Men’s Soccer Eyes GSC Crown / Jace Aymond

With a team that led the Gulf South Conference in scoring at around 2.5 per match, the men’s soccer team rolled to an undefeated regular season that was shortened to only four games due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, their season came to an end in a 3-1 loss to Christian Brothers University in the semifinals of the GSC Spring Championship Series. 

An experienced, older team with only one player graduated from last year’s squad has Coach Kevin Johns feeling that “talent-wise, we’ll definitely be good enough to compete for a conference championship… There should not be any reason a team like this should not compete for a conference championship and hopefully get into the national tournament.”

For the 2021 season, the Choctaws are returning crucial players such as Antoine Recizac and Zach Diallo, who both led the team in goals last season. Defender Connor Johnson and goalkeeper Alejandro Chavarria, who was first team All-South Region and National Player of the Week in 2019, also return for the fall. 

The 2021 men’s soccer season kicks off on Sept. 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as they take on Nova Southeastern University in a non-conference match. Two days later, on Sept. 4, they make the short trip north to West Palm Beach and compete against Palm Beach Atlantic University. The first home game will take place on Sept. 10 against Harding with conference play beginning on Sept. 17 against Auburn-Montgomery. 

In a conference that’s full of strong teams like the Choctaws, Johns understands, “There’s a lot of competitors in the conference, and you have to be willing to do the small things to make the difference… It prepares you for some good battles and tough games.” 

The complete fall schedule awaiting the 2021 MC men’s soccer team is a refreshing sight to see, and everyone “is looking and hoping to get back to a sense of normalcy and look forward to having a real schedule.” After an early end to a highly successful Choctaw men’s soccer spring season, Johns and his experienced squad are ecstatic to start their season in just a few short days.

MC Football Returns With Exciting Season / Jace Aymond

After an abnormal fall last year due to COVID-19, Saturdays at MC felt off without the roar of the Choctaw faithful at Robinson-Hale Stadium. However, after a year’s break, everyone including athletes, coaches, students, and all those involved with Mississippi College are itching to return to Choctaw football this semester. 

After finishing an even 5-5 in the 2019 season and taking the eventual national champion, West Florida, into overtime, the Choctaws used their time wisely in the year hiatus. After being tested against a talented Tarleton State in an official game, the Choctaws also scrimmaged against Southern Arkansas and Arkansas Tech. 

With the ever-improving Gulf South Conference, this year’s schedule was described simply by Coach John Bland as “brutal.” Almost everyone involved with GSC football will say that this conference is the best in Division II. Bland said of conference play, “There is not an off week and you’re always going to be playing one of the best teams in the country.” For a Choctaw team who was undefeated at home in the 2019 season, Bland knows “it’s easier and more of a benefit to us” that they’ll be playing the top teams in the conference and country, Valdosta State and West Florida, here in Clinton. 

In the preseason polls, the Choctaws were picked to finish sixth, in front of North Greenville and Shorter. Two players were also selected as preseason all-conference members: defensive lineman Fred Walls and linebacker Jonathan Jones. According to Bland, Walls is “explosive, talented, great speed, powerful, and a good leader that leads by example. I think he’ll do great things for us in his senior year.” Jones finished the 2019 season as a second team All-GSC member but “is going to be an impact player for us and in this league. He’s all over the field and made a lot of big plays for us… so we’re excited about him and the whole linebacker core.”

The offensive side of the ball will be led by quarterback DeAnte’ Smith-Moore, and Bland is glad that he “is coming in with some experience running the triple option. But also, he’s got some experience in this league and against this type of competition.” 

The Choctaws also have “talented fullbacks” coming into this 2021 season in senior Jaylin Jones and Air Force transfer Cole Fagan who also look to provide big numbers for a full 2021 season. The offensive line, led by Blane Cannon and Matt Toles, excites Bland, who claims, “We are better in our offensive line than we’ve ever been. We have more [good players] this year and we’re deeper, faster, and able to fit into this offensive style better than we’ve ever been.”

