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Pictured at the November 1 press conference are: MC students John Self of South Carolina, Jasmine Ainsworth of Brandon and Samantha Hernandez of Slidell, Louisiana. They join Maj. Gen. Janson Boyles, the Mississippi Adjutant General, and President Blake Thompson.Pictured at the November 1 press conference are: MC students John Self of South Carolina, Jasmine Ainsworth of Brandon and Samantha Hernandez of Slidell, Louisiana. They join Maj. Gen. Janson Boyles, the Mississippi Adjutant General, and President Blake Thompson.

Mississippi College leaders reduced tuition for military personnel under a new partnership that will reap benefits for decades to come. Signing an agreement on November 1, President Blake Thompson said MC is honored to support the military that has served America so well for more than 200 years.

Effective with the start of the Spring semester in January, the new MC tuition reduction plan seeks to attract more undergraduates and graduate students from military ranks. The students would be affiliated, either part-time or full-time, with the Mississippi Air and Army National Guard or other military service branches. They can attend either traditional classes or take online courses.

President Thompson joined military leaders including Maj. Gen. Janson Boyles, Mississippi’s adjutant general, signing papers November 1.

“We believe this agreement will open doors for men and women serving in our nation’s military forces to enroll at Mississippi College to advance their careers,” Dr. Thompson said. “We have a heart for the military at our university and see this as a very positive development for all involved. We appreciate and commend the USA’s military for their dedicated service to our great nation.”

Mississippi College recruiters will immediately spread the word. MC becomes the first private school in the state to make this tuition reduction plan available to all branches of the armed forces. It is also unique statewide by opening the benefit to graduate students.

“We have Mississippi National Guard facilities that are within a short driving distance to Mississippi College,” President Thompson noted. “Our online programs also enhance learning opportunities for military men and women who live at more distant locations.”

The new initiative will prove positive for the military. “This will be a great benefit for soldiers,” says Maj. Gen. Boyles. “We will get better educated soldiers.”

MC is a good fit for the new partnership. Clinton is already home to a military police unit, Boyles noted at Friday’s press conference. “This will be a great recruiting tool.”

Mississippi’s connections to military service runs deep.

Mississippi National Guard members contributed to the success of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the Persian Gulf Crisis, Operation Iraqi Freedom and other military initiatives over the years.

There are several Mississippi College programs that are exempt from the terms of the tuition reduction agreement. That includes the MC Law School in Jackson, and the physician assistants program.

Mississippi College has a long history of serving the military. During World War II, the Clinton campus was utilized as one of the places nationwide where Navy personnel received leadership training. In 2019, there are 400 men and women who presently serve in the military (or are veterans) enrolled or have dependents taking MC classes.

The agreement signed by President Thompson and Adjutant General Boyles expresses the intentions of MC leaders to “actively assist the enrollment of these students to further their education and provide them with enhanced employment opportunities.”

“We are making history,” said MC senior Samantha Hernandez of Slidell, Louisiana. “This is expanding opportunities for all members of the military,” added Hernandez, a member of the Army leadership program at MC.

Enrolling nearly 5,000 students, Mississippi College was rated by “The Wall Street Journal” in September as the state’s best private college. MC is viewed as a military-friendly school. MC was ranked No. 21 in “U.S. News & World Report” as one of the best colleges for military veterans among the South’s leading regional universities.

Boyles is very familiar with Mississippi College. His mother, Regina Boyles of Jackson, is a 1978 MC graduate. Regina’s late uncle, Price Harlan, was a running back on powerful MC Choctaws football teams in the 1920s. MC defeated teams like the University of Mississippi in the 1920s. Boyles and his mom visited President Thompson’s office to see a football on display from that win over Ole Miss.

For more information, contact MC administrators Mark Davis, director of graduate admissions, at 601-925-7617 or admissions director Kyle Brantley at 601-925-3800. There are additional details available at www.mc.edu/veterans.

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Patrice, wife of Greg Boykin & mother of two sons, Bradley & Alex, is a Magee hometown girl. Patrice is retiring after 25 years in the insurance industry and 23 of those years were with State Farm Insurance in Magee. She is very active in the community serving as Secretary for the Magee Touchdown Club and Vice President of the MS Scholars of Simpson County. Multiple times, Patrice was named Parent of the Year for Magee Schools as well as District Parent of the Year. Patrice & her family are members of New Hope Baptist Church.

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