Clinton Under Construction

Collegian Construction PhotosBy Andrew Rock, News Editor

Mississippi College and the Clinton area have a lot to look forward to in the coming years. There will soon be a shopping center at the corner of Springridge Road and Highway 80 and new apartments are scheduled for early next year.

College students and Clinton residents alike have long wanted a convenient place to shop and dine that doesn’t require lots of driving. “We’ve had to travel all the time to buy anything,” said Clinton Alderwoman Jan Cossitt.

That will soon change. A new shopping center, dubbed Robinson Spring, is coming to Clinton. The complex will be directly across from the Mississippi College campus. A crosswalk will connect the two, according to Clinton Communications Director Mark Jones, making it convenient for both students on foot and Clinton residents wanting to make a quick purchase.

According to Cossitt, there will be several “anchor” stores consisting of major retailers, as well as lots of smaller “Mom and Pop” stores. The complex will feature a wide variety of stores and restaurants. Blackwater Resources, LLC, the firm developing the land, has not yet specified exactly which businesses will be featured at Robinson Spring.

Clinton Alderman at Large Jehu Brabham said that it was a “project like the City of Clinton has never seen before.” He explained that the builders were working to keep the “defining aesthetic part” of the area. That is, the new shopping center is designed to blend visually with the college campus. Mark Jones said that this design will be a “continuation of MC’s charm.”

Brabham said that the developers are even going as far as to use the same kind of brick that is used in many of the buildings at Mississippi College. Another unique feature of Robinson Spring is the spring from which it derives its name. According to Brabham, the spring will be incorporated into the complex as a prominent decoration.

Blackwater’s website said that the project is coming in summer of 2016.

Another major development around town is the upcoming College Station apartments, and another residential development on Monroe Street. These facilities will be ready for use by January and May of 2016, respectively.

According to Dave Riley, who owns the properties, the College Station apartments will face Lions Club Park in Clinton. He said there will be four houses, each containing four one-bedroom apartments apiece. These apartments will feature amenities including stainless steel appliances, washer and drier, and an alarm system.

The Riley Group is also constructing apartments on Monroe Street. Mr. Riley said that these facilities will be next to buildings containing Brick Street Pops and the Clinton Courier. They will consist of eight single-bedroom apartments with large bedrooms and a balcony. The buildings will be constructed in the New Orleans style, similar to the buildings around Mississippi College’s bookstore.

Mr. Riley said that the upcoming apartments are “geared to college graduate students and professors,” and that these “high-end luxury” facilities” are “going to be very nice!” He explained that the grassy area between Monroe St. and Lions Club Park will be converted into a parking lot, so there will be “ample parking,” with each resident getting their own personal spot.

Mr. Riley rents numerous properties around Clinton, and said that he has had a great experience with Mississippi College students, who are “great renters.”

Whether someone is looking to shop ‘til they drop, or find a nice place to live, the Clinton area is set to have much to offer!

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You Belong Here: A Message from Clinton Mayor Fisher

“You Belong Here”. This is the city’s message we use to recruit retail and industrial business to Clinton. The beauty of the message is that we can tweak it to fit the other activities we need and to promote interest in our community. For example: “Softball Belongs Here” to promote the Girls Community College National Softball Championship. Or “Veterans Belong Here” to promote veteran orientated events.

College students belong here also, and I’d like to get your opinion on the ways the city of Clinton can better partner with the students of Mississippi College. Your activities, interest, and spending habits are important to the city, and we want to provide the types of businesses and activities you enjoy.

One of my many goals for Clinton is to make the Olde Towne area a more popular walking district during the day and at night for everyone. Increasing foot traffic in Olde Towne allows a greater opportunity for retail success – and more retail success brings more people to Olde Towne. A key element to making this happen requires a better understanding of the 5,000 strong student body’s varying interests.

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I am open to your ideas and want to develop those ideas that encourage you to “hang out” along the brick streets. While every suggestion may not be possible, I am willing to listen to your thoughts and try to accommodate your ideas.

Sometimes this will be very easy. For example, I spoke to some randomly selected students and they suggested a change in the music played in Olde Towne. We now play light jazz from 8 AM to 9 PM. From 9 PM through 2AM the music selection will change to something more appealing to you. We are starting with Indie music, and are open to changing that to other styles as per your listening taste.

