-- A respected statewide officeholder and University of Southern
Mississippi graduate will be the commencement speaker at the school's
summer commencement exercises.
Phil Bryant will speak to graduates participating in ceremonies
set for 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Reed Green Coliseum
on the university's Hattiesburg campus.
very excited about the opportunity to address the students of my
alma mater," Bryant said. "My fondest memories are at
Southern Miss, and I look forward to sharing some of my life experiences
with the graduates."
first appointed as state auditor in November 1996 to fill the unexpired
term of his predecessor. Phil was elected to a full term as state
auditor in November 1999.
office in 1996, Bryant and his staff have recovered and returned
nearly $5 million in taxpayers' money that have been embezzled or
improperly spent, while aggressively investigating public corruption
within state and local governments. The agency audits approximately
$11 billion of taxpayer dollars annually for legal compliance and
Prior to becoming
state auditor, Byrant served five years as a member of the State
House of Representatives, where he was vice chairman of the Insurance
Committee and authored the Capital Gains Tax Cut Act of 1992. He
currently serves as chairman of the E-Government Committee for the
National State Auditors Association (NSAA) and currently serves
as vice-chairman of the Mississippi Legislative E-government Oversight
Bryant is a
principal member of the National Association of State Auditors,
Comptrollers and Treasurers. He is a long-standing member of the
National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action and
is a past President of the Mississippi Republican Elected Officials
Association. He is a distinguished member of the National Society
of Collegiate Scholars.
His work has
been recognized both at home and nationally. He is a recipient of
the prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship and the Distinguished Alumnus
Award for the Department of History and Political Science at Mississippi
College. He was inducted into The University of Southern Mississippi's
Hall of Fame and was named Hinds Community College's Alumnus of
For his relentless
pursuit to expand electronic government on the state and local level,
he received the "In the Arena Award" presented by the
Center For Digital Government and was the 2003 recipient of the
"Mississippian of the Year Award" presented by the Association
of Information Technology Professionals (AITP). In 2001, Bryant
was selected as the most respected statewide elected official by
the Magnolia Report Poll. He was also honored with a federal appointment
by former United States Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neil to
serve on the U.S. Taxpayers Advocacy Panel (TAP).
so proud of Phil, not only because he's a Southern Miss alumnus
but because of his exemplary record of public service to our state,"
said Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames. "He's a great
role model for our students."