I decided to view the USM Centennial Exhibit, and not because it might be thought of as the easier one to locate. I have walked past this exhibit for the past year, and never thought to walk in the room and take a glance. So I walked into the exhibit and began to look, and I discovered some interesting information. It is quite amazing how far we as a school have some in almost one hundred years. I also learned some new information about the University that I was not aware of.
Something I found interesting was the fact that the first two bills to open the school was turned down by the House Education Committee. It was then the citizen’s persistence that began to spark an interest for a school, and when the third bill came up there was more support than previously. I was not aware that it was that difficult for Mississippi to open a college. It was first known as the Mississippi Normal College, which I find to be an odd name. I was also not aware that the Normal College was the state’s first state-funded training school for teachers. At that time, around 1910, the amount of money needed to begin the school was two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. I know that in those days that was known as a great deal of money, but oh how the times have changed with college funding! When the school first opened in September 1912 there were eight hundred and seventy-six students- a big difference in today’s attendance.
While there are complaints about the college from both professors and students, this is a centrally located university for a number of people. I am positive it has given an opportunity for more people to pursue a college degree. It is quite interesting to see how far the University of Southern Mississippi has come, and to think they did not even want to develop the school to begin with. We should be thankful for the education supporters in the earlier times for making all this possible.http://www.usm.edu/centennial/