2019 Hattiesburg Hall of Fame Class announced

2019 Hattiesburg Hall of Fame Class announced

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Fifteen distinguished alumni of Hattiesburg’s city schools will be inducted into the 2019 Hattiesburg Hall of Fame by the Hattiesburg Public School District Foundation.

Inductees for the 2019 Class, the second ever announced, come from fields of business, politics, education, healthcare, journalism and sports.

“These individuals are unique in their accomplishments but reveal a common theme of the excellence that has evolved from Hattiesburg, Rowan, Eureka and Royal Street high schools,” said Hugh Bolton, a member of the Hall of Fame Steering Committee. “I encourage our community to embrace and acknowledge these worthy individuals and their accomplishments.”

The Foundation’s Hall of Fame Steering Committee, with the help from Primary Publicity Partner Pine Belt News, gathered nominations from around the community. This year, alumni and community members were also encouraged to nominate school alumni through their online nomination process.

The 15 alumni selected, including three posthumous nominees, for the Hattiesburg Hall of Fame Class of 2019 are:

  • Lt. Col. Raylawni G.A. Branch, Ret., Civil Rights Pioneer
  • Charles J. Brown, Bronze Star Veteran
  • Dr. Richard Clark, Founder, Hattiesburg Clinic
  • Janet Gurwitch, Cosmetics CEO
  • Dr. Eddie Holloway, University Dean of Students
  • Steve Knight, Most Basketball Coaching Wins in State History
  • Dr. Lynn McMahan, Founder, Southern Eye Clinic
  • Carlton “Corky” Palmer, College World Series Baseball Coach
  • Ora Lee Shaheed, Healthcare Administrator
  • Randy Swan, Television News Anchor/Director
  • Lawrence Warren, Paving Magnate
  • Percy Watson, State Legislator

Posthumous Members:

  • Peggy Jean Connor, Civil Rights Activist
  • Jackie Dole Sherrill, First Female Sergeant/Detective, Hattiesburg Police Department
  • Iola Craft William, Executive Director, African American Military History Museum

The HPSD foundation hosts the Hall of Fame gala as a scholarship benefit with the proceeds going to students and staff of Hattiesburg Public School District. Funds generated by the event are earmarked for student scholarships, teacher grants and early childhood education readiness.

The event was held at the Eureka School Civil Rights Museum, which has recently been restored to historical accuracy by the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.

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