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Imagine a single drop of paint on a page. Although bold, vibrant and distinct, without the application of more water, paint or brush strokes, it will remain the same. Its reach beyond the painter’s touch is narrow. A student’s story begins much like that drop of paint. The resources available to them influence the level of achievement they can reach when added to their natural gifts and self-motivation. The investment of faculty in their education, support of scholarships and encouragement of the academic community have the power to set their personal and academic success in motion. When a donor invests in a student, the unimaginable happens. Like an eraser to a page, barriers are removed, giving the loftiest ideas and dreams wings. Goals that once seemed just out of reach begin to feel achievable. No longer bound by obstacles, their potential is limitless.


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The impact of philanthropy flows like paint on a page, as a donor’s passion for Southern Miss spills into the desire to give, which impacts a student exponentially. The donors’ and students’ stories blend to become more powerful than they were individually, and their collective energy propels both the giver and the receiver to new heights. Donor support enables students, faculty and programs to defy expectations and exceed standards. Students and faculty become empowered to think and dream outside the norm, gaining the freedom to pursue their passions without holding back. Students travel beyond the borders they were once bound to or thought they could not cross. Research discoveries are brought to light and given the momentum needed to impact others globally. These achievements are possible because alumni and friends believed and invested in Southern Miss this year.

Those who were once limited in means, but never in talent, capability or work ethic, grew into masterpieces through philanthropy. You made that possible. Your selfless giving allowed Golden Eagles to reach their full potential. Your generosity played a crucial role in allowing the creativity, brilliance, hard work and talent of Southern Miss students and faculty to shine this year. Whether you contributed through the annual fund, endowed a scholarship, enhanced a learning environment or supported a program meaningful to you, your support made a difference at Southern Miss. Within these pages are stories of all that is being accomplished because of private giving. Each one celebrates a different hue on the painter’s palette. Each one is exquisitely stunning in its own way.

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My wife, Temple, and I recently committed $100,000 to fund a scholarship supporting students who choose The University of Southern Mississippi. Like so many of you, we are dedicated to helping our students excel as they work to achieve their dreams. Your generosity enables our students to shape their future into a vibrant masterpiece, rich with opportunity. Your support is critical in enhancing academic programs and professorships, funding student success initiatives, and providing resources to meet financial needs. Thank you for another year of investing in our future leaders. I look forward to continuing our partnership, together, as we advance our University. - Rodney D. Bennett


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Let me begin with my sincerest thanks for your support of our beloved University. The impact of your giving is great and something to be celebrated! As the USM Foundation board president, my eyes have been opened wider to all the good happening at Southern Miss. Our students are excelling, our alumni are succeeding and giving back in many ways, and our Foundation and the endowment are fiscally sound. The Foundation leadership continues their commitment to financial stewardship by making meaningful decisions to raise permanent, self-sustaining funding to create stability, flexibility and opportunity for many generations of Golden Eagles to come. I came to Southern Miss in 1974 and completed my undergraduate degree in 1977. I have some wonderful stories about my time living at Elam Arms. So many of my classmates ultimately became my friends, and we have created great memories over the years; I see them as my family. When I moved back to Hattiesburg after my first career position, I returned to Southern Miss and completed my MBA in 1989. I attribute a lot of my success to my experiences at Southern Miss. That is my Southern Miss story – I am certain you have one you hold dear, too. This Impact Report is a snapshot of the stories of our students, faculty and staff, other alumni and friends. You will see the impact of philanthropy masterfully sketched to illustrate the spirit of generosity at Southern Miss. In fiscal year 2017, that generosity changed the stories – and the lives – of more than 1,600 students through $3.9 million in scholarships and an additional $5 million in other University support. Hopefully these students will one day make the choice to give back to their alma mater, allowing the culture of philanthropy at Southern Miss to evolve, as one gift inspires another. As you read this report, I hope it brings your Southern Miss story to mind, and I hope you will tell it proudly – advocating for Southern Miss like only you can. Thank you for your commitment and generosity to Southern Miss. Southern Miss to the Top!

Gary Carmichael President of the Board of Directors The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation 2 0 1 7 U S M F O U N D AT I O N I M PA C T R E P O R T


Executive Committee Gary Carmichael President

Jim Warren

Vice President

Stace Mercier

Secretary and Executive Director of the USM Foundation

Cheryl Johnson

Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair

Duane Lock


Omar Nelson

Policy and Bylaws Committee Chair

Chris Inman

Investment Committee Chair

Kristy Gould

Resource Development Committee Chair

Shane Loper

Immediate Past President


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Front Row (Left to Right): Julie Breazeale, Bill McLeod, Joy Lightsey, Deborah Gambrell-Chambers, Haley Broom, Lynwood Wheeler and Alvis A. Wright, II. Second Row: Rosemary Aultman, Duane Lock, Julie Lennon, Gary Carmichael, Kristy Gould, Bill Ward, Gene Gouaux and Chuck Scianna. Back Row: Benny Hubbard, Robert Donnell, Kelsey Rushing, Cheryl Johnson, Omar Nelson, Shane Loper, Stephen Carmody and Doc Holliday. Not Pictured: Louie Ehrlich, Kevin Gilbert, Chris Inman, Ricky Mathews, Sandra McDaniel, Jana McDonnell, Robin Robinson and Jim Warren.

