Mississippi’s cultural and military history will be among the topics featured in this fall’s University Libraries Speaker Series at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus.
All series presentations will be held in Cook Library, Room 123. Local radio personality and outdoorsman Ben Willoughby will be the first presenter on Oct. 1 from 3-4 p.m. when he talks about the life and work of his mother, the late writer Mamie Davis Willoughby, known by her pen name Rose Budd Stevens.
The popular afternoon lecture series will follow with a presentation on race relations in Mississippi between World Wars I and II Oct. 29 by Dr. Chester “Bo” Morgan, followed on Nov. 19 by Chad Daniels, director of the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum, who will discuss the history Camp Shelby and the museum.
Willoughby wrote homespun newspaper columns for nearly 50 years and received awards for her writing from the National Press Women's Association and the National Federation of Press Women, among others, and was also the recipient of the Scribe of the South award multiple times.
Ben Willoughby said his mother’s writing career began after she encountered difficulties in her pregnancy with his younger sister. Bedridden for several weeks, she decided to begin writing for the local paper in Amite County. The topics in her column “Along the RFD” focused primarily on farm life in the state, which became a hit and brought her a large following of readers.
‘Considering she had no formal training, she was very successful,” he said. “She was a great storyteller, and could take any event and write about it.”
Rose Budd Stevens’s writing later was featured in several newspapers, including the Clarion Ledger, which carried her work for about 47 years. She also penned articles for Harper’s, the Atlantic Monthly and the Progressive Farmer. She authored several books, including “From Rose Budd's Kitchen” and “Sweetly Be!”
The McCain Library and Archives houses the Rose Budd Stevens Papers. For more information on the collection, go to http://www.lib.usm.edu/legacy/archives/m199.htm.
For more information on the University Library Speaker Series, contact Peggy Price at
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.