Origin of the Mascot
|Updated April 3, 2014|
Over the years, Southern Miss has experienced an evolution of mascots. The earliest nickname for the University's athletic teams was Tigers, but early teams were also referred to as Normalites. Then, in 1924, our teams' name was changed to Yellow Jackets.
When the school was renamed Mississippi Southern College in 1940, a name change for the athletic teams was fitting. In April 1940, the student body voted to name the teams Confederates. The teams were called the Confederates during fall 1940 and spring 1941. In September 1941, Confederates was dropped, and the teams were named Southerners.
Several years later, in 1953, General Nat (for Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest) was approved as the Southerners' mascot. The first General Nat was Archie Hughes, and Nat's horse was named Son of Dixie. In 1971, the mascot was officially changed to "The Miners."
"The Miners" name was found not to have the needed campus appeal and in 1972, alumni, faculty, students and staff were asked to submit new names for the athletic teams, and an ad hoc committee appointed by the Alumni Association voted on the submissions. Our present mascot, the Golden Eagles, was chosen as the athletic teams' name, and the new mascot was Seymour, an individual in a Golden Eagle costume. (Several students usually share the responsibility of portraying Seymour.)
Seymour's full name is Seymour d'Campus. The name was inspired by the 1984 World's Fair mascot, Seymour d'Fair, who was played by former Southern Miss mascot Jeff Davis '83.
Golden Eagles was chosen over Raiders, War Lords, Timber Wolves and Southerners.
The first live Golden Eagle mascot, Nugget, was obtained in 1980, and in 1986 was replaced by Nugget II. Nugget II died in 1992. However, Seymour continues to entertain fans at Golden Eagles athletic events.