Dr. George McNamee Jr. elated to return home to Alcorn as part of the 1969 Golden Class

The idea of success is subjective. Some equate it with a specific dollar amount. Others feel that garnering attention for whatever reason brings them a level of prosperity. But for Alcorn State University alumnus Dr. Georg McNamee Jr., finding a passion and exercising it is the key to happiness.

"If you love your work, and if you enjoy your work, you are already a success," said McNamee, who earned a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry in 1969. "You have to love what you do to give it your best."

McNamee's dedication to his craft and years of hard work was rewarded earlier this year. He was promoted to clinical associate professor in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences/Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Department of Surgery in Bethesda, Maryland.

"It's an honor. My latest role is one that I pictured myself in one day. I believe in my ability to get the job done. I trust my instincts in this field. I'm doing what I love."

Fostering the talent of others is one of the best parts of the job for McNamee.

"I'm comfortable in my new capacity because I enjoy teaching and mentoring medical and nursing students, residents, and faculty the proper techniques of surgery and research. My goal is to encourage them to discover improvements in patient care and safety."

Loving science has led McNamee to an abundance of career achievements throughout the years. Back in 1974, he received Tuskegee University's first Outstanding Surgeon Award.

He also made his hometown, Bruce, Mississippi, proud when he became the first licensed veterinarian from the city.

"I was always good at science and math, but I loved animals. Whenever I would be around animals, it would always bring me joy. That made me want to pursue a career as a veterinarian."

The foundation for McNamee's affinity for science was laid from 1965 to 1969 on the campus of Alcorn.

"I credit my alma mater for giving me the start and push that I needed to be successful. This place gave me a foundation to build upon."

This Commencement weekend is special for McNamee and the Golden Class of 1969, as they celebrate 50 years since they earned their bachelor's degrees from the university. Returning to campus has been an excellent experience for McNamee.

"It feels great visiting this campus. Reminiscing about the good old days at 'The Corn' and sharing stories with my classmates has been a fun experience. Also, seeing my grandson, who is a sophomore majoring in computer sciences was great. My son also graduated from here. This is a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my graduation."