Longtime EMCC employees Gina Cotton and Marcus Wood take a moment to relax during  the EMCC-Old Waverly Golf Classic. Cotton and Wood are now  leading the college’s alumni relations efforts.

School Photo
Longtime EMCC employees Gina Cotton and Marcus Wood take a moment to relax during the EMCC-Old Waverly Golf Classic. Cotton and Wood are now leading the college’s alumni relations efforts. School Photo
From school reports

Two familiar faces at East Mississippi Community College have been tapped to double-team the college’s alumni relations efforts.

Gina Cotton is now the director of Alumni Affairs and Foundation Operations while Marcus Wood has been named the executive director of College Advancement.

Cotton, who has worked at EMCC for nine years, was formerly the coordinator of Alumni Relations for Nick Clark, the college’s vice president for Institutional Advancement until he retired July 30. Wood, who is in his 10th year at EMCC, was an assistant football coach for the Lions until last year when he assumed an administrative post. Wood will lead the college’s fundraising efforts.

In addition to other responsibilities, Cotton and Wood now share duties once handled by Clark.

The two will work closely with EMCC Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management Leia Hill.

Cotton will maintain the college’s alumni database and coordinate alumni events, such as the EMCC-Old Waverly Golf Classic, Sporting Clays Challenge Cup and the Billy Joe Cross Wild Game Dinner and Auction.           

“I have learned a lot just watching Gina,” said Wood, a former EMCC standout football player who was inducted into EMCC’s Sports Hall of Fame during last October’s Homecoming activities. “There was a lot of work that went into the Sports Hall of Fame event, for example. Gina had to contact everyone, line up their tickets, make sure they all got here and see that everything down to the smallest detail, such as the flower arrangements, was ready. Gina does a lot that people will never know about.”

Both Cotton and Wood said one of their main priorities will be to establish closer relationships with alumni.

“We really want to encourage our alumni to reach out to us and let us know what is going on in their lives,” Cotton said. “We are especially interested in knowing what our younger alumni are doing since we typically don’t hear from them as often. People want to know what their former classmates are up to and we are looking at ways of sharing that information in a suitable format.

“We are asking our alumni to reach out to me by email, especially if they have not done so in the past, so we can open a line of communication.”

Wood said fundraising is critical for EMCC’s mission to continue to grow and add new facilities and educational opportunities for students.

"We hear from alumni all the time who say they are amazed at the growth at EMCC,” Wood said. “The new facilities and added programs we have today would not have been possible without the support of our alumni and friends of the college. This college is their legacy and we encourage or emerging alumni to become part of our future legacy as we continue to move forward.”           

To facilitate donating, the college now accepts online donations at www.eastms.edu. Look for the “Donate Now” button on the website, which has been revamped and updated.

The college’s needs are great, Wood said. Long-range plans call for the construction of an athletic operations center at the Scooba campus to consolidate coaching staff and the addition of a women’s soccer field for the Golden Triangle campus. Future upgrades are anticipated for EMCC’s baseball, softball, basketball and rodeo facilities and hopes are to install a new electronic scoreboard at Sullivan-Windham Field.

“Many of our alumni have been blessed in that their time at EMCC served as a springboard for them to achieve great things,” Wood said. “We need their help to ensure that future Lions are provided the same opportunities.”

Wood can be reached by phone at 662.476.5025 or by email at mwood@eastms.edu.

Cotton can be reached at 662.476.5063 or by email at gcotton@eastms.edu, said she is excited about her new position.

“We really appreciate the continued support of our alumni and I am looking forward to the great things I know we will accomplish in the future,” Gina Cotton said.