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Mississippi College announces details of virtual commencements in December

Mississippi College leaders will honor about 1,400 graduates at virtual commencements on Dec. 12.

Ceremonies honoring the May 2020 graduates will be at 10 a.m., while August and December graduates will be honored at 2 p.m.

Serving as the guest speaker at both programs will be Steve Price, the university’s 2020 Distinguished Professor of the Year. Dr. Price is an English professor and director of the MC Writing Center.

Mississippi College is hosting virtual commencement ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MC’s COVID-19 coordinator Beth Stapleton says the virtual graduation “is a must for the students and the rest of the campus. Even though we all struggle with the way our lives have changed, this ceremony serves as a pivotal point for many students … life after graduation.”

Portions of Dr. Price’s commencement speeches will touch on challenges facing the Mississippi College community in the midst of a health emergency. As of late October, COVID-19 has claimed more than 229,000 lives across the country and resulted in over 1.1 million deaths worldwide.

“My speech will explore strength and courage and the ways I saw my students carrying out those goals,” Price said. “We have plenty to celebrate, both the graduates themselves and the ways they negotiated the pandemic as MC students.”

At the virtual graduation, Mississippi College senior Shem McConnell will deliver one of the prayers. He’s finishing his senior year one semester early. He’s then headed to Washington to attend graduate school at Georgetown University. Shem may also work on Capitol Hill.

Former Student Government Association President Aaron Feazelle will return to present a prayer for the Class of 2020 as well at commencement. Growing up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, playing MC Choctaws football and serving as an MC student leader were wonderful experiences.

Now, Aaron feels blessed to be a graduate assistant at the University of Oklahoma’s Athletic Department.

“I have already learned so much from everyone and am excited to see where God continues to lead me,” Aaron said. “I’m excited to start giving back to MC. My time there shaped me into the man I am now, so I could not be more excited about giving the invocation.”

People seeking to watch the virtual graduation ceremonies can go to mc.edu/commencement and honor MC’s Class of 2020.