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Alumni Association announces 2023 Hall of Fame

University Communications
John Atherton, ’82 of Gulfport, Miss

During its annual Hall of Fame Banquet on October 6, the Southern Miss Alumni Association will induct eight of its most devoted and accomplished alumni into its Hall of Fame. This year’s honorees include John Atherton (Class of 1982, from Gulfport, MS.), Col. Carlen J. Chestang Jr., USA Retired (Class of 1984, from Huntsville, AL.), Rick Cleveland (Class of 1975, from Jackson, MS), Thomas Duff (Class of 1979, from Hattiesburg, MS.), Rhonda Phillips (Class of 1983 and 1986, from Pittsburgh, PA.), Benny Waddle Jr. (Class of 1982, from Hattiesburg, MS.), Susan Fasano Williams (Class of 1978, from Clinton, MS.), and Doug Williams (Class of 1979, from Clinton, MS.).
Jerry Defatta, executive director of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, expressed his admiration for the selection of this year’s inductees.
“The Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed to any alumnus of the University,” he stated. “Each inductee has experienced significant professional accomplishment and contributed time and resources in moving the University forward. Their efforts have brought favor and distinction to Southern Miss, and we are honored to celebrate them in this way.”
This year’s Alumni Hall of Fame Banquet will be the centerpiece of Homecoming festivities and is sponsored by Keesler Federal Credit Union and Butler Snow. In addition to the banquet, the Association will hold its 25th Annual Alumni Homecoming Scholarship Golf Tournament on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Hattiesburg Country Club. On Saturday, Oct. 7, the Alumni Association will hold its Annual Meeting, tentatively set at 10:30 a.m. pending the announcement of the kickoff time, to honor select alumni and elect new members to the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The Association will also host Pregame at Southern Station, a member exclusive event, two hours prior to kickoff against Sun Belt opponent, Old Dominion Monarchs.
Congratulations to the class of 2023 Alumni Hall of Fame!
And for more information on alumni-related Homecoming activities, visit the alumni association’s website at

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