October 23, 2014  

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Southern Miss Alumni Association to Induct Seven into Hall of Fame

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The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association will induct seven of the university’s most dedicated and distinguished volunteers into its Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 25 as one of the highlights of the 2013 Homecoming celebration.

The banquet and ceremony will be held in the Grand Ballroom in the Thad Cochran Center located on the Hattiesburg campus.

The Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to recognize those whose contributions of time and financial means have helped move the university forward.

The 2013 inductees include:

James B. Gallaspy Jr. ’70, ’72 

James “Jim” B. Gallaspy Jr., a native of Jackson, returned to his alma mater in 1974, working for Southern Miss for 26 years. He was awarded associate professor, emeritus status in 2001. During his time as program director for the Athletic Training Education Program, more than 200 students received national certification as certified athletic trainers.

This member of the Golden Key National Honor Society was selected as the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by the College of Health in 2007, among numerous other awards.

Jim has authored the textbook Signs and Symptoms of Athletic Injuries and has published more than 20 articles.

He is a past president of the Mississippi Athletic Trainers' Association and the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association. He was a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ board of directors from 1994-97, serving as the NATA vice president in 1997. He received the NATA Sayers "Bud" Miller Distinguished Athletic Trainer Educator Award in 1992, the SEATA District Award in 1994 and the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 1995. SEATA again recognized him in 1997 with the Award of Merit.

Jim has served as a volunteer leader for the Forrest County Association for the Rights of Citizens with Disabilities for many years and currently serves on the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities.

This member of the M-Club Alumni Hall of Fame received the All American Football Foundation Outstanding Athletic Trainer Award in March 2000. He was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame in 2000, the Mississippi Athletic Trainers' Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Southeast Athletic Trainers’ Hall of Fame in 2007. This Life Member of the Alumni Association and M-Club treasurer is a member of the Eagle Club, Dugout Club, Hardwood Club and Golden Tee Club. Jim is married to the former Sue Barnett and they have two children, Kim and Jay.

Billy Hewes ‘84

Most recently named mayor of Gulfport, Mississippi’s second largest city, Billy Hewes is putting his experience to good use in building relationships and putting together a team of city leaders to maximize the opportunities ahead for his community.

A tradition of public service runs deep in the Hewes family. He is a direct descendent of the first mayor of Gulfport. In addition, Billy’s grandfather served as a chancery judge for many years, and his father served on the Gulfport City Council. Following a generation example of leadership, his family has enjoyed a long history of community support and civic involvement.

Elected to public service in 1992, Billy represented the interests of South Mississippi in the Mississippi Senate for 20 years, serving as president pro tempore in his last term. Among other roles, he has served as national chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council and as chairman of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. In addition, Billy has served as chairman of the Senate Ports and Marine Resources Committee and Highways and Transportation Committee; was the founding chairman of the Mississippi National Guard Legislative Caucus; and was named Mississippi Association of Realtors Legislator of the Year.

He is the owner of Billy Hewes Insurance Agency and is a broker-associate with Billy Hewes Real Estate. He has been the recipient of the Nationwide Insurance Company’s District Community Service Award five times and is a member of the Gulf Coast Board of Realtors and Gulf Coast Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

A graduate of Leadership Mississippi and Leadership Gulf Coast, Billy is a member of the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, Gulfport Rotary Club and is a past president of the Gulfport Jaycees.

A devoted family man, he and his wife, Paula, have been married for 28 years and are the proud parents of four children.

Samuel Jones ’97, ‘02          

Dr. Samuel Jones is a native of Gunnison and graduate of Rosedale/West Bolivar High School. He is currently the dean of Student Affairs at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville. He is also the dean (facilitator/trainer) for the Mississippi Economic Council’s Leadership Mississippi program. In his past positions at the college, he served as the assistant basketball coach, student recruiter and the assistant dean of Student Affairs.

Sam received a bachelor’s degree in advertising in 1997 and a master’s degree in public relations in 2002, both from The University of Southern Mississippi. He also received a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in educational leadership in 2006.

Following a stellar basketball career at Southern Miss, he continued his professional basketball career in Finland.

Sam has been fortunate to be able to combine his athletic background along with his educational and professional background to make an impact in his community. He has served his community in several volunteer capacities.

Sam is also the owner of the consulting company Dr. Samuel Jones Consulting LLC, which is designed for keynote presentations on various topics and professional/leadership development seminars. He works with K-12 school districts, colleges and universities, and business organizations in areas such as customer service, crisis management, diversity training, feasibility studies and other important issues.

Sam is the author of The Man I Never Knew: How Leadership Can be Developed by Faith, Family and Friends. His personal and professional motto is “Changing Lives with Every Word.”

Sam is married to the former Sarah Clark of Richton. He is a licensed minister of the gospel and serves as the superintendent for Sunday School at Peace and Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church in Richton.

Lou Marciani ‘84

Dr. Lou Marciani’s distinguished record of service to The University of Southern Mississippi spans more than three decades and continues today. Lou joined the University in 1974 as the first full-time director of Intramural Sports. Under his leadership, the program was enhanced and the department was expanded to Intramural-Recreational Sports.

Lou was instrumental in creating the student referendum that passed in 1984 for the purpose of constructing a campus recreation facility, later known as the Payne Center. Through his leadership, the Department of Intramural-Recreational Sports increased its services. During his tenure, the department grew the intramural-recreation facilities with the addition of lighted intramural fields, Lake Sehoy and the Equestrian Center.

