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 Thames.
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.