Coahoma Community College hosts 65th Commencement
CLARKSDALE – “Congratulations, good luck and go change this country!”

Coahoma Community College hosts 65th Commencement

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green -


Mon May 15, 2017

CLARKSDALE – “Congratulations, good luck and go change this country!”

Those were the final words from Harvard professor Elizabeth Hinton during her keynote address to the 488 students receiving associate’s degrees or certificates Saturday at Coahoma Community College’s 65th Commencement Exercise.

Thousands attended the event, hosted at 10 a.m. in the Pinnacle.

They were welcomed by CCC’s 2017 salutatorian Zylphra Scott of Gunnison, MS.

“Today is a special day as we stand on the shoulders of those who have paved a way for us,” Scott said.

“Graduation day is a time to reflect on yesterday, appreciate today and plan for tomorrow. …This is now the start of our journey towards new academic paths and awaiting careers.”

Class Valedictorian LaDeja Strong of Clarksdale, MS introduced Hinton, who currently serves an assistant professor for Harvard’s History and African American Studies departments.

Referring to CCC’s status as the only remaining historically Black community college in the nation, Hinton said she was honored to serve as the commencement speaker.

“This school is a national treasure, so this is one of the greatest moments in my own life, and I am inspired by each of you,” she said.

A noted historian, Hinton said the country has come a long way but still has a long way to go.

 “I look at the nation and the world today and I still see many issues and causes that demand our sacrifices. There remains so much history to be made, and it is our responsibility to make it.”

 Hinton then used the opportunity to share with those in attendance how they too could become engaged to make the country better.

“We must strive to create a better society here in the United Stated, and, in doing so, a better world,” she said. “This is the ultimate honor we can give to our ancestors for all their struggle and their toil.”

She charged graduates to play an active role in shaping history.

“We all carry this within us…to help all of mankind achieve social justice and liberation by engaging in education, critical thinking and organizing with the most marginalized communities,” Hinton said. “It’s up to us how we go on about meeting these challenges to make history.”

Hinton said the graduates could work personally to change history by being strong and confident in their identity and proving the doubters wrong.

As a community, she challenged those in attendance to question the world, build towards change and work to understand and empathize with those who are not as fortunate.

“We need to sympathize and build common ground…it’s key for how to change history,” she said.

“As our future, as graduates of Coahoma, as symbols of that progress, you must continue to carry that forward as you make your own mark on the world.”

Also featured during the ceremony were the “Golden Anniversary Graduates”, who commemorated 50 years since their own graduation as the 15th graduating class of the then Coahoma Junior College.

CLICK HERE to view more photos from the ceremony on CCC"s Facebook page!