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Best-Selling Author and Reality TV Star to Visit Southern Miss PDF Print E-mail
Friday, February 19, 2010
Contact Beth Taylor, 601.266.5170   

Lauren Conrad, television personality and best-selling author, is making a special appearance at The University of Southern Mississippi to raise awareness of, and funds for, the m.powerment by mark campaign to fight dating and relationship abuse.

Her visit to the Barnes & Noble at Southern Miss bookstore on the Hattiesburg campus Wednesday, Feb. 24 is significant in that the store won a contest between several other schools with Barnes & Noble campus bookstores. The school selling the most Conrad-designed necklaces in October 2009 earned an on-campus visit from the celebrity. Southern Miss won by selling more than 100 of the specially designed heart necklaces, besting universities such as Tulane, Mississippi State, Ohio State and Texas A&M.

“Winning the contest is an excellent example of the strong philanthropic community at Southern Miss,” said Kathy Hayman, book store manager. “When our students realized all of the money was going toward prevention of date rape, our sales went up, which is why we won the contest.”

“Since m.powerment by mark launched, we have raised $400k+. Thx to U of Sou Mississippi for selling Have a Heart necklaces,” Conrad stated in a tweet following the contest.

Conrad, who will be signing her latest book Sweet Little Lies during the Southern Miss visit, is the “face” of mark cosmetics. It is Avon’s newest line of cosmetics, fragrances, and accessories created for young women. In order to meet Conrad, bookstore customers must purchase at least $22 in mark merchandise. All net proceeds from the merchandise go to the m.powerment by mark campaign.   

As co-chair of m.powerment by mark, Conrad has collaborated to create accessories sold specifically to support the campaign. Her latest accessory, the Have a Heart Bracelet, will be available for purchase in the campus bookstore. m.powerment by mark is a philanthropic initiative dedicated to breaking the cycle of partner violence, and while on campus Conrad will encourage young women to talk about the issue.

Appearing with Conrad will be Kirsten DeFur, Peer Educator Leader at The Healthy Relationship Training Academy in NYC; Taylor Waltmon, Top-Selling mark Representative and a supporter of the m.powerment by mark initiative; Deborah Mellon, mark national sales manager; as well as representatives of the Southern Miss Counseling Center. The Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention is providing printed material for event participants.

Seating for the Conrad question and answer session and signing is limited to 150 people. Her session with audience members begins at noon, with the signing from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. of books purchased from the Barnes & Noble at Southern Miss bookstore.

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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