Hard work has its rewards, and soon-to-be graduates of The Phil Hardin Foundation Honors College at Meridian Community College were applauded for their efforts during a reception Sunday, April 28, 2019, feting the students.
As a special presentation, honorees received a specially-designed ribboned medallion in which they will wear during the College’s spring commencement.
Cathy Parker, one of the two co-advisors of the Honors College, said collectively the 33 graduating students completed more than 1,400 community service hours while maintaining a rigorous academic schedule. One student had more than 400 documented service hours.
“That hard work and dedication deserve recognition,” she said.
Honors College students must maintain a 3.25-grade point average on a 4.0 scale; they are required to enroll in honors courses which are a little more rigorous than the mainstream classes, said Parker. Leadership class is also a requirement, and students attend forums with guest speakers who share their experiences. “We are trying to promote future leaders,” Parker added.
At the ceremony, MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner thanked the students in being a part of the Honors College and said he sings their’s and the program’s praises with others. “I talk about the success of this honors program, the support we get from the Phil Hardin Foundation, how it has become a very significant group on this campus,” he said. Huebner added, “We know that you will have opportunities, you’ll create opportunities, and we also know that you’re going to open doors and walk through open doors. And that’s a big deal to us.
“Not everyone gets to wear the medallion, and not everyone gets to wear the pin, but you do,” Huebner said. “And it’s because you’ve worked hard.”
One of the graduates, Jakobi Johnson, said after receiving his medallion, the Honors College afforded him chances to meet people, make connections and see new experiences. “I know for most of the college, they didn’t get any of those opportunities. They just came, did their work and leave,” he noted. Johnson will continue his studies at Mississippi State University, Meridian Campus, studying education.
Lloyd Gray, executive director of the Phil Hardin Foundation, who was a guest at the event, said he was impressed by the caliber of the Honors College students, their accomplishments and their future plans and aspirations. “It says a lot about the program that MCC has built here, and the Phil Hardin
Foundation is delighted to be able to be a part of it. We think it’s very important for students to have that additional motivation and the additional aspiration to be nurtured and supported and that’s what the Honors College does,” Gray noted.
Receiving their medallions included Alexandra “Celeste” Boswell, Madison Boyette, Jackson Bridges, Pattie “Alyssa” Clinton, Ethan Clopton, Joshua Cochran, Mariah Collins, Jillian Gregroy, Noah Hancock, Catherine Hoffer, Cole Hurst, Jakobi Johnson, Madison Keller, Jeff Knight, Tyler Lantz, Hunter Marlow, Marlee Martin, Karey “Ridge” Mathis, Max Mauney, Luci McCraney, Robert “Dalton” McIllwain, Haleigh McNeil, Lauryn Minor, Warren “Houston” Parker, Michael Phillips, Brent River, Bryan Rivers, Brianna Robbins, Dunnam Shirley, Daniel Smith, Alyssa Spalinger, Casey Ulmer and Jacob Wiggins.
Photo: The Phil Hardin Foundation Honors College at MCC Class of 2019 pose for a group photo with Cathy Parker and Barbara Jones, co-directors, Deanna Smith, advisor, MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner and Lloyd Gray, executive director of the Phil Hardin Foundation.