Special to The Clinton Courier
Following a rain-dampened celebration in 2019 and a 2020 schedule abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the much-anticipated activities scheduled for Mississippi College’s Homecoming this year promise a rich blend of exciting new elements and traditional favorites.
According to Chad Phillips, associate director for alumni and parent engagement at MC, all of the events scheduled Friday and Saturday, October 29-30, are designed to help MC alumni, parents, students, family, and friends get the most from their annual pilgrimage to the Clinton campus.
“Homecoming is our largest event for alumni on campus every year,” said Phillips ’93, ’98. “It’s the one day we want all of our alumni, from those who graduated fifty years ago to those who graduated just last year, to come back and see their friends and family and enjoy themselves. It’s a time when those who graduated five or six years ago can come back and see all the changes that have been made on campus.”
Friday, October 29
Friday’s slate of activities will begin with a 10 a.m. reception for the Department of Communication distinguished alumni in President’s Dining Room B. But Mississippi College’s traditional Homecoming kickoff event is set to take place an hour later – and about twenty miles away.
At 11 a.m., alumni, students, and guest linksters will gather at Patrick Farms Golf Club at 300 Clubhouse Drive in Jackson to register for the annual Homecoming Golf Tournament. The four-person scramble with a shotgun start will tee off at noon, and the top three teams will receive prizes. The registration fee of $60 will cover green fees, cart rental, range balls and lunch. RSVP is required. For more information or to register, call Phillips at 601-278-8802.
“We have people who have played in that golf tournament for twenty years or more,” Phillips said. “They like coming back each year, and it’s usually the first thing they do for Homecoming.”
Reunions and Follies
In conjunction with Homecoming, the MC Class of 1971 will celebrate its fiftieth reunion by hosting a class gathering from 6:30 until 10:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall of Alumni Hall. Attendees can become reacquainted with their classmates, families and guests during this informal social event.
Members of the MC Classes of 1970 through 1979 are invited to relive the best memories of their time at MC during the Decade of the ‘70s Reception at 7 p.m. in the First Baptist Church Clinton Activities Building. For more information or to register, call Brenda Holloway, ’76, at 601-925-3238.
To cap Friday’s Homecoming activities, Follies promises to once again bring down the house, as new pledges from MC’s social clubs and tribes display their creativity in hilarious ten-minute shows about Mississippi College and its traditions. Tickets to the annual event, scheduled for 7 p.m. in Swor Auditorium in Nelson Hall, cost $20 each and are available for purchase online at www.mc.edu/follies.
Saturday, October 30
On Saturday, early risers, fitness buffs and road runners will meet at Cockroft Hall for the fourteenth annual Coach “Hap” Hudson Homecoming 5K Run. The MC Department of Kinesiology hosts the fun-filled race, which winds through the historic district in downtown Clinton and surrounding neighborhoods before concluding on Parkman Track at Robinson-Hale Stadium. Registration costs $25 per person or $15 per student. For more information, call Suzanne McDonough, race director, at 601-940-8186.
From 10 a.m. until noon, alumni, family members and guests are invited to explore the rich, curated collections of words and art available to Mississippi College students. Visitors will be welcomed to the Leland Speed Library for the Leland Speed Library and MC Archives Open House, while next door in the Aven Fine Arts Building, the Department of Art will open the renowned Gore Galleries for art connoisseurs to peruse.
MC’s 2020 and 2021 distinguished alumni will be honored during the annual Homecoming Brunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Anderson Hall on the second floor of the B.C. Rogers Student Center. Plaques are to be presented to Oscar Miskelly (2020) and Thomas Colbert and Percy Thornton (2021), recipients of the Award of Excellence; Dr. Lloyd Roberts (2020) and Coach Mike Jones, ‘75, ‘77 (2021), recipients of the Award of Service; Dr. Larry Cox, ’70, and Regina Schofield, ’83 (2020), and Andy Taggart, ’79 (2021), recipients of the Order of the Golden Arrow; Jeremy and Allyn Ann (Terry) Simpson, ’06 (2020), and Scotty Elliott, ’04 (2021), recipients of the Young Alumnus of the Year Award; and Tommy Allen, ’70 (2020), and Dr. Jerry Rankin, ’64 (2021), recipients of the Alumnus of the Year Award, during the ceremony hosted by the National Alumni Association. Tickets cost $25 and an RSVP is required.
Homecoming guests can pick up their nametags, reunion ribbons, lunch tickets and even a free gift at the Homecoming Welcome Table, the essential stop for all things MC, from noon to 3 p.m. in the alumni tent in front of Nelson Hall.
“This is where people can register and purchase tickets to certain Homecoming events,” Phillips said. “It’s important to come by and get updates about any activities that may have changed for the day.”
At 1 p.m., women alumni of each of MC’s social tribes will be treated to a reception at various locations throughout campus: Chenoa in the Piazza, Kissimmee in the Latimer House, Laguna in the East/West Lobby, Nenamoosha in the MCC courtyard, and Swannanoa in the Jennings Hall courtyard.
The nationally acclaimed Mississippi College Singers will perform a Homecoming concert under the direction of Dr. Damion Womack, director of choral activities, at 1:30 p.m. in Provine Chapel.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting will present a screening of a documentary on the life of Walter Anderson, known as the “South’s Greatest Artist,” by Mississippi College alum Anthony Thaxton, ’94, and Robert St. John, will premiere at 2 p.m. in Swor Auditorium in Nelson Hall. The hourlong film features intimate interviews with Anderson’s family and contains art never before seen and stories never before heard. Thaxton’s son, Bryant, a senior music major at MC, provided the score for the film. A question-and-answer session will follow the screening.
“We love to feature our alums at Homecoming,” Phillips said. “It’s a great opportunity to support Anthony, and it’s an honor to have the documentary premiere here on campus.”
Tailgating and Parade
Homecoming action shifts to the Quad at 2 p.m. for stories and tailgating before the big game. Quinquennial tents will be set up to celebrate the Classes of 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016.
The academic department will host its own tailgating space at the Quad, as well as men’s service clubs and women’s social tribes. Members, parents, friends and children of all these groups are welcome to visit and reminisce.
To celebrate the Choctaws spirit, MC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends are invited to participate in a Homecoming Parade down College Street at 3:30 p.m., while a Homecoming cookout will begin at that time in the Quad and Patio area. Tickets to the cookout cost $10 each, and an RSVP is required. To purchase tickets, call Phillips at 601-925-3317.
Mississippi College athletes of the past and the present will swap stories about their glory days during a reception scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Moody Adams Field House.
Homecoming activities will culminate with the 6 p.m. kickoff of the Mississippi College-West Florida football game in Robinson-Hale Stadium. During halftime, the Homecoming Court, selected by the student body, will be presented, including one representative from each class, a maid of honor, and the Homecoming queen. Since no Homecoming Court was selected in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s queen will be crowned by a trio of queens from previous years, including Dr. Beth Stapleton, professor of modern languages and director of the Edward McMillan Center for Education Abroad at MC, who was crowned thirty years ago.
Phillips said the goal of this year’s festivities, as for every Homecoming at MC, is for alumni, students, faculty, staff, families, and friends to stay engaged with the Christian University.
“We want them all to enjoy being on campus,” he said. “We want them to rekindle memories with their classmates and really have such a great time that they can’t wait to get back here for next year’s Homecoming.”
To purchase tickets for Mississippi College Homecoming activities and to see the latest schedule of events, visit www.mc.edu/homecoming.