Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is now an honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa. The presentation was made during the Mississippi/Louisiana Fall Leadership Conference, which was held August 26-27 at Mississippi College in Clinton.
More than 225 Phi Theta Kappa members heard Reeves speak during the conference on Saturday morning. Reeves will be listed as a member of the Beta Tau Gamma Chapter at Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Center.
“Thank you to the Mississippi/Louisiana Region of Phi Theta Kappa for the warm welcome and sharp questions,” Reeves wrote in a Facebook post following the event. “These students definitely have a bright future.”
Mississippi College alumnus Dr. William Lewis, Pearl River Community College President and a past Phi Theta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon Award recipient, introduced Reeves to the crowd.
Twenty-six chapters from Mississippi and Louisiana attended the Leadership Conference. Associate Regional Coordinator Dr. Terri Smith Ruckel said this conference — the region’s second to focus specifically on leadership — saw a 10 percent increase in attendance over last year’s.
One highlight of the event was a keynote address by Dr. Benny J. Hornsby, who recently retired as Chair of Psychology and Director of Institutional Research at William Carey University and who served for 36 years in the U.S. Navy and its Chaplain Corps.
The weekend also featured multiple educational forums, including some led by Mississippi College faculty and administrators. Dr. Mignon Kucia, professor of communication, led “Developing Leadership: Rules, Roles and Membership;” Michael Wright, Assistant Director of Enrollment Services, led “Playing the Leading Role;” and Chris Smith, professor of business, led “Personal Branding: The Value of Ethical Leadership.”
“Mississippi College was very supportive of our conference, and they went out of their way to accommodate us,” Ruckel said. “They were also responsible for goodie bags, and those bags were literally stuffed with an MC t-shirt and other souvenirs, which the students really enjoyed and appreciated.”
Mississippi College President Dr. Lee G. Royce welcomed the region on behalf of the college in the opening general session Friday evening. He also had dinner with the Mississippi/Louisiana Regional Officer Team — a great treat for the students.
“We would also like to thank Angie Hardin, Director of Transfer Recruitment, and her staff, as well as Brandon Cervenka, Admissions Counselor, and Renee Hood, Coordinator of Campus Visits and Special Events, for their vision, flexibility and dedication,” said Dr. Ryan Ruckel, Mississippi/Louisiana Regional Coordinator.
Attendees also collected $5,000 to be donated to and divided evenly among four community colleges in Louisiana and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System that were impacted by the recent extreme flooding in the state.