PRCC to host graduation at main campus after a decade

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 9, 2015

Soon-to-be graduates from Pearl River Community College will walk across the stage while donning their caps and gowns on the main campus in Poplarville for the first time in a decade.

Thursday, PRCC will hold their graduation ceremony inside the newly built Marvin R. White Coliseum in Poplarville. The old coliseum was destroyed as Hurricane Katrina passed through South Mississippi, said Jennifer Seal, PRCC’s vice president for planning and institutional research and chair of the graduation committee.

For the past 10 years, PRCC has held their graduation ceremonies at the James Lynn Cartlidge Multipurpose Building in Hattiesburg.

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The damage to the old coliseum was so extensive that the building was demolished and construction on the new coliseum began in 2012 costing $8.9 million. The coliseum’s doors opened in October of last year in time for homecoming, Seal said.

While the new coliseum stands in the same location as its predecessor, the new building is 35,400 square feet; 9,000 square feet larger than the old coliseum, Seal said.

“We’re excited that the graduation ceremony this year is returning to the coliseum. The college administration, faculty and staff look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates,” Seal said.

The Poplarville Police Department is gearing up to direct traffic flow on graduation day. During Tuesday’s Poplarville Board of Aldermen meeting, Poplarville Police Chief Charlie Fazende said the department is working on several strategies to ensure traffic moves freely in and around the college.

The graduation ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 14 at 10 a.m.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant will serve as the commencement speaker, Seal said.

375 students are expected to graduate on Saturday, according to a PRCC press release.