FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2004
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
MUW announces 2004 Alumni
Achievement Award recipients
Mississippi University for Women recently announced its 2004 Alumni
Achievement Award recipients, who will be recognized at Convocation
Dr. Raymond Edward Betcher of Amory, Jennifer Katool of Jackson, Gail
Ferguson Laws of Columbus, Josephine Bennett Tierce of Indianola and
Susan Rayner Puckett of Clinton will be recognized for their
contributions to MUW and their communities.
Betcher is an obstetrician/gynecologist for the Physicians & Surgeons
Clinic, where he has worked for six years. After attending Mississippi
State University, he received his bachelorís degree in nursing with a
pre-medicine emphasis in 1988 from MUW. Betcher then earned his
doctorate of medicine in 1993 at the University of Mississippi Medical
Center in Jackson. He then completed his obstetrics and gynecology
residency in 1998 at the Carilion Heath Systems. Betcher is currently
licensed to practice medicine in Mississippi and Alabama. He holds
memberships in the Mississippi State Medical Association, Northeast
Mississippi Medical Society, American Association of Gynecologic
Laparoscopists and American Medical Association. He is a fellow with the
American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists. Betcher serves as a
MUW Foundation board member and alumni board member. He has served as a
member of the MUW Presidentís Advisory Council for five years. Betcher
is married to Terri Moring Betcher and has two daughters.
Katool is the product development manager for Sanderson Farms and has
served as such for 20 years. She served as chairman for the raved MUW
cookbook, ďSouthern Grace Recipes and Remembrances from the W.Ē Katool
graduated from MUW in 1978 with a bachelorís degree in home economics
education and in 1999 she received a certificate of culinary arts. She
is working on her masterís degree in institutional management at The
University of Southern Mississippi. Katool was a 2003 Sanderson Farms
team leader for the American Heart Associationís Heart Walk and two-year
Sanderson Farms Food Division United Way co-captain.
Laws graduated from MUW cum laude in 1997, receiving her bachelorís
degree in marketing after putting her education on hold to raise her
family. Before finishing her degree, she established a successful sales
career while working for J.L. Teel Company. Laws was one of the original
15 alumni to endow the Clyda Stokes Rent Scholarship. She served as a
member on the MUW Presidential Search Advisory committee, MUW
Presidential Inauguration planning committee, MUW Vice President for
Institutional Advancement review committee and president of the MUW
Alumnae Association. Laws revived the cookbook project of ďSouthern
Grace Recipes and Remembrances from the WĒ and served as an advisor and
fundraiser for the project. She has served on the MUW Steering Committee
of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on
Colleges and MUW hospitality chair for the Visiting Committee of SACS.
Laws is married to Chance Laws and has five children.
Tierce has more than a 50-year relationship with MUW. She graduated from
MUW in 1950 with a bachelorís degree in home economics. Tierce then went
to the National Art School in Washington, D.C., to study interior
design. For 20 years, she has served as a home economics teacher in
various schools in Mississippi. She has served as president of the
Sunflower County Alumnae Chapter and serves as a member of the National
Alumnae Board. Tierce volunteers her time at the South Sunflower County
Hospital and Foster Care Review Board. She has a granddaughter currently
enrolled at MUW.
Puckett is a partner of Etiquette and Protocol Associates, a consulting
company. She also served as membership services coordinator for the
Clinton Chamber of Commerce from 1996 to 1999. She received her
bachelorís degree from MUW in history in 1975. Following graduation,
Puckett landed a job working on William Winterís first campaign for
governor and then as an archivist for the Mississippi Department of
Archives & History. Later, she taught history at Woodland Hills Academy.
She served as co-chairman and wholesale account chairman for the MUW
cookbook, ďSouthern Grace Recipes and Remembrances from the W.Ē Puckett
is a Member Board of Directors of the MUW Alumnae Association and a past
Annual Fund chairman . She holds various positions in the Clinton
community including the Clinton Community Development Foundation Board
of Directors. She is a past president of the Junior Auxiliary of Clinton
and the Arts Council of Clinton. Puckett is married to Bobby Puckett and
has two sons.
The five will be recognized during Convocation on Saturday, April 17 at
10:30 a.m. in Rent Auditorium in Whitfield Hall. A reception will be
held in their honor at 9:30 a.m. in Puckett House.
For more information about Homecoming, contact the Office of Alumni
Relations at (662) 329-7295.