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Southern Miss Construction Management Program Receives Donation

Date 7-18-06

Contact David Tisdale 601.266.4499


Hattiesburg—The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Construction received a $136,000 gift Monday in support of its construction management program, the only dually accredited construction management program in the country. The school plans to expand the program by offering online courses in the near future.

Desmond Fletcher, director of the School of Construction, met with members of the National Association of Home Builders Monday at the James Lynn Cartlidge Forrest County Multi Purpose Center to accept the gift, which came from the association’s disaster relief fund.

Fletcher said the impact of Hurricane Katrina has dramatically increased the demand for well-educated construction managers for the recovery effort. A primary goal of the School of Construction at Southern Miss, he said, is to increase the number of graduates to help meet this demand.

“With gas prices and recovery efforts a major impediment for many potential students, the residential construction program at the school will use this generous gift from the National Association of Home Builders Disaster Relief Fund to support our online outreach effort to help reduce the shortage of qualified managers,” he said.

“We really need to incorporate online classrooms into the residential construction program because the traditional physical classroom environment encumbers non-traditional students who are currently working or in military service. The online format also benefits residents on the (Mississippi) coast in a cost-effective manner.”

Fletcher said plans also include establishing a center for disaster response information, which will assist in organizing resources for the residential construction community following hurricanes and other natural disasters.

The residential construction program comprises a myriad of sub-disciplines, including land acquisition and development; building design; construction; and real estate finance and marketing. It is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the management of the entire home building and marketing process, from land acquisition and development, through project planning and execution, to the marketing of finished homes.

Career paths for graduating students include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Residential Homes Builder/Constructor
  • Residential/Single-Family Homes Project Manager
  • Land Development Project Manager
  • Residential Land Planning Manager

Bobby Rayborn, a Southern Miss alumnus from Jackson who serves as director of the National Home Builders Association Disaster Relief Fund, said the Southern Miss construction management program can be a key element in restoring residential property in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. “This is going to help bring more talented young people into the residential construction industry at a time when they are desperately needed,” Rayborn said.

For more information about the School of Construction, call 601.266.4895 or visit

Click to enlarge

Southern Miss School of Construction Director Desmond Fletcher, far left, accepts a donation of $136,000 from Southern Miss alumnus Bobby Rayborn, far right, director of the National Home Builders Association Disaster Relief Fund. Also on hand for the presentation were, second from left, Thom Arnett, president of the Hattiesburg Home Builders Association; center, Lamar Evans, executive officer for the Hattiesburg Home Builders Association; and right, Marty Milstead, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Mississippi. (Southern Miss Public Relations photo by David Tisdale)

July 18, 2006 2:17 PM

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