Top Ole Miss Alumni of 2011 Announced
Alumni Association to Honor Eight on Homecoming Weekend for Achievement, Service
Eight alumni will receive the Alumni
Association’s highest annual honors as part of Homecoming 2011. Inductees into
the Alumni Hall of Fame are: James H. Creekmore (BBA 59, JD 68) of Jackson; Wade
H. Creekmore Jr. (BBA 56, JD 67) of Jackson; Winfield Dunn (BBA 50) of Nashville, Tenn.; Jim Weatherly (64) of Brentwood, Tenn.; and Scott Wegmann (BBA 80) of Houston, Texas.
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.
Mike Ely (BBA 77) of Oxford
will receive the Alumni Service Award for service to the University and the
Alumni Association over an extended period. Patrick Krutz (BBA 01) of Novato, Calif., will receive the
Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Frederick W. Smith of Memphis,
Tenn., will receive the inaugural Honorary Alumni Award. This award was
established to honor outstanding individuals who, though not graduates of The
University of Mississippi, have consistently demonstrated extraordinary
commitment, moral and financial support, dedication, loyalty, leadership or
service that has enriched the substance and contributed to the advancement of the
University’s or the Alumni Association’s missions, reputation or prestige.
The Alumni Association will
host a reception for the honorees on Friday, Nov. 11, 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. The dinner is now sold out. Please call the Alumni Association at 662-915-7375 to have your name added to a waiting list.
Hall of Fame Awards
James H. Creekmore is vice president and director of Telapex Inc., the parent company of C Spire Wireless, formerly Cellular South. A Jackson native, Creekmore began working as manager of Delta Telephone Co. after graduating from Ole Miss in 1959 with a degree in Business Administration. He worked seven years in the Louise commercial telephone office, and while managing the company, also worked as a repair and construction person in several towns in the Mississippi Delta.
Creekmore was involved in building new telephone and cable telephone systems in those areas. In 1966, he married Meredith Wilson (BAEd 64, MEd 68). They returned to Oxford that year, where he earned a JD degree at The University of Mississippi School of Law.
For the past 40 years, Creekmore has been involved in the management of the family telecommunications business. The Creekmoores have two children, Dolly and Hiram; and three grandchildren, Hugh, Meredith and Catherine.
Wade H. Creekmore Jr. is president and director of Telapex Inc., the parent company of C Spire Wireless, formerly Cellular South. Creekmore has been employed in the telecommunications business since 1960, when he became vice president and general manager of Franklin Telephone Company Inc., headquartered in Meadville. He is presently an officer and director of C Spire Wireless and various affiliates.
He has been responsible for management and operational duties for those companies since they were founded. He holds Business Administration and Law degrees from The University of Mississippi and has practiced law in both Meadville and Jackson, and has served as a special assistant attorney general for the State of Mississippi.
He is married to the former Betsy Salisbury, and has three daughters and nine grandchildren.
Winfield Dunn is a former governor of Tennessee, and received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ole Miss in 1950 and his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Tennessee Medical Units in Memphis in 1955. Dunn served with the U.S. Navy in the Asia-Pacific Theatre during World War II. He was also a reserve lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
Dunn established a dental practice after completing dental school, and soon became a citizen politician, involved in the grassroots political activity of the Shelby County Republican Party in the early 1960s.
After winning the Republican nomination for governor in 1970, Dunn became the first Republican governor of Tennessee in half a century, serving from 1971-75.
In 1975, Dunn joined the board of directors and executive department of Hospital Corporation of America. He has served on numerous corporate boards and presidential commissions. He served as chairman of the Federation of American Hospitals and of the National Committee on Quality Healthcare. His presidential appointments include the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the National Committee on Highway Safety. He has been active with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Heart Association, the Nashville Conference of Christians and Jews, the Executive Committee of the United Way and was three times named Tennessee’s Man of the Year by the state’s newspaper editors, television news directors and heads of Chambers of Commerce. He served two terms as crusade chairman of the Nashville Chapter of the American Cancer Society and four years as chairman of Character Counts! Nashville.
Today, Dunn serves on the boards of directors of Franklin American National Mortgage Co., Polaris Hospital Co., the Advisory Committee of Harpeth Capital LLC, Investment Bankers, Centennial Hospital and the YMCA Foundation. In 2007, he completed his political autobiography, From a Standing Start-My Tennessee Political Odyssey. Dunn and his wife, the former Betty Pritchard, are members of First Presbyterian Church of Nashville, where he serves as an elder.