Mississippi College football is fast approaching as the first two games of the season will be home, non-conference games. The Choctaws begin their 2021 campaign on Sept. 2 against Albany State before taking a two-week long break before a game against the University of Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 18. 

With a Choctaw team that has now solidified their place and is comfortable in the Gulf South Conference, the 2021 season should be one to remember. After almost two years of no football Saturdays in Clinton, it returns in the very near future. With an excited football organization full of key new players and experienced seniors, the Choctaws should be a threat in the Gulf South Conference for the 2021 campaign.

Women’s Soccer Ranked #2 To Start 2021 Season / Jace Aymond

After going a perfect 8-0 in a shortened spring season and winning the Gulf South Conference Spring Championship Series, it was clear to see that even though there was no national tournament, it was one of the most successful seasons that the Lady Choctaws have had. So much so, in fact, that they ended last season and begin this one ranked number two in the nation, the best in program history.

Although the Lady Choctaws graduated a plethora of players from the 2019 season, the team from this past spring consisted mostly of underclassmen. Players such as Avery Hederman, Beatrice Currie, and conference leader in total shots and shots on target Erin Hederman hope to have even more success on the pitch than last year now that a full schedule is in their sights. With two dynamic goalies who only allowed six goals in eight matches, Sara Maleski and Ebba Elweroth, the Lady Choctaws have an exceedingly talented roster that is not only one of the best in the conference, but also the country.

The women’s soccer season kicks off with two games in Columbus, Georgia, on Sept. 3 and 5. They will take Queens University of Charlotte and Rollins College in non-conference matches to prepare them for the always-challenging conference slate, which begins on Sept. 17. Their 2021 season runs all the way until the beginning of November with the conference tournament set to start on Nov. 9 in Pensacola, Florida. With a successful year, we hope to see the Lady Choctaws back in the national tournament yet again, which takes place starting on Nov. 18.

With a full schedule laid out in front of them, mixed with a star-studded roster and the highest ranking in program history to start the 2021 campaign, the Lady Choctaws hope that this season will be one to remember forever.

Cross Country Looking to Build Upon Recent Success / Charles Williams

After excelling in a COVID-shortened 2020 season, the Choctaw cross country teams look to build off of that success going into this season. With the women never placing worse than second, and the men never placing below fourth, the Choctaws were one of the best and most consistent teams in the Gulf South Conference. On top of these great overall performances, multiple Choctaw runners put up record-setting individual performances as well, including school records from Jazmin Hernandez, Kathy Hammond, and Evan Del Rio.

In Coach Matthew Reneker’s time at MC, the cross country teams have seen steady improvement, with their average finishes getting higher and higher in his time as an assistant and since becoming head coach in 2020. Rising sophomore Jacob Britt attributes all of that success to Reneker and his ability to motivate his team: “Coach is super successful and very entertaining and I think we owe our good performances all to him because he cares so much.”  

Reneker spoke about working to empower the upperclassmen on the teams to be vocal among their teammates and buy into the culture of leadership he has tried to instill within the team. He talked about making them want to perform not just for him or themselves but for each other and growing that sort of mentality throughout his time at MC. 

One of the biggest challenges for the teams will be to incorporate their freshman runners into a new environment where they are working as a part of a team instead of for themselves.  “A lot of these 18-year-olds that are coming in are for the first time not the best on their team, and have to learn some of the subtle nuances of collegiate sports.”  He went on to talk about how many of their mentalities coming in were to simply run as hard as they could and nothing else, and that while tactics aren’t often discussed in cross country, they would be very important to their success. Reneker put much of the responsibility for installing those tactics mid-race on his upperclassman leaders and stressed the need for them to learn to communicate them effectively.  “When they get out there they won’t see me for 20 to 30 minutes and so I need them to be able to articulate in their own way what the gameplan is.”    

