Class of 2011 graduates from JCJC

ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Hundreds of students received their degrees Wednesday from Jones County Junior College during the school's 84th annual Commencement.

During the ceremony, students heard a Commencement address from Rod Risley. He is the Executive Director of the international honor society for community and junior colleges, Phi Theta Kappa.

Following the graduation, Risley also honored JCJC's President, Jesse Smith, with Phi Theta Kappa's Shirley Gordon Award of Distinction. Smith is one of only nine college presidents to receive that honor in 2011.

Over seven hundred JCJC students were eligible to earn either an Associate degree or Vocational Certificate from the two year college Wednesday. Brittany Keyes of Laurel was one of the college's 2011 graduates.

Keyes explained, "Coming to Jones seemed like the best way to spend my time before going to Mississippi State. It means I've grown so much, I've matured, I've learned how to handle different situations that otherwise I feel like I would have been eaten alive if I would have gone through those situations at State. So it's been a really good journey here, it's been exciting."

Keyes is joining many of her fellow JCJC graduates, who are continuing their studies at a four year university.

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