Funeral today for Hinds CC’s Vashti Muse

Published 12:28 pm Monday, July 12, 2010

The funeral for Vashti Underwood Muse, an educator and wife of the president of Hinds Community College, was set for this afternoon on the Raymond campus.

Mrs. Muse, 76, died Friday in a car wreck south of Hattiesburg. Services were to begin at 4 p.m. at Cain-Cochran Hall. Burial, directed by Wright and Ferguson of Jackson, was to follow at Raymond Cemetery.

“For more than 50 years, Vashti Muse was the underdog’s champion who made sure that at-risk students had an opportunity to succeed,” said Cathy Hayden, spokesman for HCC, in a statement. “Her passion for helping underprepared students began when teaching first-grade students. That first experience of teaching a child to love learning fueled her lifelong commitment to developmental education.”

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Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict said Mrs. Muse died of multiple internal injuries in the wreck about 12:30 p.m. near Carnes. She and Dr. Clyde Muse, who was driving, were traveling to the annual meeting of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges trustees in Biloxi, said an HCC spokesman.

Dr. Muse apparently fell asleep at the wheel and the car struck a tree on the median, a Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol officer said.

Mrs. Muse was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dr. Muse was treated and released from Forrest General Hospital, a hospital spokesman said this morning.

Over the course of her career, Mrs. Muse received many awards and commendations for her contributions to the field of developmental education, including Hinds’ 3-E Award — Emphasis on Excellence and Enrichment — for Outstanding Service to the College. She was also honored with a joint resolution by the state Legislature, awarded in April.

From 1961 to 1978, Mrs. Muse taught in public elementary schools in Starkville, Hinds and Lauderdale counties. She became a member of the Hinds reading faculty in 1980, soon after her husband became president of the college.

She was a member of the Raymond United Methodist Church, where she served in many capacities. She was also involved in community and civic affairs in Raymond and Jackson, including work for the American Cancer Society, Kidney Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, People of Vision and the American Heart Association.

In addition to her husband of 58 years, she is survived by three children, eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, two sisters and one brother.