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Foundation gives $4M to USM for new dormitory

HATTIESBURG — A private foundation is giving $4 million to the University of Southern Mississippi for a new dormitory.

The university announced that it is receiving the gift from the Luckyday Foundation, a group established by Jackson banker Frank Day before he died in 1999.

The $4 million will be used to build Luckyday Citizenship Hall, which will be part of a student housing complex on the north side of the USM campus in Hattiesburg.

Plans call for demolition of Vann Hall, Scott Hall and the east wing of Bond Hall to make room for the new dorm. Those plans require approval from the state College Board.

The university says a timeline has not been set for construction of the dorm.

Day, an Aberdeen native, was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Trustmark National Bank. While he was still living, he anonymously provided college scholarships for students from Jackson’s Bailey Magnet School.

The Luckyday Foundation Citizenship Scholars Program at USM now provides $4,000-a-year scholarships to 100 freshmen interested in community service. Each scholarship can be renewed for up to four years.

The university says that including the latest donation, the Luckyday Foundation has made gifts or commitments of $20 million to USM during the past decade.

USM President Martha Saunders said in a news release that the $4-million gift would improve student housing.

“The continuing investment of the university’s most generous contributors in our Citizenship Scholars initiative has created a student success program that has been nationally lauded, brings distinction to Southern Miss, and most importantly has benefited our students profoundly,” Saunders said.

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