Edwards Announced as CCC Commencement Speaker
CLARKSDALE - Coahoma Community College announced Wednesday that Dr. Lonnie J. Edwards Sr. will give the commencement address during the institution’ 62th graduation ceremony, slated for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, in the Pinnacle.
Edwards, a 1969 graduate of CCC, is an experienced educator and the former superintendent of Jackson, Mississippi Municipal Schools and the retired assistant superintendent of the DeKalb County School System—one of the largest public educational systems in the state of Georgia. He has attained national prominence as an author, motivational speaker and as a leading spokesperson for the Mississippi Community and Junior College System.
“I’m indeed honored to be asked to return to CCC as the commencement speaker,” said Edwards. “I’m humbled because I know what CCC has done for me. I’m a lifelong Coahomian, and I’ll always embrace the Tiger fever.”
In keeping with the theme, “Years of Education to Extend Your Horizons” Edwards plans to offer the expected 355 graduates a final lesson on striving for success as they leave CCC to embark on other endeavors.
“I plan to encourage the graduates to be the best that they can be as they move forward into a new arena of education. If they can succeed at Coahoma Community College, then they can succeed at anything else in the world,” Edwards said.
Edwards said he’s also looking forward to meeting the CCC family—President (Dr. Valmadge Towner), the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and most importantly the CCC students and their families.
A native of Shaw, Mississippi, Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Psychology from Montevallo University after receiving an associate’s degree from Coahoma.
Edwards was the first Black male athlete recruited and admitted to the university, and after graduating with honors, Edwards was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame at both CCC and Montevallo University.
When his chances for a professional basketball career ended prematurely, Edwards re-focused his career goals and utilized his training to become an educator. He earned two master’s degrees in School Administration and Physical Education from the University of Montevallo and a doctoral degree in School Administration from Clark Atlanta University.
Edwards is the author of the book, “A Teacher’s Touch Reaching Beyond Boundaries” and the co-founder and chairman of the Board of Directors for the Edwards-Miller Foundation for Physical Disabilities, Inc.
In 2003, Edwards was selected as Coahoma Community College’s “Top Role Model”, and in 2007, he was inducted into the Mississippi Community College & Junior College Sports Hall of Fame as one of its 45 charter members for his noteworthy contributions on and off the basketball court.
Edwards resides in the Atlanta area with his wife, Cynthia. He has two children, Lonnie Jr. and Lynda.