Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College President Dr. Mary S. Graham was selected by the Mississippi Business Journal (MBJ) as one of this year’s Mississippi Top CEOs. Graham, along with other honorees, will be recognized at a special breakfast on January 26 at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson.
“It is such an honor and privilege to be a part of this year’s selection of so many outstanding and visionary individuals,” Graham said. “I look forward to finding creative and innovative ways to support MGCCC, South Mississippi, and our state as we move toward greater levels of success. At Gulf Coast, it is always our goal to expand educational opportunities for our students by working with our partners in government and industry.”
Top CEOs will also be recognized in a special issue of the MBJ in February.
Graham was chosen for this honor because of her leadership of the college over the past 11 years and because of her service at both the state and national levels. She has served as chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and as chair of the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges (MACC) Presidents Association. She is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Presidential Advisory Board, Mississippi Power Association Board of Directors, Mississippi Humanities Council Board of Directors, and National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute (NDORI) Board. Graham was appointed and served on The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag and serves as co-chair for the Gulf Coast Restore Advisory Committee.
Since she took the helm at MGCCC, the college has expanded tremendously, offering 10 locations within its four-county district. She has worked to offer no-cost training in high-demand, well-paying careers through grants and partnerships with local industry. The Engineering on the Coast program, which continues to grow, was facilitated under her leadership, thanks in large part to a close partnership Graham has with MSU and its president, Dr. Mark E. Keenum.
Most recently, MGCCC was chosen to be home to the Mississippi Cyber Center. Located at the Harrison County Campus, it houses three different labs that support law enforcement and training at Keesler Air Force Base and MGCCC, as well as a digital ecosystem for outreach, collaboration, and training as part of the Mississippi Cyber Initiative.
In October, a residence hall on the college’s Perkinston Campus was named in her honor, something no other sitting MGCCC president has received. The college’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to give Graham the honor because of her incredible leadership of the college.