The University of Southern Mississippi honored the memory of its seventh president, Dr. Horace Weldon Fleming Jr., April 23 on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach by renaming its Advanced Education Center the Horace W. Fleming Jr. Education Center.
Fleming, who died in May 2009, served as president of Southern Miss from 1997-2001 during which freshman and sophomore courses were introduced at the university’s Gulf Park campus. In October of 2000, the university broke ground for the $13.3 million construction project that included both the Advanced Education Center and library at the Gulf Park campus.
“This building is and will be a place where students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university will gather to learn, to teach, to work and to fellowship, where all who enter will be reminded and inspired by the exemplary life of Horace Fleming, whose meritorious service to this university and to our state made us proud to claim him as a Golden Eagle and an honorary Mississippian,” said Southern Miss President Martha Saunders.
In addition to the building dedication, a portrait of Fleming painted by artist Jason Bouldin was unveiled. Bouldin, a native of Oxford, Miss. and graduate of Harvard University, has painted presidential portraits for several institutions of higher education, including her alma mater.
“The one thing I can say about Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast that struck us as a family when we first came, and it still holds true today, is the community and the generosity,” said Fleming’s wife, Orene. “I cannot think of a better tribute and honor to Horace, to the dream and to the commitment he wanted for Southern Miss, which you have bestowed upon him today.”
At 50,681 square feet, the Advanced Education Center features 20 regular classrooms; three computer laboratories; two interactive video network rooms; a conference room; and a 500-seat auditorium.
“Horace Fleming saw Southern Miss as an institution where students were the top priority,” said Southern Miss President Emeritus Dr. Aubrey Lucas. “His goal was to insure a rigorous education so that students were prepared as leaders in their chosen fields, who would enjoy full lives and make contributions to their communities and the world.”
Artist Jason Bouldin, left helps Susan Fleming Snowden, the daughter of the late Southern Miss President Horace Weldon Fleming Jr, unveil Bouldin’s painting of Fleming that will be housed in the Horace Weldon Fleming Jr. Education Center at the university’s Gulf Park Campus. The unveiling was part of a dedication ceremony April 23 that renamed the Advanced Education Center in Fleming’s honor. (University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)
A plaque marking the Horace Weldon Fleming Jr. Education Center honors the university’s seventh president. A ceremony renaming the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Advanced Education Center for Fleming was held April 23 at the Gulf Park Campus. (University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)
For more information about the Horace W. Fleming Jr. Education Center, contact University Communications at 228.865.4573.
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/gulfcoast .