(Note: Related photos can be found at right in "Additional Photos" section)
The Southern Miss Alumni Association has worked to preserve the great traditions of The University of Southern Mississippi, with perhaps the greatest tradition being the Southern Miss family whose generations have donned the black and gold.
Established in 2003, and named in honor of former Alumni Association executive director Bob Pierce in 2008, the Robert D. Pierce, II Legacy Scholarship helps perpetuate Southern Miss legacies by providing financial assistance to children and grandchildren of active Alumni Association members. Recipients are chosen by the Alumni Association’s Scholarship Committee based on the criteria of academic excellence, community service and high school involvement. Candidates must be the children or grandchildren of an alumnus or alumnae who is a Life Member of the Association or has been an active member of the organization for 10 or more consecutive years.
Proceeds from the Shell Finish Line Alumni Homecoming Golf Tournament are used to fund the one-time, $1,000 scholarships. This year’s tournament will be held Oct. 8 at the Hattiesburg Country Club. For more information, call 601.266.5013. To date, the Alumni Association has awarded more than $35,000 to more than 30 incoming freshmen.
The members of the 2010 Class of Robert D. Pierce, II Legacy Scholars are Alexandra Slay Bradley, Virginia Claire Caldwell, Chelsea Regina Cruce, Lauren Lang Ishee, Kelly Elizabeth Lott, Meredith Gray Lucas and Amanda Joy Waddle.
Alexandra Slay Bradley, a graduate of Presbyterian Christian High School, plans to major in nursing. She was a member of the tennis and basketball teams, the Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America, which she served as vice president, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was also a member of the Hands and Feet Club, an organization that collects school supplies for children in Iraq. Alexandra is a member of the First Baptist Church of Hattiesburg and is the daughter of Life Members Kim and Erin Bradley.
Virginia Claire Caldwell, a graduate of Gulfport High School, plans to major in kinesiology. She was the president of Key Club, a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. Caldwell was also a varsity cheerleader and organized several community service projects to raise money for local and international charities. She is a member of First United Methodist Church and is the daughter of Brian and Kellee Caldwell, who have been members of the Alumni Association for 22 years.
Chelsea Regina Cruce, a graduate of Mill Creek High School in Brazelton, Ga., plans to major in nursing. She was a member of the varsity softball team and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was the recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award and earned an academic letter at Mill Creek High School. Cruce also participated in Relay for Life, the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome patients and collected school supplies for needy children. She is a member of First Baptist Church and is the granddaughter of Life Member Tom Potter.
Lauren Lang Ishee, a graduate of Gulfport High School, plans to major in marine science. She was a member of the marching band, Key Club and the National Honor Society. She was also a member of the debate team and Youth Legislature, as well as a page for the Mississippi House of Representatives. Lauren has volunteered with several community organizations including the American Heart Association, Salvation Army and the Children’s Shelter. Ishee is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, is the daughter of Life Members David and Linda Ishee and granddaughter of the late Elmo Lang and Life Member Vivian Duckworth Lang.
Kelly Elizabeth Lott, a graduate of Purvis High School, plans to major in psychology and minor in music. She was a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Club and the Purvis High School Band. Lott’s community service includes volunteer work with the Angel Food Ministry, Christian Services in Hattiesburg and the Juniorette Club of Purvis. She is a member of Midway Baptist Church and is the daughter of Kenneth and Elizabeth Lott, who have been members of the Alumni Association for 34 years.
Meredith Gray Lucas, a graduate of Oak Grove High School, plans to major in science and math. She was a member of the Beta Club, Key Club, National Honor Society, and soccer, golf and tennis teams. She has served as camp counselor for the Strong River Camp and organized a blood drive for Senior Exhibition Achievement. Lucas is a member of Oak Grove United Methodist Church. She is the daughter of Life Members Alan and Melinda Lucas, and the granddaughter of Life Members Aubrey and Ella Lucas.
Amanda Joy Waddle, a graduate of Hattiesburg High School, plans to major in speech pathology. She was a member of the Beta Club, the National Forensics League, the Thespian Society, speech team, the debate team, tennis team and the Hattiesburg High School Advisory Council. Her community service includes volunteer work with the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. She is a member of Parkway Heights United Methodist Church and is the daughter of Life Members Benny and Pam Waddle.