USM retiree honored with ‘Gloria Peterson Day’ proclamation

Hattiesburg mayor proclaims Friday ‘Gloria Peterson Day’

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - After nearly 30 years of serving others, a much-loved icon at the University of Southern Mississippi is retiring.

On Wednesday, Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker along with faculty, staff and friends surprised Gloria Peterson with a proclamation marking Friday, Nov. 13 as “Gloria Peterson Day."

Peterson worked in the Food Service Department at USM and was well known for her famous greeting, “How are you percolating today?” She often made time to encourage those around her every day as she served them their meals.

The event was meant to show her exactly how much she was truly appreciated and will be missed by her USM family.

“This day, it was awesome,," Peterson said. “I didn’t know nothing about it. It’s just awesome to have the mayor come and shake your hand or to take a picture with you. To actually come and think of me, a line server, that’s what God put me here to do, be a line server. To serve people and to think they thought that much of me, it’s an honor and I appreciate it.”

A favorite of both faculty and staff, Peterson says she’s excited and a little saddened at the prospect of retirement but says she’s looking forward to spending time with her family and working within her church.

Gloria also served as Homecoming Grand Marshal for Southern Miss in 2018.

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