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Virtual Meeting Connects Alumni

MC graduate Arleigh Seymour, an admissions recruiter in the Dallas area
MC graduate Arleigh Seymour, an admissions recruiter in the Dallas area

On a chilly December 1 afternoon, Mississippi College alumni stayed connected virtually to hear the latest about the Christian university.

Separated by hundreds of miles, alumni in Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas got in touch via a Zoom meeting with President Blake Thompson along with other leaders.

Participants who signed up learned about the challenges MC students, faculty, and staff faced during the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were plenty of takeaways from the meeting initially designed for MC graduates in the Hattiesburg area. It was soon expanded to include MC grads in metro Jackson, Birmingham, Alabama, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

“I thought the meeting went great for being the first one of its kind,” said MC graduate Arleigh Seymour, an admissions recruiter in the Dallas area. “It was awesome to see people who have been a part of the MC family for 60-plus years gather virtually.”

A May 2020 graduate, Seymour, said the session via computer reinforced what she already knew about her alma mater. "I can see that MC is still passionate as they have always been about reaching and caring for our students.''

Mississippi College leaders envision future Zoom meetings in other regions of the USA to reach members of the Blue & Gold family.

Clay Mansell, publisher, and owner of “The Clinton Courier,” was among the grads joining the conversations on Tuesday.

By tuning in to the virtual meeting, the newspaper executive got a better feel for how university leaders worked to keep the campus safe with a blitz of health protocols.

“I watched how MC has handled the pandemic from day one,” Mansell said. "I am proud of how they were able to keep the college open. They continue to keep the alumni involved. Today's event was a great way to keep us in the loop and connected during COVID.”

Mansell sees the benefits of more virtual meetings because of their convenience and stress safety as COVID-19 cases are spiking nationwide. There are more than 269,000 deaths across the nation due to the pandemic since March.

Virtual meetings have become common for organizations across the globe over the past eight months.

"Each time we conduct a virtual gathering, the participants have a great time listening and participating,” says administrator Jim Turcotte.

“We do plan to continue to hold virtual update meetings in other parts of the state and the USA,” added Turcotte.

The vice president for enrollment services and executive director of alumni affairs, Dr. Turcotte, says the alumni office plans two upcoming virtual meetings with graduates in December.

Both online meetings are part of the 2020 MC Homecoming class reunions postponed in October. One is set for December 5, and the second will be December 12.

Lisa Williams, an MC alumni office regional associate in Alabama, enjoyed observing Tuesday’s meeting.

“There was lots of interaction between Dr. Thompson and attendees,” she said. “Dr. Turcotte shared that MC needs prayers as we continue to deal with COVID.”

In the midst of the worldwide health emergency, alumni are asked to step up grassroots efforts to encourage prospective students to become Mississippi College Choctaws.