MGCCC's new president excited about the future

PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - By David Elliott – bio | email

PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) – The newly selected president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College says she's proud to have the opportunity to lead an institution that serves so many different people.

Dr. Mary Graham was chosen this week to succeed Dr. Willis Lott as the next president of MGCCC. Lott, who has led the school since 1998, plans to retire in 2011. Graham will assume the presidency in July.

Dr. Graham says she's excited about the opportunity to build on the college's national reputation.

"I'm a native Mississippians and very proud of that. There are not a lot of things that our state ranks number one in the nation, but we do in our community college system," Graham said. "MGCCC has been rated number one in the nation for the past few years. My thought is, we do community college right."

Graham began her career with Gulf Coast in 1987. She has been Vice President of the Perkinston campus for the past 13 years.

The college's board selected Graham because of what they called her leadership skills.

"My style is very eclectic. I try to empower people to do their jobs. I create a sense of urgency to do a great job. Our philosophy is you raise the bar and give people an opportunity to do their job and allow them to be creative and make a difference."

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College runs three comprehensive campuses and five centers in Harrison, Stone Jackson and George counties. Graham says she is proud of the college's rich tradition of serving a diverse student body.

"We have tremendous quality education programs; everything from academics to career technical and non-credit offerings. It's exciting to lead an institution that serves so many different types of people."

In September, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College kicks off a yearlong celebration to mark the college's centennial.

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