Student organizations have existed on campus for more than 100 years. Since the arrival of the first class in 1912, students have organized themselves into groups based on everything from academic interest to geographic origin. Among the first student organizations formed on campus were Young Men's and Young Women's Christian Associations, founded to unite Mississippi Normal College's students and provide opportunity for Bible study and Christian service.
Other social outlets included the literary societies: the Prestonian (named for former state superintendent of education John R. Preston), the Platonian, the Sherwood Bonner (named for a Holly Springs author of local color fiction) and the Mississippian, which involved women in programs of "music, readings, discussions, literary criticism, etc." After 1917, when the Smith-Hughes Act provided federal money for vocational education, the college began to train home economics teachers for public schools. Soon thereafter, agriculturally based clubs, including the tomato and corn clubs, along with the egg, poultry and pig clubs, and the cooperative dairy association, became popular among the student body. In the early years, there were also county clubs, a college quartet, tennis club, debate team, women's glee club, storytellers' league and Shakespeare club.
In the 1950s, student life experienced another burst of activity, as President Cook placed a heavy emphasis on student organizations and campus involvement. Besides the national leadership organizations, Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Delta Rho, there were honorary societies in biology, drama, chemistry, commerce, education, mathematics, home economics, literature, music, foreign languages, religion and speech. New denominational clubs appeared for Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, and Lutherans. Service organizations emerged, including the Pan American Student Association, Circle K and the Yellowjackets (who would later evolve into the group known as "Southern Style").