Thursday, January 23, 2014

ECCC Plans Grand Opening for Smithsonian Exhibit

East Central Community College was recently selected to serve as a host site for the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition, The Way We Worked, which will be on display for several weeks on the Decatur campus.
The exhibit officially opens with a special ceremony at 2 p.m. Monday, February 24, 2014, in the Molly McGee Gold Room of Mabry Memorial Cafeteria.

ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart will preside at the Grand Opening and provide remarks about the exhibit, which is designed “to rediscover the strength and spirit of American workers through rare archival images, compelling videos and fascinating interviews.”

Project Coordinator Chris Brady, who serves as ECCC art instructor, said the overall focus of the exhibition and its ancillary programs is “to honor and commemorate the diverse forms of work and its impact on the lives in the community.”

Brady said several presentations and events are planned to supplement the Smithsonian exhibition, which will be on display in the Gordon Room of Mabry Memorial Cafeteria.

The first event features former astronaut Fred Haise, who served as the lunar module pilot during the ill-fated Apollo 13 space mission in 1970 and is portrayed by Bill Paxton in the blockbuster film, Apollo 13. His presentation is scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 25 in the Vickers Fine Arts Center. There is no charge to attend his presentation titled Failure is Not an Option.

The first presentation features Rae Nell Vaughn, Director of Development for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Vaughn will speak on The Social and Economic Impact of the Gaming Industry on the Choctaw Nation, beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 in the Gold Room. Included in her presentation is a photo exhibition that documents the social and cultural changes which have taken place over the past 20 years due to the economic impact of gaming.

Dr. G. Everett Morgan, Professor Emeritus of Poultry Science at Mississippi State University in Starkville, will speak on The Scope and Significance of the Poultry Industry in Mississippi, during his remarks scheduled Thursday, March 20. Dr. Morgan’s presentation begins at 11 a.m. in the Gold Room and is part of “Workforce Appreciation Day” activities, which includes a chicken lunch. The program concludes at 1 p.m.

The third presenter is retired ECCC English instructor Ovid Vickers. Vickers, a local historian, folklorist, author, poet and longtime newspaper columnist, will discuss “Work in Literature” beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 25 in the Gold Room.

The Way We Worked exhibit will also be available during Senior Day activities Friday, March 28, 2014, when high school seniors from throughout the EC five-county district will visit the Decatur campus. The annual event is highlighted by the appearance of Tony Dungy, former NFL head football coach and current commentator on NBC’s Football Night in America.

Coach Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to the 2007 Super Bowl Championship, will deliver his inspiring message to high school and ECCC students at Bailey Stadium to conclude Senior Day activities.

He will speak later that day as a fundraising event for the proposed Football Operations Center at Bailey Stadium. The dinner program begins at 7 p.m. at the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia. Tickets to “Laying the Foundation - An Evening with Tony Dungy,” are $125 and may be purchased by contacting the ECCC Office of Foundation and Alumni Relations.

The Mississippi Humanities Council serves as a sponsor for The Way We Worked Traveling Smithsonian Exhibition.

For more information, contact Chris Brady (601-635-6229 or email or Dr. Teresa Houston, Vice President for Instruction (601-635-6202 or email