Ex-Officio Rodney D. Bennett

Tracy Powell

Jerry DeFatta

Chad Driskell

Leigh Breal

Jon Gilbert

Johnny Atherton

Gordon Cannon

President of the University

Vice President for External Affairs President of the USM Research Foundation

President of the Southern Miss Alumni Association

President of the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation

Executive Director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association

Director of Athletics and Executive Director of the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation

Vice President for Research and Executive Director of the USM Research Foundation

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The ocean’s roar is music to her soul, and the salty breeze draws her into the deep blue world. Below the waves, she meets creatures she has longed to lay eyes on: dolphins, whales, seals and sea otters. Her desire to explore marine life is insatiable.

Although the G.I. Bill helped lessen the financial burden school placed on the Nash family, it did not eliminate it. Some of the classes required for her degree were not covered, leaving their single-income family strained to make up the difference.

Since early childhood, Jessica Nash has yearned to discover everything there is to know about the sea and the mammals who inhabit it. Although the opportunity to chase her dream was delayed, her interest in marine mammals and researching them remained steadfast. After supporting her husband’s service in the U.S. Navy and moving their family of four from state to state for nearly 20 years, the pieces finally fell into place for Nash to pursue her passion and her degree.

“Finding a way to afford school out of pocket seemed impossible without incurring student loan debt. That’s why I was so grateful when someone else’s generosity made a way for me to pursue my degree,” Nash said. “Scholarship support has allowed me to better focus on my coursework because my anxiety about paying for my classes has been taken away.”

Following her husband’s relocation to the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss., circumstances were right for Nash to pursue her lifelong ambition of working to rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals. Going back to school was the first step, and Southern Miss’ coastal operations presented the ideal learning environment. As a national leader in marine research, USM offers more than 800 courses at the Gulf Park campus and other teaching and research sites along the Gulf Coast, many of which directly relate to Nash’s educational interests in marine biology and psychology. Adding the duties of being a full-time student to her responsibilities as a full-time mom and military wife was challenging, but with the support of her family, Nash felt ready to begin her studies.


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Through the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families Development Fund, Nash was awarded a scholarship for military members and their families stationed at the Gulfport Naval Construction Battalion Center. This scholarship is one of many the Center has been able to establish through partnering with the USM Foundation to increase philanthropic support. Last year, nearly $27,000 was raised to support scholarships, the Textbooks for Troops program and personal and professional development programs. “Being a full-time student, parent and military spouse is difficult. Receiving this scholarship made it possible for me to attend school without missing out when it comes to my family.” With financial barriers removed, Nash began classes at the only beachfront campus in the state of Mississippi, Southern Miss’ Gulf Park campus. The unique course offerings and research settings available provide

opportunities for hands-on learning and equip her with a strong foundation for her future career. “My ultimate career goal is to be involved in the rehabilitation and transition of marine mammals from human care back into their natural environments. Furthering my understanding and education regarding the biological and behavioral backgrounds of animals, humans and our environment will lay the groundwork.” Beyond majoring in marine biology, Nash is also working on a minor in psychology, allowing her to participate in the Comparative Cognition and Communication Laboratory through the Department of Psychology. By completing research on the behavioral and cognitive abilities of animals, her scientific understanding has increased as she works alongside animals to observe the choices they make and why. Research ranges from the study of bottlenose dolphins to working with canines at the Humane Society of South Mississippi. “Having a strong background in both biology and psychology will provide me with great assurance in myself and my abilities through concentrated instruction, study and research at USM. I am confident that Southern Miss will provide me with the best education to succeed in both of these fields and allow me to achieve my goals.” In addition to her studies, Nash also volunteers at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, a non-profit organization created for public education, conservation and research of marine mammals. This experience is helping expand her interests and education as she assists in the care of bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions and a melon-headed whale currently undergoing rehabilitation. “Growing up watching movies like ‘Free Willy,’ I was captivated by the idea of working with marine mammals. Because of the generous support of donors, I’m finally being given the opportunity to accomplish my lifelong goal at Southern Miss.”

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Two dollars and eighty-eight cents is enough to buy a cup of coffee or a Coca-Cola. It will buy a song on iTunes or rent a movie from Redbox. It is even an acceptable lunchtime tip.

throughout the community who assist us in keeping the pantry’s shelves stocked, it takes a massive effort to keep us up and running. That’s why I was so excited the day I heard about Eagle Fever.”

For many, $2.88 is not a large sum of money; however, it is the average meal cost in Mississippi. Although this amount may seem negligible, one in five Mississippians cannot afford it. Beginning at Southern Miss, the Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry is seeking to change this startling statistic.

Eagle Fever – Southern Miss Crowdfunding is an online fundraising platform that provides members of the Southern Miss community with an avenue to raise support for specific campus needs and projects by utilizing the power of social media, peer-to-peer relationships and collective giving. Utilizing this crowdfunding platform provided by the USM Foundation, the School of Social Work was able to raise awareness and funding for the pantry.

