Veteran Hinds CC Dean Wins 3E Award
It was hot and humid, but Rankin Campus Dean Gary Fox sat on a metal bench at the Raymond Campus football field wearing his trademark bow tie with seersucker slacks and dress jacket.
He, along with several hundred Hinds employees, was there to see Hinds Heroes honored, watch four employee kickball teams compete and hear who won the annual 3E Award, Emphasis on Excellence and Enrichment, the highest award given by the college. 3E is presented each year to a person who embodies the name of the award, who is passionate about serving, and who goes above and beyond for the college and community. It’s a secret until revealed at the annual Employee Appreciation event.
As Foundation Executive Director Matt Jones read the attributes of this year’s winner the afternoon of May 6, it gradually dawned on Fox that Jones was talking about him.
“At the end of the day Thursday, my assistant - Jennifer Kolb - suggested that before I dressed out for the kick ball tournament I might want to dress as I customarily would on any workday. Nevertheless, I am not egotistical enough to have thought that I would be the 3E recipient. I said nothing to my wife about any such idea,” said Fox, who lives in northeast Jackson.
“At the football field, Human Resources personnel suggested that I sit on the bench with the Hinds Hero recipients. I knew that I was to receive the 3E award only when I heard Mr. Jones read the statements about a bow tie and the 31 years of Hinds experience,” he said.
Fox has taught English composition and literature and chaired the English and Modern Foreign Languages Department before becoming Academic Dean at the Rankin Campus and now is Academic Dean - Languages & Speech/Communications.
“He is an eloquent speaker, honest to a fault and has a tremendous level of integrity. He stands for what is in the best interests of the college, faculty and students,” said Rankin Dean of Students Carol McLaurin.
He has been honored a number of times, including being selected as the state Legislature’s Hinds HEADWAE teacher in 1997.
“One of my favorite memories about his impact on students took place during an Honors recruiting effort on campus to which prospective students and their parents were invited,” said Joy Rhoads, Rankin Honors Program Director. “Several of the parents shared that they had had the good fortune to have our dean as an instructor many years prior when they were students at Hinds. These parents were very excited that our good dean was still at Hinds, although some were disappointed their children would not have the opportunity to have him as an instructor.”
A number of his family members were there including his wife, Jane Fox, and sons, William and Andrew.
“I feel honored and grateful - emotional and happy - to have been selected for this special award. Of course, I do recognize that I am no worthier of this distinction than hundreds of other Hinds employees; however, that anyone believes me deserving is rewarding beyond measure,” Fox said.