President Steven Utroska presided over today’s meeting. Steven provided the invocation and William MacLauchlan led the club in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Steven thanked Hattiesburg Coca-Cola for providing the trailer and the water for our Hub Fest event coming up on March 28. Volunteers are needed to work the event and a sign-up sheet is now available. Shifts are in four-hour increments, however, if you can only work two hours, please still sign up.
He also noted that volunteers are needed for the Meals on Wheels project. Volunteers are needed immediately for the next three weeks. Michael McPhail thanked those who helped with today’s meeting.
Steven then introduced today’s guest speaker, Rotarian Denny Bubrig. Denny joined the Southern Miss community in July 2017 as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. In this role, he works with and provides oversight for Campus Recreation, Student Union Operations, and Conference and Event Services in addition to other divisional responsibilities.
Today’s presentation focused on competitive eSports. Although eSports have been in Europe for several years, Denny notes that it made its United State debut about two years ago. Today it is the most-watched sport in the US next to the Superbowl. ESports is an online gaming sport consisting of teams who interact with each other. Professional ranked eSports are projected to be a $5 billion industry by the end of this fiscal year.
The University of Southern Mississippi has a new eSports program. A total of 220 players qualified for the first scholarship team at USM this fall. In the first two weeks of signing, 160 students enrolled. The program is expected to create new career paths, new industries and new opportunities for students. Denny is in negotiation with other departments at USM to create a degree path for eSports. Course work would include coding, graphic design, eSport coach training, venue development, management, and promotion.
The USM program is the only one in this three-state area. A total of five teams were launched in the fall semester. The program is NACE and TESPA affiliated. Plans are underway to provide a place for arena eSports competition on the campus. When finalized, the venue will host collegiate, high school and open tournaments.
Denny says the program helps USM in external relations, outreach, and student recruitment and retention. His immediate goals are to educate the public about eSports, share the sport’s impact on students and seek sponsorships and partners.
You can learn more about the USM eSports program and follow teams by visiting their Facebook page at
There being no further business to come before the club, Mark thanked today’s speaker and adjourned the meeting with your motto: “Service Above Self.”