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Alumni

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 7:45am
William Carey University added eight inductees to the Sports Hall of Fame during the fifth annual induction ceremony and dinner at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg on Saturday, March 28.
 
The inductees included Steve Knight, Bobby Halford, Dan Jennings, Forrest Stevenson, Howard Moore, Janet McNease Green, Rickey Coleman and Rick Ferrell.
 
Knight, director of athletics and head men's basketball coach at Carey, played baseball and basketball of the University of Southern Mississippi from 1974-1978 before playing two seasons with the Seattle Mariners. In 1981, he became a graduate assistant coach for basketball and baseball at Carey and was named head coach of the men's basketball team in 1982. In 33 seasons as head coach, he has won 610 games and multiple conference and district championships. He is the state's all-time winningest basketball coach at a four-year institution. Knight has also been selected to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
 
Halford, head baseball coach at Carey, played baseball for then-William Carey College in the early 1970s. In 1976, he was named assistant baseball coach and head coach for women's basketball. Halford led the Lady Crusaders for 10 seasons and captured a conference championship. He was named head baseball coach in 1986 and in 30 seasons has won numerous conference and district championships. In February 2015, Halford secured his 1000th career win and is currently number eight on the NAIA wins list.
 
Jennings played baseball at Carey and graduated in 1984. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Yankees in 1985 and played Class A ball with the Greensboro Bats before becoming head coach at Davidson High School from 1985-1987. He returned to professional baseball in 1986 as an associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds. In 1988, Jennings became an area scout for the Seattle Mariners. In 1995, he was named the director of scouting for the Tampa Bay Rays before joining the Miami Marlins in 2002 as a scout. He was named assistant general manager of the Marlins in 2007 and was promoted to general manager in 2013.
 
Stevenson played baseball and men's basketball at Carey. On the baseball team, he served as starting catcher and started every game on the 1969 NAIA national championship team as a freshman. In 1972, he was named team captain and All-District. After graduating from Carey in 1972 with a degree in physical education, Stevenson began working with Norfolk and Western Railway. He was the first certified professional environmental auditor in West Virginia prior to his retirement in 2010.
 
Moore was a member of the first men's basketball team at Carey. He played on the team from 1954-1958. After graduating from Carey in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in education, Moore worked at Hattiesburg High School. He taught math and served as a coach for basketball and tennis for 34 years prior to his retirement.
 
Green was a star basketball player at Bassfield High School in the early 1970s, where she played for Coach Willis Lott and helped lead the Lady Yellowjackets to the 1975 Class BB state title. She played on the inaugural women's basketball team at Carey. A four-year starter, Green led the team in rebounding in 1976 and had the highest free throw percentage in both 1976 and 1977. She graduated from Carey in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in math and earned her master's degree in 1982. She taught math and computer applications at Bassfield High School for 25 years before retiring in 2005.
 
Coleman played baseball at Carey from 1979-1982, hitting .331 with 14 home runs, 21 doubles, nine triples, 84 RBIs and a recorded 81 stolen bases. He was named All-Conference and All-District and was an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American. After Carey, he was drafted in 1982 by the San Diego Padres and played five years in the minors reaching triple A. After leaving the minors, Coleman worked for 20 years with the Cook County Juvenile System in Illinois and currently works with the Illinois Work Well Program.
 
Ferrell played men's basketball at Carey from 1967-1971, averaging 18 points per game and serving as co-captain his senior year. He is 10th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,469 points. After graduating from Carey with a degree in physical education and a minor in psychology, Ferrell returned to his home of Portsmouth, Ohio, where he coached high school basketball. He retired in 2001 but remains active in his community in activities ranging from coaching Little League to volunteering with the Special Olympics.
 
Prior to the inductions, Jim Smith, president of Grand Bank in Hattiesburg, a 1971 graduate of Carey and a former Crusaders baseball player, gave attendees highlights of Carey's recent athletic accomplishments along with news about the university's academic programs and growth.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 7:44am
William Carey University presented 15 alumni of the Class of 1965 with 50-year medallions during the annual 50-year luncheon held during Homecoming activities on Friday, March 27.
 
Alumni presented with the 50-year medallions included Bernice Archie of Petal; Ronald Ballard of Brookhaven; Brenda Joyce Edmonson of Alvarado, Texas; Ron Herrod of Sevierville, Tenn.; Carol Pierce Hoffmeister of Lakewood, Colo.; Joanne Keith of Mobile, Ala.; Sandra King of Columbia; Mary Morton of Mobile, Ala.; George Myers of Daphne, Ala.; Dale Rainey of Columbus; Margaret Rives of Clinton; Kay Stewart of Bay Minette, Ala.; Dan West of Kosciusko; Gene Winters of Petal; and Rachel West of Kosciusko.
 
