MSU-Meridian graduates receive diplomas
WAITING FOR COMMENCEMENT TO COMMENCE Kimberly Jenkins, left, and Pearlie Walker pass the time Friday chatting and laughing before graduation ceremonies at Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
May 11, 2002
Kahlmus Auditorium at Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus overflowed Friday with friends, family and faculty who came to see the Class of 2002 receive diplomas.
Former Gov. William F. Winter was the guest speaker. His comments were reflective, going back more than 50 years, when he was first elected to the Legislature shortly after after World War II.
New generation makes changes
Since that time, Winter said, a generation of more creative and enlightened leaders emerged fueled by the intellectual force of universities like MSU.
Winter concluded his remarks saying: "It is now our duty to demonstrate, as we never have before, our ability and commitment to work together to overcome the forces of ignorance and prejudice and hatred that would diminish our humanity and destroy our civility. That is the inescapable legacy of leadership that you and I have assumed and that we celebrate today."
Cumberland: We need teachers
Since its establishment in 1972, MSU-Meridian has typically served working, non-traditional students.
Terry Lamar Cumberland of Philadelphia, who received a bachelor's degree in secondary education/social studies, was the only MSU-Meridian graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Cumberland, 35, works part-time as a security guard.
He said he pursued a degree in education because of the need for teachers.
Frazier: Juggling work and school
Harold Frazier, 52, of Bailey, received a master's degree in business administration Friday and was one of several Outstanding Graduates who received certificates from MSU-Meridian interim Dean Dennis Mitchell prior to commencement.
Frazier works at Meridian Mutual Federal Credit Union.
He said he began work on his master's four years ago and he earned his undergraduate accounting degree at MSU-Meridian over a period of 10 years.
He said juggling work and school took a lot of understanding from his family.
The 2002 class totaled 117 graduates from Mississippi and Alabama. Seven graduated summa cum laude, with a quality point average of 3.8 or higher. There were eight magna cum laude graduates who had QPAs of at least 3.60, and 11 cum laude honor graduates with QPAs of at least 3.4.