Northwest Mississippi Community College Registrar, Larry Simpson, has been named a vice president, according to college officials. Simpson was formerly dean of enrollment management for the college.
Simpson started his career at Northwest in 1980 as a vocational related studies instructor and held that post until 1988 when he was named a vocational counselor. He served in that capacity until 1990 when he became the director of counseling and testing for Northwest. In 2005, Simpson was named registrar of the college upon the selection of Dr. Gary Lee Spears as president. Dr. Spears had served as registrar prior to his appointment as president. Simpson was promoted to dean of enrollment/registrar in 2008.
Simpson, who is a native of Hickory Flat, graduated from Hickory Flat High School. He came to Northwest and earned an associate of general business. He earned a bachelor’s in secondary education and master’s in education in counseling/psychology from The University of Mississippi. Simpson also holds a post-graduate education specialist degree in counseling/ psychology from Ole Miss.
Simpson’s office is responsible for all student records. “From the time a student applies to the college, we have to make sure that they have all of the proper documents here, such as transcripts, so that this person can come to college. Every grade a student makes, whether they attend for two years and leave or leave and come back years later is kept here. We have every college bulletin and transcripts for every student that ever attended Northwest from the day the school opened,” Simpson said. “I like to say that this is usually the first office a student sees when they come to Northwest, and we’re the last office they visit when we give them their degree.”
As vice president/registrar Simpson is responsible for the administration of the areas of admissions and records, recruiting, counseling, student development, testing, disabilities, state and institutional scholarships and the college’s athletic programs.
One of his most treasured responsibilities is overseeing graduation ceremonies. “Graduation day is probably our proudest day of the year. It is the day more people come to visit the campus than any other day. To watch those students walk across the stage and to celebrate their success with them is probably the most joyful day of the year for me,” Simpson said.
His advice to incoming students is simple: begin the process as early as possible. “The sooner a student knows what they want to do in their career, the sooner can begin working toward that goal. That is to their advantage. When a person leaves Northwest with an associate of arts, he or she is ready to go to any four-year school. If they choose an associate of applied science in a specialized area or a career certificate, they are ready to join the workforce. We pride ourselves in making sure of that,” he said.
He emphasizes the importance of the community college system in Mississippi. “When you consider all of the costs, class size and instructors who care about their students, the community college system is the absolute best educational bargain in the state of Mississippi. I know because my whole family and I have experienced it. I love to tell students this because I know how well it works and how important it is,” Simpson said.
Simpson is past president of the Mississippi Counseling Association and Mississippi Association of College Registrars and Admission Officers. He was also past president of the Senatobia Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow.
He and his wife Pam, an instructor at Northwest, have been married for 38 years. They are the parents of two sons, Josh and Jim, who are both Northwest alumni. Josh is a CPA in New Albany and Jim is a Financial Analyst with Auto Zone. They have one grandson, Hayes. The Simpsons are active members of First Baptist Church in Senatobia.
For more information about the admissions process, visit the college’s website at www.northwestms.edu .
Story by LaJuan Tallo, Communications Assistant