2018-19 Annual Report


The 2018-19 Annual Report, published by the College of Business and Economic Development at The University of Southern Mississippi, tells stories of outstanding achievements made by our faculty, students, staff, donors, and alumni over the course of the academic year.




Joy Lightsey at

Alumna of the Year

Joy Lightsey was selected as the 2018 Alumna of the Year by the

College of Business and Economic Development. Lightsey earned her

business administration degree in accounting from Southern Miss

in 1973. She worked as the senior vice president of operations for

SunTech Inc. and served in that capacity for over 10 years before the

company was sold, and she began consulting with the new owners

over the next two years before retiring. Since retiring, she has been

actively involved with the Southern Miss community, as she currently

serves on the Board of Directors for the USM Foundation. Additionally,

Lightsey established an endowment for accounting students and

served as the chair of the Building Better Business campaign in 2015,

supporting the completion of what we now know as Scianna Hall.

Left to Right, President Rodney D. Bennett,

Robert St. John, Dr. Stacey A. Hall


Robert St. John, restaurateur and author, was recognized as the 2019

Entrepreneur of the Year. St. John has spent almost 40 years in the

restaurant business, 30 of which have been as the owner of the Purple

Parrot, Crescent City Grill, Mahogany Bar, Branch, Tabella, Ed’s Burger

Joint, The Midtowner and Midtown Donut in Hattiesburg, Miss. In 2009,

St. John founded Extra Table, a statewide non-profit organization that

ships over 14 tons of healthy food to over 39 Mississippi soup kitchens

and mission pantries every month. St. John is the author of 11 books

with the 12th book, Palate to Palette: An Italian Travel Journal, in the

works. Additionally, he has written a weekly syndicated newspaper

column for over 20 years.

8 | C O L L E G E O F B U S I N E S S A N D E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T

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