Pearl River Community College enjoys a rich heritage of being the state’s oldest public community or junior college to give it a distinctive place in Mississippi’s educational history. It is also the 16th oldest in the U.S. Founded as Pearl River County Agricultural High School in 1909, it is a member of the nation’s first state-funded agricultural high school system. It began offering freshman college classes in September of 1921, which led educators and progressive thinkers in Mississippi to seek a two-year system of higher education institutions. Pearl River led the way in the establishment of the nation’s first system of state-funded junior colleges in the nation.
The museum is housed in the south wing of the 62-year-old Hancock Hall, one of many fine old buildings on campus. Featuring American Indian artifacts along with artifact collections from the school’s long past, the museum is a journey into Pearl River College’s history. A timeline exhibit outlines the complete history of the college and a brief history of the area.
The college’s history of athletics is showcased in one area, while the college’s music program occupies another. A dorm room demonstrates life on campus in the late 40’s and early 50’s, while a room is devoted entirely to the founding institution, Pearl River County Agricultural High School. In 1936 Pearl River Junior College and High School was the nation’s first junior college to add a military curriculum and a Reserve Officer Training Corps unit.
Address: 101 Highway 11 North – Hancock Hall
County: Pearl River
Admission: tours arranged by appointment, open year round.
Accessibility: accessible ramp; when arranging tour ask about any special accessibility features you might need.