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Former Mayor Bobby Chain Chosen Grand Marshal for Homecoming Parade PDF Print E-mail
Friday, October 16, 2009
Contact David Tisdale, 601.266.4499   
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A longtime Hattiesburg businessman and public servant whose devotion to The University of Southern Mississippi is well known will play a key role in the university’s 2009 homecoming.

Bobby Chain, chairman and CEO of Chain Electric Company in Hattiesburg who served as the city’s mayor from 1980-1985, has been chosen grand marshal for the university’s popular homecoming parade. The parade begins at noon Saturday, Oct. 24 from University Mall east to the main entrance of the Southern Miss campus.

Chain will be accompanied by his wife, Betty. Mr. Chain has given much to the university and to Hattiesburg,” said Southern Miss Dean of Students Dr. Eddie Holloway. “I can not think of another that loves Southern Miss so strongly.  We’re proud to honor him with the title of grand marshal for our parade.”

A U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, Chain attended Southern Miss when it was then Mississippi Southern College (MSC) in the early 1950s, following graduation from its Demonstration School, which was located in the university’s George Hurst Building. The school served as a training laboratory for MSC students aspiring to become school teachers.

Southern Miss holds a special place in his heart, Chain said. “I had a presence on the campus from grammar school through college, so being chosen grand marshal is a real honor,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the parade and cheering the Golden Eagles on to victory over Tulane.”

Chain is a member of the university Alumni Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Southern Miss Department of Athletics Distinguished Service Award and the Alumni Association’s Continuous Service Award. He served on the university’s College of Business Advisory Council from 1988-2003 and as chairman of the university’s 75th anniversary campaign, and was national coordinator for the establishment of the university’s Trent Lott Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.

Chain has also served on numerous boards at the local, state and national level. He was a member of the board of trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning from 1972-1984, serving as its president in 1978. He was a member of the board of directors for the Mississippi Economic Council from 1982-1983 and 1992-1993.

He was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to serve on the National Advisory Council for the Small Business Administration 1964-1968 and by President Reagan to serve on the National Advisory Council on Adult Education from 1984-1988, the latter for which he served as chairman from 1986-1987.

Chain is the recipient of the first Hub Award, given to an individual who has made significant contributions to advance the quality of life of the Hattiesburg community. Last year, the Pine Burr Area Council and the Boy Scouts of America presented Chain with its 2008 Lifetime of Achievement Award, and this year he received the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 2009 Hope Award..

A number of Hattiesburg area facilities are named in his honor, including the university’s Bobby Chain Technology Center and the Bobby Chain Airport, located at the Hattiesburg Industrial Park.

Lineup for the parade is at 11 a.m. at the University Mall parking lot on Hardy Street. The parade begins at noon, traveling from University Mall east down Hardy Street to the main entrance of campus.

The university’s Pride of Mississippi Marching Band, homecoming court, cheerleaders and bands from high schools and community colleges across the state are expected to participate, along with floats and decorated vehicles representing Hattiesburg businesses and campus and community organizations.

For more information about the parade or to learn how to participate, contact the Southern Miss Dean of Students Office at 601.266.6028.

PHOTO: Bobby Chain

About The University of Southern MississippiThe University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at
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