May 27, 2019  

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Fresh Food’s Gloria Peterson to serve as Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal

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Gloria Peterson, center, an associate with Eagle Dining and the Fresh Food Company at USM, has been chosen Grand Marshal for the university's homecoming parade.

A favorite among students, faculty, staff, and visitors on The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Hattiesburg campus will help the school’s homecoming parade ‘percolate’ down Hardy Street to its destination.

Gloria Peterson, an associate with Aramark’s Eagle Dining and Fresh Food Company, has been chosen to serve as grand marshal of this year’s homecoming parade, which is set to roll beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 east down Hardy Street from the Midtown Shopping Center to the main entrance of campus.

Famous for her “How are you percolating today?” greeting as hungry patrons line up for meals at the “Fresh,” Peterson, a longtime employee at the University, was overcome with emotion when informed she was the popular choice among Student Government Association (SGA) leaders to be the star of the parade.

“Oh, my gosh, this means so much to me. It’s more than an honor,” Peterson said. “I cry whenever I think about it. I love our students and the university.”

A native of Philadelphia, Miss., Peterson was among 200 of Aramark’s outstanding team members chosen last year from around the world for the company’s 2017 Ring of Stars class. She has worked in food services at USM for 26 years.

“When it came time for the SGA to select a Grand Marshal for this year's Homecoming Parade, we chose Miss Gloria without any debate or objection,” said SGA President McKenna Stone. “She’s like the mom of our student body - she knows how to put a smile on our faces and deliver a sense of peace, even on the most stressful of days.

“Our Golden Eagle family would not be the same without Miss Gloria, and we’re honored to have her represent USM in this capacity.”

Along with Peterson, the homecoming parade will feature the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band, Dixie Darlings, the homecoming court, and representative of various student groups, along with local businesses and other organizations. For more information about the parade, and to sign up to participate, visit