The University of Southern Mississippi DuBard School for Language Disorders recognized three members of the community who had a major impact on the school at the 2014 Speakeasy Oct. 3.
The DuBard School faculty decided this year to create a series of accolades known as the DuBard School Annual Awards, reported Catherine Lott in a Southern Miss press release. The awards are meant to honor members of the community who showed outstanding dedication to the DuBard School’s growth and children it educates.
At the Speakeasy earlier this October, three volunteers were recognized. Nancy Speed, assistant director and instructor in the Department of Human Performance and Recreation was given the Dubard School University Friend of the Year award. Speed regularly volunteers at the DuBard School, while also recruiting and scheduling other volunteer efforts.
Members of the Junior Auxiliary of Hattiesburg are involved in multiple charitable projects across the Pine Belt. Junior Auxiliary members received the DuBard School Community Friend of the Year Award for their volunteer efforts at the school over the years.
Connie Keene, president of the Junior Auxiliary accepted the award on behalf of the entire organization. “The award meant a tremendous amount to me personally and to Junior Auxiliary as a whole,” said Connie Keene. “It’s great to give back to a great organization that has given so much to the community.”
One way the Junior Auxiliary members have been involved with the school is through their DuBard Design art projects.
“We want to help kids take time out of their day to create something. Talents emerge that they never knew they had,” Keene said.
Charles Kroen received the third award for his longstanding, faithful service to the school. Kroen visited the school each Wednesday to read to DuBard School children for about seven years, according to Lott. He would read to the children either together as a class or one on one.
Ryan Cone, a sophomore biology major, said he is impressed that the Dubard School recognizes its volunteers.
“It not only rewards people for their good deeds, but it also incentivizes people,” Cone said, noting that the DuBard school is an asset to Hattiesburg. “Especially in a city that is centered around a university, communication is a big deal.”
The DuBard School has been in operation for 52 years and has been served thousands of children over the years who have overcome difficulties with both speech and hearing.
“We love DuBard, and we love the work they do,” Keene said. “We want to help them succeed in any way we can.”