The William Carey University Alumni Association recently inducted five graduates into its Hall of Fame. The alumni were Charles Jerome Brown of Hattiesburg (class of ‘73), Dr. Dorman Laird of Sumrall (class of ‘61), Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville (class of ‘94), Dorothy Roberts McEwen of Long Beach (class of ‘78), and Slater Murphy of Ridgeland (class of ‘79).
Brown, who was the charter member of Carey’s African-American Cultural Society, received a bachelor in social sciences from WCU upon returning from his service in the Vietnam War. After graduation, he worked as a vocational counselor for the Mississippi Employment Security Commission for 15 years and then as counselor for the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program for 12 years. In 1990, he was named Mississippi Counselor of the Year, and in 1988 and 1995, he received the Mississippi International Association Personnel in Employment Security’s Community Service Award.
Brown has served for 25 years as Sunday school superintendent, deacon, trustee and youth director for True Light Missionary Baptist Church. He has served on a number of committees, and he was selected as Non-Rotarian of the Year for 2011 by the Hattiesburg Rotary Club. For his service in Vietnam, Brown was named Hattiesburg’s Veteran of the Year in 1994, and was recently featured in the History Channel’s documentary series Vietnam in HD.
Laird served Carey for many years as dean of student affairs, director of religious activities, professor of religion and faculty representative for the Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE). He was also honored as Faculty Member of the Year by the Student Government Association, and upon retirement in 2007 was named professor of religion emeritus. Before working at WCU, Laird received his doctor of theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has had 17 articles published in Biblical Illustrator. He has also served as interim pastor, supply preacher and Bible study leader in churches throughout the region.
McDaniel, who earned his juris doctor from the University of Mississippi, has served s a Mississippi Senator since 2007. He has authored numerous pieces of legislation, including Nathan’s Law and the Mississippi Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and Mississippi and has represented some of the largest corporations in the country. In 2010, he was named one of the top-50 leading lawyers in Mississippi. He was also named as one of the top young attorneys in the South and named a Mid-Southeastern United States and a Mid-South Rising Star by Super Lawyers. He has also received numerous honors and awards in the community including 2010 Laurel Leader Call Citizen of the Year, Who’s Who in American Politics and Pine Belt Counselors Association Meritorious Service Award. McDaniel is a member of the Rotary Club and many other organizations. From 2004-2007, he was the radio host for Right Side Radio and currently guest hosts radio talk shows in the SuperTalk network.
McEwen currently serves as facility director for the South Mississippi Regional Center in Long Beach. She is a licensed certified social worker, certified public manager, licensed clinical intellectual and developmental disabilities therapist and Mississippi Department of Health-licensed mental health and intellectual and developmental disabilities administrator who has received numerous awards and honors during her career. Some of her honors include top 10 finalist of Mississippi Business Women for 2010 by the Mississippi Business Journal, 50 Leading Business Women for 2009 by the Mississippi Business Journal, 2001 Social Worker of the Year for the Mississippi chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and Outstanding Career Woman of 2001 for Mississippi Gulf Coast Lighthouse Professional Business Women. McEwen acted as a chair for the United Way of South Mississippi campaign in 2001, and is currently a co-chair for the United Way government division. She has served on many different councils.
Murphy, who earned the master of church music from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is director of the Church Music Department for the Mississippi Baptist Convention. He served as organist and youth choir director at Temple Baptist Church of Hattiesburg, and has served as minister of music for several other churches as well. He has served as president and committee chairman for the Mississippi Singing Churchmen, and assisted in planning and leading mission trips to 20 U.S. states, as well as abroad. He and his wife, Marsha, have hosted six foreign exchange students in their home, opening doors for mission opportunities. Murphy has been involved with the North Mississippi Emmaus Spiritual Renewal emphasis for a number of years, and he has led worship for several of these weekends. He has planned, conducted and helped produce Fairview’s annual Easter dramatic presentation, “Living Pictures,” which is now in its 27th year. He has also traveled extensively leading worship and conducting seminars and choir retreats, and is in demand as an organ recitalist, piano recitalist and vocal pedagogy consultant.