2021 Hall of Fame class announced by HPSD foundation

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Thirteen alumni of Hattiesburg’s City Schools will be inducted into the Hattiesburg Public School District Foundation Hall of Fame during a two-day event October 7-8, 2021.

“We are pleased to announce another group of accomplished alumni of the Hattiesburg Public School District,” said Alan Hinton, 2021 inductee chair.

The Foundation’s Hall of Fame steering committee selected these 13 alumni for the Hattiesburg Public School District Foundation Class of 2021:

  • Jennifer Abraham (Class of 1991) is ahuman rights advocate with the United Nations managing celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors such as Ben Stiller.
  • Wanda Geddie Brickner (Class of 1976) rose to fame asAmerica’s first plus-sized model; Brickner is also a recording artist and third runner up to Miss America as Miss William Carey College.
  • Rosie M. Butler (Class of 1974) raised $22M for medical research. Butler works as a model, hosts celebrity fundraisers, and toured the country as host and participant of Ebony Fashion Fair.
  • Larry Doleac (Class of 1970) serves as chief executive officer of DoleacElectric Company, Inc. When he’s not at the office, Doleac uses his influence as a youth baseball advocate and community organizer.
  • Mildred Gaddis (Class of 1972) hosts a radio and television show in Metro Detroit and provides commentary with major television networks, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC. Gaddis also serves as a community college professor
  • Jeremy Hirsch (Class of 1995) serves as CEO ofSpartan Mosquito with product in department stores throughout the country. An active humanitarian, Hirsch built a school in Laos in addition to many other endeavors locally and abroad.
  • John R. Huff (Class of 1964) works as board chair of Oceaneering International, the largest manufacturer-operator of ROV workover control systems, intervention tooling and subsea products.  
  • Robert James (Class of 1964) is President and CEO of the oldest African American-owned commercial bank.
  • Larry LeFlore (Class of 1967) works as the dean of a graduate school and in the Children’s Justice Act Office of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Dean Meador Smith (Class of 1971) is a nationally bestselling author and former Hattiesburg High School teacher. Smith is also a member of the founding family of Hattiesburg, and currently runs a bed and breakfast and tea room at her family’s original home, Meador Homestead.
  • Andy Stetelman (Class of 1979) was the first Mississippi Realtor of the Year and William Carey University Small Businessman of the Year.
  • Larry Whigham (Class of 1990) built his career from manager of the Hattiesburg High School football team to the NFL Pro Bowl. Whigham is a member of the Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame and the only Hattiesburg High School Super Bowl alumnus.
  • Andy Wiest (Class of 1978) is an internationally known University of Southern Mississippi professor of military science. He appeared on CNN and BBC after authoring a novel, The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam.  

The HPSD Foundation is hosting the Hall of Fame as a fund-raising event, with proceeds going to support the students and staff of the school district.

The October 7 gala at the Historic Eureka School Museum will be the signature event, but the Class of 2021 also will be available at a planned VIP Reception before the banquet and at an October 8 Student Summit.

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