Mississippi College

Three Retired Mississippi College Professors Receive Emeritus Status

August 25, 2014

Jerry Cannon, James Sclater and Gerald Lee were distinguished scholars and superb professors at Mississippi College for decades.

Calculate all of their years of outstanding service at Mississippi College and it exceeds a century.

Mississippi College leaders on Friday showed their appreciation by naming the three Clinton residents as emeritus professors at the Baptist-affiliated university. The honor goes to educators of the highest rank, academic experts going above and beyond for their institution for many years.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard saluted the beloved trio of retired professors at the 2014 faculty/staff convocation at Swor Auditorium.

Well-wishers stopped by their tables to congratulate the honorees afterwards at a luncheon at the B.C. Rogers Student Center.

“It is a lovely gesture on their part,” Sclater says. He spent 40 years teaching music on the Clinton campus and served as a mentor to many professionals in the music world. “I’m honored to have it.”

An award-winning composer, Sclater continues to perform in metro Jackson venues on piano with the Brick Street Trio. The Clintonian returns to the Clinton campus with the talented group to entertain hundreds of freshmen on Sunday evening as a new academic year begins.

The retired chairman of the Mississippi College Chemistry Department, Cannon was delighted to receive the recognition on August 22 as hundreds of faculty and staff members applauded. “These are two good friends,” he said of Jimmy Sclater and Gerald Lee.

Cannon’s lengthy service as an MC chemistry professor was something he will always cherish. “These were very enjoyable times. I made a lot of good friends.”

Cannon will return to Mississippi College in a few months. He works with chemistry professor Leland Benton as co-directors of the Mississippi Science and Math Tournament. For 40 years, the event on the Clinton campus has attracted top-notch high school students across the Magnolia State. They compete for trophies and Mississippi College scholarships.

Keeping tabs on the ups and downs of the U.S. economy, Gerald Lee was a fixture as an outstanding professor and former dean of the MC School of Business.

The three Clintonians are among 156 faculty and staff retirees at Mississippi College in recent years. All the retirees worked hard to achieve progress at MC. “They all kept Mississippi College strong,” Howard said.

Lee and Sclater first joined the Mississippi College faculty in 1970. Slater retired after serving MC 40 years in 2010, while Lee after his four decades of service in 2011. Cannon logged 39 years of service as an MC chemistry professor before retiring in 2009. One of Cannon’s former students is 3rd District U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Mississippi College before attending the University of Mississippi Law School.

Photo: Jerry Cannon, Jimmy Sclater and Gerald Lee were honored at Friday's Mississippi College faculty/staff convocation as emeritus professors at MC. Joining the retired Clinton residents and distinguished scholars for a photo is MC Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard.

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