HATTIESBURG -- Mississippi
Supreme Court Chief Justice James Smith, a graduate of The University
of Southern Mississippi, will give the summer 2004 commencement
address for his alma mater on Aug. 9.
Smith will address two groups of
graduates at ceremonies scheduled for 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the
James Lynn Cartlidge Forrest County Multi Purpose Center on U.S.
Highway 49 in Hattiesburg, south of the Southern Miss campus.
Summer graduation exercises were
moved to the center because of ongoing renovations to Reed Green
Coliseum, where commencement is traditionally held.
"We're grateful to Forrest
County officials and the staff at the Multi Purpose Center for assisting
us with graduation ceremonies as we continue to make improvements
to Reed Green Coliseum," said Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby
Smith was elected to the state
Supreme Court in 1993. He graduated from Southern Miss in 1965 with
a bachelor of science in history and political science. He received
his juris doctorate from the Jackson School of Law in 1972 and was
city prosecuting attorney for the city of Pearl from 1973-1980.
In 1976, Smith was prosecuting attorney for Rankin County.
"We welcome Justice Smith
to Hattiesburg as we celebrate another graduating class of Southern
Miss students," said Thames. "We look forward to his address
to our graduates and their families."
From 1977 until 1982, Smith served
as district attorney for the 20th Circuit Court District, and from
April 1982 until his election to the state Supreme Court, he served
as County Court judge in Rankin County. He also served three years
in the U.S. Army and four years in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Family, friends and others planning
to attend the summer commencement exercises are urged to arrive
early at the Multi Purpose Center to allow time for security measures,
as bags and purses will be checked at the facility's entrances.
"These are precautions we
see as necessary to help make everyone safe and comfortable at these
events," said Southern Miss Police Chief Bob Hopkins.