PRCC celebrates homecoming with honors, football victory

October 25, 2010 - 12:55pm -- braswell

POPLARVILLE - Alumni returned to Pearl River Community College for homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 23, enjoying beautiful weather and a victory by their alma mater Wildcat football team.PRCC President Dr. William Lewis crowned homecoming queen Heather McLain of Taylorsville before the game against Hinds Community College.The Alumni Association honored Hattiesburg businessman Allen Anderson as Alumnus of the Year and singled out the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation and Coast Electric Power Association for Distinguished Service Awards."The Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation has provided over $397,000 worth of support to PRCC," Lewis said. "I could go on and on with the numerous things they have done to support the college."In addition to being the grand sponsor for the annual PRCC Women Health Symposium, the foundation has provided major funding to the Healthy People Now! program. The joint project of the PRCC Department of Nursing Education and the Public Relations Department produces DVD programs on health-related topics for schools in Pearl River and Hancock counties."Our partnership with the college has been a good one," said Dr. Ted Alexander, foundation chief executive officer. "But, more importantly, it has provided a real contribution to the health and welfare of the children in the PRCC service area."Coast Electric funds scholarships for students from the counties it serves and is a founding member of the college utility lineman technology advisory board."Coast Electric has been a great partner and we give them a lot of credit for helping get this program off the ground," Lewis said. "Never once have they denied us help when we really needed it."Robert Occhi, president and CEO of Coast Electric, accepted the award during the Alumni Luncheon."I want to thank Pearl River for this very significant award," he said. "It really quite an honor."Anderson, president of Anderson Retail Inc. in Hattiesburg, is past chairman of the PRCC Foundation and annually funds a scholarship. He challenged other alumni to do something for others, where at PRCC or somewhere else."Focus on what you can do," he said. "It will do your heart good."Homecoming 2010 also featured the induction of five athletes into the PRCC Sports Hall of Fame - Ashley Chrisman of Bay St. Louis, who played soccer in 2002-03; Rhyne Hughes of Picayune, who played baseball from 2002-04; Joel Pigott of Picayune, who played football from 1962-64; Elaine Powell of Grambling, La., who played basketball from 1994-95; and Garland Smith of McCrory, Ark., who played basketball from 1955-57.All five were selected as All-Americans in their respective sports.During pre-game ceremonies, the homecoming court was presented to the crowd. In addition to McLain, the court included student body maid Kristen Barber of Sandy Hook, sophomore maids Chelsie Dobbins of Petal and Kristina Williams of Carriere, freshman maids Ashlee Arnau of Oak Grove and Larencia Woods of Picayune, Forrest County Center sophomore maid Lauren Garner of Hattiesburg, Forrest County Center freshman maid Mya McGown of Petal and Hancock Center maid Austa Chasez of Waveland.The Wildcat football team capped off homecoming by beating Hinds Community College 37-19.