For graduates and their families, college graduation is one of those “frozen in time” moments. However, for the Southern Miss class of 2010, this commencement ceremony will be unlike any other.
“This year’s class has the honor of graduating in our centennial year,” stated Dr. Cynthia Easterling, associate provost. “It will be another 100 years before the university reaches a milestone such as this, making this celebration very special.”
One of the special touches for this year’s commencement is that there will be a single ceremony for all graduates. Instead of the standard two Hattiesburg ceremonies and one Gulf Coast ceremony, a unified event will be held in M.M. Roberts Stadium on the morning of May 15. Graduates will be seated on the football field; each will have his or her name called, and each will cross the stage to be handed their diploma cover.
“One of the unique moments of graduation is that as each graduate crosses the stage they will be seen on the jumbo television screen in the stadium,” said Easterling. For those guests unable to attend, the ceremony will be Webcast live via streaming video. A link will be available from the university’s main homepage at www.usm.edu.
Graduates will also be treated to words of encouragement from a nationally-known and much sought after speaker. The name of that individual will be announced in early March. Additionally, graduates who participate in this historic commencement will receive a special commemorative medallion marking the 100th anniversary of the university’s founding.
“Another special aspect of graduation is that there will be a procession of all graduates into the stadium, which adds to the formality and distinction of becoming a college graduate,” added Greg Pierce, registrar.
The university has put a lot of time and effort into making the 2010 commencement ceremony fitting with the celebration of its Centennial Celebration. Using the stadium as its venue, graduates will not be limited in the number of persons they invite. Additionally, concession stands will be open for persons wanting drinks and snacks.
Pierce explained there are presently 1800 individuals who have applied for graduation. That number combines students from all five Hattiesburg colleges plus those from the Gulf Coast.
“The Gulf Coast will be represented by our students, faculty, staff and administration at this unified Centennial ceremony,” said Sheila White who co-chairs the ceremony for Gulf Coast graduates each year. “The Coast operations have been an important part to our institution’s history.”
Graduates have until the close of business on April 23 to reserve a seat for the ceremony. For students wanting more information, a graduation guide that includes a frequently asked questions section, is available at: www.usm.edu/registrar/graduation.
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 www.usm.edu.