Mississippi governor Haley Barbour brought three pieces of advice
for University of Southern Mississippi graduates at spring commencement
exercises on the university's Hattiesburg campus.
believe in God," Barbour said. "Second, believe in your
state and country and third, believe in yourself. I don't think
I can give them (graduates) any better advice."
Yazoo City native, was elected governor last November. He received
a law degree from Ole Miss in 1973. In the mid-1980s, he served
as an adviser to President Ronald Reagan for two years as director
of the White House Office of Political Affairs.
From 1993 to
January 1997, Barbour served two terms as chairman of the Republican
National Committee. He served as one of only 10 members of then-Gov.
George W. Bush's National Presidential Exploratory Committee and
chaired Bush's Washington Campaign Advisory Committee in 2000.
and formerly served as chair and CEO of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers,
which Fortune magazine ranked as the nation's top lobbying firm.
he was honored to be the selected speaker for Friday's two ceremonies,
which featured approximately 1,200 graduates. A third graduation
ceremony will be held Saturday at the university's Long Beach campus,
where Gulfport city councilman Billy Hewes, a Southern Miss alum,
will be the guest speaker.
the university's commitment to economic development and held it
up as a leader among other universities in the state and nation.
He likened Mississippi's universities to "gold mines"
that, in the past, the state had not done as good a job of "mining"
until now, citing Southern Miss' polymer science program for its
role in creating new economic opportunities.
use (Southern Miss') Polymer Institute as an example of how our
universities can take research and go beyond application to commercialization,"
he said. "That's being done here (at Southern Miss) and we
can do it at other schools in the state, and that should be their
a senior finance major from Brandon, said he's thrilled to be graduating
and is looking forward to life after college. "I'm ready to
see what the real world has to offer," he said.
of Baton Rouge, La., was also excited about receiving her diploma,
but had mixed emotions about her career at Southern Miss coming
to a close. She earned a degree in biology, and plans to attend
medical school. "I'm relieved (to be graduating) and sad
little of both."