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Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant Visits Childrens Center PDF Print E-mail
Friday, January 22, 2010
Contact Van Arnold, 601.266.5568   

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant’s first visit to the Children’s Center for Communication and Development proved an eye-opening experience for the longtime Mississippi politician.

Bryant spent a good portion of the afternoon on Friday, Jan. 22 touring the facility, which is part of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi.

“This is my first time here and I must tell you that it’s amazing to see the work being done at this center,” said Bryant, a Southern Miss graduate. “To watch how these young children interact with the teachers on staff here just touches your heart.”

The Children’s Center, which opened in 1974, offers an interdisciplinary team approach to the assessment and treatment of communicatively and developmentally delayed children from birth to 5 years old. Currently, the center serves approximately 80 children from the South Mississippi area.

Bryant acknowledged that services such as those provided by the Children’s Center, a United Way agency, are often overlooked in the vast landscape of a university environment.

“You know everybody cheers for athletics and there’s a good reason for that,” he said. “But what you see going on behind the scenes at places like this are much more important than extracurricular activities.”

Children’s Center Director Margaret Buttross-Brinegar said Bryant’s visit provided an opportunity to showcase the work undertaken on a daily basis.

“It was a tremendous honor to have Lt. Gov. Bryant at the Children’s Center to witness firsthand the important work we are doing here,” she said. “Our children and our families and our staff all work very hard to bring success to every child, and to give our state and Southern Miss something to be very proud of.”

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, left, visited the Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi on Friday. Pictured with Bryant are Children’s Center Director Margaret Buttross-Brinegar, center, and patient Benjamin Staples, 6 months, being held by his mother, Jessica Light of Laurel. (Office of University Communications photo by Steve Rouse).

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at
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