Launched in fall 2016 by the Student Association of Social Workers (SASW), the Eagle’s Nest provides resources and support for Southern Miss faculty, staff and students who face challenges accessing everyday necessities. Located in the basement of The Hub on the Hattiesburg campus, the Eagle’s Nest provides food and other goods at no cost. Since opening, the pantry has received more than 5,000 visits from members of the Southern Miss family. A team of volunteers made up of community partners, faculty and students keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. Torri Zuniga-Brown-Janicke, a master’s student in the School of Social Work, proudly serves as an integral member of this team. “From international students to staff members, we serve a variety of people at the Eagle’s Nest. While some struggle to afford food, others need help securing a meal due to their lack of transportation,” Janicke said. “We want the Southern Miss community to know no matter the cause, you are welcome here.” Although initial offerings included mostly canned fruits and vegetables, the pantry recently expanded its services to provide often overlooked goods, such as baby items, school supplies, hygiene products and spices. The Eagle’s Nest is also addressing the holistic wellness of its visitors by encouraging healthy meal choices. Throughout the pantry’s shelves, staff have included recipes and instructions for preparing foods to show that eating healthy can be easy and delicious. “It takes a village to get a higher education, and no one should ever have to choose between earning a degree or having a meal,” Janicke said. “Although we are fortunate to have many generous partners across campus and

“With the growing popularity of online crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, Eagle Fever is allowing the Foundation to help raise funds for campus causes like never before,” Kelly Ellis, manager of annual giving for the USM Foundation, said. “Using this form of grassroots fundraising, we are seeing the impact of philanthropy multiplied at USM.” The Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry initiative is one of several Eagle Fever projects managed by the USM Foundation and run by academic departments, student groups and other members of the University community in need of support. By visiting, one can support an array of initiatives. Previous projects include everything from textbooks for student-veterans to suits for business students. Last year, nearly $36,000 was raised through the platform. On the shirts of volunteers at the Eagle’s Nest, a quote from Mother Teresa reads, “If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Over the course of the 30-day campaign, $1,806 was raised through Eagle Fever to support the food pantry. Based on the state’s average meal cost, that equates to 600 more meals for members of the Southern Miss community in need. “Regardless of the amount, each gift, combined with the gifts of others, can simply change the life of a Southern Miss student. Donors through Eagle Fever are helping make this possible,” Ellis said. “That’s the beauty of socially driven philanthropy – everyone’s gift matters!”

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The typical sounds of a basketball game fill the gym. The quick, repetitive bounces of the ball being dribbled down the court reverberate while murmurs echo of players heckling the shooter. An effortless swoosh as the ball glides through the net causes the crowd to erupt. The only thing missing is the recognizable squeak of sneakers on the polished floor. That sound is replaced by the clanging of metal and the whirring of wheels. In the midst of this competition at the Southern Miss Payne Center is Sylvester Crosby. If you are quick enough to catch a glimpse of his bracelet during the action, you will find the words, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” This mantra not only defines Crosby’s attitude toward life’s challenges, it also defines his approach to his role at Southern Miss. After a severe ankle injury left him unable to play stand-up sports, Crosby thought his days on the court were over. Little did he know, with practice and determination, wheelchair sports could fill his longing for competition in the sports he loved. Amid one of the greatest trials of his life, Crosby found hope, which transpired into his role as the community service and adaptive sports specialist for the Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) at USM. “I have played sports all my life, but my accident took that away in the blink of an eye. I was discouraged by the thought that I could never be active again. That’s when wheelchair sports changed my whole outlook and attitude,” Crosby said. “Although it took a lot of hard work to build my strength and endurance back up, it opened a door I never knew was there.” In an effort to expand opportunities for students with disabilities, IDS implemented an adaptive sports program designed to promote socialization, wellness and better overall quality of life. With support from the Southern


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Miss Fund Grant Program through the USM Foundation, IDS received funding to carry out these initiatives with the launch of Project SOAR (Sports Opportunities for Adaptive Recreation). Annual gifts made through the Southern Miss Fund directly support the student experience by funding programs like Project SOAR and many others throughout the year. The first priority for Project SOAR was to raise awareness and promote participation in a wheelchair basketball team on campus as a complement to IDS’ existing community-based Golden Eagles Wheelchair Basketball Team, a Division III member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). “After seeing the positive impact the community-based team had on the quality of life of its members, we wanted to offer this on campus,” Dr. Rebekah Young, interim director for the Institute for Disability Studies, said. “This team provides an outlet for recreation and a place to develop relationships, enabling students to thrive personally, which often improves their academic success, too. Being healthier and more social increases selfesteem, impacting all aspects of a student’s life.” On the eve of launching the University’s team in January 2018, funding from the Southern Miss Fund Grant allowed IDS to host wheelchair basketball exhibition games to increase visibility and boost recruitment. This live demonstration of the sport gave students a chance to test out the chairs and allowed IDS staff to attract a variety of players, including “classified members.” These athletes can receive classification from the NWBA based on limitations that prevent them from playing stand-up basketball, although they are not necessarily confined to wheelchairs outside of the game.

“Just because you’re in a wheelchair or have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t play sports. With that being said, just because you aren’t bound to a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t play adaptive sports,” Crosby said. “We invite all students to be a part of our team because involvement has benefits for everyone. As the team becomes a family, we deepen our ability to empathize with others, which builds awareness, understanding and respect.” Supplemental funds provided by the Southern Miss Fund Grant allow for the purchase of sports wheelchairs and associated maintenance supplies, payment of membership dues to the National Wheelchair Basketball Association and limited travel for team members. The Southern Miss Fund Grant Program is a reality solely because of the generosity of annual donors. As a result of their giving, the USM Foundation is able to annually offer grants to fund projects that directly impact students and/or support emergent needs at the University. Ten promising projects came to life in 2017 through grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. From supporting the retention of women in STEM programs to enabling the Department of Psychology to put on a mental health awareness seminar, more than $76,000 was awarded last year. Donors to the Southern Miss Fund are providing hope for Golden Eagles with disabilities, reinvigorating their passion for all life has to offer.

