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Released July 21, 2004

SOUTHERN MISS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES
INAUGURAL CLASS OF LEGACY SCHOLARS

HATTIESBURG -- The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association has awarded five $1,000 scholarships to the inaugural class of Legacy Scholars. The scholarship program, funded in part by support from the annual Shell Finish Line Homecoming Scholarship Golf Tournament, had over 25 applicants in its first year.

The recipients, all members of the 2004 freshman class at Southern Miss, were chosen based on their academic performance, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. Each applicant for a Legacy Scholarship must be the child or grandchild of a Southern Miss graduate who is an active member of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, be eligible for admission to Southern Miss as a freshman, and enroll full-time for the upcoming fall semester.

"I am excited that we are admitting such an academically talented group of students who will leave their mark on Southern Miss," said Bob Pierce, executive director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association. "The future of the university is indeed bright with students of this caliber coming here to receive their education."

"The inaugural class of Legacy Scholars displayed outstanding academic performance in high school," said Marcus Nause, manager of programs for the Southern Miss Alumni Association. The average grade point average of the class was 3.93 and the average ACT score was 28.4.

Recipients of the Legacy Scholarships include:

Ashley Grant of Hattiesburg

Grant is a graduate of Hattiesburg High School with a 4.0 GPA. She is a member of many scholastic clubs, including National Honor Society, Beta Club, and student council. She was named to Who's Who Among American High School Students and is a volunteer with DREAM and the Boys and Girls Club. Grant plans to major in polymer science at Southern Miss.

Emily Howell of Hattiesburg

Howell is a graduate of Oak Grove High School with a 4.0 GPA. She is a member of many scholastic clubs, including National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Mu Alpha Theta. She was named to Who's Who Among American High School Students and was selected "Most Likely to Succeed." Howell is a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and is involved in her local church. She plans to major in either mathematics or international relations at Southern Miss.

Kelly Hembree of Pascagoula

Hembree is a graduate of Pascagoula High School with a GPA of 4.0. She is a member of many scholastic clubs, including National Honor Society, for which she serves as president, and Beta Club. She is an All-American Scholar, was named to a Who's Who Among American High School Students, and was selected for the PHS Hall of Fame. Hembree is a volunteer with the Salvation Army and her local church and plans to major in speech pathology at Southern Miss.

Lori Johnston of Brandon

Johnston is a graduate of Brandon High School with a GPA of 4.0. She is a member of many scholastic clubs, including Beta Club and Mu Alpha Theta, has published poetry in "A Celebration of Young Poets" and is a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA. Johnston plans to major in English at Southern Miss.

Jessica Lang of Daphne, Ala.

Lang is a graduate of Daphne High School with a GPA of 3.67. She is a member of many scholastic clubs, including National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. She was named to the National Honor Roll and Who's Who Among American High School Students. Lang is a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Coastal Clean-Up, and plans to major in fine arts at Southern Miss.

"This is a fantastic program with many positive attributes," Pierce said. "Not only have we selected five top students to be recognized for their hard work, but we have also rewarded the loyalty of several of our alumni who chose to continue a tradition of excellence within their own families by having their children or grandchildren follow their footsteps to Southern Miss."

Applications for the Legacy Scholarships must be submitted each year by March 15 to the Alumni Association office. For more information, contact the Southern Miss Alumni Association at (601) 266-5013 or visit www.SouthernMissAlumni.com.

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July 23, 2004 11:31 AM

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