WCU Hosts MAC Conference

Hattiesburg, Miss., October 3, 2012 - William Carey University hosted the 79th annual Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities (MAC) Conference October 1-2. Dr. Tommy King, president of WCU, is current president of MAC, and Dr. Clyde Muse, president of Hinds Community College, is the incoming MAC president. The theme was “Leadership to Lift Mississippi.”

The goal of the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities is to promote goodwill among colleges and universities, stimulate academic and professional cooperation among the membership, consider common problems, and perform an accreditation function for higher education in the state of Mississippi.

The conference opened on October 1 with a plenary session in Smith Auditorium on WCU’s campus, featuring The Honorable Charles Pickering, retired judge of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, as keynote speaker. A panel with the theme “Leadership to Advance our State” included Dr. Johnny Dupree, mayor of the city of Hattiesburg, Mr. Brent Christensen, executive director of Mississippi Development Authority, and Dr. Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education, with Dr. Scott Hummel, vice president for advancement and church relations at WCU, as the moderator.

The first day of the conference also included a luncheon, student leadership development sessions with Lt. Col. Fred Varnado and his wife Col. Sheila Varnado, and section meetings and breakout sessions covering a wide variety of topics. A reception was held at the Historic Hattiesburg Train Depot following the day’s events. Other evening activities included tours of the African-American Historical Museum and the Oddfellow Gallery as well as a concert in Bennett Auditorium directed by Dr. Jay Dean.

The second day of the conference was held at the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center. The day opened with a second plenary session, featuring Special Agent (SA) Tarik Larry, SA Scott Wells, and Intelligence Analyst (IA) Jessica Graham, all of the Jackson division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as keynote speakers. The speakers covered the topic “Security Issues Facing Higher Education.” Following the session was another series of breakout meetings.

The conference concluded with the Halbrook Awards Luncheon and business meeting, and a presentation entitled “America’s Future: Presidential Election Update.” The Halbrook Awards Luncheon featured M.L. Car, former NBA player, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, as guest speaker. The presidential update presentation was given by Stacey Pickering, Mississippi State Auditor and state chairman for the Romney for President Campaign, and Carolyn Warner, founder and president of Corporate Education Consulting, Inc., and national chairwoman DNC from Arizona.

(left to right) James Doss, a senior William Carey University basketball player from Flora; Dr. Tommy King, president of William Carey University and the president for MAC; M. L. Carr, former NBA player, entrepreneur, and philanthropist; Dr. Clyde Muse, president of Hinds Community College and the incoming president for MAC; and Dr. Alfred Rankings, Jr., assistant commissioner for academic and student affairs for the Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) and secretary-treasurer, pose on stage immediately following the Halbrook Awards Luncheon of the 2012 Mississippi Association of Colleges & Universities (MAC) conference hosted by WCU October 1-2. Doss gave the invocation for the luncheon, and Carr served