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Southern Miss Proud


Straight to the Top!

Pride in Our Students

We're proud of our students for who they are, what they've done and what they stand for.

Student Success

USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 36 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 24 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists.

Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Student Research

The USM Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research was established in October 2011. The overall mission of the center is to enhance the undergraduate experience by promoting and supporting student-faculty collaborations in research, creative projects and scholarship. 

The benefits of active participation in faculty-mentored research are myriad both to the student experience and the university community at large.

Southern Miss to the Top!

The University’s motto “Southern Miss to the Top!” represents a common sentiment among the Southern Miss faithful. The phrase represents our desire for the best for the University constituency, whether in the classroom, on the playing field or in the community.

“To the Top!” Is our call to action, an expectation and a challenge: to be determined and persistent; to always give maximum effort, regardless of what the odds or others say; to commit to worthwhile pursuits; to expect results; and to never, ever quit.


Pride in Our History and Traditions

We have plenty of black and gold spirit and a rich history spanning more than 100 years.

About USM

Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 130 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” designation.

As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of approximately 15,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi.

Our Mascot

Over the years, Southern Miss has experienced an evolution of mascots. The earliest nickname for the University’s athletic teams was Tigers, but early teams were also referred to as Normalites.

Our current mascot, the Golden Eagles was adopted in 1972, when alumni, faculty, students and staff were asked to submit new names for the athletic teams, which by that time were called the Southerners. An ad hoc committee appointed by the Alumni Association voted on the submissions. Golden Eagles, was chosen as the athletic teams’ name, and the new mascot was Seymour, an individual in a Golden Eagle costume. 

Black and Gold

Black and gold have been Southern Miss’ colors since the beginning, thanks to Florence Burrow Pope who, with her husband Moran, was in the school’s first class in 1912.

Soon after school opened, a committee was appointed to make recommendations concerning school colors. Florence was on the committee. Two suggestions were submitted to the student body, and the student body voted to have black and gold as the school colors.

Since that day, mascots, names, customs and the campus have changed, but black and gold have remained the school’s colors.

Pride in Our Vision

 Our journey is never complete. 


The University of Southern Mississippi is a community of engaged citizens, operating as a public, student-centered, doctoral-granting research university serving Mississippi, the nation, and the world. The University is dedicated to scholarship and learning, integrating students at all levels in the creation and application of knowledge through excellence in teaching, research, creative activities, outreach, and service. 

The University nurtures student success by providing distinctive and competitive educational programs embedded in a welcoming environment, preparing a diverse student population to embark on meaningful life endeavors.


The University of Southern Mississippi aspires to be a model student-centered public research university that prepares students to thrive in a global society by providing high quality programs and transformative experiences in a community distinguished by inclusiveness.


The mission of the institution is supported by the following values: 

  1. Research and instructional excellence focused on student success at all teaching sites and through campus-based and distance education
  2. Student engagement that fosters personal growth, professional development, and a lifelong commitment to wellness
  3. An inclusive community that embraces the diversity of people and ideas
  4. Institutional governance that respects academic freedom and faculty inclusion
  5. A campus culture characterized by warmth and mutually-supportive connections among students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  6. An approach to academics, research, and personal conduct based on integrity and civility
  7. An evolving curriculum that fosters lifelong curiosity and critical thinking
  8. Community participation that promotes social responsibility and citizenship

We are ready to be proud of you, too.

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