Medallions were also presented to Sue Smith of Mobile, Ala., a graduate of the Class of 1960, and Joyce Counselman of Satsuma, Ala., a graduate of the Class of 1962.
 
Dr. Tommy King, Carey president, presented the medallions to the recipients along with Lori Edney of Vicksburg, a 1983 graduate and current president of the Alumni Council. A special gift was also given by the South Alabama chapter of the Carey Alumni Association to Dr. King and his wife, Sandra, one of the 50-year honorees, for their dedication and service to the university.
 
After the medallions were presented, alumni were given the opportunity to share memories of the past and tour the campus.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 4:32pm
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 4:31pm
William Carey University crowned the 2014-2015 Homecoming Court during Homecoming activities on Friday and Saturday, March 27-28.
 
Tiffany Hooper of State Line was crowned Homecoming Queen. Senior maids were Willa-Ann Renard of Cushing, Okla., and Emily Goff of Vancleave. Junior maids were Conner Sears of Columbia and Kristel Rodriguez of Laurel. Sophomore maids were Leah Smith of Raymond and McKayla Strebeck of Seminary. Freshman maids were Claresta Tasman of Paramaribo, Suriname, and Lindsay Knight of Hattiesburg.
 
Crowned Mr. and Miss William Carey University were Ben Austin of Zachary, La., and Hannah Cook-Kelly of Jayess.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 9:33am
William Carey University inducted four graduates, including Dr. Adam Breerwood, Vermester Jackson Bester, Carl Merritt Jr. and Dr. Eric Joseph Williams, into the Alumni Hall of Fame during a Homecoming awards banquet at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg on Friday, March 27.
 
Dr. Breerwood is a two-time graduate of Carey, earning a bachelor's degree in social science in 1997 and a master's degree in education in 1999. He earned his doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003. He currently serves as vice president for the Poplarville campus and Hancock Center of Pearl River Community College. Among his numerous honors include being recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of Mississippi's top 40 business leaders under the age of 40 in 2013. He has also been named by Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow in 2013 and was a graduate of the Mississippi Economic Council's Leadership Mississippi class of 2010. A former baseball player at both PRCC and Carey, Dr. Breerwood was inducted into the PRCC Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
 
Bester was one of the first two African-American students admitted to Carey in 1965. She graduated in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and started a 35-year-career with the Hattiesburg Public School District. During those years, she served as a teacher, department chair and academic coach. In 1978, she earned a master's degree from USM. She has also taught math at McKinney Independent School District and as an adjunct instructor of math at USM. Since retiring from Hattiesburg schools, Bester has served as an independent math consultant and currently consults for four Mississippi school districts. During her teaching career, Bester was selected as Teacher of the Year for both Hattiesburg High School and Mary Bethune Alternative School. She has also been awarded the Euro award honoring integration pioneers and the Teacher of the Year Award by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Mu Gamma Lambda Chapter.
 
Merritt earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Carey in 1978, the master of administration and supervision degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1985 and the specialist's degree in education from Carey in 1990. He has been superintendent of the Poplarville School District since 2007 and previously served as assistant superintendent and principal of Poplarville High School. He is currently secretary of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents and was elected president-elect for 2015-2016. During his tenure as principal, Poplarville High received the rating of Level 5, the highest possible rating for high schools in Mississippi. The school was also recognized as a Blue Ribbon School, one of the highest honors a high school can receive, prompting Merritt's recognition by then-U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Merritt is also a board member for the Pearl River County Crime Stoppers.
 
Dr. Williams earned the bachelor's degree in nursing from Carey in 1986 and later earned a master's degree in nursing with a focus in adult health from the University of South Alabama College of Nursing. Currently, he serves as the assistant director and faculty leader of health sciences and as a professor of nursing at Santa Monica College in California. In 2007, Williams earned a doctoral degree in nursing practice from the Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. He is the first vice president of the National Black Nurses' Association Board of Directors and has served as president of the Council of Black Nurses in Los Angeles and the New Orleans Black Nurses' Association. Williams has presented locally and nationally on a variety of health-related topics and has been featured on CNN for a segment on health care reform, along with being featured in the publication Minority Nurse.
 
Prior to the presentation of the Hall of Fame inductees, Dr. Tommy King, president of Carey, gave a State of the University address. Pam Shearer, annual fund director, presented Legacy Awards in honor of Sarah Gray Burrus, registrar from 1959-1997; Georgiann Holliman, instructor of English from 1966-1988; Dr. Don Stewart, professor of religion from 1963-1978; and Dr. David Yang, professor of education from 1956-1967. The Legacy Awards honor faculty and staff members who have left a legacy of leadership or learning because of their investment in students' lives.