When speaking about building off of last year’s success, Reneker said that much of it could be attributed to the “learned knowledge” of those upperclassman leaders on the team. Combining that with the “youthful exuberance” of the incoming freshmen is generating lots of excitement within the team right now according to Reneker. He also said that they are all looking forward to the new heights the team could reach and that at the end of the season he hoped to see both the men’s and women’s teams competing in nationals. Britt echoed both that excitement and the lofty hopes for this year, saying that while last season was exciting, they have big goals for the next one.  

Both the men’s and women’s teams will kick off their seasons on Friday, Sept. 3 at the Mississippi College Season Opener at Choctaw Trails in Clinton. Their season will run through the fall and culminate with the GSC Championships on Oct. 23, followed by regionals and nationals in November. 

MC Hires Kenny Bizot As New Athletic Director / Jace Aymond

After 20 years, Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer and former men’s basketball coach for 17 years Mike Jones stepped down from his positions as men’s basketball coach and athletic director this past summer. In his decision to retire, he named who he wanted to succeed him: MC graduate Kenny Bizot.

Graduating with a master’s degree in communication in 1995, Bizot also played basketball in his undergraduate years under Coach Jones from 1990-94. In those four years, the team went 75-34 and had winning seasons for all four years. After his final game as a player, he did not leave Choctaw basketball. For the next four years, he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. It was during this time that MC basketball had one of their most successful stints, going 119-35 in those next four seasons, and was also ranked second in the country for a time. 

Being extremely involved with MC basketball during his time in Clinton, Bizot said, “It’s a real comfort, especially with this kind of job, to know this place so well. Some days I’m here and it’s like I never left. I just have a great comfort level with this position because of my ties to Mississippi College over the years.” 

Before returning to MC, Bizot was the head basketball coach at both the University of Texas at Tyler and Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Mike Jones also coached at Copiah-Lincoln. Bizot said, “It’s really hard to put into words and it’s a great honor” that Jones wanted him to fill this role. “He’s done so many great things for our athletic department, but for the college as a whole too. I’m thankful that God has put him in my life and it’s an honor, but it’s also very motivating making sure to continue what he’s done here.”

Bizot mentioned how much of an “exciting time” it is for Mississippi College, saying, “We’ve got a really good administrative staff, coaching staff, and a beautiful campus… The entire community of Clinton along with our campus is totally different in such a great and positive way.” 

With his experience as a player and coach here at MC, and his head coaching and administration positions at UT Tyler and Copiah-Lincoln, Bizot is a perfect candidate for the athletic director role that the great Mike Jones previously held.

Annual Arts and Music Festival Returns to the Brick Streets / Gracie Lee

After a year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Red Brick Roads Arts and Music Festival is returning to the brick streets of Clinton. The festival will begin on the evening of Friday, Aug. 27 and continue on into Saturday. Attendees can expect to see music and art showcases of all kinds, including local songwriters, on-site painting, craft markets, and a local talent competition. The festival made its debut in 2019, just before the pandemic put a pause on the festivities in 2020, and is open to the public to apply.

           The gates open at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, and festivities commence with a songwriter showcase at 7:00. Sam Mooney, a musician from Mississippi, is hosting the showcase, with headliner Elliot Root performing at 8:30. Events begin as early as 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, starting with a craft market which will continue until the festival’s end at 8:30. Approximately 15-20 vendors are expected to appear. 

            The talent competition also begins at 12:00 and runs until 3:00, followed by local bands performing at 4:00. The lineup includes returning bands Strung Like a Horse, J & The Causeways, and Sweet Crude. The New Respects is a newcomer to the annual event. “In our minds, this is the fifth year. It’s kind of a reunion…a ‘back to business’ after COVID, and wanting to bring something back that we’ve had before,” Anna Hawks, assistant director of Main Street Clinton, said.

Tickets are available in advance for $20, or visitors can purchase them at the gate. They sell for $10 on Friday night and $15 on Saturday. Locals who want more comfortable accommodations, like air conditioning, can purchase a $125 ticket for the VIP tent. 

This is not the festival’s first rodeo. Director of Main Street Clinton Tara Lytal and Hawks first coordinated the event in 2016, making this year its fifth anniversary. “We started because we wanted a music festival downtown. The Chamber was doing a music festival just outside the city of Clinton, and we had started a little festival in the summer called Firefly, and we decided to combine them,” Lytal said. 

