Welcome from University President Rodney D. Bennett


I am delighted to welcome each of you as we begin another great year at The University of Southern Mississippi. Whether you are a new or returning student, I am excited that you have chosen to be a Golden Eagle, and I look forward to the contributions you will make as you write your own Southern Miss story.

I challenge you to continue on your journey here with two things in mind – where you are going and how you are going to get there. As you navigate your path toward graduation, each choice you make will shape future opportunities.

I encourage you to approach your academic, personal, and professional endeavors with your education and career goals in mind and to remember the power of investing in people. Throughout your journey, consider ways to build productive working relationships and maintain connections with classmates, professors, and supervisors.

You have been given an invaluable gift that not all people receive – the ability and means to seek higher education. As a result, I challenge you to maximize your time here – to work hard, to play hard, and to finish strong – so that when you graduate, you can go out into the world and use your education and experience to make our communities better because you were here.

I challenge you to focus on completing your degree in four years and to keep an eye toward the future – think about what you want to do with your life and what you will need to accomplish here in order to move toward that end goal.

The University of Southern Mississippi has much to offer each of you. We have more than 140 undergraduate degree options and more than 200 graduate degree programs. Our students – including each of you – can engage in undergraduate and graduate research that results in real-world solutions to current problems. We have more than 280 student organizations and host an average of 500 events each month. These are only a few examples of what is available to you here.

But I want you to remember something important: you also have much to offer this University. USM is built on the caliber of its people, and you are part of the Golden Eagle family. I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, become engaged in University activities, share your voice with others, and embrace your contributions to our University. You have the power to shape our future, and The University of Southern Mississippi needs for you to do that.

I look forward to hearing about your success as you explore your potential and make your unique journey To The Top!