Usm Fall 2023 Calendar – “Southern Miss” redirects here. For the University of Southern Mississippi athletics program, see Southern Miss Gold Eagles and Lady Eagles.
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The University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss or USM) is a public research university with its main campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees. The university is classified in “R1: Doctoral universities – very high research activity”.
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Founded on March 30, 1910, the university is a dual-campus institution with its main campus in Hattiesburg and the other major campus – Gulf Park – in Long Beach. This is John C. Stnice has five additional teaching and research facilities, including the space probe and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL).
Originally named the Mississippi Southerners, the Southern Miss athletic teams became the Gold Eagles in 1972. The school colors, black and gold, were chosen by body vote shortly after the school was founded. While mascots, names, rituals and campuses have changed, the colors black and gold have remained constant. USM’s 17 sports programs participate in NCAA Division I athletics, primarily as members of the Sun Belt Conference.
The University of Southern Mississippi was founded on March 30, 1910 as Mississippi Normal College, a teacher training school. The Normal College was created to standardize the training process for future teachers. Before there were special education faculty, instructors had to travel all over Mississippi to train their students to teach.
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The college’s first president, Joseph Anderson Cook, presided over the inaugural faculty meeting on September 18, 1912, and oversaw the construction of College Hall (academic building); Forrest County Hall (house of newlyweds); Hattiesburg Hall (women’s dormitory); Industrial Cottage (training laboratory for housekeeping); and the President’s House (now the Ogletree Alumni House). In its first session, Mississippi Normal College had a total enrollment of 876 students and stood for “clean, pure and efficient lives.”
As the school developed its curriculum and departments, its name changed to reflect its progress: Mississippi State Teachers College in 1924 and Mississippi Southern College in 1940.
The fifth president of the college, State Archivist Dr. William David McCain founded in 1955 and worked to expand Mississippi Southern College. He oversaw the construction of 17 new structures on campus and convinced Governor Ross Barnett to upgrade the school to university status in recognition of its graduate programs. On February 27, 1962, Barnett signed a bill officially rebranding the school as the University of Southern Mississippi.
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William David McCain (left) signs the bill granting university status with Gov. Ross Barnett and Lt. Gov. Paul B. Johnson
In 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. The Board of Education ruled that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. But when a black Korean War veteran named Clyde Nord tried to enroll at Mississippi Southern College in the late 1950s, McCain lobbied the state’s political establishment and local black leaders to block it. Nord was rejected three times. After writing letters about educational integration to a local newspaper, he was arrested twice on false charges; He was eventually convicted and sentenced to seven years in state prison.
McCain’s direct involvement in this abuse of the justice system is unclear. He probably knew that the charges against Nord were fraudulent, but neither he nor other government officials objected.
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During a visit sponsored by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, McCain said, “Educationally and socially we insist on maintaining a segregated community. . . . In fairness, I find that we have not encouraged the Negro vote,” he said. The Negro prefers that the control of government be in the hands of the white man.”
Knard was finally paroled in 1963 when he was terminally ill with cancer; He died six months later.
In the early 1960s, there was growing national pressure to integrate Mississippi’s higher education institutions. McCain was vehemently opposed to any black wealth in Southern Mississippi. In 1962, James Meredith tried to get into the state’s flagship institution, the University of Mississippi.
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By the fall of 1965, both Ole Miss and Mississippi State University had integrated — the former violently, the latter peacefully. McCain, USM and state leaders recognized the need to consolidate the state to attract out-of-state businesses. They made elaborate secret plans for their first black entry. Each is assigned a faculty mentor and tutor confidentially to help with the transition. The campus police department was instructed to prevent or quickly stop any incident against the two black men. Studt’s athletic, fraternity and political leaders were recruited to calm and protect the university from the negative publicity Ole Miss faced during the turmoil over Meredith’s role.
As a result, Black Stallions Guadolyn Elaine Armstrong and Railani Branch performed without incident in September 1965.
In 2018, USM unveiled a Freedom Trail marker honoring Clyde Nord in front of Knard Washington Hall, named after him and USM’s first African-American Ph.D. Named after Walter Washington, who graduated. Shortly thereafter, at spring ceremonies in May 2018, Clyde Nord was posthumously awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from USM.
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A student in Nord’s Sunday class at Mary Magdalene Baptist Church in Eatonville, Mississippi accepted the honor on his behalf.
Between 1955 and 1965, USM, along with its president William D. McCain, violated the civil rights of gay and lesbian students. Homosexuals and homosexuals were targeted and ostracized, with a preference for male homosexuals. McCain’s intentions were to cleanse the campus of all sexual impurities.
In 1969 the African American Cultural Society (AACS) was founded. Alvin Williams, a founding member of the organization and professor emeritus of media at the university, described AACS as “an instrumental part of black student life” at the university in the late 1960s. The organization was later renamed the African American Studied Organization (AASO). In the 1990s.
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The transition between the 1960s and 1970s saw major changes in social activism and the university. In response to the growing concerns of black students, the university stepped up efforts to hire black faculty. In 1972, “Geral Knott” (Confederate Geral Nathan Bedford Forrest) was dropped in favor of the Golden Eagle. In 1974, football standout Fred Cook was elected USM’s first Mr. Black. The first black Greek organizations were introduced in 1975.
In the years following the McCain campus transformation, the University of Southern Mississippi continued to expand dramatically. Notable changes include: replacement of the quarter system with a semester system, establishment of the Institute of Polymer Science, reorganization of the university’s 10 schools into six colleges, affiliation with Conference USA, formation of the School of Nursing as a college; Implementation of online courses; and Gulf Coast campus expansion.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Southern Miss Dr. Shelby grew up under the leadership of Thames. Its form is characterized by a significant increase in the amount of research conducted at the university. USM was classified as a “Doctoral/Research Extensive” university by the Carnegie Foundation during the Thames Era.
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USM allocated $61 million to research and development in 2018, ranking 183rd nationally, according to the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Thames’ efforts to respond to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina received praise from the community. In October 2005, the State College at Gulf Park campus formally adopted a resolution of appreciation. The Hattiesburg American reported that Thames’ post-Katrina address was well received by Hattiesburg educators. Thames avoided laying off university employees after the storm, but the Gulf Park campus alone suffered more than $100 million in damage. (By contrast, Tulane University in New Orleans laid off about 25 percent of its staff. The decline left significant athletic and academic programs, including a computer science major and most engineering programs, after the campus closed and declined.)
The Thames Administration funds and oversees the implementation of many construction projects on campus, often in partnership with private sector firms. In addition to Stud Union is the second largest Barnes & Noble store in the southern United States, which is optional for the community. Barnes & Noble pays $1.5 million a year for the facility. Thames also negotiated a financially favorable food service agreement with Aramark (which will donate $9 million to university construction projects). Other perks include the upscale Power House restaurant (in a former college power station converted for this use); a $15 million village; additions to football, basketball and baseball facilities; And urban design aims to make the campus more open, “massive” and pedestrianized.
University Of Southern Mississippi
The university unexpectedly dropped from “Tier 3” to “Tier 4” in the inaugural US News & World Report college rankings in 2004. This almost coincided with the climax of the Shelby Thames controversy.