Dr. Eddie Holloway loves a parade. And fittingly, the dean of students at The University of Southern Mississippi is this year’s grand marshal for the school’s 2011 homecoming parade, a tradition he revived 15 years ago.
“I’m honored to be chosen as grand marshal,” Holloway said. “The child in me has not been fulfilled. I find such joy in parades.”
Holloway was instrumental in re-introducing the homecoming parade tradition, moribund since 1973, when he led Southern Miss staff and student leaders in organizing its return in 1996. He’s not only excited about the parade, but the entire week of homecoming when he “sees the familiar faces of former students and classmates.”
Holloway has been dean of students since 1996, but his relationship with Southern Miss began decades before. In 1968, he came to Southern Miss looking for a job. Soon after, he became a student at Southern Miss and his love for the university continues to grow.
For him, Southern Miss is not just where he works. It’s his family. “USM is a special place with such humble beginnings,” Holloway said. “And I am a real Golden Eagle.”
Lauren Barrios, student co-director for Southern Miss’ homecoming, said Holloway has been an important part of the Southern Miss Homecoming celebration for many years.
“Without him, the homecoming parade would not exist,” Barrios said. “Over the years, he’s done so much for Southern Miss students and the Student Government Association, and having him as grand marshal for the parade is our way of honoring and thanking him for his dedicated service.”
The parade returns to downtown Hattiesburg this year. Lineup is at 9 a.m. at Hawkins Elementary School on Green Street, behind the Hattiesburg Public Library. It will start at 10 a.m. and travel from there east down Hardy Street to Front Street, then turn left down Main Street and back to Hawkins Elementary School.
Spectator parking will be available at the Hattiesburg Train Depot, behind 206 Front Street restaurant and the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center and on Walnut Street near the intersection with Main Street.
Other parade participants include The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band, current and former members of the Dixie Darlings, Southern Miss cheerleaders, mascot Seymour and float entries from a variety of student organizations and local businesses, among others.
For more information about the parade, including entry information, contact the Southern Miss Dean of Students Office at 601.266.6028. For more information about the 2011 Southern Miss Homecoming, online visit http://www.southernmissalumni.com/s/995/internal.aspx?sid=995&gid=1&pgid=13&cid=664