School Department News


Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 11:17am
William Carey University alumnus W. L. “Trey” Folse III has been named the 2017 Superintendent of the Year by the Louisiana Association of School Executives (LASE). This award is given each year to a superintendent who demonstrates strong leadership and excellence in education. 
Folse graduated from Carey in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a minor in coaching. He also received a Master of Education in physical education from Carey in 1985. Folse played basketball for the Crusaders and was Coach Steve Knight’s first-ever graduate assistant coach from 1982 to 1984. 
Folse has been an educator for 32 years, serving the St. Tammany Parish Public School System for his entire career. He has dedicated his life to the education of children, and works daily to make sure that Every Child, Every Day is not just the motto of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System but is put into action so that every child gets the best education possible based on their individual needs.
“This is a wonderful honor, and I am humbled to be recognized by my peers from across the state of Louisiana,” said Folse. “I know that providing the education for our future generation is a tremendous responsibility, but I also see it as an awesome privilege. As educators, we must ensure that we are working together to meet the needs of every child on a daily basis.” 
Folse is a native of St. Tammany Parish and graduated from Slidell High School in 1977. He returned to the district as a teacher and coach in 1985 at Salmen High School. He is active in the academic community serving recently on the Governor’s Committee on K-12 Education Transition Advisory Team, as the past Region II Chairman of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents and on the NFUSSD Board of Directors. In the St. Tammany Community, Folse serves on the boards of the St. Tammany West and the East St. Tammany Chambers of Commerce as well as the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany.
“It’s an honor to have Trey Folse represent our group and the state of Louisiana. He is not only qualified and capable but also honorable and dependable. Through Trey’s leadership, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System has grown and improved,” said LASE Executive Director Rogers Pope. “Trey also looks beyond his district to help others. Through his school system’s flood fundraiser earlier this year, he helped to raise $330,000 that assisted thousands of Louisiana students get back to school with the necessary resources. Trey saw a need and stepped up to help. That’s just the kind of leader we want representing our state.”
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 3:03pm
William Carey University inducted five members into the alumni Hall of Fame during the annual awards dinner March 31 at Southern Oaks House and Gardens. The inductees are Larry Harrington, Ron Herrod, Victor Mariduena, Debra Owens Mercer, and Matthew Olson, recipient of the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.
Larry Harrington – Class of 2006
Larry Harrington earned the Master of Business Administration from William Carey University in 2006. Prior to earning his degree from Carey, he received the Bachelor of Science in architectural engineering from The University of Southern Mississippi and the Master of Strategic Studies from the United States War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is a certified construction quality manager and has founded, owned and operated several companies throughout the United States and abroad. Harrington is a highly-decorated Army general with 32 years of military service.
Harrington’s civic activities include serving as board member of the Mississippi Chapter of the Association of Builders and Contractors, a Fellow at George Mason University Center for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security, and a board member of Soil and Water Conservation, as well as co-founder of Habitat for Humanity in Hattiesburg. He was inducted into The University of Southern Mississippi’s Sports Hall of Fame and was chosen for the Hattiesburg Chamber of Commerce Leaders Program. Harrington also served on the board of directors for the Salvation Army, YMCA, president of USM’s M-Club, president of Oak Grove Sports Booster Club, and was elected commissioner of the Forrest and Lamar County Soil and Water Conservation District. 
Ron Herrod – Class of 1965
Dr. Ron Herrod earned the Bachelor of Arts in religion from William Carey University, a Master of Theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and went on to earn the Th.D. from Luther Rice Seminary. He is the president and founder of Ron Herrod Evangelistic Ministries Association International. His organization, now in its 22nd year of ministry, focuses on evangelism, mission projects, and training pastors and church leaders in developing countries in church planting and leadership. He also teaches, has authored several books, and served as a pastor for 36 years. He has served the Southern Baptist Convention in many capacities, including the International Mission Board, Louisiana College Board, Southern Seminary Board, as vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastor’s Conference, president of the Tennessee Pastor’s Conference, president of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists and as the first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Herrod has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including Alumnus of the Year from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013, honorary doctorates from Emanuel Bible College and Seminary in Kota, India; the Baptist Seminary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Nimes Theological Institute in Nimes, France. 
Herrod and his wife Emily married in 1963 and have three children and 11 grandchildren. They currently reside in East Tennessee. A cancer survivor, Herrod has devoted his life to ministry and training those called to serve. 
Victor Maridueña – Class of 1967
Victor Maridueña earned the Bachelor of Arts in sociology from William Carey University in 1967 and pursued post graduate studies in public administration at Queens College in New York. He began his life of service in human resources administration in New York, then returned to his native Ecuador and has since served in numerous positions in the City of Guayaquil, including as city councilman. He has been appointed to various leadership and advisory positions for three Ecuadorian presidents. He also founded Fundación Niñez Internacional (International Children’s Foundation) in Ecuador in 2000 and served as president and CEO until 2009. He currently serves as the advisor on social action to the Municipality of Guayaquil. 
