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Released November 3, 2003


HATTIESBURG - The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association inducted its 2003 Hall of Fame class during special ceremonies held during the university's homecoming Nov.1.

Members of the class were presented during halftime of the Southern Miss-Louisiana-Lafayette football game. The class includes the following:

Stone D. Barefield '52

Over the course of his professional life, Stone Barefield has given generously of his time to his community. After graduating from Southern Miss in 1952, he received his juris doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi. Barefield, a Hattiesburg resident, was in private practice from 1954 through 1983, then from 1992 until the present. He was retained as an attorney for the Forrest County Board of Supervisors from 1969-1984 and was the full-time attorney for the county and the board from 1984-1991. He served as assistant attorney general in 1993.

In 1959, he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives and served six consecutive terms. While in office, he authored important pieces of legislation that impacted the elderly and public schoolteachers, and was the original author of the Open Primary Election law. Barefield also secured legislation for the creation of the Pearl and Leaf Rivers Rails to Trails Recreation District as well as a bond authorization of $150,000 to acquire and develop the Longleaf Trace.

Barefield's efforts extend to several organizations as well. He is a member of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans, Mississippi Division, serving as judge advocate from 1993-2003. Barefield is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Shrine and Presidential Library. He is also a Scottish Rite Mason.

A veteran, Barefield served with the U.S. Merchant Marines and the U.S. Marine Corps. He and his wife, Bonnie, have four children - Stone Jr., Allen, Julia and Michael, and five grandchildren.

Maj. Gen. Buford C. Blount III '71

In March 2003, Maj. Gen. Buford C. Blount III led the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) as they spearheaded coalition efforts in the recent Gulf War. Blount, a Southern Miss ROTC graduate, is commander of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, a post he has held since October 2001. He commands nearly 20,000 soldiers and 3,000 civilian employees in the mechanized division and oversees units stationed at Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Benning, Ga.

Blount has a long history of outstanding leadership and service in the Army and for the nation and has served in a variety of command and staff positions prior to commanding the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). Command assignments include commander, Combat Support Company and B Company, 3rd Battalion, 77th Armor, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Polk, La.; commander, A Troop, 15th Cavalry, 197th Infantry Brigade, Fort Benning, Ga.; commander, 3rd Battalion, 64th Armor, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), USAREUR and Seventh Army, Germany; commander, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Carson, Colo.

Blount, who was commissioned an armor officer in 1971, is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic Course, the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the United States Naval War College, where he earned a master's degree in national security and strategic studies.

His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with six Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Army Commendation Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters.)

Blount is married to the former Anita Barr '69 of Collins. They have two daughters and one grandson.

Gene D. Carlisle '64

Since graduating in 1964, entrepreneur Gene Carlisle has been dedicated member of the Southern Miss community. A life member of the alumni association, he is also chairman of the Southern Miss College of Business and Economic Development's Business Advisory Council and serves on the USM Foundation's Board of Directors. Carlisle's service to the university has been recognized recently. In 2002, he was named the CBED's Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

Presently, Carlisle is founder and sole shareholder of Carlisle Corporation, the parent holding company for all subsidiaries including Carlisle Properties, Carlisle Hotels Inc., Carlisle Media and Wendelta Inc. The corporation oversees the operations of three Holiday Inn Hotels, one Hampton Inn, 2,500 apartments and Wendy's Restaurants located throughout Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.

Carlisle is a trustee for Wendy's National Advertising Program and serves on the board of directors for Deer Valley Club. In 2003, Carlisle was nominated for Wendy's International's Founders Award; he was also nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year for the Ernst and Young Award. In 2002, Carlisle was a Mississippi Business Hall of Fame inductee, and in 2001, he was named Operator of the Year, Southeast Region for Wendy's.

Carlisle and his wife, Karen, reside in Memphis. They have three children: Courtney, Chance and Chase.

Patricia "Pat" Cruise '63

After receiving a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1963, Pat Cruise devoted her career to teaching. She was employed by the Biloxi Public School System, the Mobile, Ala., Public School System and the Jones County School System. Additionally, she was a charter member of the Jones County American Federation of teachers, serving as treasurer for 20 years. Cruise received many teaching awards, among them the Award for Excellence and the Golden Apple Award presented by WDAM-TV and Alfa Insurance Agency for excellence in teaching.

