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Released August 17, 2004

By Angela Cutrer

HATTIESBURG - When Southern Miss freshmen and their families start unloading their cars Thursday during Freshman Move-in Day on the Hattiesburg campus, they're in for more than just another hard day's work. Volunteers with The University of Southern Mississippi will be on hand to furnish helping hands, cool refreshments, McCrae's Clinique goodies and even a chance to win a dorm room makeover.

"Move-in Day will be full of all kinds of exciting things for new students and families," said Mary Beth Bankson Walker, assistant director of the Office of Student Activities. She said there will be two primary areas of tents - one at Bond Hall and the other in the Freshman Quad. Each of these locations will have a live remote from local radio stations FM100 and 107.1, and Aramark will be handing out Eagle Water.

"We have 250 confirmed volunteers from student organizations and local churches, in addition to the Southern Miss faculty and staff," Walker said. "This entire day is to let students and families know that this is our welcome to them to their new Southern Miss home. Move-in Day is always my favorite time of year because it is filled with excitement and anticipations of good things to come."

Southern Miss' Department of Marketing and Public Relations and iTech will have tents on-site, as will Southern Miss Athletics, which will distribute posters and T-shirts. Recreational Sports will hand out refreshments and Residence Life will have drawings for giveaways while student organization members help students move in the dorms and faculty and staff also serve as "meeters and greeters."

"We'll be out there trying to keep things cool," said Recreational Sports' assistant director Stacey Reading, noting that volunteers from her department will supply PowerAde for thirsty workers. "We want parents and students to know that whatever they need, we're there to help. When you become part of our family, family's there to rally round."

Entries for the dorm room makeover will be available from the Marketing and Public Relations tent. The makeover includes the services of Southern Miss' Interior Design program, whose students will design just the right atmosphere for the lucky students who win the competition, said Assistant Professor Claire Hamilton. Anderson Carpet One will provide a bound carpet and Southern Diversified Products will donate American Pride paint. "We can match any color the students want, and the use of our low-odor paint means the occupants can move right in without having to smell paint for the next few weeks," said Rocky Pryor, vice president and general manager of Southern Diversified Products. "We want to help out because Southern Miss just does so much for us and we want to give back."

Anderson Carpet One's Allen Anderson said that when he heard about the makeover, he remembered that so many students going off to school always came by to shop the company's large remnant department. "We actually put an edge binding on them, if the students want," he said. "We do lots of that for students every year. That's one thing we fit with real nice when it comes to a makeover, so we are participating to help make the move for students a little less painful.

"I've got a couple of college students in the family myself and we're in the makeover business here at Anderson - paint, floor, you name it - so we wanted to be a part of what's going on over there."

McRae's will accentuate its stand that it is a hometown store and supportive of Southern Miss by providing a $500 gift certificate that can help the makeover winners find just the right touches for their room.


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September 1, 2004 2:21 PM