Alumni and graduating seniors gathered at the Ogletree house for the Grads and Crawdads event on April 28.
More than 350 grads and seniors registered for the event that lasted from 3-5 p.m. The Alumni Association partnered with Barnes & Noble at Southern Miss, The Eagle Club, Career Services, Aramark, USM Foundation, Office of Student Activities, Residence Life and the Honors College to organize the event.
Southern Prohibition and Coca-Cola provided drinks, Southern Miss Crawfish Co. provided crawfish and Newk’s donated food for those who do not like crawfish.
Manager of Programs for the Southern Miss Alumni Association Baylee Long said this was the second year the event has taken place.
“It’s just a way that we can invite students to come and welcome them into the alumni family,” Long said. “We want them to feel appreciated, and we want them to know that even when they are not here anymore, they can come back and get any kind of help that they need.”
Barnes & Noble Manager Kathy Hayman said the bookstore was glad to pitch in and partner with the Alumni Association.
“We wanted to show these graduates that we appreciate their business throughout their years at USM,” Hayman said. “That’s just our way of saying thank you. Anytime that you can connect with students and connect with them for life, that’s what this is all about. This is not the end of their journey at Southern Miss — that’s why it fits with alumni and the bookstore — we want them to stay connected for life.”
Along with food and drinks, live music and a photo booth were available for students. Registration for the event was free to graduating seniors and alumni.