On Monday, March 30, the Founder’s Day Ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium in celebration of the 105th anniversary of The University of Southern Mississippi’s legislative founding.
The ceremony will include events such as the Student Government Association Inauguration, faculty and staff recognitions and various student awards. The event is open and free to the Southern Miss community and will be live streamed via usm.edu/live.
Following the initial ceremony, the Founder’s Day reception will take place at 4 p.m. on the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building’s north lawn.
According to BayLee Long, the Southern Miss Alumni Association’s manager of programs, the Alumni Association spearheads the ceremony’s logistics in collaboration with the Founder’s Day committee.
“These logistics include the planning and implementation of the Founder’s Day ceremony, reception, awards and other related events on the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses, as well as the teaching sites at Stennis and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory,” Long said.
The coinciding Greek Alumni Founder’s Day Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in R.C. Cook Union Room B. The Office of Greek Life, Eagle Dining and the Southern Miss Alumni Association are sponsoring the luncheon. This event will be open to USM alumni and chapter leadership from the USM Greek Community.
A Founder’s Day ceremony will also take place at the USM Gulf Park campus in Hardy Hall Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the same day. In addition, a reception will also be held following the Gulf Park campus ceremony.
Jamie Jelinski, an interior design major, is one of 50 students to make this year’s Who’s Who list, and each student will receive recognition during the ceremony. Jelinski stressed the importance of the ceremony by noting that it is a celebration of USM as a whole.
“By recognizing individuals, we really are showing the potential that anyone can reach,” Jelinski said. “I hope that students will see the people getting recognized and be inspired to go make a difference in their own way, to leave Southern Miss better than they found it.”
Student Government Association President Jeffrey George said the ceremony is a way to reflect upon and honor students and staff who have worked tirelessly to make USM what it is today.
“During Founder’s Day, many students and faculty members are honored for their dedication to our noble institution, and I think it shows a great respect for our university when other students attend,” George said.
George also gave his personal thoughts on the event.
“Founder’s Day, to me, is one of my favorite days of the year at Southern Miss. This incredible university has given me so much in my short three years here, and I believe that Founder’s Day is a way for me to say thank you to our university.”
George at last encouraged students to attend the ceremony at 3 p.m. or the reception at 4 p.m. and that if students could not attend, they could show their appreciation by posting what USM means to them on social media.