University of Southern Mississippi

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The dome of the Administration Building

The University of Southern Mississippi is a large university located in Hattiesburg.


On March 30, 1910, the Mississippi State Legislature passed House Bill 204, authorizing the creation of a new normal college in Mississippi to train teachers. Several cities began competing to be the site of the new college. Later that year, on September 16, the Normal School Committee in Jackson announced that Hattiesburg's offer of $260,000 in cash, 840 acres of land and $50,000 in private donations had beaten the two competing offers from Jackson and Laurel, and the new Mississippi Normal College would be built in Hattiesburg.[1][2] The new college held its first classes on September 20, 1912[3] with 230 students and 18 faculty. On March 7, 1924, it became State Teachers College, and in 1940 it became Mississippi Southern College. In 1962 it became the University of Southern Mississippi.

On April 1, 2013, Dr. Rodney D. Bennett became the 10th president of USM, and the first African-American president.

Seymour d'Campus

Prior to 1972 the USM athletic teams were known as the Southerners, but that year they became the Golden Eagles. In 1973 a new Golden Eagle mascot was introduced. Eventually the mascot was given an official name, Seymour d'Campus.[4][5]

List of Original Buildings

Older But Not Original Buildings

Other Buildings

The Roberts Schoolhouse, an old one-room schoolhouse on the campus of USM



See also


  1. History of Forrest County, p 95
  2. "Hattiesburg Gets State Normal", The Columbus Commercial, September 18, 1910
  3. "USM marks 100th anniversary of classes starting", Hattiesburg American, September 18, 2012
  4. Origin of the Mascot
  5. "The history of Seymour: Thrilling USM fans, 'creating magic' since the 1970s" by Ellen Ciurczak, Hattiesburg American, December 12, 2017

External links