In addition to his professional appointments, he has also served his community through volunteer work as the president of Sociedad Protectora de la Infancia (Children’s Protective Society) and León Becerra Children’s Hospital, on the board of the International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership, and as a member of organizations such as the Human Rights Commission and Youth for Christ. Maridueña is also an author, and his book “Servir es Vivir,” published in 2014, is a testament to his love of ministry and service. Throughout his years of service, Maridueña has received countless awards, including Outstanding Citizen of Guayas province, the Atahaulpa Medal for Merit by the Armed Forces of the National Government of Ecuador, was decorated by the Marines of the Country of Ecuador, the Medal of Honor for Services to the Country, and Man of the Year by the Association of Press Photographers.
Maridueña is married to Nancy Farris Maridueña, also a 1967 graduate of William Carey, and they have a daughter, Elyssa Maridueña. The Maridueñas will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in October. 
Debra Owens Mercer – Class of 1974 and Class of 1979
Debra Owens Mercer earned the Bachelor of Music Education from Carey in 1974 and the Master of Music Education in 1979. She began her decades-long teaching career in Hattiesburg, then in Louisville, Kentucky, as choral director at a large urban middle school with approximately 100,000 students. While teaching fulltime, she did post-graduate work in secondary guidance and administration.
After three years in Louisville, Mercer and her family moved to northern Kentucky where she started the next phase of her career as a middle school counselor and then assistant principal at Beechwood High School. 
Over the next 20 years, she added administration certifications and gained recognition as a specialist in opening and restructuring middle schools. She was appointed to the Kentucky state high school restructuring committee and eventually returned to Louisville to join the staff of the lowest performing high school in the state where she spent her time doing professional development and rewriting curriculum for their magnet programs. Mercer then became the principal of Conway Middle School, and while she was there, the school became the national example of student led conferences and led the state in reading. She has served as an interim assistant principal in an urban all-boy middle school and is currently the interim principal of an English as a second language middle school. Now semi-retired, she also volunteers for several organizations and travels extensively.
Matthew Olson – Class of 2008
Distinguished Young Alumnus Award
Matthew Olson graduated with a Bachelor of Art in religion from Carey in 2008 and then went on to earn the Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012. While a student at Carey, he was presented the Jenkins Chastain Citizenship award, the highest honor for a Carey student. He served as senior pastor of Big Creek Baptist Church in Waynesboro for 11 years, as a Bible teacher at Wayne Academy from 2013 to 2014, and currently serves as the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Sharon in Laurel while pursuing a doctorate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
In addition to his pastoral work, Olson has also travelled extensively to countries like India, Turkey, El Salvador and Mexico for mission work. He has also served as a missionary in various parts of the United States. 
Olson served as a state board member of the Mississippi Baptist Convention from 2013 to 2016. He is also active at the associational and state levels of the Southern Baptist Convention. As a pastor, he believes part of his calling is to be involved within the community. In fulfillment of that calling, he has served on the board of several organizations and through his leadership, his church has been involved in projects to encourage and strengthen the Laurel area. Most recently, the church assisted with tornado cleanup and meal preparation for the communities around Carey’s campus.
He and his family have been faithful Carey donors, especially in the building of the new chapel, and have assisted with tuition for several students. Matt and Christina (’08, ’10) have two daughters.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 10:27am
William Carey University  inducted eight former students-athletes into the Sports Hall of Fame during the Seventh Annual Sports Hall of Fame ceremony at Southern Oaks House and Gardens on April 1. During the evening WCU also recognized John Clearman with the Legacy Award for his support of WCU athletics.
Marco Bruggner - Tennis 
Bruggner arrived at WCU from Switzerland in 1990 and played for WCU Hall of Famer Jack Jones. Bruggner won 70 percent of his matches and helped WCU to a Top 5 NAIA ranking for four straight years. He received the Prince Scholarship Award, was a two-time NAIA Scholar Athlete, and a two-time recipient of the Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics award. Bruggner graduated from WCU in 1994 with a 3.93 GPA and a degree in mathematics and minor in biology. He returned to Switzerland after graduation and is currently working for a software development company that specializes in designing banking software. 
Dave Bush - Baseball 
Bush, a graduate of New Boston-Glenwood High School in Ohio, arrived at Carey in the spring of 1975 and played for WCU Hall of Famer John Stephenson. Bush, along with fellow inductee Carl Merritt, helped anchor a Crusader pitching staff that led to 168 wins over four seasons and a school record 53 wins in 1978. The legendary 1978 team won 28 straight games, captured the Southern States Athletic Conference Championship, and advanced to the NAIA World Series. Bush graduated from Carey with a degree in business administration in 1978 and has been involved in the banking industry for 39 years. He is currently the executive vice president and manager for the First Private Bank. 
