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Aultman Begins Work as Alumni Association President

Date 7-3-06

Contact Jim Coll 601.266.5722


Hattiesburg—That Rosemary Aultman ’73 has embraced a leadership role in the Southern Miss Alumni Association should come as no surprise. Aultman, who took over as the association’s new president on July 1, is not accustomed to stand by and let others do the heavy lifting. First as a school board president and then as mayor, Aultman has helped shape Clinton into a growing city with a small-town feel.

In fact, twice the Mississippi Municipal League and the Clarion-Ledger have recognized Clinton as one of Mississippi’s Most Livable Cities. In addition to receiving five “Making Mississippi Move” Awards, Clinton is also a Certified Retirement Community.

Today, the mayor is taking her leadership abilities to the Southern Miss Alumni Association, and her vision for the organization shares a similar tone with the aggressive agenda she set for Clinton when she took over as mayor in 1993.

At the top of the list is the successful completion of the $3 million fund-raising campaign to restore and expand the Ogletree House; the work of the presidential transition team, headed by State Auditor Phil Bryant and Rex Kelly, a past president of the association; growth of the constituent society and alumni ambassador programs; and continued cooperation among the association, the USM Foundation and the Athletic Foundation for the benefit of the university.

“This is an exciting time to be involved in the Alumni Association,” Aultman said. “We continue to work on our strategic overview, a living document which keeps us focused on what it takes to grow the Alumni Association as well as bring attention to the university.”

The constituent society initiative, which groups alumni based on professional or special interests, is an example of the type of innovative program that will contribute to the growth of the association, she says. Currently, four constituent societies are operational – accounting, economic development, law and minority.

“Southern Miss is leading the way, at least in our area, with the constituent society initiative,” Aultman said. “The groups are a wonderful way to bring together people who not only have a love for Southern Miss, but share other common interests.”

Aultman’s previous service to the university includes terms on the boards of directors for the Alumni Association and the USM Foundation. She was selected to the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002, and was a Mississippi University for Women Alumni Achievement Award recipient in 2001.

Aultman and her husband, Les ’71, have two daughters and two granddaughters and are contributors to the Ogletree House Campaign at the Platinum Participating Gift Level. They are members of First Baptist Church in Clinton.

In addition, Aultman has been named Clinton’s Outstanding Citizen, received a Distinguished Service Award from the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, a Community Leadership Award from Entergy and was selected by the Clarion-Ledger as one of the 50 Women Who Inspire in Mississippi.

Aultman credits Southern Miss as an influential factor in her professional success.

“Les and I have been members of the Alumni Association since graduate school,” she said. “We’re grateful for the experiences we had at Southern Miss and love the university. Serving as president of the Alumni Association is a way I can give back.”

A new executive committee and seven new board members also took office on July 1. The following alumni join Aultman on the executive committee: Lou Ann Poynter of Hattiesburg, president-elect; Jim Payne of Jackson, vice president; Danny Mitchell of Brandon, past president and Bob Jefcoat, finance committee chair.

The following alumni join the board of directors: Cheryl Cranford of Hattiesburg; Jason Dean of Jackson; Sean McGee of Hattiesburg; Ira Middleberg of New Orleans; Melissa Scott of Waco, Texas; Martha Thornton of Hattiesburg and Arnie Williams of Hattiesburg.

Each year at Homecoming, the association elects a president elect, vice president, finance committee chair and seven directors. The directors are elected for three-year terms that begin at the start of the fiscal year following the Homecoming at which they were elected. The International Board of Directors, composed of 31 alumni, is the governing body for the Southern Miss Alumni Association.

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Rosemary Aultman

July 17, 2006 1:52 PM

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