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Sir Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” As each new year brings new academically gifted Golden Eagles, it is not solely their talents and determination that allow them to learn and explore further. Southern Miss students also benefit from the advancements of influential thinkers, like Newton, before their time. Today’s young scholars are able to experience more than ever before thanks to “giants” like Wright Wilson “Bill” Cross. A 1951 graduate of the Southern Miss Department of Mathematics, Cross used his education and entrepreneurial spirit to form and manage three successful companies: Corrosion Test Supplies, Corrosion Materials and Wright Engineering Inc. With a vision for the future of mathematics education at USM, he and his wife Annie established one of the University’s first math scholarships in 1994, followed by a planned gift, the proceeds of which totaled nearly $3 million and funded one of the University’s first endowed chairs. Over 20 years after their initial gift, their generosity continues to benefit the Department of Mathematics. The Wright W. and Annie Rea Cross Endowed Chair in Mathematics and Undergraduate Research provides funding for a distinguished chair in mathematics, scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in mathematics, and research support for the chair and scholars, including travel, supplies and equipment. Dr. Zhifu Xie was selected as the first Cross Chair. With a master’s degree in mathematics from Chongqing University, a doctorate in mathematics from Brigham Young University and a successful record of engaging undergraduates in meaningful research at Virginia State University, Dr. Xie was the ideal candidate to direct and nurture the department’s undergraduate research program. As the Cross Chair, he is responsible for recruiting Cross Scholars, attracting faculty colleagues to assist with undergraduate research, directing undergraduate projects and actively publicizing the program and student accomplishments. “The most exciting part of working at a university is working closely with students and watching their progress through internships and individual research


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projects,” Dr. Xie said. “Although research is traditionally associated with graduate study, I strongly encourage undergraduate participation in original research because it exposes them to applying mathematics to solve realworld problems. It can make a huge impact on their lives as they realize all mathematics has to offer.” The Crosses’ contributions have transformed the educational experiences mathematics majors gain at Southern Miss. Instead of sticking to routine calculations and the typical assignments required for graduation, students are being challenged to analyze complex theories and solve elaborate equations through research projects, leading to findings worthy of publication in the nation’s top mathematics journals and selection for presentations at the largest mathematics conference in the world. With support from the Cross Chair Endowment and guidance from Dr. Xie, the summer 2017 Cross Scholars claim these achievements as mere undergrads. Over the course of the seven-week summer semester, these students worked full-time researching topics in applied mathematics. One group dove into determining whether it is possible to create a central configuration by placing appropriate celestial particles in certain positions, which may help to understand the structure of Saturn’s rings and the beautifully diverse orbits of celestial bodies in general. This application of classical mechanics to celestial bodies requires an advanced understanding of mathematics and the reality that undergraduate students are participating in this type of sophisticated research is incredible. For Hamas Tahir, a sophomore from Lahore, Pakistan, this was his first experience completing research of such high caliber. Through mathematical computing and the use of programming language, he gained many crossdisciplinary skills that will benefit him as a double major in mathematics and computer science. “Conducting research as a Cross Scholar has been one of the best experiences of my life. It has challenged me in a number of ways, the most important of which being my ability to think outside the box,” Tahir said. “Using differential equations and Newton’s laws of motion, I was pushed to experiment with and calculate lengthy equations to address complex variables. This allowed me to apply classroom knowledge to proposing a theorem and proving it with substantial reasoning. I learned how to make use of logical mathematics in a practical way, rather than just solving problems in my textbooks.” Although advanced research projects offered to Cross Scholars prove challenging, their hard work is rewarded as their findings are celebrated in

journals and at conferences. Any apprehension they previously held about research is replaced with confidence with each day’s new findings. “I am very thankful for the Crosses because their support makes our research and studies possible. As an international student, it is difficult and sometimes distressing to meet all of life’s demands with limited finances. Scholarship support and research funding has allowed me to concentrate on my education and motivates me to continue working hard to achieve my dreams,” Tahir said. Opportunities made available through the Wright W. and Annie Rea Cross Endowed Chair in Mathematics and Undergraduate Research are helping students become aware of the world full of possibilities they never imagined before. “Although students often have plans in mind for what they will do with their degrees, it is fun to watch those dispositions change as they experience research in this capacity. Their eyes are opened to exciting new opportunities. Now they dream of attending graduate school or one day earning a Ph.D.,” Dr. Xie said. Following completion of his degree in May 2020, Tahir plans to attend graduate school to further his education in quantum computing, a field that requires knowledge of mathematics and physics to propose new algorithms for software. “To achieve success, we must give our full effort to the things we love most, and for me, that means science and mathematics. Being a Cross Scholar has inspired me to pursue a master’s degree and explore quantum computing,” Tahir said. “The research we completed addresses one of the greatest problems of the 21st century, and many renowned mathematicians and physicists have devoted their entire lives to solving Newton’s N-body problem. Knowing that our discoveries are valuable and important for the greater good of our society brings me pride in being a Golden Eagle.” Students like Tahir are excelling not only by their talents alone, but because they are elevated by the support of “giants” who walked the hallowed halls of Southern Miss years before. “We are beyond grateful for the generosity and foresight of Bill and Annie Cross, for their support of undergraduate research has planted a seed like none other. As this seed grows, it will help students reach their full potential,” Dr. Xie said. “I am excited to be a part of that process.”

