A Clinton resident and Mississippi College graduate, Clay Mansell had no connection to Hinds Community College before he got to know President Emeritus Dr. Clyde Muse.
Mansell, who owns several businesses including The Clinton Courier newspaper, served with Dr. Muse on the Merit Health Central board, which Mansell now chairs. He also began learning about Hinds from Rotary Club talks by college employees.
“Every time we have a program, I’m blown away at what Hinds does,” Mansell said. “I was very lucky. My parents paid for college when I went to Mississippi College. I was a very traditional student.”
His eyes were opened to what other students sometimes face after Dr. Muse asked him to join the Hinds Community College Foundation Board of Directors.
“I have really enjoyed it. I keep learning more about the college,” said Mansell, who is in his third year on the Foundation board.
“It’s very eye opening just to see what the students need. It helped me to understand the need for scholarships and the role that the Foundation plays in getting money to support the students.”
As part of Foundation board meetings, members frequently meet students who benefit from scholarships and hear their stories. Mansell finds those stories compelling, especially those of older students.
“It’s easier to go to class when you’re 18 or 19. It’s harder when you’re 32 and paying bills and juggling children and then going to class and doing homework,” Mansell said. “I’m always impressed with students’ stories and how much they want it. They know that Hinds can be a life-changing experience for them.”
Mansell and his wife Amanda have two biological children, AnnaBelle, 13, and Grayson, 1, and have fostered 11 children, including their current foster child Bentlee, 7, over the last four years.