USM Hall of Fame welcomes 7 inductees


The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association will induct seven of the university’s most prominent individuals into its Hall of Fame class of 2015 on Friday, Oct. 16. Several inductees include Brett Favre, Jim Borsig and Tom “Bones” Malone, among others. Although all of the inductees went into theirseparate career fields and proved their worth to society, they all made a special impact while they were on the USM campus.

Gilbert C. Van Loon, Class of ’81

Loon received a bachelor of science in business administration from USM in 1981. After receiving his degree, he enrolled in law school at the University of Mississippi, receiving his juris doctor cum laude in 1985.

He has also been listed in the “Best Lawyers in America” for the law of employee benefits, climaxing with being awarded as the 2011 Lawyer of the Year for Mississippi for the law of employee benefits.

Gail C. Megason, Class of ’81

Megason received her ACS certification in chemistry in 1981 shortly after enrolling in medical school in Jackson in 1985.

After leaving college, she trained in bone marrow transplant work in Seattle, then started a pediatric stem cell transplant program at the Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson. She is currently the medical director for the hospital and leads a division of eight physicians, four fellows and two nurse practitioners.

Todd Buchanan, Class of ’90

A former Student Government Association president and attorney general, Todd Buchanan left his mark on the USM community in many ways. He was also Sigma Alpha Epsilon president, a university cheerleader, Mr. USM and had an ROTC scholarship.

Currently, he is the youngest national president ever of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He also contributed to the newly built Scianna Hall.

Tom “Bones” Malone

A Hattiesburg native, Malone did not graduate from USM, leaving school to play instruments including the trombone, the tuba and the piccolo.

Some of his many accomplishments include being a part of the Blues Brothers band, the Saturday Night Live Band and leading the house band for “The Late Show with David Letterman.” He also has recorded a solo album entitled “Soul Bones.”

Now, Malone still plays his trombone in public venues across the South.

Jim Borsig, Class of ’78, ’89

A former assistant to the mayor of Hattiesburg, Borsig was appointed as the 14th president of Mississippi University for Women in 2011. During his presidency, the institution awarded the largest number of degrees in its history.

Borsig also served as executive assistant to the president of Southern Miss and also provided work at Mississippi State University. Currently, he serves as the co-chair of Mississippi’s Education Achievement Council and a member of the Policies and Purposes Committee of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Brett Favre

One of the most famous Golden Eagle alumni, Favre put his stamp on the football world from the outset. At USM, his first playing time came in the second half of a game against Tulane in 1987. His first highlight came when he led the Golden Eagles to upset No. 6 Florida State in 1989. Later in his career, he came back from a near-fatal car accident to upset Gene Stallings in Alabama.

Brett Favre’s accolades speak for themselves once he left USM, becoming one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He still holds many records, including most career passing yards, career passing completions, career attempts and career victories as a starting quarterback.

Andy Mercier, Class of ’83, ’84

Mercier received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and data processing in 1983 and a master’s of professional accountancy just a year later. In 1996, he was named the outstanding alumnus by the Beta Alpha Psi chapter of the School of Professional Accountancy.

Currently, Mercier is the president and chief executive officer of The Merchants Company, operating Merchants Foodservice, which is a foodservice distributor.

The banquet will be held in the Grand ballroom of the Thad Cochran Center at 6:30 p.m.