HATTIESBURG -- Each year at Homecoming, the Southern
Miss Alumni Association presents six awards during the Annual
Awards Brunch, designed to recognize volunteer excellence in
service to the university.
The awards presented include
• Outstanding Service Award – given to seven alumni based on
their service to the University;
• Continuous Service Award – given to five alumni for their
long-term efforts and dedication to Southern Miss;
• Special Service Award – given to individuals, not necessarily
alumni, who have made a significant, unique contribution to
the University, community or their profession;
• Outstanding Young Alumnus/Alumna Award – given to one alum
36 years of age or younger who has made contributions of time
and effort to the University, community and their profession;
• Meritorious Service Award – given to one alum annually who
has continued to give of their time and talents throughout the
years to recognize outstanding alumni support, professional
achievement, loyalty and service to the University, and
• Friend of Southern Miss Award – given to one individual annually
who is not an alum, but has contributed greatly to the progress
of Southern Miss throughout the years.
This year’s recipients include
Outstanding Service Award
Dee Kelly Ervine ’63
Dee Ervine’s dedication to Southern Miss is evident in almost
everything she does. She has never forgotten her days as a Dixie
Darling, when she served as a captain all four of her years
on the team.
After leaving Southern Miss, Ervine founded the Starlettes
Dance Team, patterned after the Dixie Darlings, at the University
of New Orleans and was the group’s director/choreographer for
10 years. She was also the first director of the New Orleans
Saints professional cheerleading group in the newly opened Superdome.
Ervine has assisted Anne Larman ’63 with the organization
of the Dixie Darlings Alumnae Association for the past nine
years by maintaining contact with more than 800 team members.
Her proudest moment as alumnae choreographer was during Homecoming
2004 when 252 Dixie Darlings performed at halftime.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Ervine, who was a member of Kappa
Delta sorority, her husband John and their daughter Denise resided
on the beach in Pass Christian. All three were members of the
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church choir in Long Beach.
They are presently residing with children and grandchildren
in Rowlett, Texas.
Scott Hemeter ’90
Scott Hemeter’s outstanding service to Southern Miss is apparent
in his three-year role as president of the Southeast Central
Chapter of the Southern Miss Alumni Association. He was an active
board member prior to serving his term as president from 2002
Hemeter graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi
with a degree in construction engineering technology. Presently,
he is the owner of Ace Dry Cleaners in Waynesboro.
He and his wife, Dana, live in Waynesboro and are active members
of Liberty Baptist Church. Hemeter is also director of club
services for the Waynesboro Rotary Club and a member of the
American Dry Cleaners Association.
Steve Holifield ’78
The business education that Steve Holifield received from
Southern Miss has proven to be a valuable asset.
The resident of Meridian is currently employed as procurement
and inventory manager for the Southern Division of Rexel Inc.,
a multinational distributor of electrical supplies, equipment
and datacom products.
Prior to joining Rexel, Holifield was employed by Peavey Electronics
Corporation where he held the position of director of International
Procurement, Engineering and Distribution/Logistics.
Steve is married to Ann Thornton Holifield ’79 and has two
daughters currently attending the University of Southern Mississippi.
Steve is a former board member for the Association’s board of
directors and he currently serves on the board for the USM Foundation.
He is a member of First Baptist Church in Meridian and is an
Kuykendall Horne-Murry ’92
Kuykendall Horne-Murry was able to show her black and gold
pride in the city of red, white and blue – Washington D.C. While
a resident of the nation’s capital, Horne-Murry served as president
of the District of Columbia Chapter of the Southern Miss Alumni
Horne-Murry received her juris doctorate degree from the University
of Houston Law Center and she worked in Washington, D.C. for
the House of Representatives’ Veterans Affairs Committee and
the National Rifle Association.
She has spent the last four years as an energy attorney in
Washington, D.C., with the law firm of Troutman Sanders. During
that time, she served as president and corporate sponsor chair
of the Mississippi Society of Washington. She recently moved
to her hometown of Inverness with her husband, Blair, and their
two children, Tyler and Peyton.