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“NBC News at this Hour, I’m Chuck Scarborough…” After serving four years in the United States Air Force and beginning his television broadcasting career at WLOX in Biloxi, Miss., Charles “Chuck” Scarborough realized he lacked the comprehensive education and training needed to succeed in the field. After earning a two-year degree, he came to The University of Southern Mississippi in the summer of 1968 and, with the help of the dean of students, laid out a plan for completing his bachelor’s degree in one year. Although it was an ambitious plan, requiring 21 hours a semester while working full-time as a reporter, Scarborough’s determination to be a broadcast journalist carried him through. After a full morning of classes each day, he would rush over to the local news station, WDAM, to apply what he was learning in the classroom as a reporter and anchor. This total immersion proved to be a critical year in his life, as Southern Miss allowed Scarborough to build a firm foundation for the career that would take him to New York City within five years of graduation. Over the course of his illustrious television career, Scarborough worked for WLOX-TV in Biloxi, WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, WAGA-TV in Atlanta and WNAC-TV in Boston. In 1974, he found his home in New York City at WNBC, where he has set the standard for broadcasting excellence for 43 years. Attesting to that excellence are his 36 Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award and the Washington Review of Journalism’s Best in the Business award.


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Southern Miss taught Scarborough the basics of good, solid, honest journalism. He learned about sourcing, attribution, the importance of impartiality and fairness, writing for the ear and credibility, the most important asset any broadcast journalist can have. “Since I’ve been in broadcast journalism, the world has never been in more need of the basic values of journalism than it is today. Institutions like Southern Miss, who teach the fundamentals of good reporting and the merits of the pursuit of truth without agenda, are extremely important,” Scarborough said. “In an information flow unparalleled in the history of mankind, much of it agenda-driven, much of it unreliable, much of it – in the grand scheme of things – irrelevant, we need to focus more than ever on what Southern Miss does.” Exemplifying the culture of philanthropy that is so deeply rooted at Southern Miss, Scarborough’s path brought him full circle to enrich the lives of students. With great success working in television news from Hattiesburg to New York City, Scarborough desired to make a gift to the institution that gave so much to him in his early years. To help current and future broadcasting students receive hands-on experience while earning their degrees, he made a generous gift in support of the program that resulted in upgrades to technology specific to broadcast journalism. In recognition, the television studio in College Hall now bears the name “Charles Bishop Scarborough III Television Studio Suite.”

“As an aspiring newscaster from Jackson, Miss., I never thought I would have access to a television studio suite until after landing my first job," said Danielle’ Willis, senior broadcasting major. "The generosity Mr. Scarborough has shown provides Southern Miss students with the ability to practice and perform their talents well before graduation.” Broadcasting majors like Willis utilize the Charles Bishop Scarborough III Television Studio Suite multiple times a week to produce newscasts that are uploaded to YouTube. Golden Eagles are introduced to being in front of the camera, and also behind it, as they produce shows using multiple cameras, high-quality microphones and production lights. This studio allows students to utilize equipment similar to what is being used in local newsrooms. Without Scarborough’s philanthropic support, students would lack skillsets needed for their first reporting, producing or anchoring position, leaving them at a disadvantage in the job market. Thankfully, they now have the resources at their fingertips to gain confidence, feel comfortable and be prepared for careers in broadcasting or news production. “Our school is one of only 108 accredited programs in the country, and it’s something of which we are extremely proud. In the four accrediting cycles we’ve undergone during my time here, reviewers praise our strong faculty and how well we prepare journalists for their careers in broadcasting and news, but there is always a ‘but.’ Since 1991, every accrediting report has identified our biggest need as modernizing equipment,” said Dr. Dave Davies, director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. “Chuck’s incredible gift allows our equipment to match our quality faculty and curriculum. It amounts to a huge step forward for our broadcasting program and our ability to educate the journalists of tomorrow exceptionally well. For that, we cannot thank him enough.” Gifts like Scarborough’s allow Southern Miss to take a proactive approach to educating students in a way that equals their limitless potential. With this kind of support, who knows which students will become the next Emmy Award-winning Golden Eagles.

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S-OU-THERN - Southern Mississippi - USM! Southern Miss… to the Top! It is nearly impossible to attend a sporting event at The University of Southern Mississippi without hearing this cheer. The University’s motto represents a common sentiment among the Southern Miss faithful: a desire for the best for all Golden Eagles, whether in the classroom, on the playing field or in the community. To celebrate the philanthropy of every donor to the University, the USM Foundation updated membership standards for the Honor Club beginning January 1, 2017, incorporating donations to both the USM Foundation and the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation, so that all would be recognized in the society that celebrates the philanthropy of the University’s most generous benefactors. Established in 1985, the Honor Club is a diverse group of alumni, friends, corporate partners, foundations and others with a common bond of leading by example and inspiring others to support Southern Miss. This distinguished group has made a profound impact at the University. In 2017, the Foundation welcomed 377 new members into the Honor Club and celebrated the ascension of 318 members to new levels within the society, many due to generous athletic giving. Among the new members is Clay Peacock, a 1993 graduate in computing science and an avid supporter of Southern Miss Athletics. Peacock has exhibited a consistent spirit of giving across the University, from gifts to the Eagle Club to the Joe Paul Student Leaders Scholarship


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Endowment. As a past scholarship recipient, he understands the need to support students in their academic endeavors because donor support made a significant difference for him. “My philosophy has always been to give back to repay the financial support I received and more. As an alum, I realized many upperclassmen who are heavily involved on campus lack assistance. That was the catalyst for me to create a scholarship that will be funded through a life insurance policy,” Peacock said. “With the additional support, I hope those students will be able to remain focused on their studies as they continue to make Southern Miss an even better place through their campus involvement and leadership.” His desire to help highly-engaged students comes from first-hand knowledge of the importance of the skills he gained from being involved as a student. The abilities and friendships he fostered through involvement with the Honors College, Student Union Board, Student Government Association Senate and Sigma Nu Fraternity have allowed him to experience a fulfilling life and successful career. Although he lives in Atlanta now, distance does not keep him from cheering on the Golden Eagles. As a football season ticket holder and suite co-owner, Peacock spends Saturdays at The Rock and, when possible, travels to away games with his Sigma Nu Fraternity brothers, just as they did when they were students.

