The East Central Community College Alumni Association recently announced annual alumni award recipients who will receive special recognition Saturday, Oct. 15, during the college’s annual Homecoming celebration.

Chief Phyliss Anderson (Class of 1994) of Carthage was chosen Alumna of the Year and Prentice Copeland (Class of 1949) of Philadelphia was selected Alumnus of the Year.

New members of the Athletic Hall of Fame are retired NFL player Kendrick Clancy (Class of 1997) of Gluckstadt and Lynn Russell Hayes (Class of 1975) of Decatur, a former basketball and tennis standout.

Anderson, a native of the Red Water Community in Leake County, has served as Tribal Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) in Choctaw since 2011 and is the first woman to serve in the position. She previously served as Red Water councilperson and secretary/treasurer for MBCI from 2003 to 2011 and is a former director of natural resources.

She has more than 30 years of experience in tribal government management and is fluent in the Choctaw language.

Copeland, a native of the Bond Community in Neshoba County, is a longtime educator having served as Superintendent of Education for Neshoba County Schools from 1966 to until his retirement in 1987. He has 36 total years in the field of education. In addition, he has served 48 years as a member of the East Central Community College Board of Trustees and was chairman of the board from 1989 to 2011.

Copeland is also a United States Army veteran and served in both World War II and the Korean War.

Clancy is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and a graduate of Holt High School. He was a standout defensive tackle on the 1996 Warrior football team that finished with a 10-1 record, captured the Huddle House Golden Isle Bowl Championship and was ranked No. 5 in the nation. He was also a member of the 1997 team that finished 7-3, creating the best two-year period in ECCC football history. He was a first team All-State and All-Star selection.

He continued his career at the University of Mississippi where he was selected first team All-SEC and third team All-American. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and went on to play with the New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints, where he was a member of the 2009 Super Bowl Champions.

Hayes was an All-State selection as a freshman on the 1974 ECCC women’s basketball team and was an honorable mention All-State selection her sophomore season. She received the sportsmanship award and was named a permanent team captain. She was also a two-year letterman in tennis and played on the intramural volleyball team. She received the Earline Wood Award for Women’s Basketball and was selected for the ECCC Hall of Fame.

She is self-employed as a vocational consultant serving as a vocational expert for the U.S. Social Security Administration and as a rehabilitation Counselor for the U.S. Department of Labor/OWCP. She was previously employed as a vocational counselor for Crawford & Co./Broadspire Services, Inc. from 1981 to 2013.

Homecoming activities begin with the annual 5K Run/Walk/One-Mile Fun Run starting at 7:30 a.m. near the Pavilion on North Campus. Registration for the annual competition begins at 7 a.m., or register online at

Registration for alumni attending Homecoming 2016 begins at 9 a.m. in the East Mall area near Mabry Memorial Cafeteria and voting for the Homecoming Sign Competition also opens.

The Memorabilia Room in Burton Library and the Campus Bookstore will also open at 9 a.m.

Reunion groups meet at 10 a.m. and include the Class of 1966 (50-Year Anniversary Reunion), 1996 Football Team (Golden Isles Bowl Champions), Classes of ’57, ’58, & ’59, Coach Dan Chatwood Reunion and ECCC Friends-Students from the Mid-1980s.

During this time, retired ECCC faculty member Ovid Vickers will sign copies of his recently published book, “Notes in the Margin.”

Also scheduled is the biennial Diamond Warrior Alumni Game beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex.  Player registration is set for 10 a.m. at the baseball stadium.

The annual Alumni Awards Luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. in Mabry Memorial Cafeteria. Tickets are $15 per person and may be purchased in advance at or during registration.

The Lil’ Warrior Kid Zone is once again available for youngsters. Activities are scheduled from 1:30 p.m. until halftime of the football game inside Bailey Stadium.

Homecoming activities conclude with the Warriors’ battle with Hinds Community College. The MACJC South Division matchup kicks off at 2:30 p.m. at Bailey Stadium.

Halftime activities includes the presentation of the queen and her court and a full performance by the Wall O’ Sound Marching Band.

For more information on Homecoming 2016, visit or contact David LeBlanc, director of alumni relations and the foundation, at 601-635-6327 or email