An active member of the Southern Miss community - Cruise and her husband, Grover, are season ticket holders and are members of the Eagle Club and Hardwood Club - Cruise has also been recognized by her alma mater. The alumni association honored her with its Outstanding Service Award, the Continuous Outstanding Service Award and the Scott Caldwell Award for Outstanding Chapter President. Presently, she is serving her third term as president of the Laurel Metro Chapter of the Alumni Association, a position she held in 1992 and 1996.

Cruise also devotes her time to the community. For more than 20 years, she has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross of the Pine Belt and also works disaster services. She also served for eight years on the adult staff of the Red Cross Youth Leadership Camp. In 1998, she and her husband received the "Pine Belt Area Volunteer of the Year" award from the Pine Belt chapter of the American Red Cross.

Cruise and her husband have one son, Scott '94, and two grandchildren - Parker, 4, and Marley, 3.

Brig. Gen. Jeff W. Hammond '78, '83

Brig. Gen. Jeff W. Hammond's service to his country can be traced back to his time at Southern Miss. The three-year varsity football letterman and team captain was also a member of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps and earned distinction as a distinguished military graduate.

Following graduation in 1978, Hammond was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and chose to pursue a professional active duty military career. In this regard, he has served with soldiers throughout the world to include duty in the United States, Germany, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Bosnia. Hammond commanded at the company through brigade levels and has twice served in the Pentagon. Over the years he led soldiers in combat and peace enforcement operations to include his current duty assignment with the British Army as a corps operations officer. In October 2002, Hammond was promoted to brigadier general.

Hammond received a master's degree in special education from Southern Miss in 1983, and in 1992, he was awarded a master's degree in national security and strategic studies from the United States Naval War College.

Hammond and his wife, the former Diane Centanni of Hattiesburg, have been married for more than 20 years. They have two children, Michael, 13, and Megan, 11. The family resides in Rheindahlen, Germany.

Jeffery W. Johnson '86

A leader in the advancement profession, Jeffery Johnson's successful career in higher education began at Southern Miss. As a student, he served as a resident assistant, vice president of the Student Alumni Association and a Southern Style ambassador. These experiences led to Johnson being employed in a full-time position in the university's Office of Recruitment as a recruiter intern. He served in this position while still a full-time student, completing his bachelor's degree.

After graduating, Johnson was offered full-time employment at Southern Miss. He worked for the university until 1991, when he joined the staff of the Kansas University Alumni Association. In the five years at KUAA, he received excellent work reviews and three promotions. In 1995, he earned a master's degree in higher education administration from KU.

Johnson, now nearing his 20th year in higher education, is president and CEO of the Iowa State University Alumni Association. He is among the top leaders in the advancement field and has a strong record of personal and professional achievements, dedication and commitment to institutional advancement, and involvement in his alma maters and other industry organizations. Johnson is sought after to oversee or help facilitate changes in how not-for-profit organizations, like many alumni associations, survive in this new economy.

His goal in the next five years is to develop a comprehensive document that speaks to the need of the relationship among a campus' alumni association, its foundation and that of its institution to be as coordinated and seamless as possible.

Johnson and his wife, Peggy '88, have two children, Krystal, 16, and Kristopher, 14. The family resides in Ames, Iowa.

Dr. Tom Rhea Phillips Jr. '50

Dr. Tom Rhea Phillips is an active and involved member of the Hattiesburg and Southern Miss communities. As a student, Phillips was president of the university's class of 1950, treasurer of the Student Government Association and a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

His involvement with Southern Miss didn't end when he graduated. Phillips is a member of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, Eagle Club, Partners for the Arts, the Dr. Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies and the USM Foundation, where he serves on the Executive Committee.

The Hattiesburg native serves or has served as chairman, president or advisory board member of several area organizations, including the Salvation Army, the Mississippi chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Hattiesburg Historical Society and the Mississippi Dental Association Peer Review (at the state and district levels). Phillips is a charter member of the Nathan Bedford Forrest chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and belongs to the Commander Isaac Carter chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is a Boy Scouts of America leader and a recipient of the council's Pine Burr award.

Phillips also has worked with the environmental agenda, and in 1990 the Mississippi Forestry Commission named him Tree Farmer of the Year for South Mississippi. The Audubon Society also presented him with a conservation award. Additionally, Phillips built the largest, longest and, until recently, the only covered bridge in Mississippi. He also built Timberlakes Subdivision.

A graduate of the Loyola University School of Dentistry, Phillips owns his own dental practice in Hattiesburg. He and his wife, Barbara '59, have five children: Tom Rhea III '88, David Michael, Alesia Ann, John Allen '87 and Barbara Lynn. All of his children either attended or are attending Southern Miss.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM