Parris Watts graduates as the 17th member of her family to attend MGCCC
Parris Watts is the 17th member of her family to attend Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. She graduated during the college’s Commencement Ceremony on May 9 as her parents and extended family cheered for her as she crossed the stage.
“We are very proud of Parris and all that she has accomplished,” said her father, Pertis B. Watts. “Attending MGCCC was her choice. We didn’t want to influence her one way or another. With the many scholarship offers she received, she could have gone anywhere, but she wanted to attend the Perkinston Campus.”
Pertis and his wife, VeSheler, who are originally from Moss Point, attended MGCCC. Pertis attended the Perkinston Campus, and VeSheler attended the Jackson County Campus. The couple now lives in Richland, where Parris was raised.
“We always come back for big events at the college and for games,” Pertis said. “Parris grew up with us visiting the campus. We even took a tour of campus when she was trying to narrow down her list of colleges.”
Eventually, Parris narrowed the list down to three colleges. She actually came to her parents when she made her decision. “She told us that we had attended MGCCC, and we turned out great, so that was enough for her,” said VeSheler. “That was very touching.”
The next step for Parris is The University of Southern Mississippi, which is also a family tradition. She said she is going to miss her extended family at the Perkinston Campus, though.
“The college is just such a warm and welcoming place,” she said. “I have so many instructors and fellow students who have grown to be like family to me. I’m really going to miss that feeling.”
Active on campus, Parris was a member of the Reflections Team. She was named to the Who’s Who Among Students at MGCCC and the Perkinston Campus Hall of Fame. She also received the Presidential Partnership Scholarship to USM. She has also appeared on college billboards and in other advertisements.
“Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking forward to the exciting things in my future,” she said. “But I’m also looking back at all of the things I’ve accomplished. MGCCC was the very best choice for me to step out on my own. I have received so much from my time here and truly appreciate the opportunities made available to me. It’s definitely been a wonderful time that I will never forget.”