The University of Southern Mississippi is located in the mid-sized city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The university is commonly referred to as the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagles is the University’s current mascot and nickname, but that wasn’t always the case.
The school, founded in 1910, has a history of many different nicknames throughout its rich history. The first nickname was the Tigers. The Tigers is a common nickname in the southern part of the United States where neighboring schools Auburn (located in Alabama) and LSU (located in Louisiana) also have the common nickname and mascot of the Tigers.
After the initial Tigers nickname, the University of Southern Mississippi switched to the very unique nickname Normalites (derived from the university’s ancient name – Mississippi Normal College). From there the nickname changed several times as the school was represented under the names Yellow Jackets, Confederates and Southerners in that order. It was an alumni/student vote in 1972 that chose the Golden Eagles name which is still used to this day.
The university’s students and faculty went so far as to give the golden eagle mascot an appropriate first and last name. It is not uncommon for colleges to name their mascots, examples include: the University of Florida with Albert the Alligator and Michigan State with their Spartan mascot called Sparty. In the case of Southern Miss their mascot’s full name is Seymour d’Campus. The name Seymour d’Campus is a play on words meant to “see more of campus”. The modern name was influenced by the 1984 World’s Fair mascot with a similar name – Seymour d’Fair. Southern Miss’s enterprising students and faculty adapted the name of the World’s Fair mascot to fit their own agenda.
It should come as no surprise that Seymour attends South Mississippi sporting events year-round and frequently makes appearances at college and community events. In addition to public appearances, Seymour the Golden Eagle can often be found participating in television promotions for local businesses. Over the past decade Seymour has entered numerous national mascot competitions designed to select America’s favorite collegiate mascots. During the first ten years of the twenty first century Seymour the Golden Eagle made numerous appearances in the top twenty and also occasionally finished in the top ten with his best finish being a 7th place in the 2002 UCA Mascot National competition.
The most famous athlete Seymour the Golden Eagle has rooted for is longtime Green Bay Packers quarterback and current Minnesota Viking Brett Favre.