Ann Branton, professor and grants administrator, retired after 22 years with the University of Southern Mississippi at the end of June. Branton also served as head of cataloging and bibliographic services for University Libraries.
Originally from Texas, Branton came to Southern Miss in 1990 at a time when the university had just become automated, so she was a major player in the transition from paper indexes to an online catalog. She said it was exciting to be in the midst of a dynamic time at University Libraries.
She has received numerous awards for her work at the university, including most recently the MLA Peggy May Award and the Excellence in Librarianship Award. She also served as managing editor and production editor of the Southern Quarterly.
“Through the Southern Quarterly, I worked with the international scholarly community in liberal arts,” said Branton. “It was exciting to be a part of the process of creating and facilitating scholarship to the world through a small journal.”
Branton’s success at the university is shown through her colleagues’ admiration for her. “Ann was always there to support and stand up for the people who worked for her,” said Jerry Holley, library assistant. “She was a lot of fun to work for.”
Branton’s plans for retirement are to join her family in Texas and continue teaching speech communication at Our Lady of the Hills Regional High School. She says her goal is to know all the students’ names by next year and to provide them with the tools to be successful in college.
“USM reflects the best of the South and I feel privileged to have made a mark in such a wonderful place,” she said.