Whether it be a funny moment or heartfelt thanks, every Hinds employee has a story to tell about their time working for Mississippi’s largest community college.
I had the privilege of helping some of my fellow Eagle co-workers tell their stories during Centennial Convocation on Jan. 3. Some of the 40 or so people who shared their stories as they arrived at the Muse Center that morning were shy, while some simply needed a few minutes to gather their thoughts. Eventually, all of them warmed up to the all-seeing, all-revealing camera lens of my colleague, Printing Coordinator/Designer Tre’ Thornhill.
Former Vice President Dan Hogan drew on his beginnings at Hinds in 1974 teaching calculus as his more enjoyable moments.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it, and there’s several employees here at the school now who were students of mine,” Hogan said. “I was privileged to have led the effort to begin the online college. We started with three courses, and that program has now grown.”
For Gary Fox, academic dean at the Rankin Campus, it didn’t feel funny at the time to be literally stuck in mud checking out the site of the Muse Center before it was finished in 2011.
“I was over investigating with two other deans,” Fox said, among more than 40 faculty members who shared their fondest Hinds story in front of the facility before and after convocation. “We got stuck in the mud. I drive a small (Nissan) Cube, which is like a piece of tin around a rubber band. So, of course, we got stuck. We had to get the people who were building this place to come out.
“First, they just enjoyed these men dressed up like deans being stuck in the mud out there trying to push the car. Our clothes were all filthy with mud and all that, but we had a grand time."
They got cleaned up eventually, Fox said, adding the moment was among several fond memories in his time at Hinds. “I’ve loved my 25 years at Hinds,” he said.
As a personal aside, I must thank everyone who braved the moment and shared their story. Not everyone likes having their “picture made,” to borrow a line from potential interview subjects back in my reporter days. Having a brief video made for potential advertising purposes is equally frightful. But, it made for what was, by most accounts, a unique, entertaining way to kick off Hinds’ 100th year.