July 16, 2018  

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Outgoing IHL Trustees Return to Alma Mater as Spring 2018 Commencement Speakers

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Two outgoing members of the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning will serve as speakers during The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Spring 2018 Commencement exercises.

Dr. Douglas W. Rouse Jr., of Hattiesburg, and Christy L. Pickering, of Biloxi – both representatives of the Second (Southern) Supreme Court District – will address graduates during the University’s Commencement ceremonies on May 11 and 12, respectively. Both Rouse and Pickering, who are alumni of USM, have served 10 years on the Board of Trustees and will rotate off the board on May 8.

“I am honored that Trustees Rouse and Pickering have agreed to serve as our Commencement speakers,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “These two individuals have dedicated 10 years of service not only to The University of Southern Mississippi, but also to public higher education across our state, and we appreciate their contributions.”

Commencement ceremonies are set for 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, May 11, in Bernard Reed Green Coliseum on the Hattiesburg campus and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. More than 1,800 students are degree candidates for the spring semester.

Rouse, a partner in Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, P.A. in Hattiesburg, has practiced orthopedics in the city since 1981.

Licensed by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, and the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensures, Rouse is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He has also served as state counselor for the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine; member and past president of the Mississippi Orthopedic Society; past president of the Michael Hoke Society; past president of the Medical Staff at Wesley Medical Center; and delegate for the Mississippi State Medical Association, among others.

He earned a Bachelor of Science from USM, where he is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. He is also a member of the USM Alumni Hall of Fame and the President's Circle of the USM Foundation.

Pickering, a Certified Public Accountant, is the owner of Christy Pickering CPA in Ocean Springs. She has more than 30 years of financial and accounting experience in the fields of auditing and assurance, tax preparation and litigation support, and her work as an expert witness led her to be named as a Special Master in a case in 2014.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She has served as a member of the board for Mississippi Power Company, Hancock Bank and Hancock Holding Company, among others.

Pickering earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from USM. She was a member of the 1991 inaugural class of Leadership Gulf Coast and has received numerous awards for her service to the community, including being named Rotarian of the Year by the Biloxi Rotary Club and Outstanding Community Leader of South Mississippi by the Sun Herald and the Mississippi Business Journal.