All suggestions are welcome, and please, be specific. For example, don’t say “cheap food”, tell me the type of food (such as chicken wings or ice cream). As another example, don’t say “stay open later”, instead give a specific time for stores to close. While I can’t guarantee a business will locate to fill a particular suggestion, it gives me a better idea of who to seek when recruiting.

I also want to know the routes and times you walk/run at night so I can make the Clinton Police Department aware. With that information they can better plan the best times to patrol along those routes and provide you better security. We can also determine if additional lighting is required, as well as any additional traffic controls.

Only my Executive Assistant, Cheryl Reece, and I will know your suggestions and we will not share them or the walking/running information with anyone. All suggestions will come straight to her and we will use the information to provide a more inviting city to you and the interests you enjoy. Contact Cheryl via her city e-mail address, creece@clintonms.org, and we will begin compiling your thoughts and looking for trends.

Thanks for your assistance.

Anna Grace Govero named pentathlon NCCAA National Champion

-Marcelo Maziero, Sports Editor

Born and raised in Clinton, Anna Grace Govero, brought to Mississippi College one of the best achievements in the school’s history. Last weekend, she was the pentathlon NCCAA National Champion, which took place in Ohio, and she was also nominated the “field athlete of the meet.”

Govero comes from a family where her mother is, in her words, “a rock-star stay at home mom” and her father is a CPA, and where she is the fifth of eight siblings. She started running track as a second sport during her 6th grade year; the first one was basketball. “My basketball coach was also the track coach, and got me running track my 6th grade year,” Govero said. “Track was kind of my second sport when I first started running, but through my junior high and high school years I really grew to love it, and became more motivated to pursue the sport more.”

Govero’s greatest inspiration is her father, who competed a decathlon in high school and suggested the multi-events in track. “I have to say my dad really inspires in my track career. I feel like he saw my abilities early on and was really supportive and excited to help me take track to the next level if I wanted. I don’t think I would have ever thought about doing the multi-events if it were not for his motivation and confidence in me,” Govero said.

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She said that her decision to come to Mississippi College was largely influenced by the opportunity to be on the track and field team and represent MC. “My decision to come to MC was largely affected by track. I was excited about the opportunity to compete for coach Arde and MC, and to be a part of this big transition into Division II,” she said.

After winning the national championship and being nominated the “athlete of the meet,” Govero attributed her victory to her coaches, friends, and especially to her family, who played a really important role in her track career and taught her how to have fun under the stress of competition. “I was really excited for the chance to compete for my team and MC this weekend,” Govero said. “Being able to pull out the pentathlon win was really exciting. Just knowing how excited my coaches were was great. They, along with my friends, family, and boyfriend had a lot of confidence in me this weekend, which motivated me to do my best. But I think what really helped was my family, who kept encouraging me to just go out and have fun. I have come to realize more and more that having fun and enjoying the competition and opportunity is important because it helps to take some of the nerves and stress away that we sometimes put on ourselves.”

According to her, the victory and the award give her the motivation to keep working as hard as she can, especially now that the outdoor season is about to start for the track and field team, so she can do her best to keep helping her teammates and representing the school the way it deserves to be represented.

Govero’s last and special thanks goes to God. In her words, “I have to thank God for the ability and opportunity to participate in track, and especially at the collegiate level. I guess winning brings recognition with it, and I just want to point that back to the Lord. He provided all the talent, abilities, and opportunity. I thank him for allowing me to compete at this level for MC. I am excited to compete with my team in outdoor season, and I pray that God’s glory may be seen through us,” she said.

Where Your Education Ranks

-Stacey Chisolm, Contributing Writer

Britt Dickens knows education. Dickens is an associate professor here at Mississippi College with 38 years of experience in the field. He has held the positions of a teacher, administrator, consultant, and professor. In regards to Mississippi’s rank in education, MC’s rank among colleges and universities, and the United States’ rank among nations, Dickens said, “I’m not sure where the actual rank of the school stands. For what it’s worth, I do know that U.S. News and World Report lists MC among ‘America’s Best Colleges,’ and it is listed among the Barron’s 300 best buys in addition to the New York Times Best Buys in College, and the Templeton Foundation.”

