Greeks honor staff member’s daughter

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Reslife staff member Minnie Williams accepts a gift. (Brian Winters)

All three Greek councils on the Southern Miss campus came together to adopt a campus family Monday, Dec. 3.

At the beginning of November, a woman named Jacqueline Davis was killed by her boyfriend. Davis’ mother Minnie Williams works at Southern Miss as a custodian for housing and residence life.

Davis left behind two children who are in the care of her mother. The Greeks reached out to Williams to gather a wishlist of what the children might need.

When the Greek life community heard about Davis’ death, special projects coordinator for student affairs and National Pan-Hellenic coordinator Terri Smith, Ph.D., said Greek life members were looking for a way to show support to one campus family for a community service project. 

“With the holidays coming up, this is the family that kept being mentioned, so we thought it was appropriate,”  Smith said. 

Williams said she was surprised by the project. “I did not know what I was coming to, but they said it was going to be something good. I thank God for everyone who showed up,” Williams said.

Williams said she believes this is an indication of how close the Southern Miss family is to each other. “ I serve them but now they are serving me,” Williams said. “I hate the hardship that caused this, but I give God all the glory.”

Smith said she would like to work on bridging the gap between Greek organizations and the rest of the student body. “You see us on campus. You come to our events, but what more can we do to benefit the university and the campus community?”

Mamie Soluri, a junior speech pathology major and member of Phi Mu, said she thinks this project is an indication of how much of a family Southern Miss is. “I think seeing someone in our community going through such a hard time, we want to come together and support her and be there for her.”

Williams said she has cherished her time at Southern Miss. “I have been here 11 years,” Williams said. “I am a hard worker, and I will always be a part of USM. Southern Miss to the top.”

The project is a two-part series of a community service project. On Nov. 27, the Greeks decorated the Christmas tree in an event called Christmas with the Greeks. Refreshments were served and people could meet the Greek staff and see what was done over the course of the semester.

“We are hoping moving forward this is something we can do every year between all three councils,” Smith said.