  After that, it became a crowd favorite, with activities the whole family could enjoy. “The title of the festival is Red Brick Roads Music and Arts Festival, and so that name kind of encompasses lots of different things. So obviously music is kind of the focus, but ‘arts’ kind of opens it up to tons of things,” Hawks said. “Friday night is a songwriter night. Friday is kind of chill. Saturday is fun–is how I like to think of it,” she added.

        Not only has the festival given aspiring musicians a chance to showcase their talent, but it has also introduced new music to the public. “A lot of the artists we had the first time, people really loved. They didn’t know them before they came to Red Brick Roads, but then they really fell in love with that music and have listened to them consistently since then,” Hawks said. “They’re excited to see those bands back in Clinton.” 

Music isn’t the only thing drawing crowds. Lytal and Hawks expect food trucks to line the streets, although they haven’t released a list of vendors yet. “We basically close downtown down,” Lytal joked. She expects Jefferson and Leake Street to be blocked off up until the Chamber building at the corner of Monroe and Leake Street. They will begin blocking streets on Friday morning. Meme’s Bakery will be the location of kid-friendly games and activities.

         For Lytal and Hawks, their motivation in planning the event is rooted in more than a job well done. “For us as organizers, it’s so much work–it’s exhausting–but when you see all the people there enjoying themselves, it’s wonderful. Whether it’s the kids enjoying some of the art activities, or just neighbors visiting with each other–just seeing our community come together,” Lytal said. “Now we’re moving into our fifth year, our community looks forward to it, and you start to get feedback from that. People are proud of it.”

         Hawks shared a similar pride in her hard work. “I will never forget the very first year… Our headliner was playing on that stage, and I was standing behind the whole crowd, just kind of watching it happen. It was just so fun to see great, great music playing downtown in this quaint atmosphere. It was our community, our little brick streets,” she remembered. “There was a guy with a cane and he was just tapping his cane against the brick streets.” 

           The continual collaboration between Main Street, the Chamber, and the City of Clinton makes the beloved event possible. Trustmark has hosted the tradition since 2016. “ We are thankful for their support over the last several years. [They are] a great supporter of downtown Clinton,” Hawks said.

Aven Hall Renovations Change Theatre Plans for the Fall Semester / Gracie Lee

The room known as Aven Little Theater to MC undergrads has undergone a makeover since students left for summer break. Organization of the backstage area began at the end of April, and renovations started the weekend after spring graduation. Workers must still install the classroom’s new tech, but will be completely finished with the modifications by the start of classes.

           The structure of the room, which once hosted play performances and presentations, has remained almost identical, with mainly cosmetic modifications. “Not a lot you can do with rooms on this floor of the building, because we’re on the bottom floor and it’s not like you can move walls around and not affect the whole building,” Dr. Reid Vance, assistant professor and chair of the Communication Department, said. “You work with the space you’ve got.”

            Although construction removed the stage, a small platform and podium remained. The new layout allows communication professors to deliver their lectures to larger classes. In the fall, Vance will teach 35 members in the Fundamentals of Digital Communication class in the new room. This would not have been possible with the old layout. “When we have to have a large gathering or special event, the room as it was, was not welcoming at all. It looked like a black hole,” he said.

Renovations also included a wheelchair accessible ramp and a teachers’ lounge. Although it will no longer serve as a theater, its remodeling will help it serve a better purpose. “Number one, we needed a large space to do larger gatherings and classes. We have our Christmas party, for example,” Vance said. “The space was always the same size, but it was underused. We’re still going to do theatre productions–we’re just not going to do them in there.” 

