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Former Southern Miss Employee Brings Donations From North Carolina

Date   12/21/05

Contact David Tisdale 601.266.4499
Photo attached.

GULFPORT -- Carla Sondermeyer Ross has made a trip to the Gulf Coast to give back to her beloved University of Southern Mississippi.


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 Long Beach.


“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 Coast.


“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 Gulf Coast.”


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. Joe Paul.



For more information on the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast operations, call 228.865.4500 or


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


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 previously
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.



Last updated: 02/06/06

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