Celebrating Success: Pearl River Community College 2023-2024 Graduates honored 

May 15, 2024

Pearl River Community College’s Dobie Holden Stadium was bursting at the seams with the excited families and friends of more than 500 graduating students anticipating their big moment.  

Seven young women squat in front of a line of six young women and one young man. All are wearing maroon caps and gowns. Most of them also wear golden sashes around their necks for special honors. Girl on the far right holds her cap with the words 3rd times the charm on it.
Friends ready for graduation.

The morning ceremony awarded degrees to 273 students from Career Technical Education programs, including Allied Health and Nursing. The invocation was given by Carter Byrd of Lumberton, the National Anthem was sung by Lila Reed of Sumrall, and the Benediction was done by Brooke Blanks of Hattiesburg. 

Graduates sit in chairs lining the football field to await graduation.
Allied Health and Career Technical Education graduates.

The afternoon ceremony recognized 365 students receiving an Associate in Arts degree. The invocation was given by Abbilyn Jones of Sumrall, the National Anthem was played by Landon Berryhill of Mount Olive, and the Benediction was done by Allison Gobuzzi from Picayune.  

Dozens of young adults wearing maroon caps and gowns stand at their seats awaiting their turn to walk for graduation.

“Graduates, this is a time when we celebrate you,” said PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood. “You have made it!” 

Several student groups were honored by Breerwood throughout the ceremonies, asking associated students to stand and be congratulated. The groups included Phi Theta Kappa, the National Technical Honors Society, PRCC Middle College, Dr. William Lewis Honors Institute, military veterans, and more. 

Dozens of young men and women from the Middle College program smile as they await the graduation ceremony.
Middle College Graduates

Graduates were also reminded of the Wildcat Way. 

“You are asked to walk your journey with pride, to show respect to all you encounter, to always demonstrate what it means to treat others with class, and to carry yourself with character,” said Breerwood. “We encourage you to carry that same philosophy with you as you graduate today.” 

State Auditor Shad White addressed the graduates during the afternoon ceremony. He spoke to the students about the importance of independence and ownership.  

Man wearing a black robe speaks on a microphone with people seated behind and in front of him. Others sit in the stands behind or stand lining the building.
State Auditor Shad White addresses the graduates at PRCC.

“Independence is what allows you to roll back over and go back to sleep when the alarm goes off in the morning.” said White. “Ownership is knowing the importance of getting up and putting forth the effort to better yourself.” 

Mary-Catherine Galloway, from Foxworth, completed her Associate degree in Nursing and was excited to be achieving this goal today. While attending PRCC, she was involved in several student organizations and served in various leadership roles both in and out of the nursing program. 

A young woman ready for graduation wearing a maroon gown with a yellow sash and cords smiles at the camera. Her cap is decorated with flowers.
Mary-Catherine Galloway

“I cannot express how much gratitude I feel for the many lessons and treasured memories that I have made at PRCC,” said Galloway. “They will be cherished in my heart for a lifetime.”  

Galloway will be going on to work as a postpartum nurse at Forrest General Hospital and plans to further her education at a university with hopes of becoming a Nurse Practitioner.  

“While I will attend other schools throughout my life, I will forever and always be a Wildcat at heart.” 

Grace Harrison completed an Associate of Arts degree with a Health Science Pathway. During her time at PRCC, she was an active member of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter and Honors Institute.  

“My advisors went above and beyond for my fellow students and I,” said Harrison. “ I could tell without a shadow of a doubt how much we meant to them!” 

After graduating, Harrison plans on transferring to Gulf Coast State College to pursue a degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant.  

“If someone asked me about PRCC, I would express how great a decision it was for me to attend.” said Harrison. “I would explain how the teachers and advisors go out of their way to help each student. They are encouraging and determined to help you reach your full potential.”  

Both ceremonies were live-streamed for families and friends who were unable to attend the events of the day in person. The footage will be available on PRCC’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.  

Five young men stand in a row, posing for the camera. Four of them wear maroon caps and gowns.

Enrolling at Pearl River Community College requires just four simple steps: 

1. Apply for Admissions online and have your transcript sent 
2. Apply for Financial Aid, including doing your FASFA 
3. Apply for Housing if needed 
4. Sign up for ROAR, our orientation program to help you have the BEST experience as a Wildcat 

Visit PRCC.EDU/Admissions to become a Wildcat today. 

Anyone interested in a tour of the Forrest County Campus or Poplarville Campus can reach out to the Office of Recruitment by calling 601-403-1197, emailing recruitment@ prcc.edu, or visiting the webpage Prcc.edu/recruitment.    

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), Facebook (@PRCCMKTG), and TikTok (@prcc_wildcats).

Article by Alexx Kennedy and Laura O’Neill. Photography by Lauren P. Johnson and Alexx Kennedy.

Graduation on Social Media

Allied Health and Career Technical Education Ceremony

Academic Graduation Ceremony

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.