Each month I share a brief summary of some of the top Southern Miss stories with University leaders for their use as they interact with various stakeholders. The compilation of that short list is always a good reminder for me of all the amazing people and activities taking place on our campuses.
Here is what I shared for March. SMTTT!
Our commitment to student success and well-being continues…
On March 16, the new Moffitt Health Center opened on the Hattiesburg campus. The Moffitt Health Center replaces the Beedie Smith Health Clinic, a freestanding building that opened on the Hattiesburg campus in 1962. The new center increases the square footage dedicated to Student Health Services by 30 percent, providing much-needed space for more efficient laboratory and X-ray activity, larger health care provider work areas, a more accessible pharmacy and a dental care area.
The clinic was in part funded by $1 million in private donations, including the lead gift from the family of Dr. Virginia Moffitt Crawford, director of Student Health Services.
On March 17, we cut ribbons on three facilities on our Gulf Park campus, including a new health center, a fitness center and a new building for our School of Social Work. The facilities will provide high-quality classroom and academic space for social work students and a number of on-campus health and fitness services previously unavailable to Gulf Park students on that campus.
One of the University’s greatest ambassadors, The Pride, excelled on an international stage…
The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band represented the University and the state of Mississippi well in a trip to Ireland. Select members of the band performed in two parades in Ireland on March 15 and 17, taking top honors in each.
On March 15, The Pride was named overall winner of the International Band Parade in Limerick, Ireland. Twenty-four marching bands featuring 1,100 musicians from across Ireland, Europe and the United States performed in the 45th annual parade.
On March 17, The Pride was named top band in the adult band, 18 and over, category at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin.
About 130 band members traveled to Ireland to march in the parades. The band also marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the late 1990s.
We’re increasing our commitment to researching and understanding the Gulf of Mexico…
University officials, including President Bennett and Vice President for Research Gordon Cannon, as well as members of the media, are on their way to Panama to get a closer look at the research vessel, Point Sur. The University, using funds from a Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality grant, purchased the Point Sur from San Jose State University, last month. The vessel is making its way through the Panama Canal on its way from California to the Port of Gulfport.
The 135-foot Point Sur vessel was built in 1980. It can accommodate 13 researchers and technicians, and a crew of eight. For day cruises, it has a capacity of 40 researchers.
The purchase agreement provides Southern Miss with a vessel that can be utilized by the University and other interested parties to explore the Gulf of Mexico, including further research on the BP oil spill of 2010. The vessel will help Southern Miss enhance education and research opportunities for students and faculty who will have access to Point Sur’s sophisticated technology and equipment.
An event will be held on April 24 on the Gulf Coast so that the general public might tour the vessel and gain a greater understanding of the impact it will have on Gulf research.
Our students continue to excel…
Tanner Shaw, a senior finance major, was awarded the prestigious Orrin W. Swayze Scholarship by the Mississippi Young Bankers Association during the group’s annual conference.
The $5,000 award is presented annually to the top Mississippi university major in banking and finance who best represents the tradition of banking excellence exemplified by Swayze, a senior officer for Trustmark until his retirement in 1967.
A 4.0 student, Shaw is a Southern Miss Presidential Scholar and member of the Honors College.