HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Southern Miss officials are about to get a special gift which could inspire students for decades to come. Workers are preparing an area next to the All-American Rose Garden on the Hattiesburg campus for a 22-foot tall, bronze golden eagle statue.
It's a donation from Texas businessman and Southern Miss graduate Chuck Scianna.
In a few weeks, the statue will be placed on an 8-foot concrete base and in October, it will be officially dedicated.
Sidewalks are also being constructed around the base as part of a new phase of campus beautification and restoration which began after the Feb. 10 tornado.
"We've also tailored our pathways, we have seating areas at the end of the rose garden, which give the best view of that eagle against Southern Hall," said Loren Erickson, superintendent of campus landscape for Southern Miss. "It's going to have to be craned in and everyone will know when it's here," he said.
A smaller version of the statue will be placed at USM Gulf Park.
Scianna has also given $6 million to the university to construct a new building for the College of Business.