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Released July 20, 2004

SOUTHERN MISS GULF COAST SGA DEDICATES VETERANS' MEMORIAL

HATTIESBURG -- The Student Government Association of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, in connection with the Gulf Coast administration and faculty, today unveiled a monument dedicated to veterans who have served the nation. The event brought out Coast campus administrators, SGA executive board members and representatives from local VFW chapters.

"The SGA wanted to recognize the importance of veterans in preserving our freedoms in this country," said Gulf Coast SGA President Mark E. Sedgwick. "To that end, we wanted to show our appreciation by erecting this monument on campus."

The memorial, which is made of gray granite and placed in the Liberty Garden across from the famous Friendship Oak, includes the insignia of the five branches of the military, a soaring eagle and the inscription "In memory of those who have fallen to preserve our enduring freedom."

"The University of Southern Mississippi counts among its most distinguished alumni many who have served our country in the armed forces," said Southern Miss Gulf Coast Chief Operating Officer Ken Malone. "We are humbled to recognize the sacrifices of these men and women in protecting our ability to live free and pursue our lives in this great country."

Sedgwick said the event marked the initial official event of the newly formed Gulf Coast SGA. "We wanted to first do something for those who had done something for us," he said. "We thought a memorial of this type would be fitting."

Dr. Jay Grimes, provost of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast campus and director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, felt this event was appropriate, considering the times. "We have an outstanding student body here at Southern Miss, and their involvement in community functions is exemplary," he said.

"Their recent work on the veteran's monument is a proud testimony to this and sends a strong message to the men and women in our military that Southern Miss truly cares about them."

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July 23, 2004 11:00 AM

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