CCC Retirement Reception Overwhelms Dr. Vivian Presley
CLARKSDALE – Almost all faculty, staff, and trustees of Coahoma Community College promised Tuesday’s retirement reception for Dr. Vivian Presley would be a joyful celebration with no tears in the Pinnacle.
It worked through the procession with Orlando Paden escorting CCC’s fourth president into the Pinnacle; it worked through Lacey Owten’s invocation, through the lists of new $26 million buildings on campus, new instructional programs, online classes she pioneered, and the amazing litany of her trail-blazing honors.
But when vocalist Talisha Young, music master Kelvin Towers, and a CCC faculty choir conspired in a “We’ll be there,” presentation, resolve began to crumble.
Tony Brooks called her a “forward-looking,” “can-do-thinking” leader who motivated him; the Coahoma Agricultural High School faculty choir chanted accolades praising her “love of students at Aggie as your own children,” and performed, “We’ll be Missing You.”
Vocalist Yolanda Miller, Dr. Presley’s executive assistant for the past 15 years, accompanied by her brother, Chris Dixon, sent the no-tear resolve packing.
However, comic relief intervened via Deborah Carter, president of the Faculty Association, offering a guessing game that eventually awarded Dr. Presley a trip to London.
“I am completely undone; it doesn’t get any better than this,” commented Dr. Presley. “To say I am grateful is the understatement of the century.”
“How do I say thanks? To God goes the glory in all things, but I thank you with overwhelming love,” she said.
“I came here as a 22-year-old, raised a young son and grandchildren here; you have been my family,” she said. “I have spent two-thirds of my life here, and this will always be a special place in my heart.”
She closed quoting My Tribute lyrics, “The voices of a million angels cannot express my gratitude.”
A lavish reception catered by Valley Food services followed the program.