Jim Weatherly is a singer and songwriter who attended Ole Miss on a football scholarship where he was an All-SEC quarterback and honorable mention All American in 1964. He was a member of the only unbeaten and untied National Championship Rebel football team in Ole Miss history in 1962 and SEC champions in 1962 and 1963.
Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded 12 of Weatherly’s songs, most notably the No. 1 Pop and R&B hits “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “Neither One of Us” and No. 2 Pop and No. 1 R&B song “You’re the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me,” which was also a No. 1 country record for Ray Price, who recorded 38 of Weatherly’s songs. Weatherly’s songs have been recorded by B.J. Thomas, Peggy Lee, Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell, Charlie Pride, Ed Bruce, Bob Luman, Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, Hall and Oates, Indigo Girls, Vince Gill, Kenny Rogers, Peter Cetera, Kenny Chesney and others.
Weatherly was nominated for a Grammy for “Midnight Train to Georgia” and Gladys Knight and the Pips won Grammys for “Midnight Train” and “Neither One of Us.” He won a Dove Award for Glen Campbell’s “Where Shadows Never Fall.”
Weatherly was ASCAP’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 1974 and served on the board of directors for the Nashville Songwriters Association International for five years. In 2006, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. In 1999, “Midnight Train to Georgia” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2001, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America selected the 365 Songs of the Century. “Midnight Train to Georgia” was No. 29. And it was also selected as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Weatherly and his wife, Cynthia, now live in Brentwood, Tenn., with their daughter, Brighton, and their son, Zack
Scott Wegmann is executive vice president and co-managing director in the Houston office of Cushman & Wakefield, the largest privately held commercial real estate services firm in the world.
Wegmann specializes in tenant/user representation. For almost 30 years, he has represented numerous companies in Houston and across the country. He has completed transactions in more than 75 cities in the U.S. and in Asia, Europe, Australia, Canada and South America totaling more than 20 million square feet.
E&Y/Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group honored Wegmann with the 1991 and 1997 Legacy Award, “The Deals that Make a Difference,” for his representation of Apache Corp. in its 223,000 square foot corporate headquarters relocation to Houston, and Continental Airlines Inc. in its Houston corporate headquarters relocation/consolidation.
He was also one of the two Houston office leasing brokers selected as “Deal Maker of the Year” in 1995 by Heitman Properties; one of 20 brokers nationwide featured in Commercial Property News’ “Hot Brokers” section in the March 1, 1996 issue; and one of the 27 brokers recognized nationwide as “Superstar Office Leasing Brokers” in the January 1998 issue of Real Estate Forum. Houston Business Journal honored Wegmann as a “Most Valuable Player” in citywide office brokerage for 2004 and 2005, along with the Landmark Awards as its “Project Sale” category honoree for the 2006 sale/leaseback of the BMC Software headquarters. The NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association honored Wegmann as “Office Broker of the Year” in 1997 and 2005. Cushman & Wakefield selected him as one of two Managers of the Year for 2007.
Wegmann has served in leadership roles in numerous industry and community associations including: the Houston Office Leasing Brokers Association; The Children’s Fund; the Advisory Board of Amegy Bank of Texas; St. Luke’s Methodist Church; Episcopal High School; and Boys and Girls Country.
Wegmann resides in Houston with his wife, Loraine, and their two daughters, Jennifer, Class of 2011 and Julie, Class of 2015 at Ole Miss.
Alumni Service Award
Mike Ely is a native of McComb and a 1977 graduate of the School of Business at The University of Mississippi. During his years at Ole Miss, he was a student manager for the Ole Miss Rebel football team and a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
Upon graduation from Ole Miss, he joined Allstate Insurance Co. as an operations supervisor in the Jackson regional office. During his 34-year career with Allstate, he has held many positions including field product manager and regional underwriting manager in the Jackson, Miss., and Nashville, Tenn., regional offices. Ely earned the Chairman’s Award for his organization and design of the Auto Revitalization Program, his certification in Insurance from the Insurance Institute of America, and completed the Executive Leadership Program at Vanderbilt University.
In 1995, he was transferred to Nashville as regional underwriting manager for the Southern Region and remained there until his retirement from Allstate in June 2011.
