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University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi, known informally as Southern Miss, is a public research university located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It is situated 70 miles north of Gulfport, Mississippi and 105 miles northeast of New Orleans, Louisiana.


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Seymour D"Campus
Black And Gold ��������
Conference USA

College History


The University of Southern Mississippi was founded on March 30, 1910 as Mississippi Normal College, a teacher-training school. The college's first president, Joseph Anderson Cook, presided over the opening session of instruction on September 18, 1912 and oversaw the construction of College Hall (the academic building); Forrest County Hall (men�s and married students� dormitory); Hattiesburg Hall (women�s dormitory); the Industrial Cottage (training laboratory for home management); and the president�s home (now the Ogletree Alumni House). In its first session, Mississippi Normal College had a total enrollment of 876 students. The school underwent more name changes in 1924, to Mississippi State Teachers College, and in 1940, after instruction had expanded beyond teacher training, to Mississippi Southern College. The college's fifth president, State Archivist Dr. William David McCain, was installed in 1955 and worked diligently to expand Mississippi Southern College. He oversaw the construction of 17 new structures on campus and convinced Gov. Ross Barnett to upgrade the school to university status. On February 27, 1962, Barnett signed the bill into law which officially renamed the school as the University of Southern Mississippi. William David McCain McCain's administration also superintended the inclusion of African-American students on campus. At the time the school's mascot was the Southerners and was represented by "General Nat," a Confederate soldier, as a mascot. In a period when pressure was growing nationally to integrate the state�s institutions of higher learning, McCain was well known to vehemently oppose the prospect of having any black students at Mississippi Southern. In recognition of this, in 1964 James Meredith made his attempt to enter Ole Miss rather than Southern, thinking success more likely there. Indeed, when Clyde Kennard, a black Korean War veteran, attempted to enroll at Mississippi Southern in the late 1950s, McCain made major efforts with the state political establishment and local black leaders to prevent it. As a result, Kennard was twice arrested on trumped-up criminal charges and eventually sentenced to seven years in the state prison. Dr. McCain�s direct involvement in this abuse of the justice system is unclear. He was certainly as aware as other intimate members of the state political establishment were as to how fraudulent and bogus the charges were but made no public objection. At the very time McCain was so forcefully seeking to keep Clyde Kennard out of Mississippi Southern, he made a trip to Chicago sponsored by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, where he explained the reality of Mississippi life saying that those blacks who sought to desegregate Southern schools were "imports" from the North. Kennard was, in fact, a native and resident of Hattiesburg. A dying Kennard meeting sister Sara Tarpley on arrival in Chicago after parole in 1963. "We insist that educationally and socially, we maintain a segregated society. ... In all fairness, I admit that we are not encouraging Negro voting," he said. "The Negroes prefer that control of the government remain in the white man's hands." By the fall of 1965 both Ole Miss and Mississippi State University had been integrated � the former violently, the latter peacefully. McCain and USM's other leaders had come to realize that the battle to maintain segregation was lost. Therefore, they made extensive confidential plans for the admission and attendance of their first black students. A faculty guardian and tutor was secretly appointed for each. The same campus police department which six years before had attempted to railroad Kennard to prison when he attempted to enroll, now had very strict orders to prevent or quickly stop any incident involving the two black students. Student athletic, fraternity, and political leaders were recruited to keep the calm and protect the university from such bad publicity as Ole Miss had suffered from its reaction to James Meredith. As a result, black students Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong and Raylawni Branch were enrolled without incident in September, 1965.. In 1972, the Southern Miss Gulf Park Campus was founded and the university athletic teams were renamed from the �Southerners� to the �Golden Eagles.� By the time McCain retired in 1975, enrollment had climbed to 11,000 students. In the years following McCain's campus transformation, The University of Southern Mississippi continued to expand dramatically. Notable changes included: replacement of the quarter system with the semester system, creation of the Polymer Science Institute, reorganization of the university�s 10 schools into six colleges, affiliation with Conference USA, establishment of the School of Nursing as a college; the implementation of online classes; and an expansion of the Gulf Coast campus.

