Hinds wrapped up a series of 2012-2013 graduation ceremonies on June 6 with a special one for GED achievers in our district – adults who did not get a high school diploma by the traditional route but passed a battery of tests to get an equivalency certificate.
About 100 folks who may or may not have had a previous connection with our college came to celebrate their achievement with us. It’s always an honor for me to see the happy faces of the graduates and their family and friends at these ceremonies.
When my boss Colleen Hartfield, who oversees adult education, asked the General Education Development graduates who have already enrolled at Hinds to continue their education to stand up, about half of them did. Impressive.
Local attorney Jonathan Bullock did a fabulous job offering an inspiring message. Bullock dropped out of Clinton High School after a troubled adolescence, realized his mistake and got his GED. He started his college career with us before moving on to Mississippi State and getting a law degree at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. Yep, that’s right. From high school dropout to lawyer, with Hinds Community College a step on the path.
As an aside in his remarks, Bullock mentioned a talk by Frank Melton, then CEO of WLBT, he heard in the old Cain Hall (before it burned in 1998) during his first semester at Hinds in the early 1990s. He remembers it pretty well.
Frank, as he insisted everyone call him, gave a pretty kick-butt speech to young people, one that I heard a number of times in my years as an education reporter. He would swoop into an auditorium in his three-piece suit with a couple body guards. He’d give his speech, then to close it out he’d start a chant in segments and get the kids to repeat the phrases after him over and over:
“I can be…
anything I want to be….
The only thing I need to do…
is to want to be something.”
While they were occupied screaming the chant, Frank would disappear, almost magically in a puff of smoke it seemed, leaving behind the message.
It made a huge impression on Bullock, and on countless others as well.
“He gave the most passionate, motivating, goal-oriented speech I’ve ever heard,” Bullock recalled. “And I’ve heard a lot of them. But I never forget what he said. It was a packed house. It was about staying in school. Working on your grades. Creating goals. Staying off drugs. And doing the right thing. That stayed with me for many, many years.
“I wrote him a letter when I graduated law school and I told him ‘Thank you for that wonderful speech. You don’t even know who I am but I was a little person in the crowd when you gave the speech.’ It just happened to be the right time when I needed to hear something like that.”
He told the graduates, “Hopefully, this might be the right time for some of you as you go forward in your career paths and in life.”
Bullock’s words triggered in me the thought that you never know when you might be a positive influence on someone else, either by your actions in persevering through difficult circumstances or motivating words at just the right time.
Frank Melton influenced him. Jonathan Bullock may have influenced someone in the crowd. Who knows who you and I can influence today.
It's hard to believe it's graduation time again! It seems like yesterday Hinds CC students and faculty were returning from the holiday break and preparing for the new semester. I guess the old cliché "time flies when you're having fun" is true.
Throughout this semester, our student bloggers wrote entries on a variety of topics, including the weather (January snow day), student events (Ms. Hinds Community College pageant, blood drive), studying abroad (Honors Institute's exchange with Bridgwater College), sports (Spring Football practice) and cultural events (Marie Hull Art exhibit). I have enjoyed reading our student bloggers' entries and hope you have as well.
Now that finals are almost over and the semester is offically coming to an end, I'd like to be the first to congratulate two of our graduating student bloggers, Christi and Danielle. Ladies, congratulations on a job well done! I am confident you both will continue to excel wherever life takes you. Thank you for your contributions to Hinds Community College and please stay in touch!
I'd also like to congratulate another graduating student blogger, Megan. Megan is a dual enrolled student and Hinds cheerleader who will be graduating from Mendenhall High School later this month. Well done Megan! We look forward to more blog entries from you in the fall!
With graduation only days away, I'd like to remind everybody that they can be a part of Hinds Community College's Spring 2013 graduation ceremonies. To participate in graduation, simply include the official Hinds CC graduation hashtag (#hindsgrad) when posting to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Feel free to upload photos, status updates and tweets; your posts could even be featured on Hinds Community College's Spring 2013 Graduation Storify page!
For those who are unable to attend graduation, don't worry! You can follow our graduation Storify page for live updates and/or watch the ceremonies via webcast.
Congratulations Class of 2013!
If you're graduating this semester, congratulations! You've completed the course work for your Associate's Degree at Hinds Community College and are ready for graduation! Listed below are a few important details you'll need to know for your big day! If you aren't graduating this semester, don't worry; you can still participate in graduation festivities (scroll down to find out how)!
Fall 2012 Graduation ceremonies will be held on Thursday, December 13th & Friday, December 14th in Hogg Auditorium of Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus. Graduation has been divided into 4 ceremonies. Find out which ceremony you'll be participating in as well as information about your graduation speaker by viewing the schedule posted below:
Thursday, December 13, 2012
PN, MLT, DAT, ST Ceremony - 10:00 am
Associate Degree Nursing Ceremony - 2:00 pm
Graduation Speaker: Dr. David Parks
Friday, December 14, 2012
A-K Academic and Career/Technical Ceremony - 10:00 am
L-Z Academic and Career/Technical Ceremony - 2:00 pm
Graduation Speaker: Dr. Mae Cathryne Jackson
Have family and friends who can't attend the ceremony? No problem! All graduation ceremonies will be streamed via live webcast.
Now that ceremony details have been covered, Hinds CC wants everybody to know about another way they can participate in graduation. When updating social media (e.g. posting a status on Facebook, tweeting via Twitter and/or uploading images to Instagram), be sure to include Hinds CC's Graduation hashtag, "#hindsgrad", somewhere in the post. Using this hashtag will allow Hinds CC to view, organize and share everybody's graduation experiences within Hinds CC and its extented family.
Hinds CC has set up a Fall 2012 Graduation Storify page that will be used as a place to experience graduation as it happens. This page will be updated with graduation related social media content before, during and after each ceremony. Curious to see what this page will look like? Check out Hinds CC's Summer 2012 Graduation Storify page to experience what graduation this past summer was like! After you have explored this page, feel free to encourage family and friends to include the #hindsgrad hashtag when updating social media so their content can be also added to Hinds CC's Storify page.
We're excited about Fall 2012 graduation and can't wait for everybody to be a part of this special occasion! Congratulations Class of 2012!