Despite Mississippi’s current national ranking of 52nd in education in the K-12 area, Mississippi College is among the best colleges in the southern region. It ranks 29th, to be exact.

Dickens said, “I think Mississippi College has a deservedly high regard in the college community. What it does, it seems to do well. I believe we do a good job of preparing our students. We are far from perfect, and we have our shortcomings like everyone else; however, MC has a dedicated, experienced faculty that tries to balance the education of the students with the classroom and practical experience.”

A number of MC graduate students that are currently enrolled in the education concentration have insisted that they chose Mississippi College because it had a great program and much to offer. They say the work is sometimes overwhelming, yet beneficial to growing an individual’s employability outcome.

As for rankings among nations, the country varies in many areas. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, The United States ranked 9th among 42 nations in mathematics and science and 6th among 45 nations in reading. When investigated by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2012, the United States among 34 OECD countries ranked 27th in mathematics and 17th in reading. Based on these facts, the United States education system will obtain more effective adult outcomes than any other nation within 30 nations as is cited by the Organization for Cooperation.

Paxton Peak: Clinton’s Outdoor Headquarters

-Abbie Walker, Editor

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Nate and Beth Shores have always been outdoor fanatics. But it wasn’t until this past December that they turned their love of exploring nature into a business. Now Clinton residents can embrace their own outdoor spirits by visiting Paxton Peak, Olde Towne’s newest addition.

The store is named after the Shores’ 11-month-old son, Paxton, who can often be seen on his mother’s hip behind the store’s counter or greeting customers with a smile. Paxton Peak specializes in outdoor apparel and gear, but the Shores are also outdoor experts themselves.

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Nate grew up spending most of his summers at his grandparents’ farm in rural Mississippi, where he explored the woods and countryside. He also learned woodsman skills from his father while out at a family cabin near Taylorsville, Miss. Now, he works as a federal tech for the Mississippi Army National Guard and has served with the Army for 17 years, including 9 years with the Special Forces and combat deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beth has also enjoyed the outdoors since she was little. Coming from a “heavily boy scout-influenced family,” she grew up doing a lot of camping, splunking, and hiking.

“I just love the outdoors,” Beth said. “I’ve always had a passion for it. So why not showcase it in your own store and try to get other people excited about the outdoors too? It’s just such a big world out there.”

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The Shores have been on quite a few adventures together, including a trip to “England, Scotland, and everywhere in between.” With four children—ages 12, 11, 5, and 11 months, the Shores have their hands full, but they make time to enjoy the outdoors as a family. So it was no surprise that they channeled their nature enthusiasm into a business.

However, much of the inspiration for Paxton Peak came from Mississippi College. “We noticed, while driving through Olde Towne, a lot of the students hanging Eno hammocks on campus, and I said to Beth, you know what Clinton needs, an outdoor store,” said Nate.

“This was really our five-year plan, not our right-now plan,” Beth said. “It was one of those do-or-die things.”

Despite opening during the holiday season and a lot of their merchandise not coming in until the week before, Paxton Peak’s start has been a successful one.

“It was a lot to do in very little time, but we got it done together,” Beth said. “January is notorious for being the slowest month for retail, but the response has been great!”

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Beth’s business sense developed long before Paxton Peak. Her family used to own a balloon company called Mr. Charlie’s Balloons, which taught her about business at a young age. “The entrepreneurial gene has always been in my blood,” she said.

Beth also started two restaurants in Clinton before she took time to stay home and care for her children. And though retail is a new world for her, Beth is excited about the challenge. “I’ve always had creative juices flowing, so this was just a fun new palette,” she added.

With clothing brands like Southern Marsh, Kavu, Prana, Outdoor Research, Mountain Hardware, and LaSportiva, customers are sure to find what they are looking for. But Paxton Peak mostly specializes in gear. Besides Big Agnes and Granite Gear tents and sleeping bags, the store offers all the camping essentials, including pocket knives, stoves, compasses, flashlights, dehydrated food, and anything else one would need for spending a couple of days out in the woods or mountains.

Beth said she loves “all the little gadgets and gizmos that can make your trip a lot more fun.” And with newly-arrived GroPro video equipment, outdoor enthusiasts can also capture their adventurous moments.

