ATO Alum to be inducted into USM Hall of Fame

Oct 19, 2009

We often hear sports announcers comment about some current player being a future “Hall of Famer.” That certainly describes both John Lazenby and Alvin Williams, although their Hall of Fame is at the University of Southern Mississippi, and is for service — not touchdowns or home runs.
Jere HoughLazenby was born in Mobile and graduated from Murphy High School in 1964.
You may remember a restaurant called The Lumberyard on Dauphin near Mobile Street. Before that, there really was a lumberyard there, owned by J.E. Paterson, Lazenby’s grandfather. Lazenby’s father owned a television sales and service business.
From Murphy High School, John Lazenby enrolled in USM, where he was president of his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, and also president of the Student Senate.
He graduated in 1969 with a degree in psychology and also with a thriving business he began with a few of his friends, College Marketing and Research Corporation.
The business specialized in providing marketing information gathered from representatives on a “couple hundred campuses,” Lazenby said.
One of its biggest customers was Playboy magazine, which eventually bought the business.
John Lazenby, a graduate of Murphy High School, is an award-winning Realtor in the Orlando, Fla., area. He will be inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi’s Hall of Fame on Friday. Lazenby continued to build his own marketing and sales career with jobs across the U.S. and a three-year stint as director of advertising and business development for a major firm in Kuwait.
Incidentally, his wife, Carol, gave birth to daughter Stacey on July 4, 1976. The bicentennial newborn was also distinguished as being the first red-haired baby ever born in the Kuwaiti hospital.
Since 1991, he and Carol have lived in the Orlando, Fla., area. Their two children, Stacey and John Jr., live there also.
Lazenby is a successful Realtor and very active in the Florida Association of Realtors. He has accumulated many honors and awards from his peers for his success in business and his involvement in charitable efforts, most notably those involving youngsters.
Lazenby is “deeply honored” to be selected to the USM Hall of Fame. He has served on the alumni association’s board of directors and received individual commendations from the group.
His work on the board has been “a service of love for 40 years,” he said. “When I was living in New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Atlanta, I’ve always tried to put together a meeting of Southern Miss alumni. Sometimes we’d have upwards of 60 people show up.”
He adds, “Southern Miss has always been like a second home. There’s always been a lot of love among the people there.”
Also among this year’s group of seven inductees is Alvin Williams, distinguished professor of marketing at the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama. He was born in Mobile and lived here until he was about 6. His parents were both schoolteachers.
During his nearly 30-year career at USM, he served as department chair, became an internationally recognized marketing authority, and took time to become very involved in community service, particularly Boy Scouts and Boys & Girls Clubs. Williams still lives in Hattiesburg and commutes to South Alabama.
The induction ceremony will take place in Hattiesburg. The inductees will be introduced Saturday evening during the USM’s homecoming game against Tulane.


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