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Released March 31, 2005


HATTIESBURG – Former students in Bill Crosby's Design IV class at The University of Southern Mississippi will soon see one of their landscaping design plans become a reality on the Hattiesburg campus. The brainchild of Ryan Kelly, a Student Government Association senator, the project aims to develop the area located on Charles Lane, between the Johnson Science Tower, the Shelby F. Thames Polymer Science Research Center and the Bobby Chain Technology Center. "I had a resolution passed to establish the area and to name it the Science Quad," Kelly said.

The Science Quad is being created to achieve a relaxing environment that enables students and faculty alike to sit outside and enjoy their collegiate experience, Kelly said.

Currently much of the area is covered with cement, brick and asphalt. The new design replaces the hard surfaces with grass, plants and seating areas.

Kelly took his idea to Crosby, an instructor in the School of Construction, who turned the design process into a class project. "This project gave our students hands-on experience," Crosby said. "They had to investigate, measure, prepare plans and develop budgets, which was a very intense process. This is the same way they would approach the process if they worked for a construction, architectural or landscaping company. The experience is valuable to their future careers."

The winning design was created by Tiffany Landry, now a graduate. "Tiffany's design showed great talent," Crosby said. The Science Quad plans were unveiled prior to the Founders' Day celebration Wednesday, March 30. Funds to complete the project will be collected through private donations. Jonathan Ahern, development officer for the College of Science and Technology, said he believes this project will get the attention of graduates of the sciences. "This project hits home with the students who spent so much of their time in and around the science buildings," Ahern said. "This area really needs some beautification so that it blends better with the center of campus."

Two graduates of the College of Science and Technology committed $1,100 before the formal announcement of the project. Dr. Ken Malone and President Shelby Thames heard the presentation made by the students and made their financial commitments immediately.

"I was so impressed that the students took this initiative," said Thames. "The idea was developed by students, designed by students and presented by students. They have stuck with it and their hard work has paid off. They will be able to return to campus year after year and see their hard work being enjoyed by others. That is real accomplishment."

When asked how it made him feel to unveil the project, Kelly said, "Every time envision coming back to campus and seeing my work accomplished, it brings a smile to my face. Now I tell every freshman leader on campus how their work and dedication can lead to a successful outcome."


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April 14, 2005 12:11 PM