Theatre will not be without a stage, however.  Dr. Phyllis Seawright, assistant professor of communication, teaches all the theatre classes at MC. She plans to hold performances outside in the future. “We want our theatre department to be visible, and we can’t have it visible in the room it was in. And the more it’s visible, the more people want to participate,” Vance said. Due to the uncertainty of weather and the high demand for Swor Auditorium, Seawright hopes to hold productions on East Campus after future renovations. “We can still use it as a theater for small things, but we never want to go back in there for major productions,” she said. “It’s going to be great to have better lighting. We never had heat before. Air conditioning will be very nice. The acoustics should be so much better now than they ever have been.” 

            Seawright is directing the radio play of “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the fall. This story is based on the self-published book “The Greatest Gift” written by Philip Van Doren Stern. The show is less than an hour and a half long, and will feature live sound effects, called Foley.

“We want to make it look as much like live radio as possible. I love radio. I love radio plays. In the spring, everybody came to the show and was able to come and enjoy being outside in each other’s company,” she said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to again: doing a live show–seeing everyone face to face.”

 She is excited for audiences to experience the message of the story. “The show is truly about celebrating life, enjoying the gifts that God has given us,” she said. Although Seawright has not set audition or performance dates yet, she hopes to perform four or five shows in the Jean W. Pittman Hall on the second floor of Aven Hall. “We’re just going to have to remember to go home [after] and go to sleep,” she laughed.

MC Alum Supports Overseas Travel with Local Business / Gracie Lee

Rebecca Lee, Clinton born, graduated Mississippi College in 2019, with a degree in Foreign Language and International Trade and a passion for traveling. She knew she always wanted to travel overseas, but had never actively pursued it. Then, an internship at a school in Spain presented itself.  

“I felt like for a while, life just kind of happened to me. My teacher just emailed me [about the internship],” she said. “ Since then I’ve been taking a more active role.” But Lee had to raise funds before she could begin her journey. Realizing she was about to have to live off her savings, she looked for ways to increase them.

She had toyed with the idea of selling T-shirts as fundraisers in the past, but now it looked like it could become a reality. “Dude, I can make shirts like I want to, and do it as a fundraiser. Not like a pity thing, but rather than just ask people to give you money, you can be like, here is a product. If you like the product, you can buy it and know you’re supporting me,” she remembered thinking. “I did a round of preorders and that was that.” Lee never guessed that her one-time fundraiser could turn into a business. 

In August of 2019, Lee started her journey, backpacking over most of the Baltics to get to Spain. Unfortunately, her teaching internship was cut short by the worldwide pandemic in March 2020. Spain experienced a much more harrowing lockdown than the United States. She never left her apartment except to buy groceries every 10 days. When she did leave, patrolling policemen questioned her about where she was going and why. 

Lee made it through the remainder of her year-long trip unscathed, and returned to the states in August 2020. She still had no money. “That t-shirt thing worked out pretty well. Why don’t I try that again, but instead of a fundraiser, let’s actually try this thing,” she thought. “I’ve wanted to be self-employed. I’ve wanted to do the entrepreneur thing. What do I have to lose?” she asked. “Worst case, I lose my money and I’m back home, but at least I tried. I’m going to be here anyway.”

The shop, which Clinton locals have come to know as Rooted, is approaching its first birthday in September. Just a year later, it sells much more than T-shirts. “It started off as just shirts and then my mom and a friend convinced me to do one of the Clinton markets,” Lee said.  Consumers can now buy handmade jewelry, tote bags, stickers, and keychains on shoprooted.co or view them on Facebook. 

T-shirts might not be on the market for long, however. Even though Lee was able to use her brother’s printing side hustle to make requested designs on the fly, this was still a hard job to keep up. She expects to discontinue the shirts in the future. Even though she might be retiring some old favorites, she plans to add new ones. Nativities are hopefully in store for the Christmas holidays. “It’s kind of dangerous, because I’ve always been obsessed with Pinterest, and now I can monetize that obsession,” she laughed. 

The shop’s name has a profound meaning to its owner. “I was trying to come up with a name, and this verse hit me. The name comes from Ephesians 3:17, when Paul is talking about being rooted and established in love,”’ Lee said. “It’s a nice word, and it then comes from that verse talking about love being the foundation and the inspiration of what you do.”

