USM gets $1M from unnamed donor for tornado restoration

HATTIESBURG — The University of Southern Mississippi has received a $1 million gift to help restore the Hattiesburg campus damaged by a Feb. 10 tornado.

USM President Rodney Bennett says in a news release Monday that the check was received this past week. He said the donor did not want his name released.

The tornado not only heavily damaged a number of buildings on campus but also destroyed 75 trees, including a number of decades-old oaks that welcomed visitors at the main entrance to campus.

In April, the USM Foundation announced a $3 million Campus Beautification Campaign.

On May 8, the foundation encouraged supporters to participate in a “Day of Giving” as part of the campaign. In all, 374 gifts were given from 37 states, totaling $130,234 in a 24-hour period.

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