Characterized by history and tradition
Southern Miss’ main campus sits on 300 acres in the heart of Hattiesburg. More than 180 buildings dot a landscape that has been transformed into a pedestrian-friendly environment for students, employees and visitors.
From the minute you step onto campus via the Centennial Gateway, there’s a sense of place characterized by history and tradition. From the rustic, industrial feel of the Power House Restaurant to the ultra-modern Trent Lott Center, the campus has a character and charm all its own in the heart of an urban setting.
The original campus plan is the work of architect R.H. Hunt of Chattanooga, Tenn., whose design laid out a grand vision for the college. His work is still visible throughout the historic core of campus that encompasses the five original buildings erected for its opening on Sept. 18, 1912.
College Hall, Forrest County Hall, Hattiesburg Hall, the Honor House and the Ogletree Alumni House still stand today as testament to the institution’s legacy and unique campus identity.
A place where learning, research and social engagement take place, the campus provides indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. The Thad Cochran Center and Union Complex form the hub of student life, housing the main dining facility on campus as well as the university bookstore.
The renovation of the old power plant into the Power House Restaurant provides a unique venue with outdoor seating across from Cook Library, where students enjoy a Starbucks coffee shop and lounge area. Adjacent is the Centennial Lawn, an open space where all can enjoy studying or just relaxing.
The campus master plan provides a guide for enhancing the pedestrian experience, preserving historic buildings and providing open spaces. And sustainable practices are incorporated into the construction of new buildings to conserve energy while moving the campus toward the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050.
Notable campus landmarks
- The Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building, completed in 1930, is the home of the offices of the university president and other members of the university administration.
- The Bruce and Virginia Wilgus Fitness and Wellness Trail is conveniently located adjacent to the Payne Center and provides leisure and exercise opportunities for the entire family in a safe and well-maintained environment. Fully lighted, the trail includes park benches, maps and Code-Blue Security phones.
- The Trent Lott National Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship houses the university’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development, the University Foundation and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security.
- Century Park South is the university’s newest residential complex, opening in 2014-15 with 954 beds for students, as well as a state-of-the-art campus health facility, the Moffitt Health Center. Century Park North, a four-residence-hall complex that opened in 2010, features 865 beds.
- Located just three miles from the main campus is the university’s 521-acre innovation and commercialization park, The Garden. The park’s signature building, The Accelerator, is home to the Mississippi Polymer Institute, the National Formulation Science Lab and several other small companies in the building’s business incubator.
- Joseph Anderson Cook Memorial Library, named for the school’s first president, still serves as the university’s main library, housing books, periodicals and other collections.
- The All-American Rose Garden, located at the front of campus, was granted Public Rose Garden accreditation in 1975 by All-American Rose Selections Inc.
- The Payne Center is home to the Recreational Sports department and is a state-of-the-art fitness facility with an indoor track, basketball courts, weight rooms, classrooms and more.