HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's First Lady spent Thursday morning touring the tornado-ravaged buildings at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Deborah Bryant first met with new USM President Dr. Rodney Bennett. Then she walked around the Hattiesburg campus to survey the damage.
Although Mrs. Bryant did not attend USM, her husband Governor Phil Bryant is an alumnus, and her two children are also Southern Miss graduates.
The first lady said she was amazed at the aftermath of the disaster. She also expressed optimism about the campus' recovery.
"I think it's unbelievable how quickly they've gotten back in to the routine, I think it is a miracle and a God's grace that it was a holiday on Sunday, and these children, these children, young adults weren't returning to class, so this is a resilient campus," Deborah Bryant said. "It's devastating, but nothing that we cannot overcome, overcome quickly."
After visiting USM, Mrs. Bryant toured Oak Grove High School and several hard hit areas along Hardy Street. She also helped remove debris and volunteered at a church feeding station.