2015 Southerner and the History of USM’s Annuals

Shows the cover of the 2015 Southerner. White background with WE ARE Southern MISS across the lower right corner.  The words We, Are and Miss are in black, bold font.  Southern is in a gold script font.

The 2015 Southerner is a full-color, 224-page tribute to Southern Miss and her students, with the theme of “We Are Southern Miss”.  This edition of Southerner is divided into sections featuring Student Life, Greek Life, Organizations, Academics, Athletics, and People & Distinctions.  This student publication provides a window into the world of Southern Miss students as they journey through higher education, chronicling traditions and celebrations of achievement.         

As we have evolved from Mississippi Normal College to The University of Southern Mississippi, the yearbook has reflected changes to enrollment and infrastructure, as well as offering snapshots of student interests and concerns.  Like the university, the yearbook has undergone several changes since its inception. 

The yearbook for Mississippi Normal College debuted in 1914 as the Neka Camon, meaning “The New Spirit”, and continued until 1918, at which point printing was discontinued due to World War I.  Printing resumed in 1920 and endured as Mississippi Normal College became State Teachers College in 1924.  Financial difficulties arose, complicated by the Great Depression, and publication was again discontinued.  No yearbooks were printed between 1932 and 1937 with the Neka Camon being revived in 1938.  In 1940, State Teachers College became Mississippi Southern College and the yearbook name was changed to The Southerner.  For the next few years, the yearbook struggled to cement its identity, going through numerous name changes.  For the 1943-1944 volume, the yearbook became Mississippi Southern College Yearbook before returning to The Southerner in 1945.  1946 brought another name change, with the printing of Old Southerner.  In 1947, The Southerner returned and remained so until 1968, when the name was shortened to Southerner.  The yearbook remained Southerner until its final printing in 2015. 

Distribution of the 2015 Southerner marked the end of an era at Southern Miss. Funding cuts prompted the closure of the Southerner office, ending an uninterrupted seventy-seven year run.  Time will tell if the yearbook will once again make a welcome return.

To view the 2015 Southerner or other yearbooks, visit Special Collections at The University of Southern Mississippi or view them in our USM Yearbooks Digital Collections.

If you have any questions, please contact Jess Clark, Records Management Specialist of University Archives, at or 601.266.5776.  

Text by Jess Clark, Records Management Specialist of University Archives.