Lee hasn’t let her business derail her travels abroad. Since 2019, she has visited Puerto Rico twice, and is already planning her next trip overseas. For her, the new people, scenery, and languages are thrilling. “When you go to another country, everything is so different, and some people get culture shock, but for me it’s energizing,” she said. “It’s so fascinating. Plus, I love language.” Family and friends would agree, since Lee speaks both Spanish and French. “I’m trying to balance [being a] business owner and working remotely so I can travel,” she said. In the meantime, consumers can buy Rooted’s products at upcoming markets in Clinton, including the two-day Red Brick Road Arts and Music Festival on Aug. 27-28.

New Marvel Series Streams on Disney Plus / Gracie Lee

 A new television series from the Marvel universe aired on Disney Plus’s ‘silver screen’ this summer. Season one of Loki featured six episodes and was released on June 9, 2021. Its credits include director and executive producer Kate Herron, producer and president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, and head writer Michael Waldron. The cast stars familiar faces, like Tom Hiddleston, and newcomers Owen Wilson as Mobius, Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer. 

Loki is not Marvel’s first attempt at a television series. WandaVision, nine episodes, has had a place on Disney’s popular streaming service since it aired on Jan. 15, 2021. It starred Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, who reprised their roles as Scarlet Witch and Vision. It won an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain, MTV Movie Award for Best Fight, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series. Matt Shakman directed, with Jac Schaeffer leading the writing team.

Loki’s plot centered on the protagonist’s adventures after he stole the Tesseract and escaped from the Avengers in Avengers: Endgame (2019). The Time Variance Authority (TVA) is an organization dedicated to keeping everyone and everything on their sacred timeline. They caught Loki after his transportation to an otherworldly desert, and he spent the remainder of the season as “the variant.” The TVA gave him the difficult choice of helping them fix the timeline or facing deletion from existence. 

            In comparison to Marvel’s past productions, the CGI and costumes matched fans’ high standards. “I just love Loki from an aesthetic point of view,” Olivia Dosda, a sophomore, gushed. “The color palette and the costume design and the set design is all so amazing.” Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson’s on-screen compatibility did not disappoint–thanks in part to their acting chops and a script brimming with clever quips and inspirational pep talks. Due to the nature of the narrative’s time travel, this version of Loki is similar to what fans saw back in 2012. He is feisty and contains some ulterior motives–but does not lack character development. “Tom Hiddleston’s acting is enjoyable, and the effects are even better than WandaVision’s. The show’s finale is much more satisfying than WandaVision’s as well, and I loved the way the multiverse was tied in,” Mary Margaret Freeman, a sophomore English major at MC, said.            

           WandaVision’s episodes emulated those of mid-20th century classics, like I Love Lucy and Leave It to Beaver. The pair live an idyllic life as a couple in their quaint ’50s neighborhood, but sense deep down that something is not quite right with their perfect world. As a result, the costumes and sets are a far cry from Wanda’s scarlet cloak and Vision’s robotic gizmos. However, loyal audiences recognized Wanda’s magic powers and familiar red hair.

           The release of both series brought both anticipation and apprehension to viewers.

“Of the three recently released Marvel TV shows, Loki ranks the highest in my list. The episodes were well-paced and well-written, and the concept was charmingly original,” Freeman said.                                                    

           Others had more mixed emotions. “[It] might be an unpopular opinion, but I think the way Disney/Marvel is using all their old characters is getting a little old and kinda like a ‘money-grab,’” Austin Frisbie, a junior, said. “They’re just going by a formula for their movies and the shows.”               Marvel kept the details of Loki’s storyline under wraps for as long as possible until it aired. The release dates for season two of Loki are no different, but Marvel creators have affirmed tentative plans for its reprisal in 2022. “This new set-up for phase four of the MCU is exciting, and this show was a perfect lead-up to the new films,” Freeman said.

Renovations For A More Innovative Campus / Kienna Van Dellen

A renovation of the old Clinton Junior High School property on East Campus will be taking place this fall and spring, and the Art Department plans to occupy the renovated space. 

