Oct. 11, 2006
Two former Southern Miss student-athletes, Corky Palmer and Wayne Adkison will be induced into this year's class of the Southern Miss Alumni Association Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 13.
The induction ceremony, which annually takes place during the University's homecoming festivities, will be held at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg.
Alumni Association Executive Director Bob Pierce says the Hall of Fame induction ceremony is one of the most important aspects of Alumni Association programming each year.
"Playing a role in inducting seven of our outstanding alumni into the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame each year is absolutely the highlight of my work as executive director," Pierce said. "This is our opportunity to say `thank you' to seven incredible people for making a difference in the lives of their families, friends, co-workers, fellow citizens and, of course, their alma mater."
Corky Palmer '75 Carlton "Corky" Palmer's became head baseball coach at Southern Miss in 1997, and his record-breaking teams have attracted national attention. Palmer has taken the Southern Miss baseball program to an unprecedented level with the best five-year run in the school's history. With three straight 40-win seasons from 2003 to 2005, a 39-win season in 2006 and a fourth-straight NCAA Tournament bid - a first in school history - Southern Miss looks to be firmly established as a program headed in the direction of becoming a perennial power.
A Hattiesburg native, Palmer started his baseball career at Hattiesburg High School and furthered his reputation as a starting catcher and team captain for legendary Southern Miss coach Pete Taylor. After graduation, Palmer put his extensive knowledge of the game to use as a coach. At Columbus' Lee High School and Columbia High, his teams consistently won conference titles and appeared in the state playoffs. In his six years at the high school level, his teams posted an impressive 102-52 record. In 1985 and 1986, Palmer served as an assistant coach at Southern Miss and then moved on to Meridian Community College, where in 10 seasons his teams posted a 409-160 record, earned five Mississippi-Louisiana Conference titles, four district and regional championships, three trips to the Junior College World Series and in 1996 advanced all the way to the title game.
In 1997, then-Golden Eagle Head Coach Hill Denson lured Palmer away from Meridian for an assistant's role, and on Denson's retirement following the season the search for a new coach went no further than Palmer, who was introduced as Southern Miss's 12th head baseball coach. Palmer is a member of the Eagle Club, and in 1998, he was elected to the M-Club Hall of Fame. Palmer and his wife, Debbie '75, have been married for 30 years and reside in the Hattiesburg area. The couple has been active annual members of the Association for the past 16 years.
Wayne Adkison '70 Moss Point native Wayne Adkison, who attended Southern Miss on an athletic scholarship, returned to his hometown to open a dental practice. He lettered in football as a defensive end for three consecutive years from 1966 to 1968, and was an M-Club and Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity officer. He was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, and was recognized in Who's Who in American Colleges & Universities. After graduation, Adkison served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He went on to obtain a bachelor's degree in physical therapy and a medical doctorate degree in dental medicine from the University of Mississippi. In 1982, he moved back to Moss Point and has practiced general dentistry since that time. He started his own dental practice, Riverside Dental Care, PLLC.
Adkison's dedication to Southern Miss is evident in his commitment to both the Alumni Association and Golden Eagle athletics. He has served as an officer in the Jackson County Alumni Chapter and as a member of the Association's Board of Directors. Adkison, a Life Member of the Association, is also a longtime member of the Eagle Club and is currently serving as secretary of the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation. He is a member of the Circle of Champions, a group that financially supports Southern Miss athletics programs, serves on their board of directors and a member of the M-Club Hall of Fame.
In the community, Adkison is associated with a number of civic and church organizations. He is a past president of Moss Point Rotary, Moss Point Active Citizens group and Dantzler Memorial United Methodist Men group. He is also a member of Young Men's Business Club, Dantzler Memorial United Methodist Church, where he serves on the administrative board, and the Moss Point Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal.
Adkison is married to the former Vicki Ramsay '69. The couple has three children: Laura, Andrew and Alan. Andrew attended Southern Miss and Alan is currently a sophomore at the university.