Southern Miss dedicates environmental center - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Southern Miss dedicates environmental center

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)- On Tuesday, Southern Miss officials dedicated a nature preserve that was named in honor of a longtime English professor at the university.

The Lake Thoreau Environmental Center at the Eubanks Preserve was named after the late Leon Eubanks. He taught at Southern Miss for 22 years and loved the outdoors. In 1999, his estate conveyed about 131 acres of land in a region located between Forrest and Lamar counties to Southern Miss.

That piece of property, including Lake Thoreau, was also located near a parcel already owned by the university, due to an earlier donation from a lumber company over a hundred years ago.

The university renamed the entire property the Eubanks Preserve. Eubanks wanted the land to be used for educational and scientific purposes. Southern Miss's President Emeritus, Aubrey Lucas, knew Leon Eubanks.

According to Lucas, "He did all of this on two teachers salaries, his and his wife's. He really knew how to handle money. But anyhow, he would be happy. I think on reflection he would say, this is really what I wanted done."

Through donations, Southern Miss hopes to eventually build some educational centers on the land. The preserve is located off Lake Thoreau Road, which is off of West Fourth Street.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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