This new complex will hold the studio arts, everything from ceramics and painting to photography. Anything typically done in an art studio will now be housed in the new complex. 

This relocation of the studio arts is providing a long-awaited and much-needed space to grow. The Art Department hopes to expand the variety of programs it can offer. Currently, the limited space also brings a limit to what the department can offer. With larger studio spaces the department hopes to expand the education of the arts at MC. 

“We know that we will have a very large space that will be used as a kiln court and sculpture hot work area that will allow us to use all of the kilns that we are currently using and the additional ones that we have in storage and will allow our sculpture classes to use different mediums than are currently offered,” said Nate Jarnagin, the Administrative Assistant for the Department of Art. 

Construction will take approximately a year to complete. The major goal is to have it finished and relocated by fall 2022. The new auditorium in the building will hold about 150 people; this space will be utilized for both university and community events. The community will have access to rent the space as a venue or host concerts, political events, and speakers. It would be available to the public if they choose to rent it. 

The new facility will be named the Gore Arts Complex. This art complex will be a tribute to the late Dr. Samuel Gore. He graced his home of Clinton with sculptures, paintings, and teachings to carry on for generations with his career lasting over 60 years. The light of Christ continues to shine through his legacy in his dedication and love for the arts. He had an undeniable gift of bringing stories to life through his artwork so others might see Christ more clearly. Through the construction of this new complex, his teaching will be able to be expanded so more students can learn how to pursue art with the same passion and faith that Dr. Gore once had. 

As construction begins, MC will be releasing more information on renovations. Right now, the campus is awaiting details on funding for the project before releasing further details to the public. 

More renovations have been happening all summer around campus, and MC is preparing for the upcoming semester by creating a more modern look with quality functioning spaces. 

The B.C. Rogers Student Center gathering place for students throughout the day-to-day life of the campus is undergoing some new changes. Last year the cafeteria was remodeled inside to give it a more modern appearance and efficient design plan. Now, new redesigns are currently taking place outside on the cafeteria patio. There will be a new main entrance to the cafeteria that will open onto a large patio serving as an outdoor dining space. The patio space will stretch all the way across the front of the building. The outdoor space is going to be a covered patio with a weather filtering canopy over the patio. However, because of the delays in the manufacturing of steel, the canopy will not be installed until fall or Thanksgiving break. 

The new patio will be accompanied by new furniture and eventually bistro lighting to provide a more welcoming space. The round stone tables that are currently there will be moved to the new East Campus facility to be used as outdoor seating. 

The Aven Little Theater has also undergone some changes. This small theater was located in the center of the Communication Department in the basement of the Aven Fine Arts Building. It has been completely made over into a classroom to serve as a more functional space. And what used to be the backstage of the theater is now a new hallway to create more access across the department. 

Alumni Hall also had a makeover last year with the Commons and a new welcome center becoming a central part of MC. The third floor of Alumni Hall is now being transformed from a former Student Government Association office to new admissions offices in order to turn Alumni Hall into a central welcome center for MC. Eventually, SGA will be moved to the third floor of Nelson Hall. The bottom floor of Nelson Hall will then become a new student success center with Career Services, Residence Life, Student Life, and Financial Aid all easily accessible. 

MC has also recently broken ground on a new indoor golf facility. The construction of this building is being made possible by a generous donation from John McMath, a former golf coach and professor here at MC. It will be named the John and Charlotte McMath Golf Facility. This facility will be near the MC soccer fields.

The Latimer House located across from the president’s house will be starting some renovations in a few weeks in order to make way for the offices for the new Foundation staff. This staff aids with fundraising for the university. The remodel is estimated to take about eight months. 

While some of these renovations had been pushed back due to COVID-19, many of them were just waiting on the right funding to start them. “Dr. Thompson has wanted to make these changes since he first got here, and it was just a matter of pulling the funding together to accomplish those things,” said Laura Jackson, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for MC. 

These new changes seem like a fresh start for the Clinton campus, building on the past and creating space for new improvements for the future.