May 25, 2019  

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George to Fellow Graduates: Take “Active Role” in Success of Society

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Jeffrey George

Jeffrey George has something significant in common with the University of Southern Mississippi’s spring 2016 graduates – he’s one of them. George, a senior political science major from Covington, La. served as commencement speaker for USM’s commencement exercises May 13 at Reed Green Coliseum on its Hattiesburg campus.

Southern Miss alumna Hannah Roberts, the reigning Miss Mississippi and runner-up for the Miss America crown, will address Southern Miss Gulf Coast graduates in a commencement ceremony May 14 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

George served two terms as president of the university’s Student Government Association. He is a member of the Southern Miss Student Hall of Fame and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and plans to pursue a master’s degree in economic development from USM after graduation.

In his address, George told graduates that the university’s strong faculty, diversity and array of learning and leadership opportunities gives them and the students that follow the tools needed to make a positive impact in their careers and communities.

“We’re equipped to succeed because Southern Miss has prepared us,” George said, while also urging his fellow graduates to take “an active role in the overall success of our society.”

One of his fellow graduates, Jordan Nettles of Wesson, Miss., earned her degree in English along with minors in public relations and French. A National Merit Presidential Scholar and Honors College student at USM, she will go on to attend the prestigious Columbia Publishing Program at Columbia University.  

Nettles said Southern Miss has always been an important place for her, as both of her parents attended USM. Her decision to follow in their footsteps was inspired by what she described as “the genuine care of its faculty, staff, and students that I’ve met,” and counted professors Martina Sciolino and Cindy Blackwell among those who encouraged her as she pursued her academic and career goals.

“Being a student has made Southern Miss feel even more like home, and I know it will always hold a very special place in my heart,” she said, and praised George for his address to the graduates. “He truly loves this university, and I enjoyed hearing his positive comments today.”