Co-Lin president talks with alumni

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NATCHEZ — Copiah-Lincoln Community College President Ronnie Nettles started the alumni steering committee’s first meeting by assuring the members that he was not asking them for more money.

Nettles just wanted the steering committee to know how important an alumni association is to a college campus.

“We want to increase the number of scholarships we give away to students, and we can’t without alumni fundraising,” Nettles said.

Andrew Calvit, who graduated from Co-Lin when it was in Washington, said he got excited when he was asked to be part of the steering committee to put together an alumni chapter for the Natchez campus.

“Co-Lin is a diamond in the rough for Southwest Mississippi,” Calvit said. “Co-Lin does a lot for the community, and I’m happy to help out so they can give more back to their students and the community.”

Brian Fisher, who works at Concordia Bank and Trust, said the group was going to be a good one.

“I’m excited about it,” Fisher said. “Having an alumni chapter for the Natchez campus has been a long time coming.”

After having graduated from Leadership Natchez this year, Fisher said he saw the importance of Co-Lin to Natchez, and he also wants to use the experience to bring more help to the cause.

“I hope to bring some of the people I met in the Leadership Natchez Program over to the cause,” Fisher said. “Overall, it’ll just be great to do our part to help out.”

Alumni Association President Celeste Williamson said Co-Lin has come a long way in the last few years and watching it grow has been good for her morale.

“When you see the benefits that Co-Lin is getting from your efforts, all the hard work and organization will be worth it,” Williamson said.

Nettles said the group would also be good at forming positive relationships with people in the community and spreading the good news going on at the campus, such as all the accomplishments achieved by the students and student organizations.

Co-Lin also gives back to the community, including spending money locally, Nettles said.

“We spend over $1 million a year with over two dozen local vendors,” Nettles said. “People may not know that.”

Nettles said that Co-Lin was also recognized by the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce as the large business of the year.

The group is planning to have a follow-up meeting July 19 and hopes to have a large kickoff in August.