Decades of dedication and service to Meridian Community College were recognized and celebrated when MCC hosted a retiree reception Monday.
Retirees included Laura Fitzgerald and Durranda Howse, Associate Degree Nursing Program instructors; Sandra Thomas, Practical Nursing Program instructor; Mary Tolbert, Dental Health Programs secretary; Pete Willis, energy education and property control specialist; Joseph White, evening campus police officer; and Dr. Richie McAlister, associate vice president for workforce education. Their combined years of service total to 124 years.
McAlister logged in the most service to the College – 37 years as an MCC employee. “He is a true treasure to this College and community,” said MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner. Explaining when he transitioned to lead Meridian Community College, Dr. Huebner said Dr. McAlister’s assistance was invaluable. “He knows the processes, he knows the people,” Huebner added.
Dr. McAlister credited and complimented his colleagues for their help and support including former MCC President Dr. Bill Scaggs who advanced the career and technical education programs and Dr. Huebner, who Dr. McAlister said, “is wanting to create new opportunities.”
“It’s been fantastic. I love MCC. It’s what’s it’s all about,” Dr. McAlister said of his career at MCC.
Willis, echoing Dr. McAlister, shared highlights of his work and encouraged colleagues, “get involved in something that’s not a part of your job,” he said.
Dr. Huebner added the retirees all display a strong sense of community. “You work not just because it is a job. It’s a calling,” he said.
Huebner added, “Your influence will be long-standing, powerful and true.”
Photo: Durranda Howse, left, Pete Willis, Laura Fitzgerald and Dr. Richie McAlister were among the honorees feted at the College’s retirement reception.