Yesteryear came chugging onto The University of Southern Mississippi campus a little past 8 a.m. today in the form of a vintage Coca-Cola truck as Centennial Celebration Day activities officially began.
Tuesday, March 30 marks the 100th anniversary of the university’s legislative founding. To help commemorate the occasion, Hattiesburg Coca-Cola United delivered limited edition eight-ounce Coke bottles to Southern Miss in a 1919 Ford Model T delivery truck. The bottles will only be available through the Southern Miss Alumni Association, Barnes and Noble Bookstore on campus and the Campus Book Mart.
“What a beautiful day and a great way to start the morning,” said Southern Miss President Martha Saunders as she took a sip from the special Coke bottle bearing the university’s Centennial logo. “Let’s all drink a toast to Southern Miss on its 100th birthday and to many more to come.”
Bottles can be purchased individually for $5 or as a six-pack (which includes a commemorative Centennial carrier) for $25. All proceeds will benefit the Centennial Scholarship Endowment Fund which will provide unrestricted scholarship money for future Southern Miss students.
Russ Hendley, sales manager for Hattiesburg Coca-Cola United, noted that only 24,000 bottles were produced to mark the university’s 100th birthday celebration. “We’ve already taken a lot of calls from people wanting to know how they can get one of these bottles,” said Hendley. “Coca-Cola products are always big collector’s items and when you add in the uniqueness of the Southern Miss Centennial logo, then that makes these even more special.”
Hattiesburg Coca-Cola also teamed up with Southern Miss to celebrate the university’s 75th anniversary by providing similar limited edition bottles in 1985. “Our partnership with Southern Miss goes back a long way in this town and we’re delighted to be part of this Centennial Celebration,” said Brad Brian, vice-president of the Mississippi Division of Coca-Cola United. “This is such a big moment in the history of this great university.”
The vintage Coca-Cola delivery truck will remain on the Hattiesburg campus until 5:30 p.m. as Founders’ Day festivities continue. For more information about the limited edition Coke bottles, contact the Southern Miss Alumni Association at 601.266.5013.
Hattiesburg Coca-Cola United has produced eight-ounce, limited-edition bottles to commemorate The University of Southern Mississippi’s 100th anniversary. (Office of University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)
University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders shows off the new limited edition Coke bottle bearing the Centennial logo following a delivery on the Hattiesburg campus Tuesday, March 30. Pictured with Saunders is Brad Brian, vice-president of the Mississippi Division of Coca-Cola. (Office of University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)
University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders sits behind the wheel of a vintage 1919 Coca-Cola delivery truck as part of Founders’ Day festivities on the Hattiesburg campus Tuesday, March 30. The truck brought limited edition Coke bottles bearing the university’s Centennial logo that will be sold on campus. (Office of University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)
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.