October 7, 2015  

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Articles in "Arts and Letters"

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The University of Southern Mississippi’s Repertory Dance Company will host "Exchanging Innocence: Site-Specific Dance Performances”  Sunday, Oct. 11 with a 2 p.m. performance at Southern Miss’ Lake Byron and a 4 p.m. performance at downtown Hattiesburg’s Town Square Park.

At the opening night concert of the Symphony Orchestra’s 96th season, Dr. Mike Lopinto, PR/Marketing Coordinator for the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Music, was presented with The Themis Award. This award is presented annually at the opening orchestra concert to an outstanding Southern Miss administrator, professor, staff member, or other individual who has contributed to the success of the orchestra and its members.

The University of Southern Mississippi Wind Ensemble will present a concert featuring two premieres of works commissioned by the ensemble on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus. 

The Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company at The University of Southern Mississippi will present Bernstein's timeless classic “West Side Story” as part of homecoming weekend celebrations.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Theatre begins the 2015-2016 season with the musical “Violet” by Doris Betts. All performances will be held in Tatum Theatre on Southern Miss’ Hattiesburg campus. On Oct. 1, 2, 8, 9 and 10, the performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Two matinee performances are set for Oct. 4 and 11 at 2 p.m. Prior to the show on Oct. 4, a preshow talk will begin at 1 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 1-800-844-TICK.

Dr. Kenneth Swope, an expert on China and East Asia history, is the recipient of the General Buford “Buff” Blount Professorship in Military History at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Blount Professorship is awarded biannually and funds research by a faculty member of the Southern Miss Department of History toward publication of a major study in the field of War and Society. At the end of their two-year term, the holder of the Blount Professorship will present a lecture or program based on the findings of their research. Swope is the second recipient of the professorship.

The University of Southern Mississippi will host the lecture "It Takes a Cookbook to Raise a Village: Laurel, Mississippi and Community Cookbooks” by Southern Miss history professor Dr. Andrew Haley at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30 in room 123 of Cook Library on the Hattiesburg campus.

Inspired by his time as a journalist in Africa, University of Southern Mississippi political science professor Dr. Bob Press’ has written his third book, Ripples of Hope: How Ordinary People Resist Repression without Violence.

Carmen Escobedo, a piano professor and General Director of the National Conservatory of Music in Lima, Peru will visit The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Music where she will give a piano master class on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. in Marsh Auditorium, and a recital on Friday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Marsh Auditorium.

Professor Elizabeth Resnick from Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the curator of the latest exhibition on display at The University of Southern Mississippi Gallery of Art and Design. On Thursday, Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. she will present "Propaganda and Protest Graphics: A Selective View of Civic Empowerment and Resistance by Artists and Designers in the historic George Hurst Building on the University’s Hattiesburg campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Andrew Wiest, center, professor of history at The University of Southern Mississippi, along with Vietnam War veteran John Young, left, examine a map of Vietnam during a book signing prior to a screening of the Emmy Award-nominated National Geographic documentary “Brothers in War.” The film is based on Wiest’s book The Boys of 67: Charlie Company's War in Vietnam, in which the exploits of Young and his fellow soldiers are featured. Both events were held on the Hattiesburg campus. (Southern Miss photos by Danny Rawls)

The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism will hold a workshop for high school students Thursday, Oct. 1 on the Hattiesburg campus, sponsored by the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association (MSPA).

The first lecture of the fall 2015 Philosophical Fridays series at The University of Southern Mississippi is Friday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m., with Dr. Mark Rowlands of the University of Miami presenting “Can Animals be Moral?”

The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra opens its 96th season Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Mannoni Performing Arts Center on the Hattiesburg campus. In true gala opening style, patrons are encouraged to dress in their best fashion for this special opening entitled, “New Acquaintances and Old Friends.”


“Similar to glamorous openings at the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet, this is the Pine Belt’s chance to ramp up the glamor and enjoy a first rate musical evening with the incomparable Symphony Orchestra,” said Jay Dean, music director.

The University of Southern Mississippi will present a Faculty Artist Series performance of the Logio Duo on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. in Marsh Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.

The inaugural Pre-Law Week at The University of Southern Mississippi, set for Sept. 14-17, will support the creation and development of new pre-law track programs in the University’s College of Arts and Letters.

The week’s events will be hosted by the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs, and the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

The University of Southern Mississippi has enrolled more new students than in 2014, including a freshman class that defies national trends as the most academically prepared in the University’s recorded history.


For the sixth straight year, the average grade point average (GPA) for USM’s first-time, full-time freshmen is the highest ever recorded. New freshmen in Fall 2015 have an average GPA of 3.27, up from 3.26 in Fall 2014 and 3.06 in Fall 2009, when the six-year streak began. The average ACT score of new freshmen is 22.7, the highest known in University history.

The Connoisseur’s Chamber Music Series is committed to bringing to the Hattiesburg and The University of Southern Mississippi communities the very best in national and international artists.

The University of Southern Mississippi was well represented by its Department of English at the inaugural Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson Aug. 22. Attended by more than 3,500 literary enthusiasts, the festival featured celebrated writers such as John Grisham and Bill Ferris. Guests visited exhibitor tents on the grounds of the Capitol and attended presentations at the festival, which was a weekend feature on C-SPAN.

A new Title IX Office, consistent policy protocols, and heightened awareness have placed The University of Southern Mississippi at the forefront of collegiate institutions confronting the issues of sexual harassment and misconduct.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and the Dixie Darlings will kick off the 2015-16 season with Pride Preview. This free concert will be held Friday, August 28 at 7 p.m. at Centennial Green on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus, and all are invited to bring lawn chairs and picnic dinners to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment.

Launched Feb. 6, 2014, the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society Campaign has exceeded its $2 million goal. The fundraising initiative built upon early successes of the program and elevated the Dale Center from one of the top five military history programs in the country to the premier academic program for the study of war and society in the United States.

Every year, Hattiesburg’s music lovers anxiously await the announcement of The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra season. Celebrating 96 years, the venerable organization is the state’s oldest orchestra and a leader in cultural offerings for the region.

Music Director Jay Dean notes: “Every symphonic concert this season features wind or brass soloists. Some of these performers will be students who come from different parts of the world, including Mississippi, while others are globally renowned celebrity artists."

The Japan-America Society of Mississippi (JASMIS) will host the taiko (Japanese drum) performance ensemble Shirohato Taiko from Sumida, Tokyo for a series of performances in Mississippi August 20-26. Included on their schedule is a concert in Hattiesburg at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Mannoni Performing Arts Center Monday, August 24 at 8 p.m. with general admission $5 at the door the day of the show and free for USM students.