USM's 'Katrina Class' graduates

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast held its graduation ceremony Saturday. Hundreds of students celebrated their achievement in the morning ceremony at the Coast Colisuem.

The class is being called the "Katrina Class" since most of the students began their programs just one week before Katrina slammed into South Mississippi.

Major General Paul Capasso, a Southern Miss Alum, was the commencement speaker. The University also presented it's 5th honorary doctorate to former Ingalls Shipyard president Jerry St. Pe.

"What a privaledge to have my name associated with the University of Southern Mississippi, an institution who's values and vision and quality of education has enriched the lives of generations of people," Pe said.

USM President Martha Saunders said Pe is very deserving of the honorary doctorate.

"We give it to people who embody the kinds of citizenship that we want our students to model, and he is a wonderful, wonderful model for all of our students with all that he has done professionally but also for the community," Saunders said.

More than 250 students earned their degrees this spring from the University of Southern Mississippi.

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