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American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Underway at Southern Miss PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Contact David Tisdale, 601.266.4499   

More than 200 young women from across the state are on The University of Southern Mississippi campus this week for the 63rd session of the American Legion Auxiliary Magnolia Girls State. The weeklong program teaches delegates about the mechanics of democracy through simulated political campaigns, legislative and judicial processes in the fictitious state of “Magnolia.”

Held through June 11, the session will also feature guest speakers, including elected officials from all levels of government in the state who will give delegates their perspectives on public service and citizenship.

Delegates are nominated to Girls State based on academic achievement, leadership potential and community service by American Legion Auxiliaries across the state.

Highlights of the week’s events include:

Monday, June 7
10 a.m. – Guest speaker: Rebecca Staples, assistant to Gov. Haley Barbour, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

1 p.m.  - Guest speaker: State Attorney General Jim Hood, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

6 p.m.  – Political rally featuring campaign speeches by candidates for Girls State offices, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

Tuesday, June 8
10:30 a.m. – Guest speakers: Steve Guyton, special projects coordinator for Sen. Roger Wicker, and motivational speaker Whitney Pickering, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

Wednesday, June 9
8:15 a.m. - Guest speaker: Southern Miss College of Arts and Letters Dean Denise von Herrmann, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

9:30 a.m. – Guest speaker: Assistant Secretary of State Ross Hooper, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

Oath of office administered to Girls State executive officers by Appellate Judge Donna Barnes, 1 p.m., Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

Thursday, June 10
8:30 a.m. – Guest speaker: State Rep. Toby Barker, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

9:30 - 11 a.m. – Girls State county and city officeholders meet with their counterparts from the City of Hattiesburg and Forrest County, including Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree; City Planner Pattie Brantley; Administrative Assistant Jeanetta Bennett; Forrest County Tax Assessor Mary Ann Palmer; Forrest County Chancery Clerk Jimmy Havard; Forrest County Circuit Clerk Lou Ellen Adams; Forrest County Justice Court Clerk Sharon Thompson; and Forrest County Tax Collector Delbert Dearman. These meetings will be held in the Thad Cochran Center.

9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Guest speakers: Mississippi Highway Patrol Office Todd Miller; Bureau of Narcotics representative John Harless, RC’s Lounge, R.C. Cook University Union.

Friday, June 11
8 a.m. Closing assembly, including presentation of University of Southern Mississippi Lou Wilkerson Scholarship,  Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

For more information about American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, online visit

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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