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Mississippi College Salutes Students at Awards Gala

MC seniors Shreve Bland and Harley Bush of Clinton
MC seniors Shreve Bland and Harley Bush of Clinton

Harley Bush commends Mississippi College leaders for making sure students won’t miss important university activities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

An MC senior from Clinton, Bush was among scores of “Who’s Who at Mississippi College” undergraduates recognized at the university’s awards program online.

Audiences can learn more by watching MC’s First Annual Student Experience Awards Gala. The videotaped April 30 event saluted extraordinary students for their many achievements on the Clinton campus. The awards program is a tribute to showcase their accomplishments as leaders and participants in community service projects.

“I think the administrators at Mississippi College are trying to care for and cater to their students as best as possible during this time,” Bush says.

A 21-year-old Mississippian, Harley is a 2016 Clinton High graduate. She will continue her studies this fall at the MC School of Business pursuing an MBA-finance degree. “I’m forever grateful for everything that MC has done for me as a person and my leadership skills.”

The Clintonian expressed her gratitude to MC for “giving me memories and relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Well-dressed for the occasion, administrator Jonathan Ambrose wore a tuxedo and bow tie as host of the unique show at Anderson Hall. The associate vice president for the student experience, Dr. Ambrose opened the event with brief remarks to set the stage.

The six-week COVID-19 crisis, he said, “changed our plans.” Ambrose thanked the Christian university family for tuning in on their computers. “We are excited to have you.”

Reached afterwards, Dr. Ambrose said the video production on MC’s Facebook pages replaced what should have been a special event in Clinton earlier this Spring. “It gives us the opportunity to showcase not only on our campus but to the world at large the amazing accomplishments of our students.”

MC’s nearly 5,000 students suddenly switched to online classes seven weeks ago as coronavirus cases grew dramatically. 

Major events at the Baptist-affiliated institution were either cancelled, postponed or shifted to online formats.

While Ambrose spoke, names of 91 students inducted Thursday evening into “Who’s Who at Mississippi College” appeared on the screen. Students are recognized for leadership skills, classroom excellence, and achievements in university clubs and tribes. Seniors selected for the MC Hall of Fame were announced as well.

MC junior Anna Kathryn Antrim expressed her thanks to faculty and staff going the extra mile to assist as they faced difficult challenges.

“They have gone above and beyond during this time to keep up academic excellence, some sense of normalcy and support during this time,” Antrim said.

A Clinton resident, Antrim is among “Who’s Who at MC” honorees.

During the global health emergency, the biology major/computer science minor worked as a tutor at the MC Writing Center. Anna provided academic assistance to classmates online in recent weeks.

Stephen Atkins, 22, of Madison, is a “Who’s Who” student pleased to receive the recognition. “Academically and athletically, MC has taught me valuable life lessons about diligence, perseverance, and how to respond to failure,” he said. “I want to thank the coaches and professors that were instrumental to my learning.”

The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson is expected to be Stephen’s next stop to attend medical school.

Seniors like Shreve Bland, 22, of Clinton, are thrilled to be celebrated on computer screens. “The fact we are even able to do this shows how caring and supportive Mississippi College is towards their students, not only when times are easy, but even in the middle of a pandemic.”

A kinesiology major and psychology minor, Shreve is the daughter of head MC Choctaws football coach John Bland and Candis Bland. The Clinton High graduate says coaches, faculty and staff in the Blue & Gold family are all top-notch.

A “Who’s Who at MC” honoree, Shreve Bland is delighted to join classmates at the 2020 Student Experience Awards Gala. “I am beyond glad that MC is sharing such a tasteful and memorable event with us tonight.”