Two Gulf Coast residents will be among those honored by Pearl River Community College with induction into the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame.
James Ginn of Diamondhead and Donnie Waits of Gulfport will be inducted on Thursday, April 17, at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg.
Ginn, who is retired as executive vice president for Hancock Bank, played football at Pearl River and earned his degree in 1959.
“I guess the thing that I looked back at is they cared for us,” he said of his time at Pearl River. “Back then, you had to go to school. You couldn’t lay in the sack because if you had three unexcused absences you were out.”
He went onto Delta State before starting his banking career in 1962.
Waits played on the Wildcat football teams of 1954 and 1955.
“The people were down to earth and fun-loving but, at the same time, serious about going to school,” Waits said. After leaving Pearl River, he attended then-Mississippi Southern College and Tulane Law School.
His career as an attorney included serving as Stone County prosecuting attorney and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Marine Reserves.
Others to be inducted into the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame are entertainer Jimmy Buffett (who will accept by video), the late Delos Burks of Picayune, who served in several state positions including the Legislature and in the Mississippi Air National Guard; Francis Herrin of Hattiesburg, who had a 40-year career with Shell Oil Co.; and retired Secret Service agent Howell Purvis of Purvis.
Corporate sponsor for the gala is Hattiesburg Coca-Cola. Tickets for the social at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. are $100. They can be purchased through Friday, April 11, by calling 601-403-1191.