The Ogletree House was originally built as the President’s Home for Mississippi Normal College. At a cost of $18,000, it was opened in 1912 and is one of the five original buildings on the Hattiesburg Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi. The building served as the home for the first five presidents of the institution until 1975. In 1976, the Alumni Association, utilizing a campaign chaired by Hattiesburg physician Lamar Gillespie and with the faithful service of then Alumni Director Powell Ogletree, launched an effort to raise $200,000 to build a new home for the University’s president. Given that the Alumni Association would generate the funding for a new president’s home, the University allocated the existing structure to the Alumni Association for use as the new Alumni House.
On August 20, 1987, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, commonly known as the College Board, approved a request from then Southern Miss President Aubrey K. Lucas to have the facility named the Ogletree House in honor of Powell G. Ogletree who had announced his retirement from the University effective October 31, 1987. The Ogletree House was dedicated on November 7, 1987, honoring Powell’s 34 years of service to Southern Miss as director of alumni relations.
In 2005, the Association launched the Ogletree House Campaign, a fund-raising effort to completely restore and greatly expand the facility. More than 850 alumni and friends of the University contributed more than $3.25 million and construction began in 2008. On Sept. 11, 2009, a ribbon cutting officially reopened the doors of the Ogletree House to the public.
Today, the Ogletree House is available for rent to approved Southern Miss departments, students, alumni, community groups and individuals. Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
Available for rent are:
The Poynter Room
- The largest room in the Ogletree House at 1,300 square feet.
- Available for set-up in five configurations (see below). Equipped with microphone and sound system, LCD projector, screen, DVD and CD capabilities, and LED television.
- Podium available.
- Rental includes access to the Simmons Kitchen, USM Foundation Atrium and restrooms.
Board Room/Standard (seats 38); Dining/Banquet (seats 70); Theater/General Assembly (seats 70); Classroom (seats 24); Reception (seats 150, basic set-up includes tables for catering only).
The Phalen Courtyard
- A 1700 square foot brick courtyard featuring the Waites Fountain, with a bronze eagle sculpture.
- Two 20’ x 20’ tents available for set-up for additional fee of $150 per tent.
- Capacity for 150 people without seating and 75 with seating.
- Rental includes access to the Simmons Kitchen, USM Foundation Atrium, and restrooms.
The Carlisle Conference Room
- Conference room totaling 380 square feet.
- Features a conference table with seating for 10.
- Equipped with LCD projector and screen.
- No set-up charges for this room.
- Available up to four hours during business hours only.
- Variations from standard set-up are not permitted.