USM celebrates major milestone

Today marks the 100-year anniversary of when classes first began at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Classes began on Sept. 20, 1912 at the then Mississippi Normal College. The Class of 1912 had 227 students and 17 faculty members. The campus had just five buildings and all classes were held in College Hall. All five buildings still stand today.

Over the years the school had several names. In 1924 it became State Teachers College, 1940 the name was changed to Mississippi Southern University, and in 1962 the name was changed to The University of Southern Mississippi.

"For a school that was never designed to offer baccalaureate degrees and now offers almost 200  degree programs including masters and PhD's it's an incredible progress," said Professor Bo Morgan, USM Historian and Professor of History.

Today the university has more than 17000 students from all 50 states and 70 foreign countries.

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