Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the Governor's press conference announcing four new Board members to the Institutions of Higher Learning, better known as the College Board.
Four people were appointed- Alan Perry of Jackson, whom I didn't know; C.D. Smith of Meridian, who actually helped coach me in soccer when I was a young lad in Meridian; but most importantly, Christy Pickering of Biloxi, and even more importantly, Dr. Doug Rouse of Hattiesburg.
Dr. Rouse is a Southern Miss alum and a constituent of mine. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have someone of his intellect and passion for Southern Miss on the College Board. In a time where many people have moved out to the western suburbs, Dr. Rouse and his wife have chosen to stay in the city of Hattiesburg and invest their lives there; that kind of commitment says a great deal about their character.
Christy Pickering is also a Southern Miss alum.
To borrow a line from the late legend Powell Ogletree, it is a great day to be a golden eagle. With three Southern Miss alums now on the College Board, Southern Miss can begin to truly say it is receiving a fair shake in matters of higher education. When I was in student government at the University (only five years ago), there was not a single College Board member who had earned his/her undergraduate degree from Southern Miss. Now we have three, and it's something to celebrate as we approach Founder's Day.