Southern Miss receives check for $366,100
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 01:10
On Wednesday afternoon, University of Southern Mississippi Interim President Aubrey K. Lucas stood in the conference room of the Administration Building on campus and accepted a check for more than a quarter of a million dollars from Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
The $366,100 donated will be used to support the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory at the USM Gulf Park campus in Biloxi.
“We are fortunate to have a distinguished scientist, Dr. Eric Powell, as the new director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, and he will put these funds to exceedingly good use,” Lucas said after being presented with the check. “Dr. Powell has great experience, and I know that this money will come in handy. It will certainly be a good boost.”
“We’re really pleased to bring this to the University of Southern Mississippi,” Hosemann said. “They are a leader on the coast in the education community down there, and this is just part of that. We hope it will defer some of the costs of keeping the coast campus viable like they do now.”
The funds come from a settlement agreement reached in 2002 by USM, the City of Biloxi and the State of Mississippi for a piece of property located at Point Cadet in Biloxi. In 2005, when a USM research facility at Point Cadet was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, the decision was made not to rebuild on the property. As part of that settlement agreement, USM will annually receive one-third of the rent money from that property.
Hosemann said Isle of Capri Casino is currently renting the property, and the amount of money USM receives each year is determined by a percentage based on the casino’s revenue for that year.
“Our colleges and universities are struggling in these lean budget times to educate our children and stay on the cutting edge of higher education,” Hosemann said. “These funds will support the university’s educational and research mission on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
“The Gulf Coast is a unique and absolutely wonderful institution,” Lucas said. “We just can’t wait until the next check comes.”