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Pearl River Community College

Pearl River Community College is a public community college in Poplarville, Mississippi, USA. It was founded as Pearl River County Agricultural High School in 1909, then became the first junior college in Mississippi in 1921.


101 Hwy 11 N
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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Campus Housing
Maroon Gold

College History


Pearl River County Agricultural High School (PRCAHS) was the result of the Mississippi Agricultural High School Law of 1908, making it the nation's first state-funded system of agricultural high schools. The law was found to be in violation of the separate but equal clause in the state's constitution by the state's Supreme Court late in 1909 when no equal opportunity was offered for the state's African-American children. The overturned law caused all but three of the twenty original agricultural high schools in the state to close, since state funding was no longer available. Pearl River County citizens came to the school's rescue, however, when private citizens secured a loan from a local bank to fund the school until the Mississippi Legislature could pass a new law which made opportunity for both races. Classes began on September 8, 1909 under the direction of Professor T.M. Kelly. The entire boarding high school was located in one three-story building erected on 20 acres (81,000 m2) of land on the edge of the county's seat, Poplarville. Classrooms and the cafeteria was located on the building's first floor, while the girls' dormitory occupied the second floor and the boys' dormitory occupied the third floor. PRCAHS, under the supervision of James Andrew Huff, added freshman college classes to the curriculum to the school in 1921-22, making Pearl River College the first 2-year public institution in Mississippi. Pearl River College continued to lead the way by the addition of sophomore classes in 1925-26. Pearl River College has since expanded to include four locations, the main campus in Poplarville, the Forrest County Center and Lowery Woodall Advanced Technology Center in Hattiesburg, MS, and the Hancock Center in Waveland, MS. In August 2005, PRCC's Poplarville campus suffered an estimated $40�50 million in damage at the hand of Hurricane Katrina. This included severe structural damage to the auditorium wing of Moody Hall, the state's oldest junior college building, and M. R. White Coliseum, the college's sports arena. Both the auditorium wing of Moody Hall and the entire sports arena have been razed for student safety. Plans are on hold due to insurance for replacement structures. Most of the roofs on campus had to be replaced due to the storm, and many buildings had to undergo extensive mold remediation. The Hancock Center, on the Gulf Coast, was completely gutted by the massive tidal surge. The main campus was shut down for three weeks due to damages and the Hancock Center was shut down for four weeks.

College Specialty


To prepare students to complete a degree or certificate program and to be successful in careers for which they have been prepared. To provide quality student services. To provide access to college courses and programs using various instructional methods, including distance education. To employ qualified faculty and staff, compensate them well, and provide opportunities for their professional development. To provide facilities, technology, and support staff in order to improve student learning, enhance faculty and staff performance, augment community services, and make college services available via the Internet. To improve communication among campus personnel and community members regarding the College goals, objectives, and activities. To recruit and retain students from a diverse population. To provide workforce training programs that meet requirements of business, industry, educational, and public service agencies for basic skills, specific job skills, and technical skills training.



Jimmy Buffett 1967 William Leon Clark J. P. Compretta Cornelius Griffin Rhyne Hughes Demetrius Byrd James Singleton (basketball)



20 acres (81,000�m2)