All of Mississippi has grown thanks to Dr. Muse’s leadership

Published 8:24 pm Friday, December 6, 2019

The state of education and higher learning in Mississippi will be forever changed on June 30, 2020 when one man leaves his office for the final time.

Earlier this week, Dr. Clyde Muse, the man who has led Hinds Community College as its president for 42 years announced he would step down in June, turning over the reins of a school that has both flourished in his tenure and changed the lives of countless thousands.

When Muse was named president of then-Hinds Junior College on July 1, 1978, it was a shell of the school he will soon hand over to his successor. In his service that has spanned more than four decades, Hinds has become one of the premier learning institutions in the state and the region. It has grown to multiple campuses, been at the forefront of positive change in communities throughout central Mississippi and driven the focus of workforce development.

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And you have to look no further than Vicksburg to see what impact Muse and his leadership have had.

Just this year, through a partnership with the Vicksburg Warren School District and the Warren County Board of Supervisors, a new building was welcomed on Hinds’ Vicksburg campus that houses the River City Early College High School, who this year will celebrate their first graduating class.

Hinds has a rich tradition of educational excellence, career readiness and providing the fuel that drives economic development in much of Mississippi, but that leadership in the state is a credit to the man who has provided leadership to the school.

This week, we asked someone who knows Dr. Muse very well, has worked with him closely on projects and has a lifetime of experiences with him for his thoughts. We could not have said it any better.

Dr. Muse has been an amazing influence on my life. His loyalty to students has always been his priority. His career in K-12 before his extensive service as President of HCC allowed him to understand that education is systemic and it begins long before they graduate from high school.

He also understands that workforce development doesn’t begin at the college doorstep. Because of this, he has been an invaluable partner to the VWSD.  He fully understands and believes that ‘All Education Leads to Employment.’

He is a visionary and a trailblazer who has fought to change the face of college opportunities for students in Warren County and Vicksburg.

From squirrel hunting with him and his brother when I was a little boy, to being his student while I attended HCC, until now where I serve as an HCC Board of Trustee, I’ve always counted it a privilege to know Dr. Muse.

He is one of the most remarkable exemplars of servant leadership I’ve ever seen. His love for his family and his kindness to his friends could be seen daily in his actions.

In a world full of people, he’s one of the men to be admired, respected and emulated. He will be always remembered and never replaced as the finest Community College President — ever.”

— Chad Shealy, Vicksburg Warren Superintendent of Education