After a long and distinguished career serving Mississippi education and 42 years as Hinds Community College’s leader, Dr. Clyde Muse retired June 30.
Muse became president of Hinds July 1, 1978, and led the college through both good and turbulent periods. The college flourished with an expansion of programs, facilities and campuses, but also dealt with dwindling state resources.
His unprecedented accomplishments and love for students have resulted in his receiving the inaugural Foundation/Alumni Hall of Fame Award, which recognizes those who have demonstrated genuine interest and support of the college over an extended period of time. It is the highest honor presented by the Hinds Community College Foundation and the school’s alumni association.
This isn’t the first alumni-related award presented to the Muse family. The late Vashti Muse, Clyde Muse’s wife, was the recipient of the Alumni Service Award in 2008. The Hall of Fame award is a tribute to both Muses’ lifetime of service.
“To be given the opportunity over nearly 68 years of my life, to be in a position that I could be of service to others, was a great blessing to me,” Muse said in a statement. “I see this award as a testament for me in that my life has always been about service.”
Dr. Muse began his college career at what is now East Central Community College with no money but a desire for an education and a job to pay his way.
“The thing I kept thinking in the back of my mind was, ‘If you go to Hinds, you are going to have the opportunity over many occasions to help individuals go to school who don’t have that opportunity because of the circumstances they find themselves in. They don’t have the money, but they’ve got a desire to go,” Muse said.
He is best known for his soft spot for students, always putting them at the center of decisions. “I came here to help and serve people, to serve those students who come to Hinds and to put the student first,” he said.
His dedication to providing opportunity to students inspired the creation of the Hinds Community College Foundation as a vehicle to accept donations.
“It is fitting that Dr. Muse be the first recipient of this new award, mainly because of his 42 years of service to the Hinds foundation and alumni but especially since he is responsible for starting the Hinds Community College Foundation,” said Jackie Granberry, foundation executive director.
The foundation sponsored the Celebrating the Muse Legacy Luncheon Feb. 20, a fundraiser for the Muse Legacy Endowment that will support projects dear to Dr. Muse’s heart: scholarships, faculty and staff development, and community service. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of subsequent events and the endowment fell short of its $250,000 goal.
Contributions are still being accepted through the Hinds Community College Foundation by calling the Foundation office at 601-857-3363 or online.
Muse will be recognized along with other honorees in a ceremony Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. at Cain-Cochran Hall on the Raymond Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Health and safety protocols will be observed, and attendees are expected to wear a mask.
Other honorees include:
Dr. Christy Granberry Barrick of Madison is the recipient of Hinds’ inaugural Young Alumnus of the Year Award, which recognizes an alumnus under the age of 40 who has attained significant professional, personal or community success.
Also being recognized are Alumnus of the Year Bill Dunlap, who has a home in Mathiston, Mississippi; Alumni Service Award recipient Ken Coomes of Brandon.
Sports Hall of Fame inductees are Mike Burch, of Mobile, Alabama, football, 1986-1987; Jeffrey Fields, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, football, 1986-1987; Dwayne Green, of Fayetteville, Georgia, soccer, 1984-1987; Phyllis Rhodes Krebs, of Pelahatchie, basketball, 1981-1983; and Jeff Long, of Meadville, baseball, 1987-1989.