HATTIESBURG-- Students, faculty and staff at
the University of Southern Mississippi enjoyed an evening of
holiday music, food and a visit from “Rasta Claus” at Tuesday’s
grand opening of The Courtyard, located next to the old Power
Plant building across from Cook Library.
The Courtyard is intended to provide a warm and inviting setting,
with a New Orleans French Quarter-style setting, in the heart
of campus for students, faculty and staff to gather. The Courtyard
itself was the idea of Greg Lassen, vice president for Business
and Finance. He wanted a place for students, faculty and staff
to be able to relax and enjoy the campus. With the visions of
Fred Fisher of Fisher Nursery and the direction of project manager
Dr. Cynthia Moore, associate provost, The Courtyard came to
The celebration was complete with holiday music played by the
Southern Miss Steel Pan Combo, servings of samples of Starbucks
coffee and cocoa, banana foster bread pudding, hot wassail and
gumbo courtesy of Aramark, as well as Barnes & Noble giveaways.
A special guest also attended the event – Rasta Claus sang holiday
carols to entertain the guests.
“The addition of the holiday decorations, music, prize giveaways
and hot food for the official opening of The Courtyard just
got everyone in a festive mood,” said Sid Gonsoulin, associate
vice president for Student Affairs.
Gonsoulin commented that students are able to sit and enjoy
their surroundings at The Courtyard while they drink a cup of
coffee from Starbucks and study, socialize or practice scripts
for their drama class.
"Being from the New Orleans area, the new Courtyard provides
a home-away-from-home feeling because there is a little taste
of New Orleans in the middle of the Southern Miss campus,” said
Brandi Ferrer, a sophomore international business, finance and
relations major. “I’m thrilled to have an outside nook to relax
and enjoy the beauty of our campus."
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is
a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling
its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering
individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition
of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating
a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural
enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern
Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus
and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast;
further information is found at www.usm.edu.
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