The Alabama-Mississippi Sociological Association traces its roots to September 1969 when 12 sociologists from 11 colleges and universities met at the University of Alabama to consider the formation of a new two-state organization.
The first conference of the fledgling association was held in November 1969 at Mississippi State University. About 100 sociologists attended the conference, representing 22 schools from Alabama and Mississippi. The second conference was held at Alabama State University (in Montgomery) during the month of November 1970, with 30 schools represented. The association’s annual meeting continues to alternate between the two states. Dr. Harold Kaufman of Mississippi State University served as the first A-MSA president (called “chair” at the time), followed by Dr. Harry Dickinson from Samford College.
The initial purpose of the organization was “to facilitate and encourage cooperative relations among sociologists in the two-state area” with an emphasis on “the improvement of teaching, research, and the applied phases of sociology”—themes that continue to this day. Since its earliest history, schools of all sizes have been active participants in the A-MSA, and scores of students have made their sociological debuts through paper presentations and panel discussions at annual conferences.
Nearly five decades later, the A-MSA still provides a vital academic and research link among sociologists in Alabama and Mississippi.