Typically, the only trip down memory lane I’ve ever taken in a library was either through my cell phone’s text inbox or on my Facebook® page. Yet, I was able to connect with one hundred years worth of nostalgia on my visit to the Centennial Exhibit. Located in the former Cook Library computer lab, this exhibit showcases countless memories of all who walked the campus before me. From buttons to photographs to sports’ uniforms, the Centennial Exhibit was a visually enriching display that allowed me to appreciate how Southern Miss has continually transformed.
Of all the intriguing artifacts and memorabilia at the exhibit, a handful of them caught my attention most. The first thing that caught my eye was the framed map of the original campus. It amazed me how small it looked compared to today, and it reinforced how much I prefer the earlier architecture compared to some of the modern buildings we have now. Another item that piqued my interest was a hand-made hat of yarn and tin cans by “ultimate fan” Ray “Two Bits” Crawford. The look of the cap, with its assortment of ticket stubs and pins, made me wish as if I could have seen “Two Bits” in all his glory. What I prized most, however, were the volumes of past editions of Student Printz. These age-stained bundles of paper contain decades of history that a single photograph or tattered sports’ uniform simply does not. And it is in this history of the aforementioned items, as well as the collection as a whole, that excite anticipation in me for all the golden years to come here at Southern Miss.