The Centennial Exhibit at the University of Southern Mississippi was opened on March 5, 2010 and is located on the first floor of the Cook Library, where the Computer Lab once was.
The exhibit, which was created in order to honor the university’s hundred-year existence, will be opened through 2010 and will showcase everything from yearbooks to athletic items.
The exhibit was thought of by Centennial Steering Committee, a group of people who wanted to enlighten and to teach people about the history of USM while appealing to them at the same time.
The museum is complete with pictures following USM’s progress over the past one hundred years, all the way to when it was opened as the Normal College in 1910. Among some of the items the committee procured is one of the original bonds secured to build the university.
The Centennial Exhibit was made possible through donations made by the University’s Archives and also USM alumni and university friends.
Ray Guy, a professional football player who is also a USM alum, both donated to the Centennial Exhibit and worked to secure items for the museum. He and Jimmy Havard, the Forrest County Chancery Clerk and USM alumni, worked to locate minutes of meetings from 1910 of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, where a location for the college and its funding were talked about.
The exhibit is a fascinating display of how the University of Southern Mississippi has grown in the past one hundred years, and it is a testament of how it will continue to expand in the next one hundred years.