Ely has been a faithful servant and ambassador to Ole Miss in many capacities. He is a past president and board member for the Middle Tennessee Ole Miss Alumni Club, past vice president and member of Executive Board of the M-Club Alumni Chapter, life member of the Ole Miss Alumni Association and M-Club Alumni Chapter, a member of the Business Order for the UM School of Business, a longtime member of the UM School of Business Insurance Advisory Council, and vice president of the Ole Miss Business School Insurance Advisory Council.
Ely was an integral part of the Middle Tennessee Ole Miss Alumni Club’s scholarship fundraising events at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The inaugural Mississippi at the Ryman and the Mississippi Rocks the Ryman with 3 Doors Down events generated more than $90,000 for the Middle Tennessee/Chris Bonds Ole Miss Alumni Club Scholarship Endowment.
Ely is married to Peggy Davis Ely. They have two daughters, Julie Ely Cropp and Laura Katherine Ely, both Ole Miss graduates. Mike and Peggy make their home in Oxford.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
is owner and winemaker at Krutz Family Cellars in Sonoma County, Calif. Krutz graduated from The University of Mississippi with a degree in business management in 2001. Although not clear on a career path after graduation, Krutz intended to pursue a graduate degree or even follow in his father’s footsteps and get a law degree. Meanwhile, he decided to accept his family’s offer of taking some time off to see the world. His backpacking travels took him to New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand and Australia.
Over the summer of 2002, Krutz began to consider at least seeing what the wine business would be like. Upon returning to Mississippi, he packed his car with his possessions and headed to California to work for a family friend at The Cheese Shoppe in Carmel, Calif. Not only was this the beginning of what has turned into Krutz’s passion, he was also receiving the equivalent of a “post graduate degree” that would prepare him to become not just a seller of wine, but a wine maker.
After beginning in 2003 with approximately 50 cases, Krutz has grown to about 2,000 cases per year. Krutz Family Cellars’ wines have recently received many national accolades, including: 97 points (No. 33 of Top 100 Wines of 2010) from Wine Enthusiast
for his 2006 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon; 95 points for his 2007 Stagecoach Vineyard; 94 points (No. 40 Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2010) 2007 Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah; and 94 points (Editor’s Choice) 2007 Krupp Malbec.
Steve Heimoff of Wine Enthusiast
noted that Krutz’s 2007 Malbec was “Among the greatest Malbecs ever produced in California.” A bottle of that Malbec was featured on the cover in the 2011 spring edition of nationally distributed Touring and Tasting
magazine. His 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon also graced the cover of the February 2011 Wine Enthusiast
Krutz and his wife, the former Rebecca Kuchar, have two children, Patrick, Jr. and Ellie Jayne.
Honorary Alumni Award
Frederick W. Smith
is chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corp., a $39-billion global transportation, business services and logistics company.
Smith is responsible for providing strategic direction for all FedEx Corp. operating companies, including FedEx Services, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight.
Smith founded FedEx in 1971, which now serves more than 220 countries and territories with operations that include 688 aircraft and more than 90,000 vehicles. More than 290,000 team members worldwide handle more than 8.5 million shipments each business day.
FedEx Express was the first service company to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1990. FedEx has consistently been ranked on Fortune
magazine’s industry lists, including "World’s Most Admired Companies," "100 Best Companies to Work For" and is on Fortune
’s “Blue Ribbon Companies List."
Smith has served on the boards of several large public companies, and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Mayo Foundation boards. He was formerly chairman of the Board of Governors for the International Air Transport Association and the U.S. Air Transport Association. He served as chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and is the current chairman of the French-American Business Council.
Smith received the Global Leadership Award from the U.S-India Business Council; the George C. Marshall Foundation Award; the Circle of Honor Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation; the Lone Sailor Award from the U.S. Navy Memorial; the 2010 President’s Award from the Transportation Research Forum; the Marine for Life Award from the U.S. Marine Corps; the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s John Wooden Global Leadership Award; the 2010 CEO Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association; was named 2006 Person of the Year by the French-American Chamber of Commerce; the Aero Club of Southern California’s Howard Hughes Memorial Award and received the Medal of Honor from the American Chamber of Commerce in France.
He is a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame, served as co-chairman of both the U.S. World War II Memorial Project and the campaign for the National Museum of the Marine Corps, was named among the world’s best CEOs by Barron’s
magazine and was Chief Executive
magazine’s 2004 “CEO of the Year.”
Born in 1944 in Marks, Smith received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1966. Smith served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966-70.