Barbara Ross, director of union and programs at The University of Southern Mississippi, was honored by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) with its Emeritus Award at its annual Community Builders Awards Ceremony, held March 1 in Chicago.
Ross, a native of Memphis and a Southern Miss alumna, joined the Southern Miss staff in 1972 as assistant dean for women’s organizations, and then later served as director of Greek life. As Greek Life director, she was responsible for chartering 12 of 26 Greek life organizations on campus and earned the National Panhellenic Award for Best Rush Program in the nation.
In 1989 she became director of the student union and student activities, and founded what is now the Office of Community Service Learning in 1992. She also played a key role in designing the Thad Cochran Center.
“I’m truly honored by this recognition from ACUI,” Ross said. “This organization has held a special place in my heart over the years and I will fondly remember life-long friends I have made through the association and the professional support it has given me through the years, especially during the construction of the Thad Cochran Center.”
Ross has received multiple honors during her career, including the Association of Fraternity Advisors’ (AFA) Distinguished Service Award; the USM Staff Excellence Award; the Golden Key Outstanding Staff Award; the Association of Office Professionals (AOP) Educational Administrator of the Year. She is active in her community and on campus through her service on the Miss Hospitality Board of Directors; Lambda Sigma Society National Board; Big Brother Big Sister Board; and as Pi Beta House Corporation treasurer.
Ross said one of the great joys of her career at Southern Miss is to see former students go on to success after graduation. “It’s been so rewarding watching them become outstanding leaders and professionals,” she said.
Founded in 1914, ACUI is a nonprofit educational organization whose stated mission is to bring together college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools in seven countries. Its members work on urban and rural campuses, in two-year and four-year institutions, and at large and small schools. They are students and administrators whose mission is to build campus community. ACUI enriches them all through education, advocacy, and the delivery of services. For more information, visit www.acui.org