After more than a month of recovering from Hurricane Katrina, many
alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of The University of
Southern Mississippi are eagerly awaiting the university’s
annual homecoming as a much-welcomed diversion.
A week of activities ¬– ranging from
a golf tournament to college, department and other university organization
reunions to the homecoming parade and many other events –
will culminate with the Oct. 15 football game against new Conference
USA opponent University of Central Florida. Kickoff is set for 6
The Southern Miss Homecoming Court will be
presented at halftime of the game and will include the crowning
of homecoming queen. The annual induction of new members of the
Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame will also take place during the
“Perhaps more than ever, homecoming will
take on special significance this year as our alumni, particularly
those from south Mississippi and the New Orleans area, look for
a pleasant distraction from the weeks of debris clean-up and other
forms of post-Katrina recovery,” said Bob Pierce, director
of the Southern Miss Alumni Association.
“Last year, the highlight of the homecoming
weekend was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Dixie
Darlings. This year, I think the simple fact that friends will be
coming together to celebrate one another will be the focal point.
It will indeed be a homecoming for Golden Eagles everywhere.”
Southern Miss Dean of Students Dr. Eddie Holloway
and Assistant Dean of Students Mike Mitchell concur with Pierce
that this year’s homecoming will be a great way to rejuvenate
the Southern Miss community post-storm.
“The students are excited about welcoming
alumni back to a university that has undergone tremendous challenges
following hurricane Katrina,” Mitchell said. “The homecoming
theme ‘Forever Black and Gold’ is a testament to the
undying Golden Eagle spirit of current students and alumni during
these difficult times.”
“We want this to be a festive occasion,
and we invite all alumni and current students, faculty, staff and
supporters of the university in our community to join us and help
make this a true town-gown affair,” Holloway said.
The Southern Miss Homecoming Court includes
Queen Erin Lambert, a senior from Hattiesburg; Freshman Maid Telia
Brewer of Vicksburg; Sophomore Maid Roz Richards of Mobile; Junior
Maid Lyndsey Jalvia of New Orleans; Senior Maid Lyndsey Castleman
of Biloxi; Graduate Maid Amanda King of Petal; and Student Body
Maid LaKeisha Bryant, a senior from Brandon.
Hall of Fame inductees include historian Dr.
Chester “Bo” Morgan; State Senator Tom King of Petal;
former Mississippi Power Company executive and immediate past president
of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, Rex Kelly; renowned television
news anchors Natalie Allen and Sally-Ann Roberts Craft; former Southern
Miss Alumni President Allen Gordy; and Entergy Corporation executive
Those planning to come to Hattiesburg for homecoming
who have not made prior arrangements for overnight accommodations
are asked to prepare for the potential of limited or no hotel/motel
rooms. For more information about the university’s schedule
of events for homecoming, visit www.SouthernMissAlumni.com on the
Internet and click on the ‘Events’ tab.