USM President Dr. Joseph S. Paul, right, and Richard Clark, Director of the NGB History Office, signed the historic agreement on Jan. 23 in Washington, D.C. (Photo from USM)
Working with the National Guard Bureau, USM will be the central repository for archival materials and oral histories for the Guard.
The University of Southern Mississippi and the National Guard Bureau have signed an agreement to establish the Center for the Study of the National Guard on USM’s Hattiesburg campus.
The collaboration between Southern Miss and the Guard will establish a central repository for archival materials and oral histories to function as an international-level resource for the center for the study of the Guard’s past, present and future.
All collected materials will be housed within the USM’s Dale Center for the Study of War and Society, which serves as a resource for the study of the history of warfare and its influence on soldiers and civilians. USM will preserve the documents and provide public and academic access to the materials as determined to be appropriate by the National Guard Bureau Historian.
USM President Dr. Joe Paul and Richard Clark, Director of the NGB History Office, signed the formal memorandum of understanding during a ceremony at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters, in Washington, D.C. last week.
Dr. Paul said the Guard center complements the activities on their campus. He said the partnership was not only good for USM but for Mississippi.
“For this National Center to be at The University of Southern Mississippi and at home in Mississippi is of profound significance to Southern Miss and the great State of Mississippi,” Dr. Paul said.
Dr. Andrew Wiest will serve as co-director of the Center of the Study of the National Guard. He is a professor of history and the founding Director of the Dale Center at USM.
“The Guard’s documents are out there,” Wiest said, “but they’re scattered to museums, archives, armories and attics all over the country.”
Wiest said he and fellow co-director Kevin Greene felt the Dale Center would be the best place to help centralize these materials.
“We want to make USM an academic home for past and present National Guard service personnel and their families,” Greene said. “A place where their stories of service and sacrifice can be preserved and can be told.”