Ceremony salutes College distinguished alums, employees

Leia Hill addresses the McCain Theater audience during the Hall of Fame ceremony. Leia Hill addresses the McCain Theater audience during the Hall of Fame ceremony. 

Meridian Community College honored three exceptional individuals during its annual Hall of Fame ceremony, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the institution and the wider community.

Inaugurated in the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 were Randy Carroll, Pamela Speights Harrison, and Debroah Bourrage Stokes. Harrison and Stokes are retired College employees. Harrison served as chief financial officer; Stokes was an Associate Degree Nursing Program instructor. Carroll is the chief executive officer of East Mississippi Electric Power Association. 

Carroll, who was once a non-traditional student who worked full-time during the day and took classes at night, thanked the College for giving him wings to hold various positions with EMEPA over the years. “Thank you for choosing me to soar with these distinguished Eagles,” he said. 

Stokes, who worked at MCC for 32 years, said her years at the College were both rewarding and challenging, and her greatest joy was her students. "These students are making a positive difference in promoting excellence," she said. 

Harrison, who previously held auditing positions at community colleges and a university before working at the College, said she loved the work and the people at MCC. Admitting that although there never seemed to be enough time to enjoy everything fully, Harrison said she wouldn't trade it for the world. Harrison credited everything she accomplished at MCC to others doing their work. 

In paying tribute to the Hall of Fame honorees, MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner said, “Many have contributed so much to this college. No place is better than the people who have walked the hallways.” MCC Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the MCC Foundation Leia Hill noted that it’s important to recognize the achievements of those who have made significant contributions to the College and community. 

"I hope this tradition continues to inspire and motivate others to strive for excellence and positively impact their communities," she added. 

Also recognized during the program was Kay Thomas and Michael Thompson, the newest MCC Talon Club members, which honor employees with a minimum of 30 years of service. Thomas is the director of public information; Thompson is vice president for academic affairs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.