CCC Honors 8 Long-Time Employees with Retirement Celebration
CLARKSDALE – It was a sad but joyous occasion Monday as Coahoma Community College honored eight long-time employees during a retirement celebration.
The celebration, hosted in the Magnolia Room of CCC’s Zee A. Barron Student Union, was held in honor of Yvonne Stanford, director of library services; Catha Youngblood, communications clerk; William Houston, chief of police; Oscar Haynes, campus police; Gloria Gipson, LPN instructor; Birley Gipson, math instructor; Albert Douglas, grounds keeper; and Patricia Brooks, director of financial aid.
Collectively, the eight employees contributed 149 years of service to the institution.
“You have been the ‘under the hood’ workers—you may not have been seen but we know that you were doing some important things,” said President Dr. Valmadge Towner. “The little things that we’re honoring you all with right now certainly does not repay you. But we do want to say again—on the behalf of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and student body—thank you for all you have done and hopefully all that you will continue to do for the years to come.”
The program opened with invocation by Executive Director of CCC’s Workforce Development Center Steven Jossell.
The honorees fought back tears as Emanuel Lackey gave a soulful rendition of “May the work I’ve done speak for me.”
CCC’s Dean of Career and Technical Education Anne Shelton Clark addressed the new retirees with expressions.
“I congratulate you for commitment to ‘The College that Cares’, the college of ‘Quality and Excellence’, and the college to ‘Discover…Grow…Excel,’” said Clark. “You have demonstrated in many ways your commitment and abilities, and you are to be commended for a job well done.”
Clark then compared life to an open book. In Chapter 1, Clark noted that all were native Mississippians, born in Coahoma County and educated in the public schools of Coahoma County.
“I see that your life was not made of crystal stairs, but by turning corners and reaching landings, we find you at Coahoma Community College achieving and attaining heights,” said Clark.
Referring to Chapter 2, Clark listed the attributes accredited to the retirees by their colleagues.
“Those who worked with you have accredited you, Mrs. Stanford, with character, tenacity, integrity and straight-forwardness. Chief Houston, you have been attributed with bravery, commitment, devotion, firmness and assertiveness. Mrs. Youngblood, you have been noted as sincere, courteous and respectful. Officer Haynes, you have been listed as kind, gentle, and open-minded,” she said.
“In his absence, Mr. Douglas, you have been observed as skillful, thoughtful, and tactful. Mrs. Brooks was recognized as charismatic, charming, supportive and timely.
Mrs. Gipson was recorded as dedicated, committed and hardworking. Mr. Gipson was known to be funny, knowledgeable, understanding and intuitive.”
Clark said she now has been honored with the task to complete the honorees’ final chapter at CCC
“Each of you hoped to make the world a better place in which to live. You have worked tirelessly to better the lives of those in the community and throughout the state of Mississippi. Your commitment and vision has led Coahoma Community College and Agricultural High School to greater success and is a reflection in the workforce that we now depend upon. “
The celebration closed with Towner presenting each of the honorees present with a plaque thanking them for their commitment and years of service.
“This may tarnish; this may fade,” said Towner. “But the relationships you have with Coahoma Community College they will never tarnish—you will never lose them.”
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