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USM Foundation Breaks Ground for New Home for The Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families

Wed, 11/11/2020 - 14:16pm | By: Megan Burkes

Quinlan-Hammond Hall of HonorTo provide the more than 1,700 military students at The University of Southern Mississippi with a home of their own on the Hattiesburg campus that is commensurate with the honor of which they are so deserving, the USM Foundation announces the groundbreaking of Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor, named after the lead benefactor and USM alumnus Joe Quinlan and the Center’s founding director, Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond.

Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor’s tentative completion date is Fall 2021, when it will house the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, allowing Southern Miss to holistically care for and meet the needs and interests of the military-student community. The facility will be located at the corner of 35th Avenue and Pearl Street on the Hattiesburg Campus.

“We are eager to break ground and begin construction on this remarkable facility,” said Stace Mercier, executive director of the USM Foundation. “Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor will be such a unique part of our campus and community. Many of our alumni and friends, including myself, have strong and dear ties to the military. We are certain, once open, the Hall of Honor will show the University’s strong commitment to our military students.”

Currently housed in a 1,600-square-foot refurbished dwelling on the west side of the Hattiesburg campus, the Center has outgrown its present space. Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor will be a 5,200-square-foot facility with a conference room, study space for small groups or individual work, a lounge and study, as well as other meeting areas and staff office space.

L- R:  Rita Scianna, Chuck Scianna, Suzanne Quinlan, Joe Quinlan, President Bennett, General Hammond, Diane Hammond, Carlos Tolosa, Judy Tolosa, Stace Mercier

L- R: Rita Scianna, Chuck Scianna, Suzanne Quinlan, Joe Quinlan, President Bennett, General Hammond, Diane Hammond, Carlos Tolosa, Judy Tolosa, Stace Mercier  

One hundred ten USM alumni and friends collectively contributed more than $2.8 million for construction. This building project is 100 percent privately-funded. Any funds raised over the construction and furnishing costs will be used to create an endowment to provide support for the Center.

USM is nationally recognized as a top military friendly institution and maintains designation in other prestigious publications. Center staff provide guidance and support as military students move through the admission process, on to graduation and career placement. Student veterans can learn and grow in an environment dedicated to their unique perspectives, successfully attracting military veterans, service members, their dependents and survivors to pursue their academic and professional development interests at USM.

Founded in 1959, the USM Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to serving the University community by overseeing fundraising efforts to raise private support for scholarships and other academic needs at Southern Miss. The Foundation manages donor dollars to provide the most advanced educational opportunities available to students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Southern Miss.

For more information on supporting The University of Southern Mississippi, visit usmfoundation.com.

To support this building initiative, visit usmfoundation.com/veterans.