GULFPORT -- Carla Sondermeyer Ross has made a trip to the
Gulf Coast to give back to her beloved University of Southern
Now director of faculty development at Meredith College in
Raleigh, N.C., Ross was hired in 1987 as the first full-time
student recruiter for the university’s Gulf Coast operation.
After seeing the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, Ross
embarked on a mission to bring aid to the Gulf Park campus in
“Dr. Ross made a significant impact on our recruitment efforts
on the Coast,” said Shelia White, director of marketing and
public relations on the Coast and a former colleague of Ross.
“Her energy and vision aided the Gulf Park campus in achieving
steady increases in student enrollment.”
The employees and students of Meredith College are donating
$1,400 in gift cards, dolls, stuffed animals, blankets,
Christmas ornaments, toys and school supplies. Ross personally
has made blankets and scarves for her former colleagues on the
“The Meredith College mascot is an angel, so it just seemed
natural that we should give to people in need,” Ross said.
“There are angels all around us. It could be anyone, anywhere.
Just look around. We have not forgotten about the Mississippi
Meredith College is an all female, liberal arts college with an
enrollment of 2,200, similar to the student population of
Southern Miss Gulf Coast prior to Hurricane Katrina.
An extra treat for Coast employees of Southern Miss is the cards
and letters from the Meredith student body and a Raleigh Boy
Scout troop. Their goal is to deliver needed goods and boost the
spirits of the Coast campus.
A letter from Meredith president Maureen Hartfield accompanies
Ross on her journey, along with a giant card signed by the
college’s departments and students.
“We’re so grateful to Carla for her efforts and to the Meredith
College family for their generosity, especially at this time of
year,” said Southern Miss Vice President for Student Affairs Dr.
For more information on the University of Southern Mississippi’s
Gulf Coast operations, call 228.865.4500 or
About The University of
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
For more information, contact David Tisdale at 601.266.4499.
CUTLINE -- Marlene Naquin, right, coordinator of the
math laboratory and instructor at the University of Southern
Mississippi Gulf Coast, looks over some donations brought by
Dr. Carla Ross, left, director of faculty development at
Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., to Southern Miss Gulf
Coast faculty and staff impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Ross
worked at Southern Miss Gulf Coast as a recruiter and
organized a donation drive at Meredith that included $1,400
worth of gift cards, along with donations of clothing, toys,
blankets and other items in time for the holidays. (Southern
Miss Public Relations photo by David Tisdale).
click to enlarge.