Today is a very special day. My beloved alma mater, The University of Southern Mississippi, celebrated its centennial birthday today! As a third generation graduate, I have such precious memories from my time at Southern Miss. “Mississippi Southern,” as my grandmother calls it, elicits feelings of nostalgia for me like few other places can.
I have so many fun and wonderful memories of my own from my time in Hattiesburg, but I especially love to hear about my grandmother’s memories of her years at Mississippi Southern. When my grandmother was in college, they all lived in the central campus areas in Hattiesburg and Forrest County Hall. They used to ride the trolley downtown to meet up with the boys from Camp Shelby and when they brought the girls back to campus, they sat out on the porches with their dates. My grandmother was a home economics major, and one of their professors was Ms. Jones for whom Jones Hall was named. According to Grandmama Ms. Jones was the sweetest thing, but quite forgetful. She was always forgetting her slip (a travesty in those days I’m sure!) and, on at least one occasion, she drove to school and then rode the bus home forgetting she had driven her car to school. Back then the university was the end of town.
Things have surely changed in the years since my grandmother graduated from Mississippi Southern, but the tradition and the character of the university has remained the same. Recognized too rarely for the jewel that it is, Southern Miss is like an inside secret for those of us who are lucky enough to call it home. I know I am thankful for the friends, the memories, the lessons, and the opportunities I found there. On this, our university’s 100th birthday, I am reminded again how great it is to be a Golden Eagle. Southern Miss to the Top!