Skip to content Skip to footer

Holmes holds 96th Commencement on May 9

Holmes Community College held the 96th Commencement Exercises on Thursday, May 9 in Frank Branch Coliseum on the Goodman Campus. The Ridgeland Campus and Yazoo Center ceremony was held at 10 a.m. and the Goodman Campus, Grenada Campus and Attala Center had a ceremony at 2 p.m. The ceremonies were also live streamed at

Each ceremony began with a faculty and administration processional. Colin Crosby, a Ridgeland Campus Holmes Ambassador and Phi Theta Kappa vice president, served as the mace-bearer for the first ceremony. Grenada Campus Phi Theta Kappa member and public safety student worker Thomas Lordeon 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 2023-2024 school year.

Next, Ridgeland Campus Phi Theta Kappa member Graham Lambert gave the invocation during the first ceremony and Goodman Campus Phi Theta Kappa member, Baptist Student Union member and Ambassador Audrey Eldridge gave it during the second one. Vice President for Career Technical Education Dr. Amy Whittington and Vice President for Academic Programs Dr. Jenny Bailey Jones followed the invocation with a welcome and a few inspiring remarks.

“In the words of Mississippi’s own B.B. King, ‘The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you,'” Dr. Whittington said. “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 how to continue to make Mississippi a great place to live and work. These are the fruits of a college education and the skills for a lifetime, the building blocks of a productive, ethical and satisfying life.

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. Whittington and Dr. Jones’ 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.

Colin Crosby of Ridgeland was the M.C. McDaniel Scholarship recipient for the Ridgeland Campus; Baker Avant of Carrollton, for Grenada, and Demeria Moore of Goodman for the Goodman Campus.

Crosby is a mechanical engineering major who was active on campus as a President’s List Scholar, Phi Theta Kappa vice president, an Ambassador, Rotaract member and calculus tutor. He wrapped Christmas presents for Mission First with Rotoract and served as an escort for the 2023 Homecoming Court, as well. Additionally, Crosby is employed as a part-time barista at Mocha Mugs Coffee Shop and serves as a mentor/leader for middle and high school students at Colonial Heights Baptist Church. Crosby plans to attend Mississippi State University where he will pursue a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. He is also interested in pursuing a master’s in automotive engineering, as well.

Avant is an accounting major who was voted Mr. Holmes 2024 for the Grenada Campus and chosen as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa All-Mississippi Academic Team, as well. He also served as an Ambassador, vice president of scholarship for the Alpha Mu Beta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, vice president of Student Government Association and as a member of Baptist Student Union. Avant is a President’s List Scholar, President’s ACT Scholarship recipient, 2023 Business Administration Award recipient and a 2023 Grenada Campus Favorite too. He serves as a youth director for Holcomb Baptist Church and has served as a 911 dispatcher for Carroll County E-911 since 2022. Avant is skilled in graphic design and photo/video editing, so he often assists family and friends with projects, as well. Avant plans on attending Mississippi State University to pursue a degree in accounting.

Moore is a computer science major who was part of Holmes Plus, a tutor (STEM Lab and Student Support Services MOSAIC), treasurer for SSS MOSAIC, a member of Baptist Student Union, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an ACT Scholarship recipient, a Foundation Scholarship recipient (both years) and served as a counselor for the Global Teaching Project. She also received the English Composition Award, was a Musial Award Honoree, was named a Class Favorite both years and placed in the Creative Writing Contest both years. Moore plans on continuing her education at Mississippi State University, pursuing degrees in biological science as well as computer science. Along with her studies, she plans to spend her summers participating in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) to grow her technical and analytical skills at some of the most prestigious laboratories in the nation.

For the Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan awards, Mary Kate Hamilton of Madison was the recipient for the Ridgeland Campus, Radleigh Woods of Winona, for Grenada, and Caitlin Settlemir of Kosciusko for Goodman.

Hamilton is a business management major who served as vice president for fundraising for Phi Theta Kappa and completed an internship with Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Headquarters during her sophomore year. She helped raise funds for PTK by creating an online auction for faculty, staff, students and outside community members. She was also active with PTK’s Honors in Action and College Project Papers. Additionally, she is employed as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble and serves as a church nursery worker for Saint Richards Catholic Church. She has been named to the President’s List, as well. Hamilton plans on pursuing her bachelor’s in business administration at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Woods is a pre-dental hygiene major. She was involved on campus as a Holmes Ambassador, member of the Student Government Association and the Baptist Student Union. Woods was also vice president of service for Phi Theta Kappa, a President’s List Scholar and a Grenada Campus Class Favorite. Additionally, she is a member of First Baptist Winona, an aftercare worker for First Baptist Church Preschool, an assistant at Hoover Dental Office and a Mission Hope volunteer. Woods plans to attend The University of Mississippi Medical Center’s dental hygiene program this fall.

Settlemir is a secondary education major who served as a member of the Kappa Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. For the Kappa Alpha Chapter, she had the most volunteer hours, including induction ceremonies, fundraising, chapter meetings and community engagement activities. She was honored as the ” highest seller” for fundraising events for Operation Christmas Child, as well. Settlemir plans to attend Mississippi State University and major in secondary education – English.

After the special awards, Dr. Whittington addressed the graduates once last time.

“We are so proud of you!” Dr. Whittington 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.”

Dr. Whittington then explained the various honor cords, stoles, tassels and medals before the graduates made their way to the stage to receive their diplomas.

Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey concluded the ceremony by presenting the Class of 2024 to the audience.



(top photo) Pictured are (left to right) Ridgeland Campus Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan Mary Kate Hamilton, Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey and Ridgeland McDaniel Scholarship recipient Colin Crosby.   

(bottom photo) Pictured are (left to right) Goodman Campus M.C. McDaniel Scholarship recipient Demeria Moore, Grenada Campus M.C. McDaniel Scholarship recipient Baker Avant, Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey, Grenada Campus Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan Radleigh Woods and Goodman Outstanding Phi Theta Kappan Caitlin Settlemir.


Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, age, disability or genetic information in its educational programs and activities,
employment practices, or admissions processes. The following administrators have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of Holmes Community College:

Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, ADEA, and Title IX are coordinated by the Vice President for
Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369,
Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429,

Inquiries regarding compliance with Section 504 and ADA are coordinated by the Disability Student Services
Coordinator, M.R. Thorne Vocational-Technical Building, Room 110, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079,
Phone: 662-472-9088,
Share on facebook
Share on twitter