personal goals is to visit every football stadium in our conference, I also try to catch at least one basketball game and one baseball game each year. We have a great time tailgating with friends, cheering on our Golden Eagles and visiting campus to reminisce and explore what’s new.” Peacock and his tailgating group can be faithfully found every home football game day beneath the stately oaks between Bennett Auditorium and the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building. Having returned to the same spot for years now, they welcome fans, young and old, to join the celebration at their familiar place. This extended family he has gained through involvement with the Southern Miss Alumni Association, Eagle Club, Sigma Nu alumni and the USM Foundation helps him remain connected to the Southern Miss community and give back to the campus causes he is passionate about. “In my career, I have worked alongside graduates of Ivy League schools, as well as M.I.T., and I would put my education up against any of theirs,” Peacock said. “It’s important to me that today’s and tomorrow’s Golden Eagles can confidently say the same about their Southern Miss degrees. Through continuing to give back, we as alumni and friends can help the University continue achieving the best in academics and athletics.”

“I’m happy to support all student-athletes who choose to wear the black and gold, regardless of the sport,” Peacock said. “Although one of my

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Walking through the hallways of Asbury Hall brought back a flood of memories for Rita Scianna, from her first day of nursing classes at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, to the many patients she assisted during her career. “When we toured the new College of Nursing building, I was amazed! I’m sure my jaw dropped in awe as I went from one area to another,” Scianna said. “It is so state-of-the-art that I felt as though I was in a real hospital. The students certainly have an excellent, real-world learning facility!” Through getting married and becoming a mother, Scianna put her education on hold to enjoy the precious moments her growing family brought. As her two daughters started elementary school, her drive to obtain a college degree returned. Scianna’s natural desire to help others guided her into health care. After earning her associate degree in 1993, she became an Oncology Certified Nurse and worked in the field for 15 years. Although Scianna has not walked the floor of a hospital in years, memories of nursing school and her early years on the job flashed through her mind walking through the simulation areas in Asbury Hall. She could not help remembering the degraded mannequins she learned on during her schooling. “When I was in nursing school, the rubber mannequins had been practiced on so many times that they were covered in puncture holes from needles. The wear and tear made it practically impossible to replicate a real scenario, so once I was on the job, I found it much more difficult to get the hang of things,” Scianna said. “Setting an IV for the first few times was scary. I thought – ‘Where are the holes?’” Those memories, along with a conversation with the former dean of the College of Nursing, Dr. Katherine Nugent, at the building’s dedication,


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compelled her and her husband, Chuck, to invest in the next generation of Southern Miss nursing students by providing cutting-edge simulation mannequins. The Sciannas’ passion for serving others, love of Southern Miss and desire for the College of Nursing to continue reaching new levels of excellence motivated the couple on the spot. Through a substantial contribution designated for the purchase of mannequins for the clinical simulation laboratory in Asbury Hall, the Sciannas are helping the next class of nurses become highly prepared and qualified upon graduation. The Sciannas’ gift allowed the college to purchase an advanced SynDaver mannequin, which has synthetic tissues to mimic the mechanical, thermal and physicochemical properties of human tissue, and is one of the world’s most sophisticated and anatomically correct simulation cadavers. Thanks to this technology, students can become familiar with the look and feel of the human body without specialized facilities, risk of exposure to biohazards or compromising the health of a live patient. From clinical training to surgical simulation, the SynDaver provides Golden Eagles with the most advanced educational experience offered. “Learning occurs differently for each student, and the ability to see and physically touch the structures in their natural color within the body helps students retain knowledge better,” said Dr. Nina McLain, director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program. “The SynDaver allows us to utilize hands-on and visual learning methodologies throughout our curriculum. Beyond just anatomy and physiology courses, we are using the mannequin to teach pathophysiology, regional anesthesia, advanced principles and seminars.” After voting on student and faculty submissions, the simulation cadaver was given the name Anastasia Kate – “Anastasia,” because of its similarity to the word anesthesia, and “Kate,” in honor of Dr. Katherine Nugent. This full-sized, head-to-toe anatomical model is the most realistic synthetic representation of human anatomy ever produced. Measuring 165 centimeters in length, with a mass of nearly 100 pounds, Anastasia

Kate replicates an adult female body. She possesses all major skeletal, muscular and cartilaginous structures, as well as the major nervous system and vascular components. Anastasia Kate is an ideal alternative to human cadavers because her synthetic tissues are a better representation of live tissue than the dead tissue of a cadaver, and unlike a human cadaver, the SynDaver will last virtually forever with proper maintenance.

“Although Anastasia Kate is our first mannequin of this caliber, the Sciannas have made it possible for us to extend innovative instruction with mannequins to other programs in the college. We are excited about implementing models for bedside nursing demonstration into our curriculum in the near future and cannot thank Rita and Chuck enough for their generosity,” Dr. McLain said.

