A University of Southern Mississippi alumnus urged more than 1,100
graduates participating in commencement exercises Friday at his
alma mater to pursue integrity in their journey through life.
it is true that we are who we are as a result of our genetic makeup,
our upbringing and our surroundings, it is ultimately up to each
of us to make the most of the best inside of ourselves," said
Ricky Mathews, publisher of the Sun-Herald newspaper in Biloxi,
in his commencement address at Reed Green Coliseum.
In a society
recovering from terrorist attacks and corporate and political scandals,
today's graduating class has a unique opportunity to reclaim the
values that the nation's founding fathers espoused, Mathews said.
those values is integrity, he said, referring to it as "the
cornerstone of personal excellence."
class has a great opportunity to make a positive contribution to
society on so many levels, and we've never had more opportunities
than now," he said.
grew up in Gulfport, graduated from Southern Miss in 1984 with a
bachelor's degree in business administration and later earned his
MBA, also from Southern Miss. He began his 22-year career at the
Sun-Herald as a college intern, and has held a variety of posts
at the paper before becoming publisher.
he was honored to address Southern Miss graduates, and is grateful
for the opportunity to make a contribution to his hometown and South
Mississippi through his work at the Sun-Herald.
quite an honor to be the publisher of the newspaper in the community
in which you were raised," Mathews said.
President Dr. Shelby Thames praised Mathews for his accomplishments
at the Sun-Herald and for his presentation to Southern Miss graduates.
a good friend of Southern Miss and we're grateful for his service
to the university," Thames said.