An important figure in the history of The University of Southern Mississippi will tell the story of his alma mater at the next University Forum.
Southern Miss President Emeritus and Professor of Higher Education Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas will present "From Whence We've Come: The Southern Miss Journey" Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Bennett Auditorium. His presentation will examine the university’s rise from a teacher’s college nearly 100 years ago to its current major research university status.
University Forum is sponsored by the Southern Miss Honors College. Lucas’ presentation is also part of the Southern Miss Alumni Association’s Legacy Series program.
“My remarks will attempt to help the listeners to gain an appreciation of our heritage at Southern Miss and suggest how our history prepares us for our future,” Lucas said.
Born in State Line, Miss., Dr. Lucas served as president of the university from 1975-1996 and again as interim president from 2001-2002. He attended what was then Mississippi Southern College as an undergraduate, graduating in 1955.
His distinguished career as a professor and administrator encompassed the full second half of the 20th century, and he was central to Southern Miss’ transformation into a national university for the Gulf South.
Lucas also served as Southern Miss Director of Admissions from 1957-1961 and University Registrar from 1963-1970. He then served as president of Delta State University from 1971-1975 before being chosen to lead Southern Miss. He recently completed a year of service as the state’s Interim Commissioner of Higher Education.
Extensively involved in civic life, Lucas has served as a board member and officer of numerous state and local organizations including the United Way; the American Cancer Society; the Pine Belt Area Boy Scouts; the Mississippi Arts Commission; the Salvation Army; and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.
He also served as honorary co-chair of the Ogletree Campaign, which led to the expansion and restoration of the Southern Miss Alumni House, and has worked to support several other initiatives aimed at the betterment of the university. In 1996 following his retirement from the presidency, the university’s iconic Administration Building was renamed the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building in his honor.
A longtime member of Hattiesburg’s Parkway Heights United Methodist Church, Dr. Lucas has also been a leader in numerous Methodist outreach and missionary organizations.
"It will be a treat to hear from Dr. Lucas, whose love for this university is boundless. He is a model of the modern university president, a 'servant-leader' who brings out the best in people," said Dr. Douglas Chambers, associate professor of history and director of University Forum. “We hope the larger Hattiesburg public will also join us for this lecture.” Dr. Lucas
University Forum is sponsored each fall and spring by the Southern Miss Honors College, with additional support for individual programs from other campus and outside organizations and individuals. For more information on this event, contact the Southern Miss Honors College at 601.266.4533.
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.