HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - The final Centennial class of Southern Miss graduated Friday, ending their years of study and at the same time beginning a new chapter in their lives.
Southern Miss congratulated over a thousand candidates for graduation during two ceremonies today at the university's Reed Green Coliseum.
The graduates were inspired by commencement speaker Mary Libby Payne. She is the grand daughter of Southern Miss's first President from 1912 to 1928, Joseph Anderson Cook. Additionally, Payne had an accomplished legal career in Mississippi.
She said all graduates face struggles in life whether it's the present downturn in the economy or the difficulties she experienced as a young women entering the legal profession.
According to Payne, "They just need to know that God has a plan for their lives and it may not be as they anticipate, but God does not leave anybody in the lurch."
In total, about one thousand, two hundred students received their degrees Friday.