The Alumni Association is a driving force in the effort to advance The University of Southern Mississippi. By joining with the thousands of others who support the Alumni Association, you will be helping the Association act on behalf of all alumni to support and maintain the greatness of the University while pushing the institution forward to new levels of accomplishment.
Involvement in the Association is not an expensive consideration; however, the dues and Life Member fees are vital to the continued operation of the organization. As a member of the Association, you are not just giving back, you are also laying a solid foundation for a stronger university for generations to come.
The Southern Miss Alumni Association serves as your voice and your connection to your alma mater. When visiting campus, please stop by the Ogletree House; you're always welcome.
The mission of The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association is to build a feeling of pride and loyalty among the alumni of the institution while strengthening participation in alumni and University programs; to coordinate the efforts of alumni on behalf of the University as a whole; and to provide a unified voice for all alumni in the affairs of the University.
The organization’s mission is achieved through programming developed through the Association’s history aimed at securing the traditions of the institution and developing activities and events that are appealing to alumni of the University. Additionally, the organization utilizes the communication tools it produces to coordinate the efforts of former students on issues of importance in the life of the University.
While the University has gone through many changes and much growth over time, the Alumni Association has changed and grown at the same pace. T.A. Sewell’s election in 1917 as alumni president is the earliest record of Association activity. It is believed that the organization served mainly as a placement service during these early years.
The Alumni Association, much like the University, hardly resembles the organization in its early days. Although chapter activity was evident back in the 1940s, and publications date back to the same period, the Association as it is known today did not truly begin until 1953 when Powell G. Ogletree began working as the Association’s director. In the early days of the Association, it occupied office space in the Student Union–now McLemore Hall. Today it is housed in the Ogletree House, formerly the president’s home. Every Southern Miss president through Dr. William D. McCain lived in this home, now named for the man who served as director of the Alumni Association from 1953-87.
Over the years, the Association has worked to maintain contact with the University’s former students and be of service to both these former students and to Southern Miss. One of the first major objectives of the Association was to obtain and establish scholarship aid for incoming students. They established a number of scholarships in the 1950s, and this work eventually led to the creation of the USM Foundation in 1959.
Association exists to assist all former students of Southern Miss, but it is active, dues-paying members who receive the most benefits. The Association website serves as a locator service for alumni and has helped locate many old friends and roommates. The Talon, the Association’s quarterly magazine, is only mailed to active alumni.
Other benefits of joining the Alumni Association include the following:
1. The Legacy Scholars Program – The award is a one-time $1,000 scholarship given to the children or grandchildren of Southern Miss graduates. To be eligible, at least one parent or grandparent of the candidate must be an active member of the Alumni Association for the immediate past 10 years or be a Life Member.
2. Eligibility for application for an out-of-state tuition waiver for children and grandchildren of alumni (subject to University guidelines)
3. Availability of Alumni Association group life and health insurance
4. Car rental and hotel discounts
5. Select University library privileges
6. Receipt of student rates on tickets for most events sponsored by the School of Music and the College of Arts and Letters
7. Receipt of Alumni Association window decal and membership card
8. Eligibility for membership at the Payne Center recreation and fitness complex (graduates only)
9. Participation in the C.A.R.D. (Current Alumni Retail Discounts) program allowing discounts by local and national vendors and retailers with the presentation of a current Association membership card
The Association works with various chapters across the country to bring Southern Miss to people, no matter where they may live. Eagle Landing Tailgate Events at away games and golf tournaments are among the events that the Alumni Association provides to bring alumni together.
Of course, the Alumni Association also plays a major role in Homecoming. The highly anticipated Annual Hall of Fame Banquet, to honor outstanding graduates and former students, is hosted by the Association. Alumni awards, reunions, both big and small, brunches, luncheons and celebrations all come out of the Ogletree House each Homecoming weekend.
The Alumni Association is a key component of the effort to advance The University of Southern Mississippi. Alumni who join the thousands of others who support the Association help the organization act on behalf of all alumni to support and maintain the greatness of the University while pushing the institution forward to new levels of accomplishment.
Involvement in the Association is not an expensive consideration; however, the dues and Life Member fees are vital to the continued operation of the organization. Members of the Alumni Association do not just give back; they also lay a solid foundation for a stronger University for generations to come. Additionally, to indoctrinate new students in Southern Miss traditions, the Association produces The Drawl, which outlines and explains University traditions, including those pertaining to athletic events and University gatherings. The Southern Miss Alumni Association serves as the voice for all alumni and their connection to their alma mater. When visiting campus, the Association invites all alumni to stop by the Ogletree House, because they are always welcome!