• Melissa Walton-Jones

Finer Finance Fridays - Friday?!

It's Friday...Somewhere! 

This weekend has been a world-wind, so far! I journeyed to South Carolina on Thursday, and had an amazing evening with the Sorors in the "Second to None" Southeastern Region! This was my very first Southeastern Regional Conference, and it was a wonderful experience, from arrival on the beautiful and lavish Hilton Head Island, to the lively opening program featuring several live music acts! It was a great time.  Thanks to the region, for the very warm welcome I received. I was happy to see familiar faces and catch up with sorors I knew, and excited about the new sorors I had the opportunity to meet. I also apologize that our time was cut short.

Friday morning, I journeyed to my hometown, Holly Springs, Mississippi to attend some of the 151st Founders' Week activities at my Alma Mater, Rust College.  As I settled down on the plane for departure at 5:25 am, I was sleepy, yes, but I was also filled with anxiety and some level of disappointment because I had to leave the conference. I wouldn't be able to participate in the National Candidate's Forum being held later that day, after-all, I made proper plans to participate in the forum, but now, I would have to put my trust in another soror appointed by the Regional Director, to represent me and read my statement to the Southeastern Region's delegation. I was thankful that I had sorors willing to hand out my campaign materials in my absence. That gave me a great deal of relief!! The more I sat and contemplated, I began to relax, because I am a believer, and as believers, "...we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28). 

I was reminded that my plans changed because I was traveling to Holly Springs, MS unexpectedly. Usually when I have to go home unexpectedly, it's for a family emergency or tragedy, but this time it was for something exciting! In mid October, I received a message from a former professor, Dr. Nellie Smith. She's retired now, but used to be the Chair of the Business Division at Rust College. Her call was to inform me that I would be nominated for a Young Alumni Award and she needed some information from me! Imagine my surprise....nomination for an Alumni Award?! Wow, I was honored and humbled, speechless....imagine that! She informed me that I needed to make plans to attend the Alumni Awards Banquet, and she sent me the date....Friday, November 10th.  I recall saying, great, I'll be there, I can't wait!!!  Then I remember thinking, why does that date sound familiar? Oh boy, as I checked my planner, it was in BOLD BLUE handwriting.... SERLC in Hilton Head, SC...now I thought, Oh no...... what should I do?!

It was important to me to be present at the regional conference. It was also important to me, to be at the alumni event, even without knowing if I would be selected for the award, or not. That didn't matter. It was an honor and a privilege to be nominated, and I didn't want to let her or my family down, so, that was that.  The SER was gracious by allowing me to send a statement to be read to their delegation, and that would have to be enough for now.  Well, you know the rest, I put it all in God's Hands.  I arrived in Holly Springs, and checked in with my family. Everyone is well and healthy, and they were completely happy and surprised to see me! I didn't tell them I was coming.  The day went by quickly as I made my way to campus to see old friends and catch up with what's been going on since life at Rust. Then I moved on to the International Alumni Association Meeting, followed by the Alumni Reception and Awards Banquet. 

At the Awards Banquet, I sat anxiously awaiting the award's presentations with my nominating professor and my mom whom received a surprise ticket to attend the banquet with me.  My professor told me that one of the others she had nominated, received a confirmation of acceptance of their nomination. There were so many dignified Rust College Alum in attendance, the President of the College of course, the Deans, even the Mayor of Holly Springs, and the history making, first African American Alderman of Desoto County, Dr. Leslie McLemore from Walls, MS. Now, my heart is racing with excitement, but then it dawned on me, I hadn't received a confirmation that my nomination was received. So, as name after name was called to come up for an award, my heart became less excited, and concluded that though I was nominated, this wouldn't be my year to receive an award. So, no, this didn't turn out the way I thought either.  Name after name continued to be called, graduates spanning from various years, dating back to 1987, and then President Beckley called MY name! I sat wide-eyed, processing it all, then I stood proudly and dignified, like the rest, and went to accept my award.  WHAT a Friday, RIGHT!!!! Won't He do it?! Yes, He will!!!!

Today is my Uncle's birthday, and I was able to order a birthday cake for him before I left Holly Springs.  He's a Dallas Cowboy's fan, so I KNOW he will love his cake when he sees it. If only the Cowboys can deliver against the Falcons this weekend, that will be real icing on the cake! Ok, Lord, I might be asking for too much. The award was certainly enough! Now, I'm preparing to head back to beautiful Hilton Head Island, as the Southeastern Regional Conference is winding down, I do hope to enjoy the remainder of the conference and look forward to what the remainder of the journey will bring! 

with Dr. David L. Beckley, President of Rust College

Soror Melissa Walton Jones named in the Top 20 Under 40 Young Alumni of Rust College for "Outstanding achievements in your field of endeavor, your demonstrated leadership and your service to Rust College and your community on November 10, 2017"


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Soror Melissa Walton-Jones, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

2020 Candidate for Re-Election: International Tamias