Southern Miss History with Veterans and the Military: Honoring Veteran’s Day 2014

News item published on: 2014-11-05 10:50:49

Using selections from the University Libraries Special Collections at the McCain Library and Archives, an exhibit is on display in the Cook Library lobby honoring the University’s longstanding relationship with veterans and the military.

"On behalf of the USM Center for Veterans, Service Members and Families, we are honored that our heritage is exhibited and featured in the Cook Library. We appreciate Stephen Haller's initiative to showcase our "Military Friendly" university and the loyal, and dedicated service of our Veterans and their Families. As we approach Veterans Day 2014, it is my hope all Americans will pause to reflect on the many sacrifices made by those who served for the sake of freedom," said General Jeff Hammond, Special Advisor to the University President on Military Veteran Student Affairs.

The exhibit offers early historical images of veterans and the military at Mississippi Normal College, State Teachers College, Mississippi Southern College and The University of Southern Mississippi. Special Collections also preserves archives, books, photographs, memoirs and oral histories documenting conflicts throughout the University’s history – including some material pre-dating the College (e.g., the Civil War). Veterans and their families in the South Mississippi region have donated many of these items and some additional material related to nearby Camp Shelby.

Additionally, the exhibit highlights both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force ROTC programs as well as the University’s new Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families and the Chapter of Student Veterans Association. The Dale Center for the Study of War and Society housed in the Department of History is also described and illustrated in the exhibit.

The University of Southern Mississippi is approaching 100 years of its relationship with veterans returning to civilian and college life, as well as with active duty military personnel. As part of this relationship, Southern Miss has hosted Reserve Officers Training Cadet (ROTC) programs for the United States Army since the 1950s and the United States Air Force since the 1970s.

Stephen Haller, Curator of Historical Manuscripts and Archives, curated the exhibit and is also a veteran, having served three years in the U.S. Army and in Vietnam. The exhibit is on display in the lobby of Cook Library on the Hattiesburg campus until December. For more information on this exhibit or the materials retained in McCain Library and Archives, contact Stephen Haller at 601.266.4117.