September 20, 2017  

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American Legion Auxiliary’s Magnolia Girls State Returns to Southern Miss for 69th Session

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U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), will return to the USM Hattiesburg campus June 4 to serve as opening assembly keynote speaker for the 69th session of the American Legion Auxiliary Magnolia Girls State. Approximately 280 young women from across the state are delegates to this year's event.

Approximately 280 young women from across the state will make The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus their temporary home June 4-9, as they learn the formula for representative democracy here as delegates to the 69th session of the American Legion Auxiliary Magnolia Girls State.

Girls State is a weeklong program that provides select rising high school seniors hands-on learning opportunities about the inner workings of federal, state and local government through simulated political campaigns, legislative and judicial processes in the fictitious state of “Magnolia.” State and local government officials will also be on hand to discuss with delegates their perspectives on public service and the importance of engagement in civic affairs.

“We’re excited about the outstanding group of young women selected for this year’s American Legion Auxiliary Magnolia Girls State session,” said Girls State Director Angela Kilcrease of Tylertown. “Our program brings together a diverse group of young women from across Mississippi for an intense week of hands-on study of our form of government and good citizenship. It is a proven leadership laboratory."

A tentative schedule of highlights for Girls State includes the following:

Sunday, June 4

*4 p.m. - Delegates arrive on Hattiesburg campus, welcomed by USM President Rodney D. Bennett, followed by opening session guest speaker U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, Thad Cochran Center, Ballrooms I and II.  

Monday, June 5

*10 a.m. - Guest speaker: U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II

Tuesday, June 6

*6:30 p.m. – Political rally featuring campaign speeches by candidates for Girls State offices, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

Wednesday, June 7

*9 a.m. – Girls State delegates vote for candidates running for elected office in the state of ‘Magnolia.’

*10 a.m. - Guest speaker State Sen. Sally Doty, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II

*10:45 a.m. - Steve Guyton, Girls State Public Relations Director and assistant to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II

*3 p.m.  - Guest speaker: State Attorney General Jim Hood, Thad Cochran Center, Ballrooms I and II

*4:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Election results announced, oath of office administered to Girls State executive officers by Chancery Judge Rhea Sheldon, Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms I and II.

Thursday, June 8
*3 p.m. Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran will speak to delegates at 3 p.m., Thad Cochran Center; breakout sessions featuring presentations by variety of local city officials. Top eight elected Girls State officials leave for Jackson earlier Thursday to meet with respective counterpart state officials.

Friday, June 9

*8:30 a.m. - Closing assembly, Bennett Auditorium, with USM Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Amy Miller and Girls State Director Angela Kilcrease presiding; presentation of scholarships.

For more information on Magnolia Girls State, contact Angela Kilcrease at angelakilcrease@bellsouth.net. 601.270.3939. For more information about American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, online visit www.missala.com.