YEAR IN REVIEW 2017-2018

Messages   Leadership  Events   ArtistsPartners






Each year, as audience members and financial supporters of our outstanding arts events, you demonstrate your commitment to the arts at The University of Southern Mississippi and in Hattiesburg.

During the past academic year you helped us present the 41st season of Southern Arena Theatre with two classic plays and the return of the Improv Comedy Club; the most iconic and longest running show on Broadway, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera; a visit from Pulitzer-winning poet Natasha Trethewey; a dance residency by former dancer and current arts advocate Zac Whittenburg; the National Juried Painting Exhibition juried by renowned artist Peter Van Dyck; Puccini’s last and largest opera, Turandot; and much, much more.

Our many performances enrich the cultural life of our community, help us teach our arts students by giving them performance and creative opportunities, and allow our faculty to demonstrate their talents. The life-changing possibilities for our students and the abundance of cultural richness for our community depend on your support. 

Thank you for your gift to the arts at Southern Miss through your Partners for the Arts membership. Here in the Dean’s Office, we are already introducing incoming dean Chris Winstead to the range and depth of our arts offerings. He promises to be an avid supporter of the School of Music and the School of Performing and Visual Arts. As for me, I’ll see you at the theatre, the dance studio, the art gallery, and the performing arts centers.


Maureen Ryan, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Arts and Letters 







It has been my privilege to serve for two consecutive years, from 2016 to 2018, as the chair of Partners for the Arts. Our primary goals, enhancing the arts, promoting arts education, and expanding access to world-class arts events and artists, are vital and an integral part of the intellectual and cultural Southern Miss experience.

This past year was an exciting one for Partners for the Arts as we continued to build upon our membership momentum—raising over $60,000 for support of the arts. Monies raised and designated to "Friends of the Arts" will fund 23 programs at the university during the 2018-19 academic year in all of the art programs including art and design, creative writing, dance, music, and theatre. Additionally, Partners for the Arts was able to award financial support directly to five students through the “Emerging Artist Award.”

Thank you for playing a role—your contribution to the arts through your membership in Partners for the Arts is part of the overall success of the arts at Southern Miss!


Russ Willis

Chair 2016-2018



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