By Anne McKee / guest columnist
The Meridian Star
I write from two perspectives: MCC student and MCC Continuing Education instructor. I was a student in the mid-60s and an instructor for the last five years. Both have been very joyful – can’t decide which was best, because, you see, having MCC in my life continues.
As I browse through the school annual of that long-ago-time, the 1960s, it is worth noting MCC was then known as Meridian Junior College and located on the Meridian High School campus. We were known as the 13th and 14th grades. Although the college campus had a feel of high school, we MCC students knew we had made the big step into college. It was a wonderful time.
According to the MCC web site: http://www.meridiancc.edu – below is the recorded history of MCC:
"Founded in 1937 as the “13th and 14th grades” at Meridian High School, Meridian Community College is the only one of Mississippi’s 15 public community colleges to originate through the initiative of a local school system. MCC began as the vision of Dr. H.M. Ivy (1884-1977), superintendent of the Meridian Separate School District in the 1930s. The college, then known as Meridian Junior College, operated at Meridian High School until 1965 when the college moved to its present location.
"In 1970, the college merged with the historically African-American T.J. Harris Junior College as a result of a federal court order to the Meridian Municipal Separate School System. More than 400 students and faculty joined the MJC campus from Harris that year.
"Meridian Junior College made its final break with Meridian Public Schools by establishing its own district and Board of Trustees in 1980.
"As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the college changed its name to Meridian Community College to more accurately reflect its mission and the diversity of opportunities it provides for a growing community area.
Dr. William F. “Bill” Scaggs became MCC’s first official president in 1968 and served in the capacity until the fall of 1998. Under Dr. Scaggs’ leadership, the college engaged in an impressive capital improvements program, adding several buildings to its physical plant and continuously expanding its Career and Technical Education and academic programs. He guided the establishment of The MCC Foundation, and became one of the state’s leaders in educational technology.
"Upon Dr. Scaggs’ retirement, MCC’s baseball facility was named “William F. Scaggs Field” in recognition of not only his considerable contributions to the college but also his abiding love for the national pastime."
Fast forward to 2013 – Meridian Community College, under the leadership of Dr. Scott D. Elliott, president, has continued with its mighty legacy. According to Dr. Elliott, as posted on the MCC web site: … We were all students once and remember what it was like to have many questions about college. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what we are here for – to help you! If there is anything that I can do as your president to personally assist you in reaching your goals, please don’t hesitate to seek me out. The only reason I have a job is to serve students like you, and I try very hard never to forget that.
Congratulations to MCC – 75 years of serving our community with academic excellence offered with a warm and caring heart.
Otis Earl update
I have heard from so many of you regarding last week’s column about the Red Blood Hound puppy, Otis Earl. Otis Earl’s mom called. I had never met her, but we struck up a fast friendship and I am excited to soon meet the pup’s family – more on that later, but right now, we need to bring Otis Earl home. His mom explained that he has been missing since September. There have been many “Otis Earl sightings” during the last few months, but he has not come home. If you have any information about a sweet, friendly Red Blood Hound (young, but fully grown), please let me know through my website listed below or call 601-681-8525. He was last seen in the North Lauderdale County area, near the Bailey Community, King Road, and Windsor Drive.
Anne B. McKee is a writer and storyteller. Visit her web site: www.annemckee.net.