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Released February 24, 2003


Long Beach -- With an anticipated starting date of 2004, students majoring in hospitality management at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast will have an opportunity to reap the benefits of a $10,000 education endowment.

The Magnolia Chapter of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) last September reached the $10,000 mark to complete the HSMAI Magnolia Chapter Endowment to Southern MissGC.

"The tourism industry is becoming more and more prominent in today's work force," said Southern Miss' president, Dr. Shelby F. Thames. "The HSMAI's recognition is that investing in hospitality students at Southern Miss will pay off for both the student and the industry. We appreciate their investment in our institution and our students."

Recognizing the importance of education in fostering professionalism in the tourism industry, the Magnolia Chapter Scholarship was established in 1992 with a donation of $1,000 having been made each following year.

"What a milestone," said Tina Seamans, incoming HSMAI president. "When the Magnolia Chapter of HSMAI made the commitment 10 years ago to support Southern MissGC through the endowment, we knew we would all benefit."

With an anticipated starting date of 2004, the Magnolia Chapter will award an annual scholarship based on the interest that the endowment earns to a deserving student in hospitality management at Southern Miss Gulf Coast.

"The annual scholarship will provide another incentive for our hospitality management majors interested in pursuing management and marketing careers in the hospitality industry," said Dr. Joe Hutchinson, chair of the Southern Miss Division of Health and Human Sciences and the Department of Hospitality Management.

"It will provide more awareness to students about professional organizations such as HSMAI, where they can network with others and find out about potential job opportunities, especially in the casino and tourism industry."

The Southern Miss Department of Hospitality Management offers a bachelor of science degree in hospitality management that prepares students for careers in hotel restaurant and tourism management. The degree can be completed on both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses.

The hospitality management program offers a wide range of courses that lead students in their career path. Areas of industry emphasis include lodging, food and beverage, tourism or convention and event management.

The industry focus maintains a balance with general education and business management courses – ranging from accounting to marketing. Some of the courses are outside the traditional classroom setting.

Each semester combines classroom lectures with case studies, computer assignments, guest lectures and field trips.

In addition to the HSMAI-Magnolia Chapter endowment, students majoring in hospitality management may qualify for several other scholarships offered at Gulf Park and Hattiesburg, or some exclusive to each campus.

For more information on the hospitality management program for both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses and its current scholarships, contact the Department of Hospitality Management at (228) 214-3226.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM