Gulf Park History

Hardy Hall on the Gulf Park Campus

This Spanish Mission style educational facility was first founded by Col. J. C. Hardy in 1919 as the Gulf Park College for Women. Classes started September 10, 1921. It graduated its last class on May 29, 1971 when it closed due to damage from Hurricane Camille and an economic downturn.

In 1972, the campus reopened as the Gulf Park Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi. The regional campus provided upper-level coursework toward bachelor's and graduate degrees until August 19, 2002, when the campus admitted its first class of freshmen, making Southern Miss a dual campus university.

On August 29, 2005, the Gulf Park Campus sustained significant damage from Hurricane Katrina and was under repair until the last college returned to the Long Beach campus in July 2013. Immediately after the storm, classes were moved from the damaged site to a temporary location in leased space at the HealthMark Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. Limited evening classes resumed at the Gulf Park Campus in January 2007 in the least damaged buildings. As repairs were completed, offices and classes were moved to the Gulf Park Campus with the last faculty and staff returning to Long Beach in July 2013.