The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research
Laboratory invites former students and instructors to take a cruise down memory
lane - or boat channel - during a rechristening celebration for the lab's oldest
Since 1955 college students from states
all along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers have come to the GCRL and boarded the
38-foot trawler R/V Hermes to learn firsthand about Mississippi's marine environments.
The Hermes Homecoming, a full day of events Saturday, April
16, will celebrate the boat's 50 years of service. A highlight will be the rechristening
ceremony in anticipation of the next half century of service.
many students, the Hermes was their first boat ride and their first experience
with the marine environment," said marine biologist David Burke. Burke has
become an authority on the boat, which he suspects is the oldest piece of equipment
in continuous use on the state's inventory.
As part of the
celebration, Burke will present a look at the vessel's role in the history of
the lab, the community and the lives of students and instructors.
it would be a romantic notion to suppose that the vessel was named for Hermes,
the fleet messenger of the gods, such is not the case," Burke said. "Fleetness
is not a quality that the vessel ever enjoyed. I have never known the boat to
go much over eight knots, about nine miles per hour."
Hermes, he said, was named in honor of Senator Hermes Gautier, a Jackson County
legislator who had worked diligently to secure the boat for the lab.
boat continues to provide a dependable and affordable, albeit slow, platform for
field excursions for students," said Dr. Jay Grimes, Southern Miss provost
and director of the lab. "Most are undergraduate students from the GCRL's
more than 60 affiliated colleges and universities. They arrive on the Ocean Springs
campus for summer courses or with instructors during the school year for a field
trip and use our vessels, teaching laboratories, marine library, dormitory and
The April 16 homecoming activities will
also include cruises on the Hermes, a hospitality room of photos, displays and
antique scientific equipment, free admission to the GCRL's J.L. Scott Marine Education
Center & Aquarium, and a Hermes Reunion Reception in the evening.
Caylor Wilson, daughter of GCRL founder Richard L. Caylor, originally christened
the Hermes and will return to rechristen the newly refurbished vessel.
per person for day activities only, including light lunch, is $10. Cost per person
for all day and evening activities or for the evening Hermes Reunion Reception
only is $25. For more information or registration form call (228) 872-4200 or
The GCRL is a unit of the university's
College of Science and Technology.