September 19, 2014  

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Southern Miss Gulf Coast Grad Exemplifies “Stay Here. Go Far.”

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Stephanie Bell

On Saturday, University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast students will begin their journey to the latter half of the university’s slogan, “Stay Here. Go Far.” With 304 candidates eligible for degrees from Southern Miss Gulf Coast, 258 spring and summer semester graduates will participate in the commencement ceremony at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

One student who has been going far in her career will also take part in Saturday’s commencement exercises for her second degree from Southern Miss Gulf Coast. Stephanie Bell of Slidell, La., who graduated with her bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2008, will receive her master of business administration degree. As the local retail sales supervisor for the Sun Herald, Bell feels her dedication to higher education has opened doors for her career.

“After completing my undergraduate degree, I knew this was a great opportunity for me to continue my education and get my master’s degree here on the coast,” said Bell. “It was important for me to be in an accredited degree program with a flexible class schedule for working professionals, and I knew that’s what I would get from Southern Miss.”

Excited about the commencement ceremony, Bell is breathing a sigh of relief now that her classes are complete. “The coursework was challenging and it is so rewarding to be able to walk across the stage.”

Making Saturday’s commencement ceremony extra special for Bell and her family is her sister’s graduation from Southern Miss Gulf Coast. Bell’s younger sister, Erin, will earn her bachelor of science degree in business administration.

“We’re having a big party and the family is happy to celebrate two graduates at one ceremony,” added Bell. “My parents are very proud.”

Southern Miss Gulf Coast students believe the university’s “Stay Here. Go Far.” campaign hits close to home. The campaign was developed in response to the demographic of students who are strongly connected to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and have made it a priority to pursue a top-flight university education.

Spring commencement for Southern Miss Gulf Coast will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. Southern Miss Gulf Coast will confer 239 bachelor’s, 12 master’s and 7 doctoral degrees during the commencement ceremony.

For more information on the Southern Miss Gulf Coast spring commencement, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/commencement.