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Traditions

Lift your voices high…Show them the reason why…
That Southern spirit never will stop.

Protected by our Traditions Resolution signed in 2007, the traditions of The University of Southern Mississippi are deeply treasured. The Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Association invite alumni, friends, students, faculty, staff and fans of the Golden Eagles to regularly take part in the traditions of the University. Learn more about our Traditions Resolution.


"TO THE TOP!" TRADITIONS

THE EAGLE WALK

The Eagle Walk is a living monument that recognizes Southern Miss’ proud history of athletic excellence. On game day at Southern Miss, a cannon is fired and participants march in our Eagle Walk Parade from the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building to The Rock. 

Each year during Golden Eagle Welcome Week (GEWW), the freshman class gathers to leave its signature on the University by giving the Eagle Walk a fresh coat of gold paint. Painting of The Eagle Walk, which is hosted by the Student Alumni Association, is a time-honored tradition that began in 1997 and transforms Eagle Walk Drive into a street of gold every year.

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THE PAINTING OF THE "LITTLE ROCK"

The Little Rock features different sayings in support of Southern Miss athletics. To increase enthusiasm throughout the campus, the rock is painted by members of the Student Alumni Association and the student chapter of the Alumni Association. Phrases like “B(EAT) RICE” (for the Golden Eagles game against rival Rice University) and “ESPN Game Day at The Rock” are typical spirited phrases painted on the Little Rock. Students are encouraged to join the Student Alumni Association every Tuesday at 2 p.m. in The District to paint the Little Rock.

Painting of Little Rock


TAILGATING AND GAMEDAY EVENTS

Friday Night @ Spirit Park, formerly known as Friday Night at the Fountain, is a tradition-rich, family-friendly celebration that serves as the official start of the thrill and excitement that is tailgating and gameday activities during football weekends at Southern Miss. The festivities include performances by The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band, the Dixie Darlings, the Southern Miss Cheerleaders and the Southern Misses, as well as appearances by Seymour, athletic coaches and players, followed by a live music act in Southern Station.

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Immediately following each home football game, The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band performs the Fifth Quarter Concert, a mini-concert, featuring the University's alma mater while fans congregate on the field to briefly visit with players and socialize with one another.

A hallmark of Southern Miss final home game of the football season is a stirring rendition of "Amazing Grace" performed by The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band. What started as a song in the band's repertoire has now become a beloved Southern Miss tradition.

The Seymour's Sidekicks Spirit Line is one of the many exciting activities for children and families associated with Southern Miss football games. The activity encourages children, specifically members of Seymour's Sidekicks, to form a human tunnel of spirit and support that welcomes the Golden Eagles football team back to the playing field for the start of the second half.

*Due to COVID precautions, Seymour's Sidekicks Spirit Line will not take place this 2021 Football Season.

During baseball season, gameday festivities take place in Pete Taylor Park's Right Field Roost. This tailgating area is along the right side of the field and extends into right field. Fans enjoy the excitement that only watching the game from the "roost" can bring.

Tailgating

Tailgating is an opportunity for comradery between alumni and friends to boost school spirit and pride for a Southern Miss athletic event.

S-O-U-THERN – SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI – USM!


Southern Miss Homecoming 2021

Each fall, the spirit and excitement of Homecoming Week festivities has been an anticipated tradition at Southern Miss. Festivities begin as early as Monday and continue through Sunday evening, and all areas of campus get involved.

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Lighting the Way for the Holidays Christmas tree in front of USM dome

LIGHTING THE WAY

Holiday cheer overflows during the annual “Lighting the Way for the Holidays” celebration. Sponsored by the Student Government Association, this event is the University’s youngest tradition.

This campus celebration includes holiday music, hot chocolate and photos with Southern Miss mascot Seymour and Santa Claus. The University’s 30-foot Christmas tree, which features more than 17,000 lights, sits on the front lawn of the Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building. In addition, approximately 30 small lanterns adorn the front entrance to campus, sponsored by student organizations and other Southern Miss departments. Each year, groups that sponsor a lantern also raise money to benefit a local nonprofit organization or agency.

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EAGLE FEST

Eagle Fest is an annual event held each spring as a second homecoming for past, present and potential Golden Eagles alike. Student representatives are on hand to introduce their organizations to prospective students and their parents. Tours of the campus are given, the Golden Eagles baseball team hosts a weekend series and the football team hosts the Black and Gold game. The Black and Gold game is the first chance fans have to see the team in action for the upcoming fall season.

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Students dressed in black and gold school colors with mascot Seymour

Centennial Gateway

FOUNDERS' DAY

March 30, 1910, is the institution’s official birthday, and in 1955, the Alumni Association designated March 30 as Mississippi Southern College Day. The day was to be observed wherever former students resided, and its purpose was “to build up a little more custom and tradition concerning the college.” The day, since re-named Founders’ Day, has been observed in some fashion ever since.

THE DISTRICT

Located in front of the Ogletree Alumni House, the campus historical District has acted as a gathering place for Southern Miss students and alumni since the founding of the University. As a tangible reminder of Southern Miss’ heritage, this historic part of campus offers visitors the opportunity to take a scenic route of campus to the All-American Rose Garden during the day, the illuminated dome at night and the Black-Eyed Susans in the spring. It is where one can most closely feel the spirit of the University; it is a builder of loyalty and admiration.

The District including Lake Byron


ACADEMIC TRADITIONS

Doctoral Regalia

The University of Southern Mississippi’s traditional doctoral regalia represents the highest degrees conferred by the University and was designed by alumnus Reginald M. Houze.

Official Ring

Not only a piece of jewelry but a piece of history, the ring is treated much like a diploma and is awarded each year at the Official Ring Ceremony, which is hosted by the Southern Miss Alumni Association.

University Mace and Presidential Medallion 

A symbol of academic prestige, the mace is a ceremonial symbol carried at the head of academic processions. The University of Southern Mississippi’s mace symbolizes the authority of the Office of the President. The presidential medallion, which symbolizes the Office of the President, is suspended on a ribbon of black velvet. Like the mace, the sterling silver medallion also features an eagle with uplifted wings to a crown of laurel, signifying honor and distinction. 

Collage of photos of the regalia, the ring, the mace, and the medallion

Traditions are meant to be as celebrated and cherished
as our beloved institution itself.