After serving as athletic director at Salisbury University and East Stroudsburg University, Lou rejoined Southern Miss in 1989 as associate athletic director for External Affairs. In 1991, he was given the opportunity to serve as athletic director at Western Kentucky University, and Drexel University and as executive director of two governing committees for the United States Olympic Committee.

He returned to Southern Miss in 2004 to serve as director of the School of Human Performance and Recreation. It was during this period that his research endeavors were the impetus for the formation of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security. The Center supports the advancement of sports safety and security through research, training, professional development and academic programs.

Lou was a past president of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association as well as the 1983 recipient of NIRSA’s Honor Award, the highest recognition for a Campus Recreation professional. In 2013, Lou was cited as a NIRSA Legacy. Locally, he spearheaded the formation of the Hattiesburg Youth Soccer Association.

Lou has been married to the former Sandra Sorger for 44 years, and they are parents of four children, all Southern Miss graduates, and have five grand children.

Susan Archer Riley ’78, ‘83

Susan Archer Riley is a certified public accountant and is a partner with Nicholson & Company PLLC. With more than 30 years of public accounting experience, she began her career with a “Big 8” firm. Susan has a mixture of experience in audit work and tax services, and her primary practice is centered on governmental, nonprofit and small business audits and the tax services related to those entities.

Susan has a Bachelor of Science and master’s degree from The University of Southern Mississippi. She currently serves on the USM Foundation board of directors, the Accounting Advisory Board for Southern Miss, and as a board member and past president of the Southern Miss Accounting Constituent Society for the Alumni Association. In addition, Susan has been a board member and past president for the South Central Mississippi Chapter of the Alumni Association.

In 1995, Susan was selected as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in the State of Mississippi, and in 2002, she was selected as one of the Top 10 Business Women in Mississippi. Susan also serves on the Hattiesburg Community Bank Board of BancorpSouth.  She has been very active in the local American Heart Association.

Susan is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) and serves on the Firm Administration and Development Committee with the State Society. She has also served on the Peer Review Oversight Committee for the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy and as an officer of the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Charles “Chuck” Scianna ‘75

Southern Miss alumnus Charles “Chuck” Scianna made an investment in the future of education by providing the largest one-time gift to the USM Foundation by a Southern Miss alumnus, naming the College of Business building Scianna Hall.

A native of Bay St. Louis, Chuck credits his education at Southern Miss for much of his success, which allows him and his family to support the many philanthropies for which they have a passion.

During his time at the University, Chuck focused on his education and full-time position as co-manager of A & P Food Store in Bay St. Louis. In addition, Chuck served in the United States Marine Corps. After graduating, he moved to Texas to take advantage of the many opportunities the oil industry provided.

After working for a number of different large energy companies and starting a company of his own, Chuck seized an opportunity to build the multimillion-dollar Oil Country Tubular Goods business Sim-Tex. He secured an exclusive distributor relationship for the Hyundai Hysco OCTG products, a relationship that has been going strong for 30 years. In addition, he has secured exclusive distribution for Benteler Steel OCTG products for the United States market.

Chuck is an active community volunteer. He has served as president of the Waller Economic Development Corporation, a member of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation American Patriots Campaign, the Knights of Columbus Council and The Commandants Circle of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Chuck sits on the board of directors of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Boys and Girls Country, and is involved with numerous other charities both on a local and national level.

His daughters, Ashley and Stephanie, reside in Houston and work for Sim-Tex. Chuck and his wife, Rita, enjoy working on their ranch, fishing and spending time with their family, including their granddaughter, Claire.

Robert St. John ‘00

Robert St. John has spent more than three decades in the restaurant business. Twenty-five of those years have been as the owner of the Purple Parrot Café, Crescent City Grill, Mahogany Bar, Tabella and Branch in Hattiesburg.

Robert is a restaurateur, chef, columnist and author. His restaurant, The Purple Parrot Café, has been named the best fine dining restaurant in Mississippi and just received its fourth Four-Diamond rating from the AAA Travel Guide. Additionally, in 2011, AAA named Purple Parrot Café the second-best fine-dining restaurant in the South (just behind Commander’s Palace). He has been named the state’s top chef for three consecutive years and was honored as Mississippi Restaurateur of the Year.

Robert has served on numerous boards, both on the local and national level, and has been awarded countless awards, including being named the Pine Belt’s Small Business Leader of the Year in 2005 and being appointed by Governor Haley Barbour to serve on the Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal in the immediate days after Hurricane Katrina.

Robert is a charter member of the University’s Eagle Club Circle of Champions and is the founder of The Purple Parrot Café Scholarship for Hospitality Management students at Southern Miss, which, for over two decades, has helped students with tuition and expenses while working in the hospitality field.

He has been featured in USA TODAY and has appeared on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, National Public Radio, Martha Stewart Living and the Turner South network. He is the author of nine books, including three collaborations with renowned watercolorist Wyatt Waters. Robert's newest book project was written in Europe while he, his wife and his two children traveled through 17 countries on two continents for six months. The book, An Italian Palate, another collaboration with Waters, will be released on Oct. 23.

In 2009, he founded Extra Table, a nonprofit organization that purchases healthy foods and ships them to soup kitchens and mission pantries. His greatest achievement, however, has been convincing his wife to put up with him for 25 years while they raise their two amazing children.