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Wechsler Board Members


Edward L Lynch, President



Owner of The Art Connection Frame Shop. Edward attended Meridian Public Schools and Meridian Community College; he has received both C.P.M. (Certified Purchasing Manager) and A.P.P. (Apprenticed Purchasing Professional) certifications. He is a qualified SCT computer software consultant. He currently works as an adjunct instructor at Meridian Community College and East Central Community College. Edward is a spoken word artist; he has spoken and reads poetry on school and college campuses from Rolling Fork Elementary in Rolling Fork Mississippi, to the University of Maryland at College Park.


Edward served on the Meridian School Board of Trustees for 10 years. He Also Served On The Board Of Directors of The Mississippi School Boards Association. He is a United States Army Veteran. Edward believes that children are our future and to that end he has served on the State Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Parenting, the State Superintendent’s Panel on Reading and Literacy and along with his wife Gail was selected co-parents of the year for the state of Mississippi, in 1998. Edward being selected parent of the year was the first time ever for a male to be so honored in the state. Edward is an Elder at College Park Church of Christ and he and wife Gail are the parents of six sons

Rev. Maurice Boger

 Reverend Eugene M. Boger is Pastor of Saint Paul UMC and St. Elizabeth UMC in Meridian, Mississippi.  He holds a Masters of Divinity at Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia with a concentrating in Ethics.


Boger is a graduate of Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Georgia. Academic awards and honors:  Bishop L. Scott Allen Scholar Award, President-Dean Award, Student Representative to the Board of Trustees, and the President of the Gammon Student Fellowship.


Professional and civic organizations: Critical Race Studies in Education Assoc (CRSE), American Academy of Religion (AAR), Black Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Meridian, Secretary of the Meridian/Lauderdale Branch NAACP, Institutional Review Board at Anderson Hospital in Meridian, MS, and on the Advisory Board of ‘By Faith Magazine’- which highlights ministry of Black United Methodist.

Mable Hoskins Oatis

Mable Hoskins Oatis is a retired educator, whose accomplishments during her teaching career include becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.


 Mable, along with Dr. Otis Gowdy, Jr., was co-chair of the 48th Annual National Council of Meridianites, Inc. Convention and Picnic hosted by the Council of Organizations, Inc. in Meridian June 25-28, 2014. She was chair of the Heritage Journal , a “history” book for the NCM and Council.  She also served on the Meridian 50th Anniversary Committee for Freedom Summer 2014.  She was appalled at the destruction of African American historic sites: Baptist Seminary, the first school in MS to offer high school diplomas to African-Americans, where Freedom School was held in 1964; the Fielder and Brooks Drug Store Building site of the 1964 COFO office; and   the Carnegie Library, one of two libraries (one for Blacks and one for whites) funded by a grant from Andrew Carnegie  in 1904 (the one for whites is the Museum of Art today).  She became involved with the Wechsler project because she wanted Wechsler to become a repository for artifacts, pictures, memorabilia, etc. of African American presence in Meridian and the surrounding area. She wanted T. J. Harris High, Middleton, St. Joseph, Baptist Seminary, the Carnegie Branch Library, etc.  to be remembered. She wanted the Wechsler Center to become a beacon of hope  that would provide cultural and economic opportunities.


Valdore Young  Graham

Veldore "Vel" Young- Graham is County Youth and Drug Court Judge in Lauderdale County in Meridian, Mississippi.  She has served since Jan. 2007


Judge Young-Graham is a graduate of Oxford University where she received a Bachelor of Law Degree. She received her undergrate degree from Xavier University in New Orleans. Louisiana where she received a Bachelor of Science in English.  

Judge Graham-Young is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  She has received numerous awards and serves on numerous boards. 

Historian: Mr. Jesse Eugene Palmer, Sr


Jesse Palmer was born on 1928 in Fairfield,  AL ; attended Meridian public schools. In 1953, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Science from Mississippi Industrial College in Holly Springs MS  master’s degree at Tuskegee  Institute in Tuskegee Alabama. He had a fruitful career teaching math and coaching football, basketball, track and basketball for thirty years in the Meridian High Public Schools; he helped to establish schools for troubled children at attendance centers; Star Teacher three times,  selected to All- Conference team eight times , four times in college. In 2008 he was elected to the M Hall of Fame. As a coach, his team won 59 times games in a row which is a record that still stands. 


Palmer was a member of NAACP for many years and served as treasurer of the Meridian / Lauderdale County Branch for several terms. He was elected to  the Meridian City Council in 1989 and was reelected and served six consecutive four year terms and served as president and vice president of the council. Prior to his election to the city Council, he served on the Civil Service Commission Board. 



Mrs. Melba Clark - Payne


Melba Baird Clark-Payne, a native of Ashland, MS, is a graduate of Old Salem High School in Ashland, received her B. S. Degree in Business Education from Rust College, Holly Springs, MS and a Master’s in Secondary Education from the University of West Alabama.


Clark taught Business Education at Old Salem and Secondary English in the Meridian Public School System Meridian, MS. She is co-founder of Cedric D. Clark Memorial Funeral Home and founder of Uni-Fam Publishers, and editor and publisher of Uni-Fam Churchletter.  

Clark is a charter member of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club and served as its president from 1972-1976. She is a member of Meridian Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and served as its president from 1989-1993.  She is a member of the Lauderdale County Democratic Party and served as its president from 2000-2007. She served as Secretary of Democratic 3rd Congressional District.  She was founder of  Mahogany Performing Arts, a community playhouse.  She was named woman of the Year in 1984 by the Meridian NAACP, and she is a former Sunday School teacher at Historic First Union Baptist Church where the funeral for James Chaney, who was killed with Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman during the Civil Rights era, was held.  


Rev. Greg Moore



Rev. Greg Moore has a B.S. in Radio and TV Broadcasting with an emphasis on TV Production from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS.  Rev. Moore has a Certificate in Computer Concepts from the Art Institute of Atlanta, GA.  He also has a Georgia Readiness Work Certificate.  His work experiences include Office Manager - Master Towing and Recovery, Atlanta; Data Input Technician- The Weather Channel, Atlanta; and Director of Multimedia- True Light Baptist Church. He has been employed as a Traffic Reporter/Productions, Project Manager, and worked in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). 


Presently he is employed as office manager at Buffalo Wild Wings in Meridian, MS.  He is pastor of the New Olivet Church in Meridian. 


He serves as secretary of The Wechsler Foundation Board of Directors.   

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