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Professor Otis Pickett Addresses Class of 2020 at Mt. Salus Christian School

MC history professor Otis Pickett
MC history professor Otis Pickett

Mississippi College professor Otis Pickett will serve as the guest speaker at the Mt. Salus Christian School commencement Friday.

An award-winning historian, the Clemson University graduate will address new graduates he’s quite familiar with. Dr. Pickett taught subjects including U.S. history and Southern religious history to Mt. Salus students in recent years.

The graduation program begins 6 p.m. on May 29 at Providence Presbyterian Church in Clinton. In keeping with safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the school’s five graduates will only invite immediate family members. Social distancing will be practiced and protective face masks will be worn. Live streaming of the ceremony will be available to school supporters on YouTube.

Pickett is a popular choice to deliver the keynote speech at the church along Clinton Raymond Road. It marks his third time addressing a Mt. Salus School graduation.

“Dr. Pickett is an amazing teacher and by far, one of my favorites at Mississippi College,” said MC student Daniel Roberts, 22, of Clinton. “He has a genuine heart for the Lord, his doctrine is sound and he incorporates that faith into every one of his classes.”

A modern languages major, Roberts is a 2017 Mt. Salus Christian School graduate. Daniel gives high marks to Pickett in classes at Mississippi College and Mt. Salus. “Another thing is his genuine compassion, care and concern for every single one of his students.”

The head of the Mt. Salus Christian School, Mississippi College graduate Bill Maner appreciates Dr. Pickett’s approach to teaching history.

“Dr. Pickett has been a great supporter of the Mt. Salus School since arriving. Dr. Pickett is a professor who enjoys and is passionate about teaching,” Maner said. “His love for the Lord and strong faith are part of his teaching.”

Pickett leads Mississippi College’s social studies education program. Mt. Salus students get the opportunity to visit MC classes to observe his teaching style.

Since arriving at the Christian university in 2013, Dr. Pickett enhanced the solid bond between the two institutions in Clinton.

Pickett taught all five Mt. Salus 9th graders who are graduating. He’s worked to help prepare Mt. Salus students for college.

The five members of the school’s Class of 2020 are Spencer Tracey Griggs, Darius Jenkins, Joseph Matthews Jr, Katlyn Moreland and LaDarius Thomas.

During the summers, Dr. Pickett led classes in the Prison to College Pipeline. He’s taught classes to men behind bars at the state penitentiary at Parchman. Launched by a grant from the University of Mississippi, the prisoners at the Delta facility have taken college prep classes in history, literature and creative writing. Courses helped them get an education to make the transition to college and to their future outside prison walls.

“Being at Mississippi College with its Christian vision, this program fits with the mission of what we are called to do as Christian educators,” Pickett said.

In his message to Mt. Salus graduates Friday evening, Otis Pickett plans to discuss the major challenges students are facing in the midst of the global health emergency.

The MC professor will encourage the new graduates to persevere, love their neighbors and work hard as they begin their college studies this fall.