Anne Larman ’63
Black and gold ran so deep in Anne Larman’s veins that even
when she lived in California her mind was still in Hattiesburg.
In 1994, while living in California, Larman founded the Dixie
Darling Alumnae Association. A Dixie Darling reunion is held
each year in conjunction with Homecoming. Since 1994, Dixie
Darling Alumnae have entertained football fans at halftime along
with the Pride and current Dixie Darlings.
Larman is a fund-raiser, helping garner funds for the Dixie
Darling Scholarship Fund, breast cancer research and the American
Cancer Society since 1996. She also initiated a program in 2005
to raise $1 million for The Pride of Mississippi and the Dixie
Darlings. In 2004, she took 46 past and present Dixie Darlings
to march in London's New Year's Day Parade. Larman's greatest
joy as the founder of the Dixie Darling Alumnae Association
is in knowing that her efforts have resulted in the rekindling
of many old friendships and the development of new ones. Today,
Larman still serves as the Dixie Darling Alumnae Association’s
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, she owned two Curves Fitness Centers
for Women gyms in Long Beach and Pass Christian. Larman contributed
to numerous charitable organizations through fund-raising projects
with Curves members. Anne is temporarily residing in Arizona.
Scott Leslie ’88, ’93
Scott Leslie’s service to the Southern Miss community is evident
in his role as president of the Southeast Mississippi Chapter
of the Southern Miss Alumni Association. He has been a member
of that chapter’s board of directors for the past 12 years.
During his tenure as a board officer, the chapter has raised
more than $50,000 for the Jackson County Endowed Academic Scholarship
Fund and has awarded more than $23,000 in scholarships to Jackson
County high school students.
Leslie has also been instrumental in raising money for Southern
Miss’ endowed athletic scholarship fund as well as the new athletic
facility. Along with being involved with the University locally,
he was elected in 2003 to serve on the Association’s board of
He and his wife, the former Ann Cagle, reside in Ocean Springs.
He attends St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Ocean Springs
and is a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society as well as
a counselor for the Columbian Squires at St. Alphonsus Catholic
Andy Stogner ’97
Andy Stogner’s dedication to Southern Miss is displayed in
his role as past president of the Desoto County Chapter of the
Southern Miss Alumni Association. He is also a member of the
Upon graduating from Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s
degree in business administration, Stogner worked for Mississippi
Valley Gas Company in Southaven.
In 2003, Stogner accepted a position in property and casualty
insurance sales with an independent insurance agency located
He is married to Kathy Stogner ’97. The couple resides in
Southaven and has a 19-month-old son, Whitman.
Continuous Service Award
Tom Eselin ’58
Tom Eselin’s passion for Southern Miss has not waned since
his graduation in 1958. Eselin has served as national president
of the Association and as member of the USM Foundation’s board
of directors. The Association has recognized Eselin with the
Outstanding Service Award, induction into the Alumni Hall of
Fame and now with the Continuous Service Award. He is also a
member of the Eagle Club.
Eselin is a retired health care executive. Prior to retirement,
he spent seven years with Christus Health in Texas and six years
with Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans.
He and his wife Virginia are currently residing with relatives
in Pascagoula. The couple has three children and two grandchildren.
Harmon Hodge ’79
As a Life Member of the Southern Miss Alumni Association,
Harmon Hodge constantly shows his support for Southern Miss.
He joined the Association while living in Cambridge, Ohio, and
also served as founding president of the Columbia, S.C., Chapter.
Hodge also served as president of the Atlanta Chapter.
In 1998, the Association honored Hodge with an Outstanding
Service Award, and he continues his service with his support
of athletics on campus. He was formally the Eagle Club director
of Atlanta and remains an Eagle Club member. Hodge and others
from Atlanta formed the Atlanta Mafia, a group of alumni who
attend Southern Miss football games in costume.
