The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park campus was abuzz Wednesday, not only with the sound of landscaping machinery but with the enthusiasm of nearly 40 Motorola executives helping beautify the coastal campus.
Selected by the nonprofit organization Hands On Mississippi and global communications corporation Motorola, the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus in Long Beach was the recipient of volunteer services provided by Motorola executives in honor of the Motorola Global Day of Volunteerism.
“Our team of volunteers wanted to come to Mississippi to contribute to the continued efforts following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” said Debora Courtright of Chicago, vice president of the commercial and government sector at Motorola. “Additionally,this has been a good match with Motorola because of our efforts to support education and, being here at Southern Miss, we’ve been paired with a great institution.”
The executives participated in various projects throughout the campus. These projects included outdoor furniture construction, bayou beautification and various landscaping tasks. The volunteers also participated in presentations about local wildlife habitats and how the coast has been affected by Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
“We really appreciate everything Motorola and Hands On Mississippi has done,” said Dr. Tom Lansford, academic dean for Southern Miss Gulf Coast. “Everyone involved was enthusiastic about the project and each person worked hard to achieve the goal of beautifying our campus.”
In addition to the volunteer services provided by Motorola, Courtright announced a $10,000 donation to Hands On Mississippi. Catherine Gautier, executive director of Hands On Mississippi, said the donation will help their organization continue to develop programs and expand partnerships with groups such as Southern Miss Gulf Coast.
“This gift from Motorola will help keep our organization going as we help others,” said Gautier. “I’m also happy to see all of today’s volunteers learning about Southern Miss and the Mississippi Gulf Coast while they are here. The group is learning firsthand about the experiences we all endured following Hurricane Katrina and it’s just heartwarming to have it all come together on this campus.”
Motorola has more than 6,500 employees around the world in more than 37 countries providing volunteer services to their local communities for the global event. The volunteers at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus are part of the Masters Organization within Motorola. The executives were flown in by Motorola from throughout the U.S. to participate in the one-day service project at the campus.
For more information about Southern Miss Gulf Coast, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast.