OXFORD, Miss. – U.S. Navy Capt. John McGrath, commander of the country’s newest nuclear-powered submarine, visits Oxford on Monday (Feb. 20) to promote the ship’s commissioning ceremony this summer and to promote science, technology, engineering and math education in local secondary schools and at the University of Mississippi.
McGrath is commander of the Virginia Class Attack Submarine SSN-782, which is to be commissioned June 2 at a Pascagoula shipyard as the USS Mississippi.
He plans to meet with Oxford, Lafayette County and university officials to discuss the technologies aboard the USS Mississippi and encourage area STEM education efforts. The visit is being coordinated by the UM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, with support and assistance from the Ole Miss Navy ROTC program and the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation.
“The Oxford-Lafayette County EDF looks forward to joining with the University of Mississippi in promoting STEM education for all our students,” said Max Hipp, president and CEO of the EDF and Chamber of Commerce. “Promoting excellence in these academic areas will certainly enable our students to secure careers in these new technology arenas that will yield a lifetime of benefits.”
McGrath’s itinerary includes visits with UM students and NROTC cadets, as well as meetings with leaders from several UM departments in the areas of science, math and engineering to learn more about their programs. He also plans to visit the university’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence and the National Center for Physical Acoustics.
His visit will conclude with a reception at the Inn At Ole Miss for students, faculty, federal, state and local officials, representatives from local industries, Oxford and Lafayette County school boards and superintendents, and members of the local business community. McGrath will present a presentation on the USS Mississippi, its nuclear technology and the Navy’s interest in promoting STEM education throughout the state.