Community College will honor one of its most famous alumni Thursday
when Chief Phillip Martin is inducted into MCC's Highest Flying
Eagle Hall of Fame.
of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians since 1979, Martin was
a student studying business at MCC in 1967. He will become the fifth
individual inducted into MCC's Hall of Fame since its inception
three years ago.
going to be an exciting day at MCC," said MCC President Scott Elliott.
"Chief Martin has been one of the most extraordinarily successful
economic developers in the history of our state. His association
with MCC is something of which everyone at our college is very proud."
induction will highlight MCC's annual alumni reception at which
members of the school's homecoming court will be introduced and
30-year employees will be recognized. The reception will begin at
5 p.m. in the Dulaney Room at the rear of Webb Hall. The public
is invited to attend.
annual homecoming basketball games against Gulf Coast Community
College will immediately follow at the Ivy Sports Center. MCC's
homecoming queen will be crowned during halftime of the men's game.
Martin is an unparalleled success story," Elliott said. "Under his
leadership, the Tribe has become an international conglomerate,
headquartered in East Central Mississippi and directly employing
9,000 individuals. Chief Martin's astute leadership has positively
impacted untold lives."
to the Mississippi Business Journal, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw
Indians is the third-largest employer in Mississippi. Tribal enterprises
earn more than $500 million annually. Last year alone, net revenues
for the Choctaw Resort Development Enterprise increased by $50.1
that's what you call economic development," Elliott said. "At a
time when the national and state economies have suffered, the CRDE
showed a $50 million-plus increase. There's obviously somebody very
smart steering the ship, and that somebody is Chief Phillip Martin."
longtime Choctaw leader has been an ardent proponent of education.
Martin was the first chairman of the Board of Regents of Haskell
Indian Nations University. Moreover, he has created an extensive
scholarship program for tribal students, enabling countless young
people to attend colleges who might not have otherwise gotten the
enjoyed my days at Meridian Community College," Martin said. "Through
my association as a student at MCC I was exposed to new, diverse
cultures. That foundation helped me when I went on from MCC to embark
on my working career, and I have been blessed to be involved in
a lot of exciting ventures over the years."
those ventures are the Golden Moon and Silver Star casinos, Geyser
Falls Water Theme Park, Applied Geo Technologies, Choctaw Hospitality
Institute, Choctaw Geo Imaging Enterprise, Chahta Enterprises, and
First American Plastic Molding Enterprise.
addition, Martin established Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, which has
been ranked by Golf Digest as one of the Top 100 courses in America.
He was also responsible for developing an 80-acre industrial park,
and has started businesses in seven different U.S. states and Mexico.
The Tribe's client list includes such recognized Fortune 500 Companies
as McDonald's, Pepsi, NASA, and the Ford Motor Company.
Martin is a strong advocate for education, he also believes there
is no substitute for hard work.
college degree will open doors, but it will not guarantee success,"
Martin said. "It takes a lot of hard work and determination. When
you get knocked down, you have to get back up and do it again."
of the National Tribal Chairmen's Association, Martin has been the
recipient of numerous honors in his career, including three Hammer
Awards presented to him by Vice President Al Gore.
inductees into MCC's Hall of Fame are:
William F. "Bill" Scaggs, MCC President Emeritus and an icon
among educational leaders in the state.
Dulaney, owner of Structural Steel Services and longtime Meridian
Weddington Hart, the most prolific female golfer in Mississippi
history with six state amateur titles and six runner-up finishes
to her credit.
R. "Ronnie" Miller, longtime MCC theater and speech instructor
and one of the community's foremost leaders in the fine arts
for the past 35 years.
public is invited to attend all of the MCC homecoming activities.