Planned gift by late EMCC instructor to benefit college


A planned gift by the late Cora Mitchell of DeKalb, who taught business on East Mississippi Commu­nity College’s Scooba cam­pus for two decades, will benefit students and pro­grams at the college for years to come.

Mitchell, who passed away in April of 2019, left $102,000 to the EMCC Development Foundation, which supports students, academics and athletics at the college through pri­vate donations. EMCC was recently notified of the gift.

“We are very grateful to Mrs. Mitchell and to her family,” EMCC President Dr. Scott Alsobrooks said. “We are in the process of determining where these funds can make the great­est impact. Our Develop­ment Foundation has made a significant differ­ence in the lives of count­less students over the years and will continue to do so thanks to the gener­ous support of those like Mrs. Mitchell.”

A lifelong resident of DeKalb, Mitchell, who was called “Knootsie” by her friends, earned a bache­lor’s degree from the Uni­versity of Mississippi at the age of 18 and began teaching math at DeKalb High School when she was 19. She married Landon “Mitch” Mitchell, who was the football coach at DeKalb at the time.

She later earned her master’s degree from Mis­sissippi State University and, after teaching at DeKalb High School for 20 years, she accepted a busi­ness instructor position at EMCC, where she taught typing and shorthand, among other things.

Mitchell’s niece, Pat Thomasson, said her aunt enjoyed her time at EMCC.

“I believe Aunt Knootsie would say college is a lot more than just attending class,” Thomasson said. “She liked participating in extracurricular activities when she was a student and then as a teacher. Aunt Knootsie wanted her students to not only to get a good education but to also enjoy their time at EMCC. I remember she was involved in the beauty pageant at EMCC and needed a judge for the pageant. She got my fa­ther to drive over and help out.”

Mitchell also enjoyed sporting events particularly­, Polly Thomasson said.

“She was a football fa­natic,” Polly Thomasson said. “She went to Ole Miss games all the time and she attended the foot­ball games at EMCC as well.”

Pat Thomasson said her aunt was a member of band during her time at Ole Miss.

“She loved football, but she really loved the band,” Pat Thomasson said. “She never left a game at EMCC or Ole Miss before the band had played.”

Mitchell was also an ac­tive member of the Kem­per County Historical Society, enjoyed taking care of her flowers and was a member of a fishing and hunting club where she oversaw frying the fish and playing jokes on other members.

“Once after they com­plained about the fish not being salty enough, she filled the salt box with meal or flour and gave the fish a really big shot of that,” Polly Thomasson said. “They just knew she had ruined the fish. There was lots of good-natured joking that went on. They all loved their time to­gether.”

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