Summer Freshmen Orientations at Mississippi College Wrapping Up
Mississippi College graduates Matt and Shea Williams returned to their alma mater from Southeast Asia.
Back home in their native Mississippi, the couple had good reason to visit the Clinton campus on a humid summer day.
The 1989 MC grads wanted to join their daughter, Lindsey, 18, for her MC freshmen orientation July 11-12.
They’ve been through this before as members of the Blue & Gold family. Their oldest daughter, Melody, is a 2017 MC graduate. Their son, Drew Williams, is a 2015 MC grad.
Lindsey Williams plans to enroll in the Christian university’s interdisciplinary studies program. It will combine writing with political science and entrepreneurship. She plans to become a writer to start her career.
Their two oldest children thoroughly enjoyed their Mississippi College experience, saying it felt like home. That same hometown feel applied decades ago for Matt Williams, who grew up on the Gulf Coast, and his wife, Shea, a Natchez native.
Whether they’re sons and daughters of alums or arrived without direct MC connections, 102 freshmen attending orientation activities had a blast.
They visited with President Blake Thompson and faculty members as well as student leaders. It was a nice turnout of freshmen from across the Southeast. Others came from as far away as California and Illinois, said administrator Jonathan Ambrose.
“I wanted a small Christian college, and we found it online,” said freshman Macy Parris of Murrieta, California. “I took a visit and liked the community,” added the biology/pre-med major. “I will be able to make memories here and grow in my faith.” Her dad, Ray Parris, joined her for the journey to Central Mississippi.
MC’s third freshmen orientation of the Summer of 2019 was in full swing. Students registered for Fall classes. They learned about student organizations, including ministries, and discovered the area’s cultural attractions. They stopped by the Aven Fine Arts Building, visited the campus bookstore and the Leland Speed Library. The newcomers found time for fun.
“I like the community here,” said freshman Elizabeth “Bizzy” Kalmbach. As the 18-year-old New Orleans native gathered for lunch with new friends at the school cafeteria, she’s delighted to be an MC Choctaw. “It’s just one big family.”
Freshman Alexander Collins, 18, of Union, is equally pleased with his decision to enroll. It’s part of the family’s DNA. His dad, Chris Collins, is an MC graduate, and so is his sister, Katie.
Family ties played a role as Madison resident Paul Randall III joined MC’s Class of 2023. His dad, Paul Randall, and mom, Cyndy Randall, are both Mississippi College alums. Paul, 18, was homeschooled before becoming a freshman.
Mississippi College’s Christian Studies programs appealed to students like Melanie Word, 18, of Greenville, and Yancey Nolan, 19, of Madison. Yancey experienced the “homey feel” soon after walking on campus.
Wrapping up Friday, orientation attracted twins Erin and Avery Hederman. Both former Jackson Academy Lady Raiders soccer standouts, the Hederman sisters are thrilled to be among the first 14 freshmen entering MC’s inaugural Honors College.
MC’s 20th president, Dr. Thompson announced the creation of the Honors College and expansion of international programs as part of his March 29 inauguration address.
Mississippi College begins its 194th academic year this Fall. The 5,200-student university remains America’s second oldest Baptist college.