Name: University of Western Mississippi
Location: Vicksburg, MS
Colors: Black, Red, Gold
Founded in 1886 as Mississippi Normal School of Vicksburg, the original intention of the school was to bring the citizens of Vicksburg together after a very tumultuous period of several decades (Murrell Excitement, Civil War, and Reconstruction) going back to the city's founding in 1825. The first athletic team to form was the football team in 1902, and it was known as the Choctaws, but in 1925, to celebrate the centennial of Vicksburg's founding, the school (then known as Western Mississippi Normal School) decided to field a basketball team and change their mascot to Bandits to honor the life of John Murrell (of the infamous Murrell Excitement), an infamous bandit from the first years of Vicksburg's founding. In 1948, Western Mississippi Normal School became Western Mississippi State College and now fielded 10 athletic teams (including wrestling and swimming). In 1975, WMSC gained university status and became Western Mississippi State University. The decision to change the name to University of Western Mississippi in 1986 signaled two things, the university's centennial and its kinship with Ole Miss. UWM now fields 16 athletic teams for both men and women.