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67th Founders’ Day program highlights 2016 Cultural Awareness Week
CLARKSDALE – From art and theater to music and dance, Coahoma Community College (CCC) offered its campus and the community a totally cultural experience during the institution’s 2016 Cultural Awareness Week.

67th Founders’ Day program highlights 2016 Cultural Awareness Week

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - bdavis@coahomacc.edu

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Thu Apr 7, 2016

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CLARKSDALE – From art and theater to music and dance, Coahoma Community College (CCC) offered its campus and the community a totally cultural experience during the institution’s 2016 Cultural Awareness Week.

The weeklong event, hosted April 4-8, is set aside each year as a time for CCC students, faculty, staff, alumni and community to reflect on the college’s past, celebrate the present and embrace the future. It was highlighted Wednesday with the institutions 67th Founders’ Day Celebration.

Government officials, as well as area high school students, joined the CCC community for the event designed to celebrate the founding of the institution in 1949 by way of Coahoma Agricultural High School (CAHS). The honorable United States Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) served as the keynote speaker for the event.

“I’ve been watching Congressman Thompson for over 20 years, and I think his greatest asset is his humility,” said CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner. “He has direct access to the White House, yet he still rabbit hunts with folks in the Delta.”

Towner presided over the program that included two powerful musical selections by CCC’s choir, under the direction of Kelvin Towers. Thompson was so impressed by CCC's choir’s performances that, during the program, he extended an invitation for the choir to perform in Washington, DC this fall. 

In his address, Thompson recognized CCC and the surrounding community for their victory in keeping the doors of CAHS open despite pressure from the state legislature. CAHS, affectionately know as Aggie, opened in 1924 as the first agricultural high school for African Americans in the state.

“I’m excited about the fight you all put up about Aggie. When everyone thought you’d lost, you dug deep and came back,” said Thompson of the countless individuals who rallied at the MS State Capitol is support of the beloved high school.

He then encouraged attendees to remain active in the political process by not only registering, but also exercising their right the vote. 

“Now, we have to continue the progress we’ve made. In this country we settle our differences at the election box,” he said. “Young people we’re depending on you—the future of CCC is tied directly to the presidential election in November.”

Thompson also used the opportunity to celebrate CCC faculty and staff for their role and shaping tomorrow’s leaders.

“Part of taking care of business is the training you’re giving the students here at Coahoma,” said Thompson. “If we invest in education, we can pretty much figure out what the future will be. But if we don’t invest in education, we can figure that out too.”

The event concluded with special recognition of CCC and Aggie retirees and employees reaching years of service milestones by Towner.

Addressing the eight retirees and the eight CCC employees honored during the program, Thompson acknowledged the impact educators can have on an individual’s life.

“Retirees and honorees— I want to thank you … for you took a raw product and made something out of it,” he said.

Retirees included: Johnny Noah, 18 years; Mary Holmes, 16 years; Wanda Homes, 23 years; Mary Wilson, 13 years; Vera James, 18 years; Gladys Clark, 23 years; Cheryl Barnes, 26 years; and Robert Chambers, 8 years.

Those honored for years of service were: Lynda Elliott, 15 years; Karen Woods-Done, 20 years; Robbie Wallace, 25 years; Kathy Edwards, 20 years; Helen Young, 20 years; Robert Rockett, 15 years; Joanne Thomas, 20 years; and Adrian Allen, 15 years.

CLICK HERE to see more photos from the event on CCC's Facebook page!

CLICK HERE to view a recording of the program!