December 14, 2013 10:47:26 PM
A rose to all of our winter graduates. Mississippi University for Women and East Mississippi Community College-Mayhew held commencement ceremonies Friday while Mississippi State University held its graduation ceremony Saturday. With more than 1,500 graduates picking up degrees, there are always some compelling stories. At MUW, the story of five students who became The W's first group of students to earn PhDs is noteworthy as is the story of EMCC graduate Courtney Rigdon whose career path turned to nursing after the near-fatal accident suffered by her father. While every story may not hold that kind of drama, each graduate can take pride in a significant achievement.
A rose to Barbara Bigelow and Main Street Columbus which proved adept at adjusting on the fly. Both the Downtown Wassail Fest and the Columbus Christmas Parade were rescheduled from their original dates, yet both events can now be classified as unqualified successes. The Wassail Fest, originally scheduled for Dec. 7, was postponed because of rain. The rescheduled event was held Friday and while the turnout may have been somewhat smaller than in previous years, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. For the first time, streets were blocked off to vehicles, which only added to the ambiance as pedestrians moved along the streets enjoying treats offered by 25 downtown merchants.
The Christmas Parade was rescheduled from Dec. 2 to Saturday to accommodate an appearance by The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, which proved to be a huge hit for parade-goers. The shift from Monday to Saturday was something parade organizers watched with particular interest in gauging whether a weekend parade might be preferable to the Monday evening parades of the past. Judging from the turnout, the change had no negative effect on turnout.
A rose to all of the efforts to remember the less fortunate this Christmas season. The Dispatch has been inundated with calls from schools and organizations telling us about their efforts to help others. Some classes adopted angels from the Salvation Army Angel Trees while others packed up treats for our military people stationed abroad. Others contributed to food drives and toy collections. These acts only reinforce that Columbus' slogan as "The Friendly City" is an accurate description of our city.
A rose to the young journalists in Starkville, who have organized a Twitter town hall event from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday that will focus on dialogue between teachers, administrators and pupils about the impending Oktibbeha County school merger. The students, who work on the staff of The Jacket Buzz, Starkville High School's newspaper, are hoping the event will encourage discussion on recommendations presented so far by the Commission on Starkville Consolidated School District Structure. The group was tasked by HB 716 to deliver its final recommendations to legislators by March 1. State-mandated consolidation will occur July 1, 2015. We are especially gratified to know that students are actively involved in the process because they are the greatest stakeholders when it comes to consolidation.