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Southern Miss News Friday, November 30, 2018

Welcome to the daily email for media members that includes news and notes from The University of Southern Mississippi. Today's message includes news releases about the Luckyday Foundation making an additional commitment of $8.7 million toward Luckyday Citizenship scholarships and Dr. Maureen Ryan being named the grand marshal for USM's Fall Commencement ceremonies. In addition Psychology Professor Michael Anestis is available to discuss a Center for Disease Control report that shows more than 47,000 people died by suicide in the U.S. last year. Also, Gulf Coast Research Lab professors Kelly Lucas and Read Hendon are available to discuss the opening of oyster season.

Media inquiries can be directed to Van Arnold at 601.266.5568 or van.arnoldFREEMississippi or David Tisdale at 601.266.4499 or d.g.tisdaleFREEMississippi.

Today's Top Story

$8.7 Million: Luckyday Foundation Commits to Largest Gift in University of Southern Mississippi History

In a partnership like no other at The University of Southern Mississippi, the Luckyday Foundation of Ridgeland, Miss., is continuing its support of the Luckyday Citizenship Scholars Program at Southern Miss with an additional commitment of more than $8.7 million through The USM Foundation. The Luckyday Foundation has provided over $35.7 million to the program to date, making it the University's most generous benefactor.

Founded by the late Frank R. Day of Jackson, Miss., the Luckyday Foundation funds scholarships for Mississippi high school seniors who are exemplary students with outstanding leadership skills and community involvement.

Additional News

Longtime USM Educator Ryan to Serve as Grand Marshal for fall 2018 Commencement

A University of Southern Mississippi (USM) educator long prized for her talents in the classroom and as an administrator has been honored with a noteworthy role in the school's fall 2018 graduation ceremonies. Dr. Maureen Ryan, a University Distinguished Professor of English and special assistant to the Provost, will serve as Grand Marshal for commencement Friday, Dec. 7 when the university bestows diplomas and certificates to graduates at two ceremonies (9 a.m. and 3 p.m.) at Reed Green Coliseum on the Hattiesburg campus.

Experts Availability

More than 47,000 Americans killed themselves in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday, contributing to an overall decline in U.S. life expectancy. Since 1999, the suicide rate has climbed 33 percent. USM psychology Professor Michael Anestis, a noted expert in suicide awareness and prevention, is available today to discuss the CDC report. Additionally, oyster season officially opened yesterday along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. USM Gulf Coast Research Lab professor Kelly Lucas and Read Hendon are available today to discuss the potential oyster harvest. To schedule an interview, email mediaexpertsFREEMississippi. For a full list of USM media experts visit:

Photo/Video Opportunity

The Southern Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale will present their Holiday Concert today and Sunday. The concert will feature Vivaldi's Gloria and other holiday favorites. Both performances are open to the public. Admission is free.

-Today, 7 p.m., Fleming Auditorium, Gulf Park Campus, Long Beach

-Sunday, 2 p.m., Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral, Biloxi

To schedule coverage contact Jenny Tate at 228.865.4574 or jenny.tateFREEMississippi.

Did You Know?

The University of Southern Mississippi has earned Gold status as a Military Friendly® School for 2018 by Victory Media, Inc., one of only 10 research institutions in the U.S. to receive that distinction. 

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites in central and southern Mississippi, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 76 public universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Foundation's "higher research activity" designation for doctoral universities, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and sport venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 40 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of approximately 15,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 35 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 21 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit