Lewis's service to PRCC celebrated

June 29, 2017 - 9:46am -- jbraswell

  POPLARVILLE - Hundreds of friends traveled to Poplarville Wednesday, June 28, to honor Dr. William Lewis on his retirement as president of Pearl River Community College.
  Lewis officially steps down on June 30 after 17 years as president of Mississippi’s oldest state-supported, two-year college.
  “My season is over,” Lewis said. “It’s time for a new college president to be in place.”
  At one of Lewis’s last meetings with the PRCC Board of Trustees, he was excluded from an executive session, board chairman Alan Lumpkin told the audience. During that session, the board voted to name the PRCC Honors Institute after Lewis, he said.
  Lewis has guided PRCC through good times and bad, including a 10-year recovery from Hurricane Katrina and numerous cuts in state funding.
  “The life of a president is not an easy one,” said Dr Aubrey Lucas, president emeritus of the University of Southern Mississippi and one of two speakers at the program honoring Lewis. “Even though we presidents can put on those smiles, it’s a tough job.”
  Lucas recounted some of Lewis’s accomplishments as superintendent of the Petal School District and then at PRCC.
  “I think there’s something magical about William’s leadership,” he said. “Instead of pushing, he enables.”
  Lewis described Lucas and Dr. Clyde Muse, president of Hinds Community College, as mentors. Lewis and Muse, who also spoke at the program, worked closely together over the years to lobby the Legislature for funding.
  “I think of William as a trusted friend with a quick mind, a steady hand and a kind heart,” Muse said. “William has been a great servant to the state of Mississippi for a number of years.”
  The program included presentations of gifts - a Waterford crystal bowl from the Board of Trustees, a cash gift from PRCC employees, establishment of an endowed scholarship by friends and colleagues and a framed resolution from the Mississippi Legislature commending Lewis’s career.
  After almost 50 years as an educator, Lewis will miss the daily call of the “schoolhouse” but is ready to turn the PRCC reins over to Dr. Adam Breerwood, vice president for the Poplarville campus and Hancock Center.
  “It’s time for this college to have a new direction, to have new leadership,” he said.

                    
Dr. Clyde Muse, left, president of Hinds Community College, and Dr Aubrey Lucas, president emeritus of the University of Southern Mississippi, listen as Dr. William Lewis makes his final remarks as president of Pearl River Community College. Lewis retires June 30 after 17 years as PRCC president.
PRCC Public Relations photo


Dr. Tommy King, president of William Carey University, congratulates Dr. William Lewis on his retirement as president of Pearl River Community College during a reception on June 28. Waiting to speak to Lewis are PRCC alumni Dr. Elton and Joyce Raby of Hattiesburg.
PRCC Public Relations photo


Janet Gale and Dr. William Lewis look at a book of photographs and letters of congratulation on his retirement as president of Pearl River Community College. The book was presented by the PRCC Public Relations Department at a reception in Lewis’s honor on June 28.
PRCC Public Relations photo