Many Southern Miss students may not know the origin behind the name of the Student Printz, the student-run campus newspaper. In 1927, the current editor Olen. B. Brewer and other members of the newspaper staff held a campus referendum to officially vote and change the name of the paper from Teacher’s College News to the Student Printz.
Brewer suggested the name after glancing at his pipe which had a label that read “Student Prince.” Alma Hickman, a professor at the then-called Teacher’s College pointed out that that was also the name of a contemporary musical which opened on Broadway in 1924.
The musical follows Prince Karl who is sent away in order to get a university education thereby becoming the “student prince.” He falls madly in love with a pretty, popular barmaid named Kathie. However, the tale ends tragically as the prince eventually has to return home after his grandfather dies, so that he can marry the princess that has been chosen for him.
The drinking song from The Student Prince, “Drink! Drink! Drink!” was especially popular with college students at this time during the period of Prohibition.
Early in 1927, the Student Printz made its debut. Along with the name change, this was the first time that the paper was printed in regular newspaper style rather than the previous booklet form.
“The naming of the publication has been one of the most exciting issues that has occupied the attention of the college since the Christmas holiday,” the Jan. 12, 1927 edition of the Hattiesburg American wrote. “Any number of names were up for consideration, but a majority of students allied themselves together and officially chose the name above mentioned.”
In the beginning, the new name faced opposition on many sides, but it was eventually accepted by the public. The Millsaps editor at the time, John MacLachlan, thought that the name was confusing and said he did not understand it. He had an article published in the USM student paper on Feb. 22, 1927 that questioned the name and paid tribute to the newly named Student Printz.
“Its editor…has produced a paper which already has attracted wide and favorable comment from other scholastic
editors of Mississippi.” MacLachlan wrote, “Just what is the significance of the name, the editor does not try to explain. It is generally accepted, however, as a play upon the popular term, ‘Student Prince,’ the ‘tz’ supplying the sound while remaining close to the ‘ts’ of ‘prints’.”
The newest design of the Printz reflects the history of the name. Not only did the design team update the overall look of the paper to be more modern, but the university logo over the “z” is meant to represent a crown thus tying it back to The Student Prince.