“In traditional human cadavers, formaldehyde causes parts of the body to turn grayish tones. This discoloration makes it more difficult to distinguish nerves, tendons, arteries and veins, as well as bones and ligaments,” Dr. McLain said. “Strangely, the artificial cadaver is more realistic than a real human one because no discoloration occurs.” Curriculum in the Nurse Anesthesia Program has recently been revised to incorporate the SynDaver into multiple classes throughout the three-year program, tying didactic learning and clinical correlation together. “Many students easily learn the concepts and clinical anesthesia; however, the hardest part to teach is the correlation of knowledge to interpretation in the clinical setting. Anastasia Kate will move us ahead significantly in this area,” said Dr. McLain. The Southern Miss College of Nursing is the first college to acquire an advanced simulation SynDaver mannequin, setting the University apart from other nursing programs in the state and region. “Having ‘her’ on site and accessible in the simulation laboratory for students to use during open lab hours is to their advantage in every way,” Dr. McLain said. “Her clear acrylic tank allows students to easily pull up a stool, glove up and walk through the anatomy for the area they are studying or answer questions asked by professors.” With several of the college’s current mannequins in need of replacement, remaining funds will secure four new mid-fidelity mannequins, which will enhance the family of mannequins and students’ simulation experiences as they learn nursing fundamentals.

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Despite their yellowed tint and creases from folds made years ago, memories stirred each time this stack of letters was brought out. Although the paper revealed their age, the letters from students were like new every time Alfred Breeland opened the old folder tucked away for safekeeping. Each note offered the deepest gratitude of scholarship recipients throughout the decades. Their words of appreciation reminded Breeland of his time at Southern Miss and warmed his heart knowing his giving made an impact far greater than imagined. In 1949, Alfred Breeland and Doris Russum began their studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. Both interested in accounting, they completed Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees before getting married and embarking on careers in the Texas oil industry. After more than 30 years in Houston, Alfred retired from Chevron Corporation and Doris from ExxonMobil Corporation. With a desire to support their alma mater and the bright young scholars studying there, the Breelands established the Alfred A. and Doris R. Breeland Scholarship for upperclass business students, with preference given to accounting majors. Eager to increase the size of their endowment using all means available to them, the Breelands made annual gifts, secured corporate matching gifts through the Chevron Humankind Matching Gift Program and the Exxon USA Foundation, and utilized the maximum IRA charitable distribution available.


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Well over 200 students have received much-needed support because of the Breelands’ generosity. Over the 35 years since the fund was established, the total scholarship dollars awarded to students has surpassed the original gifts invested in the fund by nearly $100,000.

“The Alfred A. and Doris R. Breeland Scholarship is a great example of the perpetual support created through an endowed scholarship. We cannot even imagine how many more lives their giving will touch over the next 35 years,” said Mercier.

“The lasting impact an endowment makes is incredible, not only for the students being supported, but also for the donors whose return on their investment lends great joy and satisfaction,” said Stace Mercier, executive director of the USM Foundation.

Alfred lost Doris in 1994, but was later able to open his heart again when he met Renae. Alfred and Renae enjoyed 20 years together in Biloxi, Miss., and they too chose to support USM through philanthropy.

Just as Alfred and Doris loved Southern Miss in their lifetimes, that same passion will live on in perpetuity through their endowment. With the cost of education on the rise, endowments of this nature ease the financial burden and enhance the student experience by providing more scholarship dollars and support for programs. Endowments are vital to the future of the University, as they provide permanent, self-sustaining sources of funding, which create stability and opportunity for generations to come. Whether created though outright gifts of cash or planned gifts through an estate, endowments create a strong financial foundation for Southern Miss, making the University less dependent on the ever-changing nature of state appropriations, grants and other revenue sources.

“Alfred loved reading thank you notes from his scholarship recipients. He kept every single one in a folder more than two inches thick. Southern Miss and its wonderful students were very dear to Alfred's heart,” Renae said. The legacy that Doris, Alfred and now Renae created lives on at Southern Miss. Their commitment to helping others through the gift of education has made a profound impact in the College of Business and the lives of hundreds of students. Even knowing his time left in life was limited due to illness, one of Alfred’s last wishes was to further grow their scholarship endowment. In his honor, Renae continues to bolster the fund, allowing his passion and generosity to endure in perpetuity.

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As you can see, the impact of philanthropy is significant at Southern Miss. Your generosity allowed the lives of Golden Eagles to be transformed through the gift of education this year! Please detach this piece of artwork to the right as a keepsake and reminder of the difference you made.

The watercolor illustrations throughout the report were created by Megan McCormick, a graphic designer on the Creative Services team in The University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of University Communications. A Southern Miss alumna from Ocean Springs, Miss., she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from the Department of Art and Design in 2015.


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THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI FOUNDATION HONOR CLUB CELEBRATES THE PHILANTHROPY OF THE UNIVERSITY’S MOST GENEROUS BENEFACTORS. This distinguished group of alumni and friends has made a profound impact at Southern Miss by making significant financial gifts to the area of the University most meaningful to them. Honor Club membership is achieved when a donor reaches $25,000 or more in cumulative giving to Southern Miss through either the USM Foundation or the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation. Corporate or organizational membership is achieved at a minimum giving level of $125,000.



M c C A R T Y L E G A C Y,


In 1995, Oseola McCarty forever changed USM with the announcement of a planned gift of $150,000 to the institution. As a washerwoman who lived frugally, this gift represented the majority of her life savings.



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NAMED IN HONOR OF PRESIDENT EMERITUS AUBREY K. LUCAS, The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation’s Aubrey K. Lucas Society recognizes alumni, parents and friends of Southern Miss who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the University through three or more consecutive years of giving to the USM Foundation.



408 households WELCOMED THIS YEAR.

