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Media Advisory: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for $12.2-million Marine Research Center Sept. 21

TO: News editors, directors

WHAT: Ribbon-cutting ceremony for USM's new Marine Research Center

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.

WHERE:  Marine Research Center, Port of Gulfport, 1030 West Pier, Gulfport MS 39501

SPECIFICS:  A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Friday, Sept. 21, at 10 a.m. celebrating the opening of USM's new Marine Research Center (MRC) at the Port of Gulfport.

The Marine Research Center is the centerpiece for a new maritime Blue Economy in South Mississippi. Encompassing nearly 18,000 square feet, the MRC is the shoreside support to USM's 135-foot research vessel, the R/V Point Sur, and to a number of academic programs.

The building is operated by USM's School of Ocean Science and Engineering, which offers programs in marine and coastal sciences, including the only Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering in Mississippi and the only certificate in Unmanned Maritime Systems in thenation.

SPECIAL NOTE: Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo, Mayor of Gulfport Billy Hewes, Port of Gulfport Director Jonathan Daniels, University officials and representatives from the Port of Gulfport will be in attendance. Media members are invited to stay for tours of the facility.

CONTACT: James Skrmetta, SOSE Communications Officer, 228.872.4254, James.SkrmettaFREEMississippi.

About The University of Southern Mississippi

Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to five teaching and research sites in Mississippi and through Online at Southern Miss. Since 2006, Southern Miss students have collected seven Goldwater Scholarships, three Truman Scholarships and 17 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. Our Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research affords our students meaningful research opportunities, and as a proven leader in innovation, we conduct transformative research that translates into real-world solutions. As one of only 36 institutions in the nation accredited in art, dance, music and theatre, we are a haven for creativity and artistic expression. In the classroom or lab, on the playing field, or in the performance hall, we strive to have a positive impact not only on our students, but also the world around us. Further information is found at