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Released November 10, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- The College of Arts and Letters at The University of Southern Mississippi has organized a volunteer advisory board which comprises alumni of the 14 departments and schools under its umbrella. The group's first meeting was held Oct. 28-30 on campus.

Dr. Elliott Pood, dean of the college, formed the board with the assistance of Kristy Gould, development officer for the college, to reconnect with Southern Miss alumni.

"There is a tremendous amount of experience, wisdom, accomplishment, and passion for Southern Miss among the makeup of this board," said board member Les Potter. "Working with Dean Pood and others, we are much stronger together than we are individually. The board gives us clarity, focus, and direction to help move things forward."

Gould said some of the objectives of the board will be to function as ambassadors to promote the college's successes; foster collaboration among the departments of the college; share personal industry perspectives and experiences; assist in aligning educational curriculum and opportunities (research, co-op, etc.); provide feedback about college issues; and cultivate alumni and friends to support the college.

Inaugural members include Potter of Vienna, Va. (B.A., 1970, speech communication); Denise Berger of Atlanta, Ga. (B.F.A., 1980, theatre); Ron Day (B.S., 1972, Army ROTC/computer science) and Cynthia Day (B.A., 1974, foreign languages/literatures), both of Marietta, Ga.; Jeff Ginther of Bristol, Va. (father of current opera student); Gary Grubbs of Hattiesburg (B.S., 1972, actor/writer); Margaret Loesch of Los Angeles, Calif. (B.A., 1968, political science); and Mart Martin of Atlanta, Ga. (B.S., 1978, advertising/PR).

Other members are JoAnne Norton of Irvine, Calif. (B.S, 1971, M.E., 1981, speech communication); Elizabeth Bachmann of San Diego, Calif. (B.S., 1971, communication); Hank Price of Winston Salem, N.C. (B.S., 1973, radio, television, and film); Clymer Wright of Houston, Texas (B.S., 1953, mass communication/journalism); and Charles Thomas Jr. of Orlando, Fla. (B.A., 1986, music).

During the October session, the board members were briefed by Southern Miss President Shelby Thames, toured the campus, and met with department and school chairs. The group plans to meet again in April 2005.


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November 24, 2004 2:18 PM