For the Choctaw student, Paxton Peak sells Eno hammocks, Nalgene and Camelbak water bottles, and Innova disc golfing equipment. Students can also get a 10 percent discount with their college IDs. Paxton Peak hopes to offer MC students “the convenience of not having to leave town,” as well as provide an “outlet” for them to explore their outdoors side.

In fact, the Shores are all about helping out the local community. Beth used to be on the board of directors for the Clinton Nature Center, and she wants to continue to support them, as well as Clinton Parks and Recreation and the Main Street program. “Clinton is a great place for family; it’s so active,” she said. “It’s been growing a lot, especially the downtown, and we want to support that.”

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Right now, most customers simply stumble upon the store while walking through downtown, but the Shores hope to soon make a name for Paxton Peak as an “outdoor revival” for the community. At some point, they would like to start offering trips and tours for customers, such as taking groups camping and hiking.

“We want to start an outdoor club,” Beth added. “We’ve had so much interest.” The goal is to become a “hub” for outdoor tips. “We want to get the information out about great places that are around here.” She said they are still learning a lot about outdoor equipment and enjoy hearing from others about their experiences and what worked well for them.

“We want to be an open door for everybody. You don’t have to want to buy something to just hang out and talk,” said Beth. “People come in just to share their adventures. It’s really bringing out of the woodworks people in this town who love the outdoors. And hearing about adventures makes me want to do adventures and vice versa.”

In fact, one opportunity to share in the love of an outdoor sport is a disc golf clinic being held on Mar. 1 at Brighton Park. Paxton Peak is partnering with Innova Discs and Clinton Parks and Recreation for this event, and two professional disc golfers will be teaching the fundamentals of the sport and hosting a mini tournament. The clinic will be free for all ages. Beth said she wouldn’t be surprised if some disc golf leagues resulted from this event.

Overall, the goal for Paxton Peak is “to promote and share a passion for the outdoors” and “to provide high-quality apparel and equipment that makes your outdoor adventure more enjoyable,” said Nate. “I believe the store will also encourage my family to spend even more time exploring and having outdoor adventures.”

Paxton Peak is located at 108 West Leake Street in Clinton and is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. For more information call 601-473-2200 or go to paxtonpeak.com. Follow them on Facebook, as well as Twitter and Instagram under @paxtonpeak.

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A Look Inside the Phillips House: The Royces’ New Home

-James Osborne

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Standing atop a hill on the corner of Capitol and Madison streets overlooking the college is the new Phillips House, the first on campus home to the Mississippi College president in almost 50 years. The Phillips House is named in honor of the major donors to the project, Don and Sue Phillips. This house is the sixth president’s house at MC and the fourth one on campus.

MC president, Lee Royce, and his wife Rhoda moved in to their new home just before Thanksgiving of 2014, when the house was livable but not totally complete. Now, the only project left is the final driveway coating which is due in the next several weeks.

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“We moved in, even though it was not complete because we wanted to host a number of year end events in the new house and give an opportunity for the campus and community to experience the house,” said Lee Royce. “We held nine events during the Christmas season, ranging from a dozen persons to several hundred. We have hosted four events in the New Year and have an active schedule of events for the spring including faculty, staff, student and community groups.”

Royce said that the impressive Phillips House was designed by Frank Tindoll with on campus entertainment in mind. Direction and input for the project also came from a trustee committee.  The house holds a large dining room and a main hall, or loggia, which provides space for receptions and sit down dinners.  The kitchen is big enough to provide set up space for major events. Royce said, “My favorite room is the screened in porch which we have already used for two events and will see greater use as the weather improves.” Royce also said that he and his wife enjoy the two fireplaces in the house. “The house has four bedrooms, and though we use only one, except when our son visits, there will be a time when a family will need some of those bedrooms.”

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            Tindoll said that there was a consensus by the board of trustees that the house should be Georgian and red brick to compliment the buildings on campus. “The goal for the function of the house revolves around entertaining,” said Tindoll. Over 50 guests can be seated for dinner inside and larger functions work well with tents that can be connected to the back porch for year round entertaining. “Working with the Royces, Steve Stanford, Glen Worley, and the board was really enjoyably,” said Tindoll.

