MCC Foundation hosts annual membership; Hardin Foundation saluted for service

While showcasing the theme, MCC… New Beginnings, Meridian Community College’s 2018 Foundation Membership Celebration carried the catchphrase throughout the evening spotlighting for the first time a video tribute to a foundation.

At previous celebrations, community leaders were recognized for their contributions in a special video tribute that is played as a highlight of the evening. This year, the Phil Hardin Foundation took center stage.

“We are really appreciative and delighted for MCC to recognize the Phil Hardin Foundation.  I think we have a partnership that is like hand-in-glove as it should be,” said Lloyd Gray, executive director of The Phil Hardin Foundation.

Barbara Jones, vice president for advancement and executive director of the MCC Foundation, said the Hardin Foundation’s support of the College is far-reaching. “Their support for MCC goes back to the 1970s by providing scholarships for students, various grants for programs at our college and a large endowment for the Phil Hardin Honors College,” Jones said.

Since its inception, The Phil Hardin Foundation has provided more than $38.8 million in grants and loans to further Mr. Hardin’s charitable intent: To improve the education of Mississippians.

“Our hope is to see education at all levels in this community to be a model for the rest of the state and MCC is such as integral part of not only the educational mix in this county but also economic development, community development and so our partnership makes all the sense in the world from that standpoint. Our goals are the same, our hopes for the community are the same and we’re proud to be a partner with MCC,” Gray said.

“MCC is at the heart of this community’s hopes for a strong and prosperous future,” Gray said.

President and Chairman of the Phil Hardin Foundation Board Robert Ward echoed Gray’s appreciation for The MCC Foundation for the honor. “Thank you for what you do to make this a vibrant community for all who live, learn and work here,” he said.

MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner thanked The Hardin Foundation for believing and investing in the College. “They have given life-changing dollars to fund programs and scholarships that have made a true impact on the lives of students who have passed through our doors.”

“Your dollars are truly transformative, and we can’t thank you enough,” Huebner said.

Also during the event, MCC Foundation Board Outgoing President Tim Hogan and MCC Foundation Incoming President Robert Smith served as guest speakers as did Jones.

The College’s vocal performing ensemble, The Dimensions, entertained the members as well.