Central Mississippi nearly two centuries ago.
English professor Steve Price is looking at Founder’s Day in a different light given the COVID-19 challenges. Masking up, social distancing, hand sanitizer stations, and COVID testing are all part of the health protocols at MC and across the globe.
“This year, with so much ongoing uncertainty, Founder’s Day seems very relevant,” Price said. “MC has been around since 1826, and so much has transpired in that time. And the school is still here.”
The director of MC’s Writing Center at the Leland Speed Library, Price, sees the value of highlighting Founder’s Day activities in late January 2021. A far bigger extravaganza is planned for 2026 to showcase the Christian university’s 200 years.
“There’s a foundation and strength for us today in that history and those stories,” Price said. “The past has a power that we can lean on today.”
The upcoming Founder’s Day will feature hot cups of java from the BeanFruit Coffee Company. It is owned by MC alumnus Paul Bonds. Delicious cakes will come from Meme’s Brickstreet Bakery in Clinton’s historic Olde Towne business district. MC’s longstanding partnership with its hometown in Hinds County is worth trumpeting as well in the new year.
On January 22, 2019, President Blake Thompson took part in his first Founder’s Day at Mississippi College. The Mississippi native is expected to join this winter’s upcoming events at the nation’s second-oldest Baptist college.