A University of Southern Mississippi alumnus who made a historic financial contribution to his alma mater last year will serve as its spring commencement speaker.
Chuck Scianna, president of Sim-Tex, L.P. in Waller, Texas and a 1975 graduate of Southern Miss’ College of Business, will give the commencement address at two ceremonies Friday, May 11 at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum.
His $5 million gift last July to the university’s “Building Better Business” campaign will help fund completion of Scianna Hall, the new home of the university’s College of Business. The commitment is the largest one-time gift to the USM Foundation by a Southern Miss alumnus. In February he went a step further by pledging to match, up to a cumulative $1 million, additional contributions to the campaign made by May 31.
“I’m honored and surprised to be chosen,” said Scianna, a Bay St. Louis, Miss. native who credited his time at Southern Miss for helping him become a successful businessman. His company, Sim-Tex, is one of the leading suppliers of API-certified oil country tubular goods.
“I’m an ordinary individual that came from modest means and took advantage of an education from Southern Miss as a means to an end,” he said. ‘If I was able to do what I accomplished, every graduate of the university should be able to use that education as a springboard to success.”
A groundbreaking ceremony for Scianna Hall is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 10. The 90,000-square-foot structure, at a total estimated project cost of $33 million, will stand next to the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship and will benefit 2,200 College of Business students, more than 65 faculty members and 17 staff members.
Spring commencement for Southern Miss Gulf Coast will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.
For more information on spring 2012 commencement, online visit http://www.usm.edu/registrar/graduation-commencement, or call 601.266.5006; for more information on the Building Better Business Campaign, contact the USM Foundation at 601.266.5210 or visit www.usmfoundation.com/businessbuilding.