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Adams and Reese Partner Holmes Adams, whose work with the Luckyday Foundation provides opportunities for students to attend The University of Southern Mississippi, served as the commencement speaker at the University’s graduation ceremonies on May 9th at Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg. 

“Be a good friend, a good lover. Work on human relationships. Tend to your soul,” Adams said to the graduates. “At your last setting sun, it is your soul that really matters.”   

He added: “Life is hard, and it does not become simpler with age. The paradox is that can become a source of strength.”

Southern Miss graduated 1,800 students in Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast on May 9th and May 10th.

Adams is chairman of the Luckyday Foundation board of managers. Since 2001, the Luckyday Foundation has provided nearly $27 million in gifts to Southern Miss, making it the university’s most generous benefactor. The foundation has funded more than 1,400 scholarships at the university for Mississippi high school seniors who demonstrate leadership skills, are exemplary students and who are involved in their communities and need financial assistance. In 2011, the Luckyday Foundation also made a $4 million gift commitment to the USM Foundation to be used for the construction of new student housing. Designated as Luckyday Citizenship Hall, the new facility will be one of three buildings included in Century Park South, a residence hall complex that will provide 954 beds for freshmen and other scholarship students.
Adams is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation and is listed in the Best Lawyers (by BL Rankings, LLC) for Trusts and Estates for the United States and Mid-South Super Lawyers (by Thomson Reuters) for Trusts and Estates. Adams also represents public school districts in all facets of their operations, and is past chairman of the Mississippi Law Institute.

A 1975 graduate of Harvard Law School, Adams received a B.A. degree from the University of Mississippi in 1968 and was valedictorian. Between undergraduate school and law school, he served in the U.S. Army with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam and with the First Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas.