On Tuesday, April 15 The University of Southern Mississippi held the Golden Eagle Memorial Service to honor faculty, staff and students who have died during the 2013-14 academic year.
According to a press release, the Golden Eagle Memorial Service is an annual event that was initiated by the Student Government Association in 2003.
The service began with a brief introduction by newly elected SGA President Jeffrey George. He thanked guests for attending before he began explaining the history and significance of the memorial service. “Today, we carry on this tradition as we honor those fallen members of the Southern Miss family,” George said. Before leaving the podium, George led the guests in prayer.
Afterward, Dean of Students Eddie Holloway also spoke about the history of the Golden Eagle Memorial Service. Holloway told guests of the purpose behind the event.
“We thought it appropriate to recognize each year, as a USM tradition, all of those men and women that have contributed to the greatness of this institution,” Holloway said.
After Holloway’s brief speech, Ann Marie Chilcutt, former SGA president, throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, spoke to attendees. Chilcutt discussed what she believes being a part of the Golden Eagle family means. She said as a freshman coming to the university, she could never have known the sense of family she would later have with fellow students.
Chilcutt then introduced performer Olivia Lee as she sang the song “Get There.” After the performance, Rev. Vicky Hughes from Main Street Methodist Church spoke of memories she has of her mother and how her faith in God became stronger after her husband died.
At the end of the service, Associate Dean of Students Wynde Fitts lit the Candle of Life, a candle representing those who were remembered during the service.
Students who were remembered throughout the memorial service were Scott Corey, Thomas Crockett, Rebecca Hulsey, John Kitchens, Victoria Luitweiler and Mary Tims.
Staff and faculty members who were remembered are Susan Siltanen, former dean of the Southern Miss Graduate School program, and Linda Davis, a former employee at the Southern Miss business office.