Even after almost 100 years, University of Southern Mississippi students believe their school colors are still in style. This year’s homecoming theme. “Black and Gold Never Gets Old,” confirms that.
Football, reunions, a golf tournament, a parade and tailgating will be just a few of the many activities that dot the week’s itinerary for students, faculty, staff and alumni and friends of the university as they celebrate all that is great about being a Golden Eagle.
The week’s festivities will culminate Saturday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. when the Golden Eagles football team takes on the Green Wave of C-USA rival Tulane University and the homecoming queen and her court are introduced, along with Mister and Miss Southern Miss.
“In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the university, we have focused on celebrating the rich traditions that have carried us this far into our next 100 years, and they start with our school colors,” said Southern Miss senior Katie Ross of Vicksburg, who is serving as student co-director of homecoming 2009 for the Student Government Association.
Janet Thompson, a junior from Slidell, La. who is co-director along with Ross, said the SGA has planned a wide variety of activities for students to bring the campus together for this special week. “We’ll have a lot of opportunities for students to come out and show their love for Southern Miss traditions and spirit,” she said.
Students will get the week started at midnight Sunday, Oct. 19 with the beginning of homecoming float construction and stuffing. On Monday, a kickoff party that includes relay races, music, food and refreshments will be held from 5-6 p.m. in The District, next to the Ogletree Alumni House.
On Tuesday, Oct. 20 the popular Fountain Sit at Shoemaker Square starts at 10 a.m., followed by the “Miss or Mister” Varsity Pageant on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium, which will incorporate the theme “Famous Couples from the Past.”
On Thursday, Oct. 22 students will participate in a campus-wide cleanup and beautification project from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. At 5 p.m. that day, the “Eagle Hop” contest will start on Weathersby Lawn. On Friday evening Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m., “Friday Night at the Fountain” will begin as Southern Miss cheerleaders get students ready for game day with a pep rally.
The Southern Miss Alumni Association will induct seven into its Alumni Hall of Fame the evening of Friday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Southern Oaks and Garden in Hattiesburg, and on Saturday, Oct. 24 will hold its annual Awards Brunch and Business Meeting at 11 a.m. in the Cochran Center Ballroom. The Hall of Fame inductees will also be introduced at the football game.
Also on Friday, Oct. 23 the Alumni Association’s Shell Finish Line Golf Tournament will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the Hattiesburg Country Club. A lunch catered by Strick’s Barbecue will be served following the tournament. Call Jerry DeFatta at 601.266.5674 or Ray Guy at 601.266.4536 for more information.
The homecoming parade will begin at noon on game day, traveling east down Hardy Street from University Mall, and will include the homecoming court; Mr. and Miss Southern Miss; The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and invited high school and community college bands; and floats sponsored by local businesses and organizations who support Southern Miss. To learn more about participating in the homecoming parade, contact the Southern Miss Dean of Students Office at 601.266.6028.
For more information about homecoming week, contact the Student Government Association at 601.266.4407; or the Southern Miss Alumni Association at 601.266.5013. For tickets to the Southern Miss-Tulane football game, call 601.266.5418 or online visit www.usm.edu/gameday
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.