As a former advertising and visual display specialist for one of
the nation's largest department stores, Rusty Rolison developed
a knack for presentation. Now, he's using that same talent in his
new job at The University of Southern Mississippi.
as manager of performance facilities for the College of Arts and
Letters has been expanded to include all of the university's planned
events. As the new Southern Miss events coordinator, Rolison will
oversee the production of all meetings and events on the Hattiesburg
talents in the visual arts arena and his experience in merchandising
will be an asset to his additional responsibilities," said
Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames.
important that every event we have at Southern Miss exude class,
and Rusty can really enhance our efforts in that regard. His attention
to detail and his connections on campus will make event planning
and coordination much easier for faculty and staff."
For the last
four years, Rolison has managed functions for the College of Arts
and Letters at Bennett Auditorium and the Mannoni Performing Arts
Center Auditorium. Between the two, Rolison oversees about 300 events
per year. With his expanded duties, Rolison said he expects that
number to jump to about 500 events per year.
be as simple as telling someone where to appropriate a table or
a microphone (for an event) to suggesting a theme or a manner of
operation for an event. It will be like having one-stop shopping
in the area of event planning," he said.
that in the past, events on campus were planned with varying degrees
of success. His new role will help establish a consistent procedure
for individuals or organizations planning an event. An online events
checklist created by Rolison will be available on the university's
Web site to help facilitate the process.
some areas of opportunity to improve, and it is the university's
desire that everyone's event has the same opportunity for success.
position wasn't created to hinder people's event, but to help improve
it. Through talking with President Thames, he mentioned he'd like
for me to view the campus and see what could be done to make it
more beautiful and more inviting to people who want to attend, as
well as for people who are already on campus," Rolison said.
A native of
Butler, Ala., Rolison received a business and fine arts degree from
the University of West Alabama (formerly Livingston University).
Formerly employed by
Rolison was part of the opening team for Northpark Mall in Jackson,
Galleria Mall in Hoover, Ala., and Madison Square Mall in Huntsville,
Ala. His professional background also includes visual display and
A theater costume
designer for 20 years, Rolison has worked with various theater groups
in Alabama and sits on the Miss Junior Miss board of directors.
von Herrmann, associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters,
said Southern Miss is fortunate to have an individual with Rolison's
background and experience.
a unique skill set involving facility oversight, event planning,
auditorium management, and experience working with a wide array
of constituencies. The College of Arts and Letters is very pleased
to partner with the broader university in this way. We believe that
this new position will help the university put its best foot forward
during the myriad of events we host each year."