Ellisville, MS – Jones County Junior College will hold summer commencement exercises Friday, July 31, at 10 a.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium. About 150 students are eligible for graduation with 90 students expected to participate in the commencement exercises. These students will leave Jones with either an Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Applied Science degree, or Vocational Certificate.
The keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony will be Jones County Sheriff and President of the Mississippi Sheriffs’ Association, Alex Hodge. The 1987 Northeast Jones High School graduate immediately began serving his country by enlisting in the United States Air Force. After being honorably discharged, Hodge joined the Mississippi Highway Patrol in 1994 and served for eight years. He was elected as Jones County Sheriff in 2007 and was recently chosen by his peers to serve as president of his professional organization, the Mississippi Sheriffs’ Association. Hodge is the first Jones County Sheriff to serve in this position.
The Columbus, Mississippi native is also an active member in the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Laurel Kiwanis Club. He is also an appointed member of the Executive Board of the Joint Terrorism Task Force by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Among his accomplishments as Jones County Sheriff, Hodge cites the implementation of the inmate garden, the Working Inmate program, GED program, Outreach Ministry, partnering with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to provide an Inmate Anti-Litter Program and partnering with the City of Laurel’s Family First Program to implement Motherhood-Fatherhood Initiative programs. Hodge has also established a Community Appreciation Day on behalf of the Sheriff’s department in addition to working to combat crime.
He is a member of Glade Baptist Church where he serves as a licensed minister, deacon and Sunday School teacher. He and his wife Sharla Lott Hodge have been married 27 years and have two sons.
Story by Teresa McCreery, JCJC Media-Public Relations Director