W. "Bill" Cross received the first College of Science
and Technology Outstanding Alumni Award at The University of Southern
Mississippi at a luncheon held in his honor on May 27. Twenty-one
friends and family members were on hand to help Cross celebrate
at Maison Lacour in Baton Rouge, La., including university representatives
Dr. Rex Gandy, dean of COST; Dr. Wally Pye, chair of mathematics;
and Ben Samel, assistant director of planned gifts.
this is the first time that the College of Science and Technology
has ever bestowed an Outstanding Alumni Award, it is indeed a great
honor for Mr. Cross to receive such an award," Gandy said.
"Through his generous support for the university, the college
and the Department of Mathematics, Mr. Cross has demonstrated his
great love for this institution."
Cross, a 1951
graduate in mathematics at Southern Miss, has given generously to
his alma mater throughout the years. In 1994, the Wright W. Cross
Endowment was created to provide scholarships to students with financial
needs who major in math and have a grade point average of 3.0 or
better. To date, there have been approximately 30 Cross Scholars.
In 1997, Cross
and his wife established the Wright W. and Annie Rea Cross Endowed
Chair in Mathematics and Endowment for Undergraduate Research. Totaling
more than $3 million, this was the largest single gift in Southern
Miss history and it established the first endowed chair at Southern
Miss. Annually, more than 10 Cross Scholars, as well as the chair
in mathematics, are funded by this endowment, which provides salary
and research expenses.
In the fall
of 1999, Cross was inducted into the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of
Fame, and in 2001, he was recognized as a charter member of the
university's Gallery of Benefactors.
Pye said the
College of Science and Technology Outstanding Alumni Award is particularly
significant because it is the first one ever given, and all past
graduates of the college were eligible to receive it.
that, Mr. Cross was unanimously selected by the college's award
committee," Pye said.