The Dale Center: Center of Military History Excellence
As one of the top military history programs in the country, the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society houses a distinguished academic community with expertise in how conflict affects communities, soldiers, and non-combatants. The Dale Center expands on the field of military history, with its traditional focus on leaders, strategies, and operations, and seeks to identify and understand the social and cultural consequences of war. The Dale Center has earned a reputation as a center of excellence, with its faculty members recognized among the best scholars in the field and its students as noteworthy future scholars.
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Dale Center Signature Events and Programs
The Dale Center hosts a number of important academic and community events throughout the year that bring together scholars, students, and community members around topics dealing with military history and War and Society. In addition, the Center promotes cutting-edge scholarship in the field of war and society.
The Lt. Col. John H. Dale Sr. Distinguished Lecture Series in International Security and Global Policy brings prominent voices to Hattiesburg for on a regular basis.
The Lt. Col. John H. Dale Sr. Distinguished Lecture Series in International Security and Global Policy honors the late Lieutenant Colonel John H. Dale, Sr., a career member of the military who served in World War II and the Korean War and earned the Bronze Star. He graduated with a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and later served as Professor of Military Studies for the university’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. The lecture series is made possible through a generous donation by Southern Miss alumna Dr. Beverly Dale, Lt. Col. Dale’s daughter.
The lecture series brings internationally prominent figures in International Security and Global Policy to Hattiesburg to give their assessment of the state of foreign and military affairs. Former speakers include Dan Rather, legendary journalist, war correspondent, and former anchor of CBS News; General David Petraeus (US Army Ret.), former Commander, US Central Command and former Director of the CIA; Dr. Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director; Dr. Madeline Albright; and Ambassador Wyche Fowler, the former U. S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
The Richard McCarthy Lecture Series was founded in 2006 through the generous support of Dr. Richard McCarthy and Dr. Craig Howard and is designed to bring together students, faculty, and community members to access cutting edge research in the field of military history and War and Society.
Over the years, the McCarthy Lecture Series has provided the campus and Hattiesburg communities a broad range of programming, ranging from a panel discussion led by veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to more academic programs including talks by leading historians of War and Society and military history, such as Sebastian Junger, Beth Bailey, Jeremy Black, Dennis Showalter, Margaret MacMillan, Jeffrey Gray, Brian Linn, Wayne Lee, and John Lynn, just to name a few.
The General Buford “Buff” Blount Professorship in Military History was founded in honor of General Buford “Buff” Blount, who graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1971 and went on to a distinguished career in the U.S. military, which included leading the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division into Baghdad in 2003.
The Blount Professorship is awarded biennially to provide funding for the work of a historian at Southern Miss who is engaged in research toward the publication of a major study in the field of military history or war and society. Several books have been made possible through the support of the Blount Professorship.
Dale Center Faculty Fellows are innovative and productive scholars who publish widely in the fields of history, military history, and war and society. A a list of books written and edited by Dale Center fellows present and past, is available here.
The University of Southern Mississippi and the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society are proud to house the 103d Infantry Division (Cactus) World War II Association’s Archive of documents, memorabilia, books, and webpage-a treasure trove for researchers of World War II in Europe.
The 103d Infantry Division (Cactus) was activated on November 15, 1942 and served in the Eastern Theater of World War II until their deactivation on September 22, 1945. The members of the 103d Infantry Division (Cactus) Association endeavor to honor the memory of all who were killed in action, wounded, and died since the end of World War II.
The Dale Center is proud to be educating the next generation of officers for the U. S. military. Leading military educational institutions like the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Air Force’s Air War University have entrusted the Dale Center to educate the officers who will go on to teach the leaders of tomorrow’s U.S. armed forces. See our page on Military Office Training for more information.
Dale Center faculty, graduate students, and alumni, along with our patron Dr. Beverly Dale, at the Society for Military History's annual meeting in San Diego, California in 2023.