New Southern Miss Student Center Named in Honor of Thad Cochran

A $34 million expansion of a student life complex at Southern Miss has been dedicated in honor of a Mississippi senator who's been a long-time friend of that university.

The 270,000 square-foot facility is now officially known as the Thad Cochran Center.

It was dedicated at a ceremony on campus this afternoon.

It houses new dining facilities, a grand ballroom and a new Barnes and Nobles store.

Senator Cochran has supported many programs at U.S.M. and was instrumental in securing funding for the school's nationally-renowned Polymer Science Institute.

"Well, I feel very flattered, I'm deeply honored and deeply grateful for the recognition that the officials here have extended to me, and I'll try to live up to a future filled with additional problem-solving and working together with the people of this area of our state to move our state forward," Senator Cochran said.

It took 14 years to plan and another three years to build the new Thad Cochran Center.