Mississippi College Hosts August 1 Graduation Ceremonies
Mississippi College leaders announced Friday that an August 1 graduation is set for the Clinton campus. The ceremony allows family, friends, professors and others to honor the university’s Class of 2020.
The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak caused MC officials to postpone a traditional Spring graduation on May 8.
President Blake Thompson discussed plans for the graduation this summer in an email to the university community. “I believe this commencement will be even more memorable given the forced separation our senior class experienced and the resilience they have shown,” Dr. Thompson said. “I know I speak for the entire MC family in saying we can’t wait to welcome our graduating seniors home and celebrate their accomplishments.”
A special July 31 reception on the Clinton campus is also being planned to celebrate MC’s new graduates, the president said.
Reached Friday, Student Government Association President Aaron Feazelle is thrilled to take part in an August commencement. “I’m so excited to be around all my friends one last time before we all leave for whatever’s next,” says Feazelle, a senior from Diamondhead.
A new graduation date is also booked for MC Law School’s class of 2020. Law grads will be recognized at ceremonies 10 a.m. Friday August 7 at First Baptist Church Jackson.
Mississippi College educators are glad to see some positive news after months of heartache across the USA.
The commencement “will bring a sense of normalcy to an otherwise surreal time,” says computer science professor Melissa Wiggins. “COVID-19 robbed us of those last conversations, celebrations, questions, pictures, and ceremonies we would have normally experienced in the last few weeks.”
Marching to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” in a few months, faculty members are elated to honor student achievements, she said.
A new Mississippi College graduate, Jeremy Gore, 22, of Dallas, is eager to walk across the stage in cap and gown to receive his diploma.
“It will be great to celebrate this accomplishment with my family and friends,” says Gore, who earned a bachelor’s in accounting this Spring. “It also gives me a way to give a proper farewell to the professors that have invested so much into me.”
A former MC table tennis player, Jeremy plans to enroll at the University of North Texas this fall to pursue a master’s in accounting.
The 2020 commencement represents a significant moment in the life of the 194-year-old Baptist-affiliated institution.
“It gives closure to students and sends them into a world of work, graduate school, marriage, adulthood and many other benchmarks that are so important at commencement,” says Communication Department chair Cliff Fortenberry.
The new grads were successful despite this Spring’s hardships. “Unlike other graduating classes, they will have a shared memory of the strangest events in modern U.S. history and will be another chapter in the resilience of Mississippi College.”
Mississippi College coped with crisis before – from the Civil War to the Spanish Influenza of 1918-1920, and from the Great Depression to two World Wars. More recent challenges like Hurricane Katrina battering South Mississippi and Louisiana in August 2005 impacted many MC families.
Accountancy professor Billy Morehead is delighted to hear about graduation day. “The abrupt end of (traditional) classes dispersed our students all over the country and world” to finish with online learning, he noted. He hopes many students from across the USA and other countries attend.
Dr. Thompson announced other major steps showing Mississippi College is returning to normal and will welcome students returning to classes on campus for the Fall semester.
In an email to the MC family, President Thompson says MC seeks to safely resume traditional classes and residential life on the Clinton campus. The Fall semester begins in late August.