Alumni Association to Honor Seven on Homecoming Weekend for Achievement, Service
Seven alumni will receive the Alumni Association’s highest annual honors as part of Homecoming 2012. Inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame are: Thomas W. Colbert Sr. (BBA 62) of Flowood; retired Maj. Gen. James Donald (BA 70) of Atlanta; Bill Fry (BPA 80) of Nashville; Greg Iles (BA 83) of Natchez; and Bill Jordan (BBA 73) of Columbus, Ga.
Created in 1974, the Hall of Fame honors those select alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to their country, state or the University of Mississippi through good deeds, services or contributions that have perpetuated the good name of Ole Miss.
George Lotterhos (BBA 71) of Germantown, Tenn., will receive the Alumni Service Award for service to the University and the Alumni Association over an extended period. Jillian Foster (BSPh 02, PharmD 04, MBA 08) of Oxford will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
The Alumni Association will host a reception for the honorees on Friday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. at The Inn at Ole Miss. A dinner for the award recipients will follow the reception at 7 p.m. Those interested in attending the dinner should register in advance by calling the Alumni Association office at 662-915-7375 before 5 p.m., Friday, Sep. 28. Dinner is $50 per person, or tables of 10 are available for $450.
Hall of Fame Awards
Thomas W. Colbert Sr. of Flowood is chairman of Community Bancshares of Mississippi, Inc., a multi-bank holding company with locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida. He received a BBA degree with a major in banking and finance from the University of Mississippi in 1962 and graduated from The Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University in 1966. In 1968, he accepted the position of chief executive officer of Farmers and Merchants Bank in Forest, making him the first graduate under the direction of the then recently-formed Chair of Banking at Ole Miss to become CEO of a bank.
In 1973, Colbert formed Mississippi’s first bank holding company, Community Bancshares of Mississippi. Today, Community Bancshares has grown from a $6 million asset corporation to over $2.3 billion in assets and continues to be named one of Mississippi’s fastest growing companies.
Colbert has served as president of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning; chairman of the Belhaven College Foundation Board; chairman of the Colbert Family Foundation; chairman of the Mississippi School of Banking; and director of The University of Mississippi Foundation. He also has served as a member of the Mississippi Contingent of the John C. Stennis Commissioning Committee; Southern Baptist Convention Annuity Board; and In Touch Foundation Board of Atlanta, Ga. He was a recipient of the 1984 Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award. In 2005, Colbert was inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame.
Retired Maj. Gen. James Donald is former chairman of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. Donald earned the Bronze Star for his bold leadership as a Task Force Commander with the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” during Gulf War I. His strategic successes as Deputy Commanding General U.S. Army Pacific and two tours of duty in the Pentagon are also noteworthy achievements. He was appointed commissioner of corrections in December 2003.
As commissioner, Donald was the driving force behind transformational changes in one of the State’s largest departments, overseeing the fifth largest prison system in the nation with some 200,000 felons in prison or on probation; 15,000 employees, of which 10,000 are sworn peace officers; and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion.
In 2009, Donald was sworn in by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to a seven-year term on the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. He was subsequently elected by his colleagues to serve two consecutive terms as chairman of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. Georgia has a five-member board and is the sole authority for clemency in Georgia.
Donald is a native of Jackson and a 1970 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History. He earned his Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri. He is the 2010 recipient of the Mississippi Trailblazer Award honoring his outstanding achievement in the military and government. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and serves as a member of several government and civic boards.
Bill Fry is one of seven managing directors who lead American Securities, a New York-based private equity firm, and he heads the AS Resources Group, which works with CEOs to grow the 22 portfolio companies and their roughly 20,000 associates.
Fry attended Ole Miss on a Navy ROTC scholarship where he served as Battalion Commander and was also a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Upon commissioning as a Naval officer, Fry served as supply officer on the USS Bowen for three years and later as a logistics officer in the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program in Washington, D.C.
Fry left the Navy as a lieutenant in 1988 to attend the Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, he joined The Dixie Group and was named president in 1995. There, Fry helped lead the transformation from a raw material textile business to a large and growing carpet business by 2000.
Fry left The Dixie Group in 2000 and became the CEO of Bell Sports to lead a turnaround strategy for the world’s largest marketer of helmets; which were sold under the Bell and Giro brands. Bell then merged with Riddell Sports, the largest maker of football helmets, in 2004 and Fry was named CEO of Bell-Riddell.
After leading a successful growth strategy at Bell-Riddell from 2004 to 2006, the company merged with Easton Sports in 2006 where Fry served as president.
In 2007, Fry was chosen to be the first non-family CEO at Oreck Corporation, selling vacuum cleaners and air purifiers into the direct-to-consumer, franchise, and large retail channels. In 2010, he was named a managing director for American Securities.
