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Released July 7, 2005


Hattiesburg– Although some of The University of Southern Mississippi’s most valued traditions date back nearly 100 years to the institution’s earliest days, traditions need not be centuries, or even decades old for that matter, to be held dear.

Such is the case with the Legacy Scholars program, which awards scholarships to the children and grandchildren of Southern Miss graduates who are active members of the Alumni Association.

In only its second year of awarding scholarships, the Legacy Scholars program is one of the most important operations of the Alumni Association.

“Alumni have so many fond and valuable memories from their experiences at the institution,” said Bob Pierce, executive director of the association. “These scholarships help to ensure that their children and grandchildren will have the chance to gain similar types of experiences and opportunities.”

Five $1,000 scholarships were awarded this year from a pool of 22 applicants. The scholarship program is funded in part by support from the Shell Finish Line Golf Tournament held each year at Homecoming. This year’s tournament will be held Friday, Oct. 14, at Shadow Ridge Golf Course in Hattiesburg.

The recipients, all members of the 2005 freshman class, were chosen based on their academic performance, extracurricular activities and community involvement. The recipients are Lucas James Davis of Petal, Lauren Ashley Farrar of Hattiesburg, Melissa Marie Lang of Daphne, Ala., Cassie Ann May of Mendenhall and Lauren Lee Williams of Magee. The scholarship winners had an average grade point average of 3.82.

Davis is a Petal High School graduate who was an active member of the National Honor Society, National Beta Club, the Petal High School Symphonic Band and the Petal High School Marching Band. He was one of two students selected to serve on the Petal School District’s Strategic Planning Committee. Davis also created and maintained the Petal band’s Web site. He participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, and he plans to study computer science.

Davis is the son of Janice Lynn Davis ’76, ’84 and Richard Davis ’80.

Farrar is an Oak Grove High School graduate who plans to study biology/premed. Farrar was involved in numerous activities as a high school student, some of which were Beta Club, First Priority, Frontline, Student Council and the National Honor Society.

She was editor of the school’s yearbook, played soccer and ran cross country. Among her volunteer service, Farrar has cleaned houses for the disabled and worked with the Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity.

Farrar is the granddaughter of Betty H. Southern ’91.

Some 20 members of Lang’s family are Southern Miss alumni, a group she intends to join in the coming years. Lang is a Daphne High School graduate, and as a high school student she served as president of the Girls’ Service Club and captain of the Daphne dance team. She was involved in National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and a host of other activities.

Lang has volunteered her time with the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership Program, youth programs at her church and Young Life, a nondenominational Christian organization, among others.

Lang is the daughter of Bruce A. Lang ’81 and the granddaughter of Vivian ’53 and J. Elmo Lang ’54, a former president of the Alumni Association’s board of directors. Both are Life Members of the Alumni Association.

May is a Mendenhall High School graduate who plans to study business administration. She was a cheerleader, soccer player, yearbook editor, diamond girl and a member of the math club at Mendenhall. May has been active in the Mendenhall First Baptist Church youth group, the Sweet Spirits Singing Group, Relay for Life and more.

May is the daughter or Jeffery Dale May ’83, a Life Member of the Alumni Association.

Williams is a Simpson County Academy graduate, who like Farrar, plans to study biology/premed. She was active in the Honor Club, the “S” Club, Future Business Leaders of America, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a cheerleader and track athlete. She has worked as a tutor, cheerleading instructor, as a volunteer at Gateway Rescue Mission, and more.

She is the granddaughter of Robert A. Gustin ’60.

Applicants for Legacy Scholarships must be the children or grandchildren of a Southern Miss graduate who is an active member of the Alumni Association, be eligible for admission to Southern Miss as a freshman, and enroll full time for the upcoming fall semester. Applications 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


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July 28, 2005 11:45 AM