In 1917 on a patch of ground in small-town Raymond, Miss., a new opportunity opened for rural boys and girls who wanted to finish high school.
That modest opportunity started as Hinds Agricultural High School with 117 students and evolved into what’s now Hinds Community College with six locations in three counties.
Hinds is celebrating its 100 Years of Community Inspired Service with nearly a year’s worth of activities, beginning with the Centennial Convocation for employees on Jan. 3 and culminating on Nov. 4 with a “Maroon Tie Gala.”
In between, alumni and other friends of Hinds will be invited back numerous times for celebrations. However, it’s not all about the institution of Hinds. It’s about the people who give Hinds its heart.
“When you start thinking about all the people who have come through the doors of Hinds, plus the businesses and industries that we have helped, our impact is much bigger than just six campuses or even much bigger than the central part of Mississippi. It’s across the nation and even internationally,” said Jackie Granberry, executive director of the Hinds Community College Foundation and co-chair of the Centennial Celebration.
“The goal of the Centennial celebration it is to reconnect many people to the college, to have everyone understand the role Hinds plays in the community and also to celebrate the many successes we have had as a college,” she said.
Some of those people involved in the success of the college were asked to share their memories of Hinds. Here are their stories:
Ted Kendall’s grandfather was F.M. Greaves, a member of the college Board of Trustees for 30 years, 20 years as president. Kendall was a trustee from 1968 to 1988 and was also board president when Muse was hired in 1978.
“My ties with Hinds go way back. Although I was never a student, Hinds has been a part of my family for a long time,” said Kendall, a farmer in Bolton. “I was blessed to be asked to be on the board. It was a great experience.”
David Barton of Raymond, an active member of the Hinds Community College Foundation, came to Hinds as a high school student in 1954.
“I came in 10th grade and graduated as a (college) sophomore in 1959. I remember things like the old barn, and the fire escapes you could slide down where the auditorium was,” he said. “This is a great place. I’ve got so many good memories of it.”
Fried chicken is what impressed Donald Oakes, retired superintendent of Vicksburg Warren schools and a current member of the Board of Trustees. He remembers “a Wednesday in 1957 when I walked on this campus. I walked into the cafeteria, and they had fried chicken for lunch. A guy from Redwood, you don’t see fried chicken on Wednesday.”
Rankin County Chancery Clerk Larry Swales is president of the Alumni Association. Hinds is where he met his wife, Linda, who became a nurse.
“I have many memories here, starting in 1970,” he said. “I could never say enough about Hinds Community College and what it means to me.”
At 80, Ann Laster of Raymond is still teaching English for Hinds, now in the dual enrollment high school program. She met her husband Bob at Hinds when she came to a basketball game with a group of her high school students.
“Hinds has been a blessing to our family. I can’t think of a better place in the world to live or better people to have as friends and associates,” she said. “I’ve had a great life, and much of that can be attributed to my time at Hinds.”
Hinds County Judge Jimmy Morton of Raymond has spent a lifetime honoring a promise he made to R.E. Woolley, who was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees, after Morton was awarded the first R.E. Woolley Scholarship.
“I promised that I would continue to give back to Hinds,” Morton said.
For years after he graduated, Morton would pick up Woolley and bring him to Hinds for events. “I don’t ever step on this campus that I don’t think about him,” he said.
Hinds Community College Centennial Celebration calendar for February-March
Feb. 7-9 7 p.m.
Montage Dance Performance of The Princess and the Frog, Cain-Cochran Hall
Feb. 12 2 p.m.
Montage Dance Performance of The Princess and the Frog, Thalia Mara Hall
Landscape Management Technology Reunion; for details contact Martha Hill at email@example.com or 601.857.3290.
March 25 3 p.m.
Hinds Connection reunion, Fountain Hall; Registration and visiting, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a dinner to begin at 5 p.m. Dinner tickets are $15. For information, please contact Mark Stanton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.857.3388.
March 31 2 p.m.
Naming of Mary Ann Greene Building at Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center
Hinds Community College, celebrating 100 years of Community Inspired Service in 2017, is a comprehensive institution with six convenient locations in the central Mississippi area. Hinds opened in September 1917 first as an agricultural high school and admitted college students for the first time in 1922, with the first class graduating in 1927. Today Hinds stands as the largest community college in Mississippi and offers quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.