USM breaks ground on $30 million business school - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

USM breaks ground on $30 million business school

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Today we celebrate the ground breaking of Scianna Hall - the new home to the Southern Miss College of Business.

With hundreds in attendance, the announcement that's been on it's way for years - taking a rickety and sometimes roundabout road - was made.

"It's the culmination of a lot of years of work," said USM President Martha Saunders. "There was a vision and several false starts along the way that were very disappointing to the institutions, once we finally got this ball rolling it didn't stop - so it's very very special."

Governor Phil Bryant - a USM graduate - called the new building a dream for him personally.

"I feel a sense of joy and excitement that is rarely introduced in my life but particularly here today."

Scianna Hall will be named for its chief donor - oil tycoon and Southern Miss grad Charles Scianna who gave a record six million dollars towards the project.

"I'm honored and I'm humbled but that's all we are - we're just a shareholder," said Scianna. "We'd like everybody in the state to see the opportunity because this is such a great investment."

The $30 million building will sit along Highway 49 South - on the campus edge, housing the more than 2,000 students attending the College of Business.

"These children that will go to this great school of business will spread throughout this great nation," said Bryant. "We want to keep as many of them here as we can here, in Mississippi."

The event marked President Martha Saunders' first public appearance since announcing her resignation. She said her job has not changed in the last couple weeks: "It has not slowed down a bit, it has not slowed down a bit."

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