Greg Iles is a writer and musician from Natchez. Born in Germany in 1960, Iles’ father ran the US Embassy Medical Clinic during the height of the Cold War. He spent his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983 where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
After several years playing in the band “Frankly Scarlet,” he wrote his first novel in 1993. A thriller about Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess, Spandau Phoenix became the first of 13 New York Times bestsellers.
Iles’ novels have been made into films, translated into more than 20 languages and published in over 35 countries worldwide. He is currently working on Unwritten Laws, an epic three-volume trilogy involving a present day murder with roots in real-life unsolved murders from the 1960s near Natchez and Concordia Parish, La.
Iles is a member of the legendary lit-rock group “The Rock Bottom Remainders” which includes authors Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Matt Groening, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, James McBride and Roger McGuinn, co-founder of the Byrds.
His last novel, The Devil’s Punchbowl, reached Number One on the New York Times bestseller list.
Bill Jordan of Columbus, Ga., is the creator of the Realtree and Advantage brands of camouflage and the host of the Monster Bucks video series and the Realtree Outdoors television show.
After earning all-state honors as a receiver on Columbus High School’s football team, several major colleges recruited Jordan heavily in football and basketball. Bill decided on football and chose Ole Miss, primarily because of an abundance of good hunting and fishing within a short drive of campus.
At Ole Miss, Jordan played on two bowl teams and started several games despite a problematic hamstring injury that sidelined him several times throughout his college career.
Jordan’s injuries kept him from considering a career in professional football after graduating in 1973, so he returned to Columbus and worked in his family’s boat business.
He started his first company, Spartan Archery Products, in 1983 and dreamed of creating products that hunters deem necessary in the woods. From the first pattern of bark, which was literally traced from an old oak that still stands in his parents’ yard, to Jordan's latest pattern, Realtree AP, innovation has been and always will be the key to Realtree's success.
After a few false starts and some trying times in the late 1980s, Realtree grew quickly throughout the 1990s, becoming a household name in the hunting industry. Jordan has never stopped innovating. Today's camo designs are created using sophisticated computers, digital cameras, and photo-realistic printing, and Jordan continues to oversee the entire process of creating and launching each new camouflage pattern.
Alumni Service Award
George Lotterhos of Germantown, Tenn., is a 1971 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Business. While at Ole Miss, he was a member of the football team for 4 years as a defensive end and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
Upon graduation from Ole Miss, he married Carolyn Jones, his high school and college sweetheart. They have two children and five grandchildren. He entered the financial world in 1971 and after 41 years is currently managing director at Raymond James/Morgan Keegan. Lotterhos is the recipient of the 2008 M-Club Alumni Chapter Service Award. Based on leadership, service and commitment to the M-Club, the award was also then named after him that same year.
Lotterhos is a past president of the M-Club Alumni Chapter and a past president of the Rebel Club of Memphis. He served as one of the founders of the Grove Bowl in 1989 and was also instrumental in the establishment of the M-Club Athletic Hall of Fame.
Lotterhos received the “Bill Wade Unsung Hero Award” from the All American Football Foundation and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the M-Club Alumni Chapter as a board member emeritus.
He is a member of Grace Evangelical Church in Germantown, a member of the Advisory Board for Germantown Methodist Hospital and currently serves on the Banking and Finance Advisory Board for the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Jillian Foster is the director of pharmacy at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. She is a student preceptor and leads a team of 38 employees in maintaining quality care for patients. She recently received one of 16 national grants to establish a pharmacy residency training program.
Foster graduated from the UM School of Pharmacy with a Doctorate of Pharmacy in 2004. She completed a Health Policy Fellowship with Sen. Thad Cochran from 2004-2005. She also completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency and Specialty Residency with an emphasis in Pharmacy Management and Administration at North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC) in Tupelo.
She worked as the pharmacy benefits manager at NMMC where she managed the Employee Pharmacy. She was also responsible for oversight of the pharmacy insurance benefit plan at the hospital.
Foster completed the University of Mississippi MBA program in 2008.
She served as the chair of the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists’ (ASHP) Council on Public Policy in September 2009. She has also served terms on ASHP’s New Practitioner’s Leadership Advisory Committee. Foster was the 2007-2008 Mississippi Society of Health System Pharmacists’ (MSHP) President and is on the Mississippi Pharmacist Association (MPhA) Executive Committee.
She has been named both MSHP’s and MPhA’s Outstanding Young Pharmacist of the Year and has published several columns in the American Journal of Health-Systems Pharmacist.
Foster is president of the Ole Miss Pharmacy Alumni Chapter and is a member of the Oxford Rotary Club, the Delta Gamma Alumnae Chapter and a volunteer at the Oxford Medical Ministries Clinic.