President Royce’s wife Rhoda said she loves the house. “Phillips House is a jewel treasure at beautiful Mississippi College,” said Rhoda, “and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for the dedicated friends of MC who made it possible for us all. It works well as a site for our University’s events for many and for few, as well as a fabulous place to live. I still feel like I’m waking up every morning in someone else’s life, and I think I will always feel astounded by the privilege of taking care of it.” She also said that picking a favorite room would be like asking her to choose between peaches or blueberries, two of her favorite fruits. She went on to say, “Our architect Frank Tindoll had a comprehensive and detailed insight into how to make this home so perfectly designed for entertaining, and our landscape designer, Michael Gibson, took a smallish, hilly lot and gave us everything we need for gracious outdoor entertaining as well.”

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            Events that are held at the president’s house take a lot of planning, coordination, cleaning, and food preparation. The effort of getting the house ready for the Royce’s to move in and having events at the Phillips House have been almost a campus-wide effort to make everything come together. Rhoda said, “I couldn’t have accomplished anything like what we did in moving in and getting ready for parties that started 13 days later without all the Physical Plant management and workers, housekeepers, security workers, audiovisual workers, president’s office workers, and Campus Dining caterers. I am enduringly grateful for their expertise and their hearty good will as we worked together.”

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            Rhoda said that many more events are planned at the Phillips House for the spring and into the future. “This is a home for the MC family,” she said, “and the lovely attributes of Phillips House come alive when some of the MC family are in the house.”

This is the second time the Royce’s have lived in an on-campus president’s house, the first time being at Anderson University. President Royce said, “This house is perfectly designed for its purpose and will serve the university and this community for decades to come.  Rhoda and I view this opportunity to live and serve on site as a real honor and privilege, and we thank the trustees for returning a president’s home to the campus.”

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Global Cafe

-Alexis Rodgers, Contributing Writer

In 2015, everyone looks for a new beginning within the new semester. New chances for better grades and better opportunities—an opportunity to meet someone new and cultivate your future. American students are presented with this opportunity every month with the Office of Global Education’s event, Global Café.

Global Café is an event held by the Office of Global Education every first Thursday of every month at Cup’s café, located across the street from the Activities Building of First Baptist Church Clinton. Held in the cozy, and homely atmosphere of the famous Cups café, American students and international students intermingle with free coffee, tea, and food. With it’s common occurrence every month, many students wonder what is the real purpose of Global Café.

“Global Café is a chance for international students, American students, and community members to meet one another,” said Global Office of Education Program Coordinator, Christina Bach. “Our international students are always asking for opportunities to meet American students and vice versa. This way, it is comfortable for both sides to meet.” The international students seem to really enjoy the event as it “opens a gate to American culture” by getting to know their fellow American students. “I think Global Café is great because we [American and international students] get to meet each other outside of our busy schedules and set aside time that we may not have on our own to see each other,” said freshman education major, Savannah Porrier. While new to freshman, international and American, Global Café has been a popular recurring event for a while.

According to Bach, Global Café has been going on for years and years, with more years to come. Students can look forward to more Global Café meet ups on Feb. 5 and Mar. 5, both from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Cup’s. All students and other community members are also invited to other Office of Global Education events such as the Lunar New Year Celebration presented Feb. 20 in Alumni Gym from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the annual International Festival on Apr. 10 in Swor Auditorium from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Once again, all students are invited to attend events hosted by our friends from overseas and welcome to culture themselves with amazing food and worldwide friendship.

Also, please follow the Office of Global Education on Twitter @4_OGE and to like their page on Facebook by looking up Office of Global Education to get more information on events.

Expand Your Clinton Food Options

-Andy O’Brien, Assistant Editor

College is a tough time. Our cash flow is slower than ever, yet we have an insatiable hunger to consume all the same delicious food that we have become accustomed to under our parents’ roof. Perhaps this time of increased appetite is designed to give us one last boost of energy to grow, before we plateau into our adult-sized body for the next 40 or so years. Whatever the reason, the facts are undeniable—college students love eating.

And it isn’t like the Caf is doing us any favors. The Ray and Betty Hannah Food Court is great for seeing friends and grabbing a decently reliable slice of pizza. Unfortunately, even with the experimentation of the international line and vegetarian options, the menu can become somewhat stale. Sure, there are “regulars” at Waffle House and other diners. But no one can be expected to enjoy the cooking of the same kitchen twice a day for four years.

