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MCC graduate gives back to school

By Staff
special to The Star
Aug. 22, 2003
Meridian Community College alumnus Tommy Hester is excited about establishing two endowments honoring the memories of family members.
Hester will name the endowment part of an institution's income that is derived from donations in honor of his parents and grandparents.
Hester gave seed monies to start the endowments during a presentation at the college. Kathy Brookshire, director of institutional advancement, applauded Hester's generosity.
His parents, Katherine Chisolm Hester and Lamar Hester, and his grandparents, Alta and Ivan Chisolm, were supporters of education. His grandmother went to Mississippi College for Women and his mother attended Meridian Junior College and the University of Alabama, later teaching school and coaching basketball.
Hester also fully endorses education. Attending MCC and then transferring to Mississippi State University, Starkville, in 1978, he worked as an accountant for five years, changed careers, and worked in oil and gas production for 20 years.
Returning to college after 23 years can be tough, but after his sister Susan convinced him to take the basic Microsoft Office course that was offered at MCC in 2001, there was no stopping Hester. He gives his instructor, Susan James, high marks.
Taking that class boosted his community college credit hours to 65, allowing him to graduate with his associate of arts degree with high honors. This spring, he received his bachelor's degree in management and is working with Clearspan Components.