Holmes Community College held the 95th Commencement Exercises on Thursday, May 11 in Frank Branch Coliseum on the Goodman Campus. The Goodman Campus, Grenada Campus and Attala Center ceremony was held at 10 a.m. and the Ridgeland Campus and Yazoo Center graduates had a ceremony at 2 p.m. The ceremonies were also live streamed at holmesccmedia.com/white-channel.
Each ceremony began with a faculty and administration processional. Robert Ethan Lindsay served as the macebearer for the first ceremony and Charlotte Lamar carried the mace for the second one. Following the processional, a video produced by the Holmes Marketing Department was shown that highlighted the major events/campus life for the 2022-2023 school year.
Next, Goodman Campus Phi Theta Kappa member Meredith Dean gave the invocation during the first ceremony and Ridgeland Campus Phi Theta Kappa member Kayla Mangum gave it during the second one. Vice President for Academic Programs Dr. Jenny Bailey Jones and Vice President for Career Technical Education Dr. Amy Whittington followed the invocation with a welcome and a few inspiring remarks.
“Graduates, during your time at Holmes, you have learned how to put words into action, how to listen carefully and communicate clearly, how to understand and appreciate complexity and to continue to make Mississippi a great place to live and work,” Dr. Whittington said. “These are the fruits of a college education and the skills for a lifetime, the building blocks of a productive, ethical and satisfying life. Class of 2023, you are joining Dr. Jones and me as proud alumnae of this College and will become part of the lifelong Holmes family, a connection we hope brings you as much pride as it has for us in our lives.”
Dr. Jones shared a famous quote by John Wesley, as well.
“As you move on to the next part of your journey, remember to ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can,’” Dr. Jones said. “Welcome to all, and congratulations graduates!”
After Dr. Jones and Dr. Whittington’s remarks, Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey stepped forward to present special awards/recognition. The awards given were the M.C. McDaniel Scholarship Award and the Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan Award. The M.C. McDaniel family established this scholarship to be presented to outstanding graduating sophomores who plan to further their education at an institution of higher learning.
Jonathan Chase Langford was the M.C. McDaniel Scholarship recipient for the Goodman Campus, Hope Avery, for Grenada, and Garrett Michael Viator for Ridgeland.
Langford is a pre-dentistry major from Ethel. He is a 2023 Hall of Fame inductee, Mr. Holmes for the Goodman Campus, an Ambassador, Holmes Plus member and Get2College Corps member. Langford was also president of the Kappa Alpha chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and was named a 2023 Order of the Golden Key recipient. He is actively involved in community and volunteer work through Shepherd’s Touch in Kosciusko, community service projects through Phi Theta Kappa and storm relief volunteer work through the American Red Cross. Langford plans to attend Mississippi State University this fall to obtain his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences before going to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to become a doctor of dental medicine. He was also recently selected as a recipient of the Mississippi Rural Dental Scholarship Program.
Avery is a business administration major from Grenada. She is a Dean’s List scholar and ACT Scholarship recipient. Avery has served as a Student Government Association representative and an Ambassador for the Grenada Campus. She also serves her community as a children’s church leader and member of the church sign language team. Avery plans to attend the University of Mississippi-Grenada to earn her bachelor’s degree in business.
Viator is a pre-law/legal studies major from New Iberia, Louisiana. He served as president of Phi Theta Kappa, vice president of Student Government Association and was named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Mississippi Academic Team. Viator was also a member of the Social Science Club and a reporter for The Growl student newspaper. He conducted academic research and data collection for Phi Theta Kappa, established awareness to new student activities and assisted in the establishment of Ridgeland’s first intramural sports program. Garrett plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting before going to law school.
For the Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan awards, Lacey Greenlee was the recipient for the Goodman Campus, Karlee Luke, for Grenada, and Jaylen Grays for Ridgeland.
Greenlee is a is a pre-med major from Kosciusko. She was Miss Holmes for the Goodman Campus, vice president of Phi Theta Kappa and a President’s List Scholar. Greenlee was also a member of the Holmes Chorale and Holmes Connection! She is a sales associate at Holt and Company, as well. Her community service includes serving as a leader for DNOW 2023 for First Baptist Church Kosciusko and volunteering for Shepherd’s Touch in Kosciusko. In her free time, Greenlee enjoys singing, dancing, hanging out with friends, spending time with family and watching movies and reality T.V. She will attend Mississippi State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in biological science. After graduating from MSU, she plans to attend University of Mississippi Medical Center to pursue a degree in medicine in hopes of becoming either an OB/GYN or pediatrician.
Luke is a nursing major from Eupora. She was president of Phi Theta Kappa, an Ambassador, Student Government Association member and Baptist Student Union member. Some of her honors included being voted Miss Holmes for the Grenada Campus, making it on the President’s List, receiving the Fine Arts Award, being voted a Sophomore Homecoming Maid and receiving the ACT Scholarship. Luke has volunteered at the annual Hope Outdoors Banquet for the past three years, and she helps organize and fill the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes each year at her church. She plans to return to Holmes in the fall to begin the Associate Degree Nursing program.
Grays is a psychology major from Jackson. He was Mr. Holmes for the Ridgeland Campus, a President’s List scholar, vice president of public relations for Phi Theta Kappa and a Student Government Association representative who assisted in founding intramural sports in Ridgeland. Additionally, he established Student Instagram Takeover. Off campus, he is an active member of Relevant Church and a member of Thursday Night Thrive. As a freshman, Grays was employed at Shoe Station and served as a volunteer for Abraham’s Kitchen. He is attending Mississippi State University in the fall and he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
After the special awards, Director of Admissions Bethany Miller addressed the graduates.
“We are so proud of you!” Miller said. “As you leave today, you are embarking upon a new chapter in your journey of life, and we sincerely hope you consider Holmes Community College a place to which you can return for support and encouragement. Our interest in you does not end today. As alumni, we ask that you stay in touch because you are important to us – our administration, faculty, and staff. You carry the legacy of Holmes with you wherever you go, so when you succeed, Holmes Community College succeeds.
Each graduate made their way to the stage one-by-one to receive their diploma as their name was called. Miller concluded the ceremony, and presented the Class of 2023 to the audience.
IN THESE PHOTOS:
(top photo) Pictured are (left to right) Grenada Campus M.C. McDaniel Scholarship recipient Hope Avery, Grenada Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan Karlee Luke, Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey, Goodman Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan Lacey Greenlee and Goodman McDaniel Scholarship recipient Chase Langford.
(bottom photo) Pictured are (left to right) Ridgeland Campus M.C. McDaniel Scholarship recipient Garrett Viator, Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey and Ridgeland Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan Jaylen Grays.