College Specialty


We provide applied and innovative educational experiences as we inspire a competitive spirit for working within this dynamic global economy. Our scholarship focuses on intellectual contributions that advance knowledge in our disciplines, understanding of applications of theory for organizational problems and practices that influence teaching excellence



Matt Carpenter (runner) '87 - a trail runner who has won the Pikes Peak Marathon twelve times, the Vail Hill Climb eight times, the Imogene Pass Run six times, the Barr Trail Mountain Race, Everest SkyMarathon Tibet, and Aspen SkyMarathon five times each, and holds the course record for all of these events. Carpenter�s success in the sport has been so extensive and dominant that he has been compared to Lance Armstrong, and described as �one of the greatest mountain runners of all time." James Ray Carpenter '50, '51 - the former president of the Professional Golfers� Association of America. Tom Johnson - NFL Defensive Tackle, New Orleans Saints Major General Jeffery Hammond �78, �86 - Athletics Director at the University of Southern Mississippi John Bale - MLB pitcher, Kansas City Royals Michael Boley - NFL Linebacker, New York Giants Jeff Bower - Former head football coach, The University of Southern Mississippi Chad Bradford -Former MLB pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays Jeremy Bridges - NFL Lineman, Arizona Cardinals Steve Broussard - Former NFL Punter, Green Bay Packers Mack Brown - (Grad Degree '76) Head Football Coach - University of Texas Longhorns Kyle Burkhart - NFL Offensive Lineman - Seattle Seahawks Reggie Collier - First NCAA quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards, and pass for 1,000 yards in the same season Rod Davis - Former NFL Linebacker, Minnesota Vikings Jim Davenport - Former MLB infielder and manager Demar Dotson - NFL Offensive Lineman - Tampa Bay Buccaneers Brian Dozier - Current MLB infielder - Minnesota Twins - Ridiculously cheering for the USM over the UofM in an NIT Quarterfinals game Brett Favre '91 - Former 11-time Pro Bowl and 3-time MVP NFL quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, and Minnesota Vikings Ray Guy '73 - Former 7-time Pro Bowl NFL punter, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Bobby Hamilton - Former NFL defensive end, Cleveland Browns Don Hultz '62 - NFL defensive player, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears Maxie Lambright - Former head football coach, Louisiana Tech Mike Landrum - Former NFL Tight End, Atlanta Falcons Cliff Lewis - Former NFL Linebacker, Green Bay Packers Louis Lipps - Former NFL Pro-Bowl Wide Receiver and 1984 AFC Rookie of the Year, Pittsburgh Steelers Chris Long - Former women's basketball coach, Louisiana Tech Don Maestri - Head Basketball Coach, Troy University Larry Mason - Former NFL Running Back, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers Kelly McCarty - American professional basketball player in Europe, former NBA player for the Denver Nuggets Ryan McKee - NFL Offensive Lineman - St. Louis Rams Gerald McRath - NFL Linebacker - Tennessee Titans Shawn Nelson - NFL tight end - New York Jets Tyrone Nix - Assistant Head Coach, University of Mississippi Doyle Orange - CFL All-Star Running Back, Toronto Argonauts Todd Pinkston - Former NFL Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles Jeff Posey - Former NFL Linebacker, Washington Redskins Pat Rapp- Former MLB Pitcher, Florida Marlins Patrick Surtain '98 - Former Pro-Bowl NFL Defensive Back, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs Adalius Thomas - Former NFL Pro-Bowl Linebacker, New England Patriots Clarence Weatherspoon '93 - Former NBA Basketball player (Retired) Terry Wells - Former NFL Running Back, Houston Oilers and Green Bay Packers Chad Williams - Former NFL Defensive Back, Kansas City Chiefs Sammy Winder - Former NFL Pro-Bowl Running Back, Denver Broncos Ashley Malley - Professional Miniature golfer, US Prominigolf Association



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