USM lets the good times soar
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 00:10
For 87 years, the University of Southern Mississippi has dedicated a week to celebrating the alumni and traditions of the school through homecoming. The 2012 celebration began Monday and will continue this week through Saturday.
The Southern Miss Student Government Association and Homecoming Committee have deemed the theme of this year’s homecoming week “Let the Good Times Soar,” and the week is packed full of activities for students to get involved in while showing off their Southern Miss pride.
““We wanted to incorporate the fun feeling of the week with a mix of school spirit into our theme,” said Ashley Darda, homecoming director and senior human performance and recreation major. “Because we are the Golden Eagles, we decided the word ‘soar’ would be a fun addition to the theme.”
The week kicked off with the annual Eagle Launch party Monday night on Weathersby Lawn, to be followed today by the Golden Eagle Relay Challenge, which is a relay race that leads its participants throughout campus. On Wednesday, Homecoming Gives Back night is scheduled at the Power House on campus, and 10 percent of the purchases made from 5 until 9 p.m. will be donated to the ARC Foundation. Thursday is the Bring It On - Eagle Style dance competition. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum. Friday will play host to one of the more traditional events the Southern Miss campus has seen throughout the years: The annual Fountain Sit, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Shoemaker Square Fountain, subsequently leading up to Friday Night at the Fountain, sponsored by SMAC, at 7 p.m. on Centennial Green.
The week will come to a close Saturday, with the homecoming parade and football game. The parade, set for 10 a.m. in downtown Hattiesburg, will feature floats from various participating organizations. The Southern Miss Golden Eagles will take on the Marshall Thundering Herd at 6 p.m. to round out the celebration.
Darda said 39 student organizations are registered to participate in homecoming this year, but everyone is invited to take part in the festivities.
“My favorite part of homecoming is feeling the Southern Miss spirit erupt from the student body,” Darda said. “We will always have a good time celebrating our university’s past, present and future.”
Kathleen Warren, a 1985 graduate of Southern Miss and former Dixie Darling, comes back to dance each year for homecoming and plans to be on the field Saturday. She said campus has changed a good bit since she was a student, and homecoming is still one of her favorite Southern Miss traditions to participate in.
“I always look forward to the parade, Eagle Walk and tailgating since we didn’t do any of that when I was a student,” Warren said. “Even though we are involved year-round on campus, it’s always a joy coming back to Southern Miss and participating in one of campus’ biggest events as an alumni.”
Gavin Snyder, a sophomore communication studies major from Mobile, Ala. and assistant director of the Homecoming Committee, said the week is a time for all students and alumni to reflect on their college experiences at Southern Miss and take pride in their school.
“To me, homecoming is a time where we, as students, can come together to celebrate our university’s rich traditions and heritage,” Snyder said. “Homecoming week unites all students, both current and alumni, and we want those participating in the homecoming events this week to enjoy their time. All too often we get too involved in the technical side of school and forget the love we have for our university.”