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Mississippi College Welcomes Students for Spring 2021 Classes

Dr. Beth Stapleton, the MC COVID-19 coordinator
Dr. Beth Stapleton, the MC COVID-19 coordinator

Mississippi College leaders are preparing to welcome thousands of students for Spring 2021 classes beginning January 19.

There’s still work to do before the first wave of students arrives this week. Closed Monday due to snow and ice hitting Central Mississippi, MC reopens on January 12.

COVID-19 testing, mask-wearing, social distancing, and an abundance of hand sanitizer stations are some of the stringent health protocols for the MC community. The fall semester's procedures will carry over to the winter and spring months ahead.

Beth Stapleton, the university’s COVID-19 coordinator, is gearing up early in 2021.

“Our protocols for health and safety measures we practiced in the fall were very effective,” Stapleton said. “We will continue to use those guidelines and keep our campus safe.”

Prayers are welcome, too, at Mississippi’s 195-year-old Christian university.

“We continue to pray for protection on our campus,” Stapleton said. “We know that the spring will still require a lot from everyone. But we are fighting together to stay strong and healthy.”

Students from the Mississippi College School of Nursing and the university’s physician assistant program volunteered to assist with COVID-19 testing in 2020. They are expected to help once again in January.

Stapleton is encouraged about efforts to combat COVID-19 since vaccines were first shipped across the USA in December. Healthcare workers, first responders, and the elderly in nursing homes were among the initial recipients. Vaccines go to the general population later in the year.

Members of the Blue & Gold family are thrilled to welcome students once again. Officials believe everything is being done to protect MC stakeholders as classes resume.

“Our community is working diligently to keep everyone safe and healthy and provide a wonderful MC experience,” said School of Education Dean Cindy Melton. At the same time, students will receive a top-notch education in classes across the Clinton campus and at MC Law School in Jackson.

“Our campus may look a little different these days. But just behind the masks are the warm smiles and wonderful people that make MC a fantastic place to be,” Melton said. “We truly are stronger together.”

Early in 2021, Mississippi College will celebrate the institution’s anniversary with a Founder’s Day event on January 26. It’s a time for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy the festivities over a slice of cake along with hot coffee. They will be served outdoors near the B.C. Rogers Student Center.

After a few relaxing weeks since the fall semester ended before Thanksgiving, accounting professor Billy Morehead is anxious to return. While many fall events were canceled due to COVID, he’s delighted that classes and degree programs stayed on track.

“I have worked hard to keep in touch via email, phone, and Zoom with my students in our virtually modified world,” Morehead said. “We are being strong and courageous.”

Inspired by the book of Joshua, President Blake Thompson announced in July that “Strong and Courageous” is the focus for MC’s 2020-21 academic year.

Kyle Hamrick, editor of the “Mississippi Collegian,” is impressed with how MC responded to the worldwide health emergency.

“I feel confident that the protocols in place will allow us to complete yet another semester on campus,” says Hamrick, a resident of Corner, Alabama. “That a solution to this pandemic in the form of a vaccine is on its way makes me even more confident.”

Stapleton announced several revisions to the spring’s health protocols. MC will change some locations for quarantined and isolated students on campus to better serve them.

Morehead applauds the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. More than 5.3 million Americans received their shots in recent weeks. “I plan to be one of the first in line when the vaccine is available.”