USM prepares to inaugurate Joe Paul as 11th university president

USM preparing for inauguration ceremony
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 10:07 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi is gearing up for the inauguration of its 11th president, Joseph S. Paul.

Paul, who’s been leading USM for about 14 months, will take part in an official inauguration ceremony, or investiture, at 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Bennett Auditorium.

A community celebration will follow at USM’s Spirit Park.

Another community celebration is scheduled for a day earlier, Oct. 4, at USM’s Gulf Park campus.

“This inauguration is not so much about me, as it is an opportunity for us to reflect upon our treasured past at Southern Miss and to focus on a real golden future,” Paul said Wednesday. ““(I’m) proud to be the 11th president of the university, the fifth alumnus to assume the presidency.

“(The inauguration), it just kind of marks time for us, as we think about the past and look toward to the future.”

Learn more about inauguration week activities by going to

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