November 27, 2015  

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The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast celebrated the completion of two new buildings with a ribbon cutting ceremony March 28 at the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

Nicki Elizabeth Relan, a University of Southern Mississippi senior nursing major, is following a career path she set in motion many years ago as a kindergarten student in Diamondhead, Miss.

Service to the community is an important component of The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies’ TRIAD Service AmeriCorps project.


Project participants, who are Hattiesburg-area youth and young adults with developmental disabilities, routinely provide services to community organizations. But there was nothing routine about their service work on Feb. 13 and 14 just a few days after an F-4 tornado hit the Hattiesburg campus.

When GE Aviation announced its selection of Ellisville, Miss., for a new aircraft engine composite parts production facility, the Mississippi Polymer Institute at The University of Southern Mississippi and Jones County Junior College partnered to support the prestigious company’s hiring and workforce development needs.

The College of Business at The University of Southern Mississippi paid tribute to distinguished faculty members and students during its annual Honors Banquet held Tuesday, March 26 at the Thad Cochran Center on the Hattiesburg campus.

Dr. Bret Becton received the Joseph A. Greene Teaching Award, while Dr. Fujun Lai took home the Louis K. Brandt Publication Award. Other award winners from each department include the following:


Becker CPA Review 50 % Scholarship – Aaron Thomas

Beta Alpha Psi Award – Katie Carona

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Civic Chorale will perform the concert “Fit for a King” Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fleming Education Center auditorium on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, and on Sunday, April 14 at 3 p.m. in St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Biloxi.

With a $1 million gift commitment from Joe and Kathy Sanderson of Laurel, Miss., The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation’s College of Nursing Building Campaign has exceeded the $5 million mark on the way to reaching its $8 million goal.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) will host a domestic violence awareness program entitled “Silent Cries” Wednesday, March 27 at 6 p.m. in Stout Hall, Auditorium A on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus. Admission to this event is free and the public is invited.

Thomas Brown, President of Magnolia State Bank, has generously decided to purchase 1,000 student tickets for the Southern Miss NIT quarterfinal contest Wednesday night against BYU. Game time is set for 7 p.m., at Reed Green Coliseum.

With four of five building projects completed, The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus is nearing its full return from damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

He’s already successfully led the early stages of The University of Southern Mississippi’s recovery from a tornado, and endeared himself to students through a basketball game ticket giveaway, but on April 1, Dr. Rodney Bennett will officially begin work as president of the institution.


Bennett, previously Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Georgia, was chosen to lead the university by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning following a national search and a series of constituency meetings in Hattiesburg and on the Gulf Coast on Feb. 7. Bennett’s hiring makes history, as he becomes the first African-American president of a predominantly white public higher education institution in the state of Mississippi.

The University of Southern Mississippi joins an elite group of campuses nationwide selected as host sites for the Project Green Challenge Conscious College Road Tour set for April 26-27.

Dr. Marie Danforth, a professor of anthropology at The University of Southern Mississippi and one of the country’s leading bioarchaelogists, was recently awarded the Mississippi Humanities Council’s Humanities Scholar Award. 

The Center for the Study of the Gulf South and the Department of History at The University of Southern Mississippi will host Emory University professor Dr. Thomas Rogers for his lecture “The Nature of Labor: Work and the Agro-Environment of Sugarcane Brazil” Thursday, March 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the Liberal Arts Building, room 101. This event is free and open to the public.

A Hattiesburg resident who played a key role in the civil rights movement in Mississippi will be honored by the Committee on Services and Resources for Women (CSRW) Thursday, March 28 on the Hattiesburg campus.

Mississippi Home of Your Own (HOYO) will sponsor a free, one-day homebuyer education workshop Saturday, April 13 for residents with and without disabilities in Hinds and surrounding counties.

More than 600 University of Southern Mississippi students fanned out across Hattiesburg last Saturday morning to assist with cleaning, painting, landscaping and other tasks as part of the Fourth Annual Big Event community service project.


The students spent half a day performing various assignments at nine different locations in the Hattiesburg area. The Big Event is sponsored by the Student Government Association at Southern Miss.

Cook Library at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg is hosting the exhibit 'The Holmes County Civil Rights Movement, 1964-1969" in the library's lobby through March 28.

The exhibit chronicles the history of the civil rights movement in Holmes County, Miss. during the 1960s. Exhibit materials were donated by Sue (Lorenzi) Sojourner, who experienced the events of the civil rights movement firsthand. She and her husband, Henry, worked with local civil rights leaders to encourage, support and educate African-Americans of the county in their struggle for equality and voting rights.

Pictured are Sojourner, left, along with Robert Clark, the first African-American elected to the Mississippi Legislature since Reconstruction. Sojourner worked in Clark's campaign in 1967, and both were on the Hattiesburg campus March 19 to view the exhibit, with Sojourner giving a talk March 18 about her experiences. Along with Cheryl Reitan, Sojourner co-authored the book Thunder of Freedom, a memoir of her experiences during that era. For more information about the exhibit, contact Jessica Clark at (University Communications photo by David Tisdale)

What started as a foggy February morning at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus in Long Beach is now a lasting image made into a mural representing the scenic photography of noted Biloxi Sun Herald photographer and Southern Miss alumnus, Tim Isbell.


Inspiration and beauty is what Isbell hopes students, faculty and staff gain from seeing the foggy oaks image as they walk to and from class. “I hope the mural at the Gulf Park campus gives people a sense of the beauty of the campus and the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” he said.

Dr. Jay Dean takes to the podium for the last time in his 25th season with The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra when he conducts Mahler’s Fifth Symphony on Thursday, March 28 at Bennett Auditorium.

Dr. Les Wallace was the guest speaker during a luncheon hosted by The University of Southern Mississippi College of Nursing and sponsored by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing Thursday at the Trent Lott Center. A noted expert on leadership, Wallace is president of Signature Resources Inc., an international leadership firm based in Colorado. His presentation was titled "21st Century Leadership: Thinking Differently." He is co- author of the book A Legacy of 21st Century Leadership: A Guide for Creating a Climate of Leadership Throughout Your Organization. (University Communications photo by David Tisdale)

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast will host the panel discussion, “The Business of Birth: Discussion around Medicalized Childbirth in Mississippi,” Tuesday, March 26, from 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in room 102 of the Fleming Education Center on the University’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

A lecture to be given Wednesday, March 27 at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg will examine various aspects of the ascension of women in higher education administration.

Incoming University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett has announced the purchase of 1,000 student tickets for the Golden Eagles’ second round NIT game against Louisiana Tech, scheduled for 9 p.m. on Monday.