Eagle Fever catching and showing no signs of breaking, Santa might
want to reserve some extra room in his sleigh this holiday season.
to the Gulf Coast, staffers in the gift shops and bookstores of
The University of Southern Mississippi are keeping busier than a
workshop full of elves as shoppers search for that perfect gift
for the dyed-in-the-wool Golden Eagle fan. And there's plenty from
which to choose.
CDs by guitar professor John DeChiaro to Liberty Bowl sweatshirts
emblazoned with Southern Miss and its opponent, Utah, there is something
for almost everyone - even the littlest Golden Eagle.
problem isn't finding something, but deciding what to buy. There's
so much to choose from," said Tom Hardy, who with his wife,
Deborah, shopped the Hattiesburg campus for outfits for their 8-month-old
all ages continue to clamor for just about anything with the new
Golden Eagle athletic logo. Hats, sweatshirts, T-shirts, shorts,
clocks, banners, stickers - you name it and people are buying it.
skull cap we got in with the new logo sold out immediately,"
said Hattiesburg bookstore clerk Joni Dixon. "Also, the Brett
Favre throwback jerseys are also big sellers."
related fronts, two new items of interest are available this year.
Highlight videos from each season, dating back to the 1950s, are
now compiled on DVD and videotape. Also, high-quality action photos
from Southern Miss games this year are available for framing.
Some of the
picture requests from Photo Services are off-the-wall. For instance,
Dixon said one customer wanted a framed photo of Lake Byron, located
in front of the Southern Miss campus. "He said that's where
he proposed to his wife 25 years ago, and he wanted a picture to
remind her of it," Dixon said.
campus bookstores will be closed during the university holiday,
which runs from Dec. 23-Jan.4, shoppers can take advantage of the
50-percent-off Christmas sale this weekend and Monday. Store hours
are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 7:45 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Monday.
The bookstore is closed Sunday. Gift wrapping is also available
upon request. Store hours at the Long Beach campus bookstore are
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Monday.
operations manager at the Hattiesburg campus, said the bookstore
has remained busy even after students went home for the holidays.
"We're seeing a lot of off campus customers who are coming
because they don't have to worry about parking now," he said.
rush began back in late September and picked up steam through mid-November,
the last date for students to charge merchandise to their school
account using their ID cards.
Other big sellers
in the gift shop this season have been pots, jewelry, candleholders
and scent burners, Lawler said. Of course, the bookstore isn't able
to fill all requests.
had some people call looking for pet apparel with the Eagle logo
on it," he said. "We don't have that yet, but I would
be surprised if we don't get it."
of gift ideas are also available at Southern Miss' Scott Aquarium
in Biloxi. To add oceans of fun to Christmas, parents can put the
summer Project Marine Discovery Sea Camp 2004 under the tree. Youngsters
participating in the popular marine science day camp at Scott Aquarium
will help celebrate its 20th birthday with a Birthday Blast celebration
each Friday of Sea Camp. The Christmas gift pack includes a Birthday
Blast T-shirt and a certificate entitling the recipient to one week
of Sea Camp.
offspring can experience the wonders of marine and coastal environments
together with a year-long Great Scott! family membership. Membership
features free admission, the Great Scott! newsletter and special
events at free or reduced rates. The membership calendar for 2004
includes a trip to swim with the manatees Jan. 30-Feb. 1, kayaking
coastal streams in March, trawling to Horn Island in May, a seafood
fest at the Scott Aquarium in July, snorkeling in Florida in September
and birding on Dauphin Island, Ala., in November.
New in the
Scott Aquarium gift shop this season is pewter. "Some of the
items are contemporary design and others are a sea life design,"
said Sylvia Covacevich, gift shop manager. "Items range from
bowls and platters to mugs and wine glasses. Prices run from $12.95
She said art
prints by local artists, toys, jewelry, apparel and home accessories
with an ocean and environmental theme are also attracting buyers
holiday hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday Dec. 22 -
23 and 29-30. For more information on Sea Camp and Scott Aquarium
memberships, call (228) 374-5550.
For more information,
call the Hattiesburg campus bookstore at (601) 266-4386 or the Long
Beach campus bookstore at (228) 865-4504.