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Released October 15, 2004


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 churches.

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.


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November 23, 2004 9:23 AM