May 3, 2019

Rebekah Scitzs, a 2019 graduate and member of the ECCC Hall of Fame, delivers the commencement address during East Central Community College’s graduation ceremonies held Friday, May 3, at the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia. (EC Photo)

Addressing guests and her fellow graduates at East Central Community College’s 90th Commencement held Friday, May 3, 2019, at the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia, Rebekah Scitzs of Collinsville talked about the meaning of family and spoke fondly of the East Central family she grew to love and respect throughout the course of her two years on the Decatur campus.

Scitzs said, “Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions, yet our roots remain the same.”

She took time to reflect on special ECCC administrators, staff, and faculty who provided wisdom, a strong foundation, encouragement for good grades and strong study habits, protection, honesty, patience, hugs, advice, and love.

“While these are just a few branches of the ECCC family tree who have had a profound impact on our college experience, each person here today makes up a network that we can never replace or forget. … Overall, this place, these life-long friends, and the memories made here at East Central will forever and always hold a special place in my heart.

“I am proud to call myself a member of the Warrior family. I am proud of the many doors and opportunities that EC has provided for me, and until God opens the next door for each of us, I pray that we praise Him in the hallway between our time here and what lies ahead for our future.”

Scitzs, a member of the ECCC Hall of Fame, concluded her remarks with a quote by Linda Goetsch. “Remember me in the family tree; my name, my days, my strife. Then I’ll ride upon the wings of time and live an endless life.”

Dr. Teresa Mackey, vice president for instruction, presented the candidates for graduation, and ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart awarded degrees and certificates during the ceremony.

Nearly 600 students applied to graduate this year, including those who completed degree requirements following the spring 2019 and fall and summer 2018 terms. The final number of students who met all criteria to graduate will be determined next week.

In addition to Scitzs, other graduating sophomores participating in the commencement program were Ryan Ethridge of Collinsville, who gave the invocation, and Joshua Warnsley of Decatur, benediction. Presenting the musical selection “Homeward Bound” were graduating sophomores Anna Brooke Skinner of Union, and Courtney McNair, Courtney Smith, and Jackson Lovorn, all of Philadelphia.

ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart (left) awarded degrees and certificates during the college’s 90th Commencement held Friday, May 3, at the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia. At right is 2019 graduate Halley Brooks of Carthage. (EC Photo)