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Featured Alumni Profile (April 2015)
Lane Man Mr. Melvin R. Hamlett, Sr. a member of the Class of 1968 is our Alumnus of the Month of April. He was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and moved with his family to Detroit, Michigan at an early age. He attended the public schools of Detroit and graduated from the High School of Commerce which was a highly respected magnet school in Detroit for business majors.
Since 1968, his entire working experience has been at Lane College serving as Assistant Accountant, Chief Accountant, Director of Student Financial Aid, and Business Manager. Mr. Hamlett serves a vital role in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges as a peer evaluator. In this role, he has served as an on-site, off-site and special evaluator for the Commission in the area of finance when institutions are applying for reaffirmation of their status as an accredited higher education institution. He currently serves as Vice President for Business and Finance, a position he has held since 1992.
Mr. Hamlett is the second of six children and was brought up with strong Christian values. His great uncle was a Bishop in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and his mother was a financial secretary in the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of America. After graduating from high school, Mr. Hamlett began working in the factories in Detroit and attended Wayne State University part-time. He later transferred to Lane College after being persuaded by some of Lane's choir members who stayed at his home during a Lane College Concert Choir tour in Detroit. He received his B.S. in Business Education and later received an MBA in Management from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis).
Mr. Hamlett holds memberships in the following organizations: Southern Association of Student Financial Aid; Southern Association of College and University Business Officers; National Association of College and University Business Officers; Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the One Hundred Black Men of West Tennessee.
He also serves on the Civil Service Commission as an appointee of the Mayor of Jackson, Tennessee. He is a former member of the United Way Budget Panel; Advisory Board of the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital Finance Board; Advisory Board of the T. R. White Sportsplex; Boy's and Girl's Club Board; and the Board of the Junior Federation of Girls Clubs.
You can always find him lifting his voice in song in the male chorus at his church, Hurt's Chapel CME Church, under the leadership of Rev. Nathaniel Carter, a member of the Class of 1968. Hamlett is married to Lane Lady, Dr. Versie Ray Hamlett, who was featured as our August 2013 Alumna of the Month and served as the College's Fall Convocation Speaker in September 2014. She is currently the Superintendent of the Humboldt City School system. Mr. Hamlett is also the father of two: Melvin Jr. and Donna, a member of the Class of 2011 who serves as Career Planning and Placement Counselor. His pride and joy is watching his six grandchildren and two great grandchildren grow up and become the leaders that they are bound to become.
Hamlett often recalls some of his most memorable college days as a student and as an employee beginning with the first time away from home taking that long bus ride to Jackson from Detroit. He had a large theater trunk that held all of his belongings that took two persons to carry. Of course, it didn't arrive for two days after he had arrived. During the second semester of his freshman year, he was invited to work in the accounting office where he worked until graduation and this took care of his bill.
You will often hear him speak with excitement about his upcoming 50th anniversary as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Phi. Other memorable occasions included singing at the World's Fair in New York while touring with the Concert Choir. The bright lights and big city helped set the tone for Mr. Hamlett to want more, do more, and be more in life by setting goals and accomplishing them.
When I asked Mrs. Juanita Marshall, a member of the Class of 1972, Executive Assistant to Vice President of Business and Finance, to share a statement about Mr. Hamlett, she stated "they have worked together for many, many years and he is a truly hardworking and caring "boss!"
We salute this Lane Man!