DRAFT 3/9/18 10:59 AM 696522_17_TheUniversityofSouthernMississippiFoundation_FS Without Notes(1).xlsx

AS OF JUNE 30, 2017 AND 2016




Cash and cash equivalents Accrued earnings Prepaid assets and other receivables Pledges receivable, net Investments Amounts due from externally managed trusts Net investment in direct financing lease Property and equipment, net


3,122,635 134,539 421,452 4,950,614 107,101,292 5,102,951 284,307 27,155

1,085,377 129,284 1,002,168 8,224,516 96,668,501 4,883,516 479,945 38,183

Total assets





438,862 263,831 33,489

371,992 286,181 —



6,348,577 37,181,815 76,878,371

6,024,035 33,689,732 72,139,550





Liabilities and Net Assets Liabilities: Accounts payable Gift annuities payable Life estate payable Total liabilities Net assets: Unrestricted Temporarily restricted Permanently restricted Total net assets Total liabilities and net assets


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DRAFT 3/9/18 11:00 AM 696522_17_TheUniversityofSouthernMississippiFoundation_FS Without Notes(1).xlsx


Unrestricted Revenues, gains and other support: Contributions Net investment gain (loss) Change in value of split interest agreements Other


Total revenues, gains and other support


Changes in restrictions: Change in restriction by donors Net assets released from restrictions Total changes in restrictions Expenses: Program services: Contributions and support for The University of Southern Mississippi Supporting services: General and administrative Fundraising Total supporting services Total expenses Change in net assets Net assets at beginning of year Net assets at end of year


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1,966,283 1,611,191 — 34,948


Temporarily restricted 3,098,705 8,874,527 (1,709) 39,506 12,011,029

Permanently restricted


5,104,139 111,610 (620,114) 84

10,169,127 10,597,328 (621,823) 74,538



(10,603) 8,386,447

(132,499) (8,386,447)

143,102 —

— —






1,625,659 1,240,225

— —

— —

1,625,659 1,240,225


















DRAFT 3/9/18 11:00 AM 696522_17_TheUniversityofSouthernMississippiFoundation_FS Without Notes(1).xlsx

Unrestricted Revenues, gains and other support: Contributions Net investment gain (loss) Change in value of split interest agreements Other


Total revenues, gains and other support Changes in restrictions: Change in restriction by donors Net assets released from restrictions Total changes in restrictions Expenses: Program services: Contributions and support for The University of Southern Mississippi Supporting services: General and administrative Fundraising Total supporting services Total expenses Change in net assets

Net assets at end of year


Permanently restricted


2,100,023 1,470,364 — 38,084

2,997,493 (1,901,597) (992) 30,516

7,312,426 33,138 87,922 2,878

12,409,942 (398,095) 86,930 71,478





10,022 9,039,310

(1,118,630) (9,039,310)

1,108,608 —

— —






1,557,489 863,209

— —

— —

1,557,489 863,209








Net assets at beginning of year

Temporarily restricted










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DRAFT 3/9/18 11:01 AM 696522_17_TheUniversityofSouthernMississippiFoundation_FS Without Notes(1).xlsx

FOR THE YE ARS ENDED JUNE 30, 2017 AND 2016 2017 Cash flows from operating activities: Change in net assets Adjustments to reconcile change in net assets to net cash used in operating activities: Depreciation Gain on disposal of property and equipment Fair value of donated assets Realized and unrealized (gains) losses on investments, net Receipts of permanently restricted contributions Permanently restricted dividends and interest Change in amounts due from externally managed trusts Change in gift annuities and pooled income fund Change in life estate payable Present value adjustments to annuities Transfer of property to the University Changes in operating assets and liabilities: Accrued earnings Prepaid assets and other receivables Pledges receivable, net Accounts payable


31,302 (2,400) — 2,220,923 (3,068,592) (73,231) (4,066,436) 17,534 — 71,304 25,000

(5,255) 580,716 3,273,902 66,870

(12,605) (757,799) 3,827,525 (386,803)



— (10,012,788) 8,558,597 195,638

2,400 (20,318,335) 19,211,040 154,910



4,668,279 9,513 — (48,334)

3,068,592 73,231 (38,650) (51,803)

Net cash provided by financing activities



Net increase in cash and cash equivalents







Cash flows from investing activities: Proceeds from sale of property and equipment Purchases of investments Proceeds from sales and maturities of investments Principal payments received under direct financing lease Net cash used in investing activities Cash flows from financing activities: Receipts of permanently restricted contributions Permanently restricted dividends and interest Change in investments subject to annuity agreements Annuity payments

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year Cash and cash equivalents at end of year

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11,028 — (41,305) (8,904,311) (4,668,279) (9,513) (219,435) (32,984) 33,489 25,984 —

Net cash used in operating activities





Academic Divisions


Faculty and Staff Support



Financial Aid Libraries Operation and Maintenance of Plant


Other Restricted Purposes Unrestricted

G R O W T H O F T H E M A R K E T VA L U E O F T H E E N D O W M E N T FY17 FY14









N U M B E R O F F U L LY F U N D E D E N D O W M E N T S - 1 6 . 5 P E R C E N T I N C R E A S E S I N C E 2 0 1 2 ( BY C A L E N DA R Y E A R )









The USM Foundation administers a variety of scholarships for eligible students through the Golden Opportunities Scholarship Application and Competitive Programs System. Students can easily search, review requirements, apply and accept awards for available scholarship opportunities.








MORE THAN visitors have gone to the platform since its launch.



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Profile for The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation

2017 USM Foundation Impact Report  

2017 USM Foundation Impact Report