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Released October 7, 2005


Hattiesburg– 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 p.m.

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 game.

“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 Curt Hébert.

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 on the Internet and click on the ‘Events’ tab.


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October 14, 2005 2:27 PM