When Janis Langston found out that her granddaughter, Rebecca Bishop, had been elected as homecoming maid at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, she was elated – she would be returning to the Perkinston Campus on Homecoming Day, Oct. 11, for her 50th reunion.
“I am so thrilled to share this day with my granddaughter,” Langston said Homecoming Day at Gulf Coast’s Perkinston Campus. “She is not my first grandchild to attend Gulf Coast, but she is the first one to be elected homecoming maid. You just don’t know how much more special it is to return to Perk with my beautiful granddaughter, introduce her to my former classmates and watch her walk across the football field.”
Known as Janis Sybil Slade during her Perk days, she graduated from Perkinston Junior College in May 1958. Her husband, Walter Vernon “Pic” Langston, played on the college’s 1957 football team (1957-58 school year) under Head Coach Leo Jones.
Through her grandmother, Bishop, a freshman maid from the Jackson County Campus, learned a lot about the college. “Mawmaw tells us about how her and Pawpaw met at Perk and got married. She said she enjoyed college and encouraged me to get involved in extracurricular activities to get the most out of my time here.”
Langston, who was a secretarial science major, stayed active in Perk student life. She was a member of the Newman Club, Phi Theta Kappa, the YWCA and the choir. She graduated with honors. “At Perk, we were family,” she said. “Everyone was friendly. All the teachers knew your name. That made my time in college more fun, more memorable.”
While the day of festivities was hot, Langston said she enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones. “We got a little overheated at times, but it was worth it. This place is something extraordinary; it’s a place you never forget. Some of my most important memories are of things that happened at Perk, and I am glad to be a part of the Homecoming celebration.”
And Bishop, a Reflections team member, said she was honored to share the day with her grandmother. “It is so nice to have my family here with me and to know that this is a tradition.” She added that it was even greater that her grandmother helped her win the election. “I told everyone to vote for me because it was my Mawmaw’s 50th college reunion, and I needed to be there. It seems to have worked!”