Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ned W. Gathwright, center, stands with his wife Fannie Gathwright and daughters Sabrina (left) and Katrina (right) following the unveiling of CCC's Workforce Development Center named in his honor.
CLARKSDALE – Coahoma Community College’s Workforce Development Center is now sporting a new name in honor of alumnus, former instructor and board member Ned W. Gathwright.
CCC faculty, staff, alumni, community leaders and well wishers assembled in the building, located off the main campus at 510 Sunbelt Drive in Clarksdale, for the dedication ceremony Monday afternoon.
A native of Marks, MS, Gathwright is a alumnus of both Coahoma Agricultural High School and the former Coahoma Junior College. He served as long-time instructor at CCC and has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1988.
Surrounded by his wife, Fannie, and twin daughters Sabrina and Katrina, a poised 80-year-old Gathwright smiled humbly as his friends and colleagues reminisced on his time at CCC and his legacy within the Quitman County community.
“You know, this is a prize for me. I appreciate your attendance and your willingness to come out today,” remarked Gathwright. “I was over Building and Grounds for a while, but I never thought I would get a building named for me though. It was a real surprise, and I appreciate it.”
The ceremony, led by CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner, included invocation by Mr. CCC Cadarius Cannon, a greeting from CCC Workforce Development Executive Director Steven Jossell and a special video reflecting Gathwright’s time at CCC by Director of Web Services Ezra Howard.
“We have assembled here today to simply say thank you to one who has labored unselfishly and tirelessly, as well as given so much in many roles on numerous levels,” said Jossell. “When I dissect the word “workforce development” I am quickly reminded that Mr. Gathwright epitomizes the words ‘work’ and ‘development’, for he served as a lifelong proponent in masterfully shaping the lives and honing the skills of so many throughout his illustrious career.”
Remarks were also made by Pauline Rhodes on behalf of CCC’s Board of Trustees; Manuel Killebrew, Quitman County Board of Supervisor President; Marks, MS Mayor Joe Shegog; Clarksdale, MS Mayor Bill Luckett; and Gathwright’s longtime friend Rev. Ezra Towner Jr.
Former CCC Presidents Dr. McKinley C. Martin and Dr. Vivian M. Presley were also in attendance for the special event.
Killebrew, who recalled Gathwright as his ninth grade teacher and instructor when attending CCC, appointed Gathwright to CCC’s Board of Trustee. He said it is an honor to have a man of Gathwright’s magnitude represent Quitman County.
“Back in my high school days I would say he was a mean man,” said Killebrew. “But when I was elected for the Board of Supervisors I was asked to appoint somebody to represent Quitman County on (CCC’s) board and I had to come back and think about Mr. Gathwright. …He was the man we selected. I think he’s done a wonderful job because whenever we would need something, perhaps a student who needed help getting money, I would ask Mr. Gathwright and he would respond at all times. We’re proud to have him represent Quitman County.”
Following the program, guests moved outside for the unveiling of the building’s new sign, a balloon released by CCC Presidents Towner, Presley and Martin and a reception hosted in the newly named Ned W. Gathwright Workforce Development Center lobby.
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