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Ruthie Stevenson retired in style with a Mississippi College car parade serving as a tribute to the extraordinary professor.

MC supporters pulled off the surprise salute to Dr. Stevenson on Thursday afternoon. The beloved Mississippian led the university’s first doctoral program on the Clinton campus. The innovative program began in 2008.

School of Education leaders say the festive parade of honking horns and cheers near Lowrey Hall was well-deserved.

MC Department of Public safety officers escorted the 45-car parade. Dr. Stevenson’s granddaughter and her 94-year-old mother were among family members joining the event. MC President Blake Thompson joined the fun.

“Ruthie is such an outstanding leader in the field of education, not only in the state, but across the country,” says dean Cindy Melton. “Dr. Stevenson invests deeply in the lives of her students.”

Students orchestrated the caravan of cars to show their robust support for their teacher, mentor and friend.

Dr. Melton was on board with their idea from day one. “She is one of the hardest working and most dedicated individuals I have ever met.”

Ruthie Stevenson has provided splendid service in the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership. She joined the faculty in 2003.

Her celebrated education career spans a half-century. More than 60 students earned MC doctorates in educational leadership over the past dozen years. Seventy-five students are presently enrolled.

Melton and Martha D’Amico, chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership, snapped photos of the spirited event to make more memories for Dr. Stevenson. While retiring as a full-time educator, Ruthie returns this summer as an adjunct professor working with doctoral students.

Professor Jamilliah Longino enthusiastically supported the May 21 caravan.

“Ruthie Stevenson is a professor who embodies MC’s vision to be committed to academic excellence and the cause of Christ. She is a compassionate professor who goes the extra mile for her students.”

Longino serves as the new coordinator of the Christian university’s doctoral program in educational leadership.

The Spring celebration shows there is “an outpouring of love and support” for Dr. Stevenson, says the Brandon resident.

Ruthie Stevenson began her career as a junior high teacher in the Jackson public schools. The Jackson State University graduate was an assistant superintendent when joining the Mississippi College family. “God has led, guided and directed me through each and every position.”

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