Retired MSU administrator to speak at Northwest graduation May 11

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SENATOBIA, MS (04/30/2018) Northwest Mississippi Community College will hold its 102nd graduation exercises on Friday, May 11. The Associate of Arts ceremony will be held at 8 a.m.; the Career Certificate at 11:30 a.m. and the Associate of Applied Science will be held at 2:30 p.m. This year, approximately 850 students will participate in the graduation exercises, according to the Office of Admissions and Records.

Dr. Jimmy W. Abraham, vice chairman of Client and Business Relations at Cadence Bank, and retired associate vice president of Development and Alumni and executive director at Mississippi State University (MSU) will serve as commencement speaker at all three ceremonies.

Abraham began his professional career at MSU in 1976 as a residence hall director. He went on to hold positions of increasing responsibility as assistant director of College and School Relations; assistant dean of Student Services and director of Enrollment Services; associate vice president for Student Affairs; interim vice president for student affairs; and associate vice president for Development and Alumni and executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. He retired in 2013 after working nearly 38 years at his alma mater.

He received a bachelor's degree in marketing in 1975 and a master's degree in student personnel and counselor education in 1977, both from Mississippi State University. He earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Mississippi in 1985.

During Dr. Abraham's 22 years working in the student recruiting and orientation office, MSU had the largest overall enrollment in the state each year and the highest entering freshman enrollment for that period except for one year. MSU also had the highest mean entering ACT score in the state for incoming freshmen for 18 of those years. In his role as the Alumni Association's executive director for eight years, he helped develop and implement programs that built stronger relationships between the university and alumni, increasing active membership by 30 percent and chartering 10 new chapters.

The Clarksdale native received the university's Distinguished Staff Award, the Student Association's Outstanding Faculty Award, the Lambda Sigma Outstanding Professor Award, and the Outstanding Professional Award from the National Orientation Directors' Association. Dr. Abraham also served on many committees and councils while at Mississippi State and he was the adviser for the MSU Roadrunners (student recruiters) and Orientation Leaders for 20 years, and the Alumni Delegates for six years.

In 2013, Dr. Abraham joined Cadence Bank as vice chairman of Client and Business Relations. In this role, he serves as an ambassador for cultivating customer relationships.

He and his wife Patti, who retired as director of the research and curriculum unit from MSU in 2010, have three sons and three grandchildren.

To help expedite traffic to and from the ceremonies, Northwest Chief of Police Zabe Davis requests visitors use the Alumni Drive entrance to campus off Wilson Drive (Highway 4 bypass). For more information on Northwest's graduation, contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 662-562-3219.