That being said, there are other options. The Jackson area has many delicious cuisines to choose from, and the Jackson Free Press recently released a list of the best. Check out that issue for more on eating in Jackson. Here, we will take a look at my personal favorite restaurants in Clinton.

This list isn’t to rave more about Salsa’s and Chick-Fil-A. Everyone knows about O.E.C. This article is to expand your horizons and let you sample some of the many delicious alternatives that Clinton has.

My favorite new find in our quaint town is Taco Del Mar. According to a quick Google translation, this means “Taco Sea” in English. Imagine an inexpensive, tropical-themed Chipotle or Moe’s. For the unenlightened, these places serve delicious burritos, tacos, and other Mexican-themed fare. Perhaps more notably, the format of these stores is similar to that of Subway, or the deli line in the Caf (for those of you who really need this list). Taco Del Mar brings to Clinton a cheap way to fill your stomach with only your favorite ingredients. You can choose from a range of meats, toppings, and salsas, and combine them into the form of a burrito, taco, bowl, quesadilla, or a plate of nachos. They also have a punch card that can save you a few more bucks along the way. Taco Del Mar is located on Old Vicksburg Road, next to the Domino’s Pizza near Pinelake Church.

Clinton also has a variety of Asian food options, so much so that the problem comes when trying to choose between them. Of the Hibachi restaurants that I’ve sampled, Hibachi Express does it best. Located in the Clinton Crossing plaza across from MC, their first leg up on the competition is proximity. Furthermore, they seem to use better ingredients and provide soup with their rice-and-meat specialty. O.E.C. is, however, the cheaper option. There are also a few buffets in Clinton that specialize in Americanized-Chinese food. ChopSticks Buffet, on Highway 80 just past Chick-Fil-A, is the general favorite. Their offerings are the best in town, and if you go for lunch, it won’t break the bank. The best authentic Chinese restaurant is China Express, also in the Clinton Crossings plaza and right next to Shipley Do-nuts. If you have only eaten sesame chicken in your whole Chinese food career, you are missing out. China Express brings a more authentic style of cooking, with un-breaded meats and veggies aplenty. The sauces are less syrup-based, and the food can be pretty spicy.

Pizza, despite its controversial omission from the nutritional pyramid, is a staple in the American diet. College students are notorious for their consumption of the cheesy bread product, and here at MC, we have an array of options. Fox’s Pizza is my favorite, followed by Hungry Howie’s. Both are smaller chains that are quickly gaining popularity across the country, pushing the old giants like Pizza Hut to try new things like flavored crusts. Fox’s and Howie’s both feature bread-heavy pies with tasty tomato sauce and plenty of cheese. Now all we need in Clinton is a place to grab an authentic New York slice.

This list is not exhaustive. There are many other great restaurants in Clinton, and hopefully this will encourage you to try somewhere new. Allow my suggestions to get you started, and you may just find somewhere new to become a regular at. Bon appetite!

Town and Gown: The Saga of Clinton and Mississippi College

-James Osborne, News Editor

Now available in local bookstores is the new book “Town and Gown: the Saga of Clinton and Mississippi College” written by Walter Howell, Ph.D. The book is being sold at local stores including Pentimento Books and Lemuria Bookstore for $29.

“My intent was to write a history of Clinton, but I soon found out that you cannot write a history of Clinton without including a history of the college,” said Howell. “Not only are they so intertwined, but the college ran the town really for most of its history. Many of the mayors of the town have been former college professors of MC.” Howell himself is the most recent mayor of the town and was also a professor at MC.

Howell has a bachelors and master’s degree in history from MC and holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia. He gives credit to his education at MC for his ability to graduate number one out of a class of 12 with his Ph.D. He taught history at MC for 13 years and served as president of the Mississippi Historical Society. He served as a Clinton city alderman from 1977 to 1981 and as mayor of Clinton from 1981 to 1985. Howell was named official town historian in 2013 by the current mayor and town aldermen. He also gave the MC faculty convocation lecture at the beginning of the semester.

Howell said that when thinking of a title for the book, he included the word “saga” which is a reference of the chronicling of worthy people and events.