Professionally, Hodge is a systems engineer with BellSouth
Science and Technology. He and his wife, Carolyn ’79, live in
Atlanta with their daughter Jamie Lee Hodge. The Hodges are
supporters of the Northeast Atlanta Ballet, where Jamie is a
senior company member.
Mikey Marshall ’83
As the son of a past president of the Alumni Association and
two graduates of Southern Miss, Mikey Marshall’s love for the
University comes as no surprise. Marshall is the son of Earl
Marshall ’58, president in 1979-80, and Bobby Jones Marshall
Like his parents, Mikey Marshall has shown his dedication
to the Southern Miss community through his outstanding service
as an alum. He has served as director for the Mobile, Ala.,
Chapter of the Association and as district director for the
Mobile Area Eagle Club. In 1990, Marshall was awarded the Outstanding
Young Alumnus Award by the Association, and in 2000, he was
awarded the Outstanding Service Award. Marshall is also a member
of the Eagle Club and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Alumni Association.
Currently, Marshall is vice president and general manager
for Metals USA Plates and Shapes Southeast Inc. He and his wife,
Julie, live in Daphne, Ala., with their 15-year-old son, Myers.
He is a member of Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church, the Senior
Bowl Quarterback Club, the First and Ten Club and the Coastal
Liz Payne ’68
As a Life Member of the Southern Miss Alumni Association,
Liz Payne has shown her pride for the Southern Miss community
through her philanthropic efforts to support Lady Eagle athletics
and her support of the College of Education and Psychology.
Each year since 1994, one athlete from a Southern Miss female
athletic team receives the Elizabeth Newell Payne Endowment.
Payne is a member of the advisory council for the College of
Education and Psychology. She also serves on the committee for
the restoration and expansion of the Ogletree House for the
Southern Miss Alumni Association.
Payne is part of a committee of Christian volunteers and physicians
of the Honduran Medical Scholarship Fund. The group’s goal is
to prepare deserving Honduran students for medical school by
providing full scholarship support for an undergraduate degree
from Southern Miss. Payne makes it a priority to travel to Honduras
each year on a medical and dental mission.
Payne and her husband, Larry, live in Hattiesburg. They have
three sons who have attended Southern Miss.
Benny Waddle ’82
After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1982, Benny Waddle
never let Southern Miss stray far from his heart or his mind.
Waddle is a former recipient of the Outstanding Service Award,
and he is a board member for both the Southern Miss Alumni Association
and the USM Foundation. He also has served on the Association’s
events committee and has served as an officer in his local alumni
chapter. Waddle also supports athletics as a member of the Eagle
Currently Waddle is senior vice president of Business Banking
at Hancock Bank. He is a board member for DREAM and the Salvation
Army. Waddle serves as treasurer for the W.I. Thames Elementary
School Parent Teacher Organization. He is also a member of the
Hattiesburg Kiwanis Club and chairman of the American Heart
Association 2005 heart walk.
Waddle lives in Hattiesburg with his wife, Pamela Gillespie
Waddle ’83, and their two children, Amanda, 13, and Benjamin,
10. They attend Parkway Heights United Methodist Church.
Special Service Award
Arthur Bradley, DDS
Originally a native of Millry, Ala., Arthur Bradley has made
Southern Miss and Hattiesburg his home for more than 50 years.
For 20 years, Bradley was president of the Southern Miss Educational
Building Corporation, a group responsible for facilitating a
number of construction projects on campus. In 1983, he was elected
president of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, and he served
that post for one year.
Bradley is active in Jaycees, Kiwanis and Parkway Heights
United Methodist Church. The Bradleys have three sons, all Southern
Miss alumni, and six grandchildren. He retired from his local
dental practice after serving the community for 38 years and
now works with a Rural Health Initiative Clinic in Leaksville.
Shaun ’95, Collins ’90 and Gregg Hess
Shaun, Collins and Gregg Hess consistently show their black
and gold spirit.
