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News New buildings honor alumni’s legacy

New buildings honor alumni’s legacy

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Construction of Century Park South has been taking place adjacent from the parking garage and across from Century Park North.  The new residence halls are planned to be completed by the 2014 fall semester. Mary Sergeant / Printz
Construction of Century Park South has been taking place adjacent from the parking garage and across from Century Park North. The new residence halls are planned to be completed by the 2014 fall semester.
Mary Sergeant / Printz

A $55.6 million development will honor outstanding figures of Southern Miss’ past.

The University of Southern Mississippi received approval last week from the State College Board to name three new dormitories and a student health center that makes up Century Park South after university benefactors.

Five-story Building B of the 954-bed development will be named Luckyday Citizenship Hall in honor of former Trustmark National Bank CEO Frank Day. The building will provide approximately 173 beds for freshmen Luckyday Scholars as well as house Luckyday offices.

Day, a native of Aberdeen, Miss., began the scholarship program by anonymously providing scholarships for eight Bailey Magnet School students prior to his death in 1999. Day wanted deserving high school students with little chance for higher education to receive the opportunity to attend universities such as Southern Miss.

USM continued the scholarship in his name, targeting its annual awards at Mississippi high school students who are outstanding citizens with exemplary community involvement.

The Luckyday Citizenship Program donated approximately $4 million toward the construction of Century Park South in November 2011.

Part of the construction included the demolition of aged residential halls, Scott Hall and Vann Hall, in early 2013.

According to Associated Press, the new buildings take the names after the ones they replaced: Vann Hall, named after former football coach Thad “Pie” Vann and Scott Hall, named after T.P. Scott, a Brookhaven school superintendent who was instrumental in the university’s founding as Mississippi Normal College in 1910.

The two original buildings stood respectively from 1967 and 1959 until their demolition in 2013.

Vann helped transform the Golden Eagles into one of the nation’s elite programs. Under Vann’s direction, Southern Miss saw only one losing season in 1968 after 19 consecutive winning seasons.

According to a historical account of Southern Miss by Chester Morgan, Scott believed public education should be “practical, professional and democratic, and (he, along with his colleagues) designed Mississippi Normal College accordingly.”

The new student health facility takes the name of Moffitt Health Center in honor of Dr. Virginia Moffitt Crawford, director of student health services at Southern Miss for more than 20 years, as well as her parents and brother, all of whom are deceased physicians.

Crawford also serves as a director for the USM Foundation, a non-profit organization that gathers funding and resources from alumni and friends for the benefit of the university.

The development currently approaches its completion date, set July 2014. According to Residence Life, some modern conveniences available to residents of Century Park South include miniature kitchens, larger social areas and study rooms. It will offer housing beginning in the fall 2014 semester.

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