Mother and daughter receive diplomas at Southern Miss

Beth Biagini always imagined that she would watch her youngest daughter graduate from college. But the mother of four never dreamed that she would be wearing a cap and gown on the same day herself.

On Friday, May 10 Beth Biagini and her daughter, Cally Biagini, strolled across the stage at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Reed Green Coliseum to receive their diplomas during the Spring 2013 Commencement ceremony.

“I think I am definitely more excited than she is,” said Beth. “When I enrolled in the Teacher Assistant Program, I realized Cally would be graduating approximately three years later. The idea of graduating with Cally has kept me on track during some very difficult times.” […]


Former USM professor dead at 69

– In the past two weeks, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has suffered great losses. The tornado that ripped through the front of the campus on Feb. 10 uprooted trees, destroyed buildings and altered many lives.

“But our beloved University has incurred an equally devastating loss with the passing of Dr. Gene Wiggins,” said Van Arnold, of USM Office of Communications.

Wiggins, who was director of the USM’s School of Communication for 20 years, died Thursday, Feb. 21, at his home in Hattiesburg.

Wiggins was 69. […]


Mississippi university could get first black chief

More than 50 years ago, the University of Southern Mississippi rejected a chance to admit a black man and end segregation in the state’s higher education system. Today, the school is likely to become the first of Mississippi’s historically white public universities to be led by a black man.

College Board officials said this month that they want Dr. Rodney Bennett, the University of Georgia’s vice president of student affairs, to become the next president of 16,000-student USM.

Bennett was chosen from among three finalists by the board that oversees all eight public universities. Assuming campus interviews go well, Bennett will likely be named to the post Thursday, Feb. 7. […]