The Hess triplets have each served in various facets for the
betterment of the University. Shaun and Collins have each served
as president for the North Alabama Chapter of the Alumni Association.
All three brothers have been president of the Alabama Chapter
of the M-Club.
The brothers are especially active in Southern Miss athletics.
In 1997, they started the “Alabama Game Get-Together.” The get-together
was developed to bring former Southern Miss athletes, alumni,
fans and friends together. In 2003 and 2005, they brought more
than 85 Pop Warner football players, coaches and parents to
the Southern Miss vs. UAB game in Birmingham. They acquired
a ticket to the game, a “Go Gold!” t-shirt and sports posters
for each attendee. Gregg and Collins coach the Pop Warner football
players. Also, the triplets have held football season tickets
for more than 10 years.
All three brothers live in Huntsville. Shaun is the president
of Monte Sano Pharmaceuticals, a marketing and sales company
of proprietary prescription pharmaceuticals. Collins is vice
president of operations for Monte Sano Pharmaceuticals. Gregg
currently works for Teledyne Brown Engineering in their business
Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
Tony Palazzo II ’91
A Life Member of the Alumni Association, Tony Palazzo is an
active and involved member of the Southern Miss community. A
past president of the Northeast Mississippi Chapter of the Alumni
Association, Palazzo serves on the board of directors for the
Association and is a member of the Eagle Club.
While at Southern Miss, Palazzo served as treasurer for both
the Student Government Association and the Kappa Sigma fraternity
and was Student Government Association senator. He is currently
the chief financial officer for North Mississippi Medical Clinics,
Inc., which is a hospital system-owned physician practice network.
He is a member of the Medical Group Member Association, serving
as the secretary of the Mississippi chapter, the Healthcare
Financial Management Association and the Mississippi Society
of Certified Public Accountants.
Palazzo is married to the former Amy LeAnne Taylor of Hamilton,
Ala. The couple has two children, Madison and Joseph, and are
expecting a third. They reside in Tupelo.
Friend of Southern Miss Award
A board member for the Partners for the Arts and the Eagle
Club, Holt McMullen’s dedication to the University of Southern
Mississippi is unquestioned. McMullan invested much of his time
during 2004 as chairman of the campaign for a $12 million bond
issue in Hattiesburg that would have contributed greatly to
Southern Miss athletic facility improvements if passed.
McMullen is a native of Newton and has been in the banking
business for more than 30 years and is currently president of
Trustmark National Bank in Hattiesburg.
He is active in numerous community activities. He is treasurer
of the Area Development Partnership of Hattiesburg and is a
board member for the Pine Burr Area Council of the Boy Scouts
and Wesley Medical Center. McMullen is also on the advisory
council for the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and the Center for
the Study of Southern Culture.
He is married to the former Lynn Stevens of Richton and is
the father of two children, Arlean Sackler of Hattiesburg, and
Will McMullen of Boston. They are active members of Trinity
Episcopal Church, where he presently serves as chairman of the
finance committee and is a former vestryman.
Meritorious Service Award
Tom Potter ’64
After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1964, Tom Potter has
stayed connected to Southern Miss in many ways. He is a member
of the Southern Miss Alumni Association and Eagle Club. The
Association honored Potter’s dedication to Southern Miss with
the Outstanding Service Award in 1995.
Potter receives this meritorious award in honor of his former
service as member of the Alumni Association board of directors,
vice president of the Association, alumni traditions committee
member, member of the USM Foundation board of directors and
as a member of the planned giving committee of the Foundation.
In addition to his service with the University, Potter is
the vice president and manager of private banking at Trustmark
National Bank in Hattiesburg. He was commissioned as a second
lieutenant through the Southern Miss ROTC program. He served
two years of active duty and attained the rank of major in the
U.S. Army Reserves.
Potter is married to Paula Briede Potter. The couple resides
in Hattiesburg, and they have four children and seven grandchildren.
The URL of this document is: