Alumni Association to Honor Seven at Homecoming for Achievement, Service
Seven alumni will receive the Ole Miss Alumni Association’s highest annual honors as part of Homecoming 2013. Inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame are: Haley Barbour (JD 73) of Yazoo City; David W. Houston III (BBA 66, JD 69) of Aberdeen; Dick Molpus (BBA 71) of Jackson; Carol Ross (BAEd 82) of Oakland; and Stephanie Saul (BA 75) of Port Washington, NY.
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.
Jan Griffin Farrington (BAEd 65) of Ridgeland will receive the Alumni Service Award for service to the University and the Alumni Association over an extended period. Lucy P. Priddy (BSCvE 02) of Vicksburg will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
The Alumni Association will host a reception for the honorees on Friday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. in the Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom 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, Oct. 4. Cost of the dinner is $50 per person, or tables of 10 are available for $450.
Hall of Fame Awards
Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi, is a founding partner of the BGR Group in Washington, D.C. and is of council with the law firm of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada in Ridgeland.
Barbour began his political career in 1968 as a member of Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. By 1976, he was managing Gerald Ford’s campaign in the Southeast and would go on to serve as White House political director under President Ronald Regan and as a member of President George H.W. Bush’s campaign.
From 1993-1997, Barbour served as chairman of the Republican National Committee. In 2003, he made history as the second Republican governor elected in Mississippi since Reconstruction. As governor from 2004-2012, Barbour realigned economic development and created thousands of jobs, enacted what the Wall Street Journal termed the most comprehensive tort reform law in the country, reorganized job training efforts and balanced the state’s budget. In his two terms as governor, per capita income of Mississippians rose 34.2 percent.
Barbour received national recognition for his leadership including “Governor of the Year for 2006” by Governing magazine; the Gulf Guardian Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for his work to rebuild and protect sensitive coastal ecosystems; the 2008 Adam Smith Medal from BIPAC for his pursuit of the principles of free enterprise; and the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award.
Barbour returned to private practice at BGR Group and joined Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada in 2012. He resides in Yazoo City with his wife, Marsha. They have two sons, Sterling and Reeves, and four grandchildren.
David W. Houston III served as the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Mississippi from 1983-2013. Prior to assuming the bench, he was a partner for 11 years in the Aberdeen law firm of Houston, Chamberlain and Houston. He also served as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, Tampa, Fla. and New York.
Judge Houston served two terms on the Board of Directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute and chaired its legislative committee for 11 years. From 1995-2003, he was the Judicial Chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop.
From 1997-2013, Houston served as a member of the Committee on the Budget for the Judicial Conference of the United States and for two years chaired that committee’s Subcommittee on Congressional Outreach. Judge Houston was a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administrative Office of United States Courts for nine years.
At Ole Miss, Houston was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma, Beta Alpha Psi and Sigma Chi Fraternity. He served as Associated Student Body Judicial Council Chairman.
In 2011, Houston was the recipient of the Mississippi State Bar Association Judicial Excellence Award. He was selected a Fellow of both the Mississippi Bar Foundation and the American College of Bankruptcy. In 2003, he received the Bierce Distinguished Service Award.
Judge Houston retired from the federal bench in 2013 and joined the law firm of Mitchell, McNutt & Sams in its Tupelo office.
Dick Molpus is founder and president of Molpus Woodlands Group, a timberland investment management organization headquartered in Jackson. Molpus has had a long career in public service and business. In 1980 he became Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Federal-State Programs under Mississippi Governor William F. Winter’s and worked as part of Winter’s team to pass the historic Mississippi Education Reform Act of 1982.
In 1983 Molpus was elected Secretary of State of Mississippi, spearheading improved Mississippi election laws and strengthening public disclosure laws for lobbyists and forcing renegotiations of 10,000 below-market 16th Section Land leases. In 1995 Mr. Molpus ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic nominee for governor of Mississippi.
After his third term as Secretary of State, Molpus began Molpus Woodlands Group, which manages more than 1,500,000 acres of timberland across seventeen states. Dick Molpus and his wife, Sally, founded Parents for Public Schools, which has spread to seventeen chapters across 12 states. He co-chaired the 2006 Jackson Public School Bond Campaign, bringing $150 million for new schools and renovations.
Molpus received the H. Council Trenholm Memorial Award from the National Education Association; was inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame in 2005; and was honored in 2008 as a Champion of Justice by the Mississippi Center of Justice. In 2007 he organized and founded the United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities, a $200 million endowment to improve forest health and assist timber-reliant communities, and he is a founding board member of the National Alliance of Forest Landowners.
Carol Ross is head coach of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, taking that role in January 2012. Before joining the Sparks, Ross spent three seasons an assistant coach with the Atlanta Dream, WNBA finalists in both 2010 and 2011.
Prior to her tenure in Atlanta, Ross amassed a 324-161 (.668) record in 16 seasons as a head coach in the Southeastern Conference, guiding her teams to 12 NCAA Tournaments and two WNIT appearances. Ross spent 12 seasons (1990-2002) at Florida before returning to her alma mater Ole Miss from 2003-2007. Ross remains the winningest coach in school history at Florida with a 247-121 (.671) record.
During her four-year run at Ole Miss, Ross compiled a 77-50 (.606) record and guided the Lady Rebels to three NCAA Tournaments and a WNIT appearance. In 2006-2007, Ole Miss reached the 20-win plateau for the first time in more than a decade and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Also active in USA Basketball, Ross served as an assistant coach with the 2005 Under-19 World Championship team that won the gold medal as well as head coach of the 1998 USA Women’s Select Team that went 7-1.
Ross was a four-year starter for the Lady Rebels from 1978-1981. She became the fourth women’s basketball player ever to be inducted into the University of Mississippi Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
The Oakland, Miss., native has served as a board member for both the American Cancer Society and the Coaches vs. Cancer organization, which honored her as its 2000 Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award winner.
Stephanie Saul is a reporter for The New York Times and a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in journalism.
Saul attended public schools in New Albany, where she showed an early interest in journalism as editor of the high school newspaper. At Ole Miss, Saul was on the staff of the Daily Mississippian and the yearbook. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the academic honor society, and Kappa Delta social sorority.
After graduating in 1975 with a B.A. in journalism, Saul joined The Clarion-Ledger as a reporter, covering Mississippi government and the state legislature. A succession of reporting jobs at other newspapers led her toThe New York Times in 2005, where she is currently a member of the newspaper’s investigative reporting team.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize — for reporting on police pension fraud — her journalism honors include the National Press Club Award for outstanding Washington correspondence, the George Polk Award, and the Silver Em, given annually for contributions to Mississippi journalism.
Saul has also taught journalism at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism and at Hofstra University. She lives in Port Washington, N.Y., with her husband, the New York Times reporter Walt Bogdanich, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. They have two sons.
Jan Griffin Farrington of Ridgeland is executive director of Medical Support and Development Organization Inc. She also serves on the board of directors for FNC Inc., Mississippi Technology Alliance, and Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian.
Farrington graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education. She married the late Dr. Jeff Hollingsworth (BS 65) and began teaching political science and history in the New Orleans Public School System. She later worked as a customer service representative for Wachovia National Bank in Durham, N.C. After living in Washington, D.C. and Sunnyvale, Calif., she and Dr. Hollingsworth returned to Jackson. In 1987, she married Lawrence Farrington (BBA 58) and their mutual love for Ole Miss led them to become more and more involved in different areas of the University.
She is past president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association, past chair of the UM Foundation and past chair of the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy. She is currently serving on the Executive Board of the Alumni Association and The University of Mississippi Foundation Board. Farrington is a member of the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame and served as president of the National Delta Delta Delta Foundation.
She is an avid supporter of the American Heart Association. In 1989, she became the first woman to serve as chairman of the board of the Mississippi Affiliate of the AHA after serving as state campaign chairman in 1987-88. She has received both the President’s Award and the Heart of Gold Award from AHA.
She and Lawrence live in Ridgeland. They have six children and 11 grandchildren.
Lucy P. Priddy is a Research Civil Engineer at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg. Her research is focused on expedient pavement repair, evaluation, and construction technologies and has developed new pavement repair techniques for airfield and roadway bomb craters. She is the author of numerous technical articles, papers, and reports and has served as liaison to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology during 2010-2011.
Priddy graduated from the University of Mississippi with her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2002 and completed her master’s degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State University in 2005. She currently is completing her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. While at Ole Miss, she served as the president of the Engineering Student Body. She has continued to be active in the School of Engineering as a member of the Engineering Advisory Board from 2007-2012.
She serves the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Science as the chair of the Young Members Council and as member of the TRB Executive Board and Technical Activities Council. She is active with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) serving previously as president of the Vicksburg Branch and secretary of the Mississippi Section. ASCE awarded her the Edmund Friedman Young Engineer Award in 2010, Mississippi Young Engineer in 2010, and as the national New Face in Civil Engineering in 2005.
Priddy is a member of Gibson Memorial United Methodist Church and personal hobbies include cooking, fishing and wine tasting.