HATTIESBURG - A familiar
face to many Southern Miss fans will be prominent during the university's
homecoming activities next week.
Ray Crawford, prominent at Southern Miss football
games during the 1970s and 1980s for his spontaneous "Two bits,
four bits, six bits, a dollar! All for the Eagles, stand up and
holler!" cheer in the stands at M.M. Roberts Stadium, has been
selected as grand marshal of the Southern Miss 2004 Homecoming Parade.
The parade begins at 2 p.m. on game day, Oct. 23.
"I'm humbled by to be asked by (Southern Miss)
to do this," said Crawford, a 1966 Southern Miss graduate and
retired insurance salesman. "The university has meant a lot
to me all these years. It shocked me when they asked me, gave me
a tingle all over, renewing that old spirit, like you're supposed
to feel at homecoming."
Crawford has served his alma mater in a variety of
capacities, including as president of the former Southern Miss Big
Gold Club and as a member of the Forrest County Alumni Association
Board. He currently works with the Office of the Southern District
Public Service Commissioner and is pastor at two area Methodist
In addition to the parade, Southern Miss students,
faculty and staff are busily preparing the campus with colorful
floats and other decorations, as well as planning reunions for departments,
colleges and other campus organizations.
Homecoming will be highlighted by Southern Miss' football
game with Conference USA opponent East Carolina at 6 p.m., and the
introduction of the homecoming court and crowning of the homecoming
queen at halftime.
"Students are really getting excited about this
year's homecoming," said Student Government Association President
Walt Cain. "We've got a variety of neat events for everyone
to take part in."
Southern Miss assistant dean of students Mike Mitchell
said the entire campus is working to make the week a special one
for students, alumni and fans alike. "The excitement and commitment
is really evident among those who are pulling together to make this
a successful and fun event," Mitchell said.
Southern Miss Alumni Association director Bob Pierce
said homecoming is a special time for any university, including
Southern Miss. "We have so much history and tradition to be
proud of which serves as a solid foundation for the university's
vision and promising future," Pierce said. "It
is great to have this opportunity on an annual basis to welcome
our alumni home as we reflect on our past accomplishments, honor
some of our most outstanding alumni, rekindle old acquaintances,
and discuss the unlimited possibilities for Southern Miss."
For more information on homecoming, or how to participate
in the Southern Miss Homecoming Parade, call the Office of Student
Activities at (601) 266-4403 or the Southern Miss Alumni Association
at (601) 266-5013.