There have been previous books on the history of the college, but Howell said those books were written from a college administrator’s viewpoint and did not touch on any controversial information, which Howell said he was not afraid to do. “I found a wealth of information and I’d like to think that I brought a faculty members perspective.”

“Mississippi College is a very unique college and invaluable to the town,” added Howell. He went on to explain that the college was started before there was officially a town. Hampstead Academy started in 1826 which then became Mississippi Academy in 1827, and then Mississippi College in 1830. The men who founded the college laid out the plans for the town in 1829, and it was then chartered in 1830.

The book focuses on the beginning of the college and the town in the civil war era, but it also tells of the town during two world wars, the Great Depression, and the history of the town and college up to present day.

Some of the interesting stories in the book include General Sherman providing 15,000 rations to the people of Clinton to prevent starvation during the Union Army’s 1863 occupation and the Clinton Riot in September 1875, which led to the overthrow of Carpetbagger government in Mississippi and the end of Reconstruction in the state in 1877. The book also tells of the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s vote to move the college to Meridian and the town’s fight to make sure the college stayed in Clinton. Other stories include Clinton acquiring MCI WorldCom, which was then the third largest telecommunications company in the world at the time, and later the largest bankruptcy in American history.

Since the book’s release on Nov.18, Howell has attended book signings at various locations such as the Quisenberry library, Lemuria book store, the MC Library, and Pentimento books, and he spoke recently about the book on the morning show of MC’s own Star 93.5.

“We did have a very nice crowd the two days we had Mr. Howell for the book signing,” said Tammy Smith, manager of Pentimento Books in downtown Clinton. “I enjoyed listening to his stories. I enjoyed learning about the riots of the late 1800’s, Dr. Todd’s house, and Violet Banks house. I think it is important to see the role that Clinton played in the history of Mississippi.”

“Mississippi College has enjoyed a long and rich history with the City of Clinton,” said Steve Stanford, vice president of administration and government relations. “It is exciting that Dr. Howell has worked diligently and conducted extensive research to capture some of that history. His book will undoubtedly serve as an enjoyable read and an informative reference for readers for years to come.”

Stanford and the rest of the administration at MC are recognizing the relationship between the college and town this school year under the campaign called “Celebration Clinton: Town and Gown since 1826.” “Our purpose in identifying this year as ‘Celebrating Clinton – Town and Gown since 1826,’” said Stanford. “Is to express our appreciation to our host city for the support it offers to our students, faculty, staff and university. Our histories are certainly intertwined and our futures undeniably connected. We are a part of a wonderful city that reflects our values, beliefs, and commitments to God, family, education and community.”

One part of this campaign is the production of “Our Town” by the MC theater department being shown in the spring. “We chose to do ‘Our Town’ by Thornton Wilder as our spring main stage production for several reasons,” said MC theater teacher Phyllis Seawright. “Yes, the idea of ‘Town and Gown’ is one we have embraced for several years with our casting for ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.’ Ms. Sandra Grayson has used children from the Clinton area for many roles in ‘Best Christmas.’ Another reason we chose ‘Our Town’ is because it has not been done here for many years, if ever. That means we will be introducing it to a fresh audience,” said Seawright.

Seawright said that “Our Town” is about the life cycle of a town and its residents. The play illustrates the ordinary routine of living and dying, even as it captures the beauty of that routine. The message of the play is to enjoy every day to the fullest.

“Dr. Walter Howell’s convocation lecture made me aware of so many people I never knew of before,” said Seawright. “I had not known that so many professors had also held the office of mayor of Clinton. That gave me a new appreciation for why MC has remained so strong for so many years. The backbone of a college is its town, whether an MC student ever knows that. Those of us who are here for more than four years provide that necessary stability, and those of us who live here nurture the soul of this place.”

Howell said that the college has had a tremendous impact on education in Clinton due to so many teachers and administrators in the Clinton school system graduating from MC. “Considering the strong influence MC has on Clinton,” said Howell. “Look at the ranking of Clinton schools in MC compared to the Oxford, Starkville, Hattiesburg, and Cleveland schools. There’s no comparison! To me, that is tangible evidence MC has had a greater impact on its host city than any other college city in the state. They can put that in stone, cause it’s true.”

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