John Clearman - Legacy 
A graduate of Sumrall High School and Pearl River Community College, John Clearman completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education with a minor in social sciences in 1972 from Carey. A lifelong farmer, Clearman has served as a board member of the National Dairy Farmers Association, and in 1990 he became a life insurance broker, starting the Clearman Insurance Agency. Clearman has always given to his community; he was a founding member of Central Lamar Volunteer Fire Department and is a founding member of the Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center in Hattiesburg. He currently sponsors scholarships at both Pearl River and WCU. The legacy award was presented to John Clearman in honor of his continued support of William Carey athletics. 
Angela Thomas Cooper - Women's Basketball 
Angela Cooper, a graduate of Leedsville High School in Louisiana, played for former WCU women's basketball coach Katie Herrington at Jones County Junior College before arriving at Carey in 1991 to play for Tracy English. Cooper helped lead the Lady Crusaders to a school record 28 wins in 1992-93, two Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships, and the program's first appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. She holds the school record for most assists in a season with 265 and is the career holder for assists per game with 8.13. Cooper graduated from WCU with a bachelor's degree in education and recently earned a master's degree in accounting from the University of Phoenix. She is currently working as an accountant with Universal Aviation. 
Dr. Neal Gregg - Baseball 
A graduate of Hattiesburg High School, Dr. Neal Gregg played first base for Head Coach Bobby Halford from 1994-98, hitting 33 home runs with 105 RBIs in his career at WCU. Following graduation, Gregg was drafted in the 21st round of the 1998 draft by the New York Yankees organization. His professional career included stints in Oneonta, New York; Tampa, Florida; Staten Island, New York, and Greensboro, North Carolina. After the conclusion of his playing career, he received the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in 2005. He completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia, in 2010. Gregg is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon at Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, where part of his practice includes caring for student athletes at his alma maters of Hattiesburg High School and William Carey University. 
Greg Hatten - Men's Basketball 
Greg Hatten, a graduate of Hattiesburg High School, played for Coach Steve Knight from 1983 to 1987 and helped lead the Crusaders to an overall 89-42 record during his time at Carey. These very successful teams won four NAIA District 30 Championships, three Gulf Coast Athletic Conference titles, and made four consecutive appearances in the NAIA National Tournament. An excellent overall talent, Hatten is #8 on the WCU all-time scoring list with 1,645 total points and played only one season with the three point line. During that season, he set a school record for 3-point shooting percentage, making 44.8 percent, a mark that held for over 25 years until being broken just three seasons ago. He averaged 18.6 points per game his senior season and was a career 80 percent from the free throw line. 
Maghan James - Softball 
Maghan James, a graduate of Oak Grove High School, played two years at Pearl River Community College before arriving at Carey to play for Head Coach Wendy Hogue in 2005. She hit .320 during her two years at WCU and was a two-time NAIA Scholar Athlete and All-GCAC selection. James earned her bachelor's degree in physical education and minored in biology. She returned to Pearl River as an assistant coach for the Lady Wildcat softball team, helping them to the 2010 MACJC State Title. She is the current dean of students at Pearl River Community College. 
Carl Merritt - Baseball 
A graduate of Valley High School in Lucasville, Ohio, Carl Merritt played at Carey for Hall of Famer John Stephenson from 1975-1978. Carl, along with fellow inductee Dave Bush, helped anchor a Crusader pitching staff that led to 168 wins over four seasons and a school record 53 wins in 1978. The legendary 1978 team won 28 straight games, captured the Southern States Athletic Conference Championship, and advanced to the NAIA World Series. Merritt, along with his brothers Harold and Mark, wife and former Miss WCU Beverly, and son Ryan all graduated from WCU. After spending 21 years in coaching, Merritt moved into administration, rose through the ranks, and is now superintendent of the Poplarville School District. 
Dennis Ray Smith - Baseball 
Dennis Ray Smith, a graduate of Petal High School, arrived at Carey in 1967 after a year at Jones County Junior College, and joined the baseball team coached by John O'Keefe. Smith graduated from WCU with a degree in physical education and became the head baseball coach at Petal High School. He coached his alma mater for 10 years, while also coaching the semi-pro Hub City Wheels as well as American Legion Teams. In 1980, Smith responded to the call of the ministry and began his 34-year career in the ministry as the youth pastor at Carterville Baptist Church. In 1982, he became the pastor at First Baptist Church in Pascagoula, retiring in 2014. Smith is currently the executive director of Trehorn Charitable Foundation.  
Monday, March 27, 2017 - 10:49am
The 2017 Homecoming festivities will include a book signing for recently published alumni and faculty members. The book sale and signing will be held Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the Crawfish Boil and Festival at the Kennedy Sports Complex. 
Dr. Richard Boada, Department of English 
Dr. Richard Boada joined the WCU English department faculty in 2016 as an assistant professor of English. Dr. Boada will sign and sell copies of his most recent poetry collection “The Error of Nostalgia” (Texas Review Press), which was nominated for the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award. He is also author of two other poetry collections: “Archipelago” Sinking (Finishing Line Press); and “Victory Tattoo” (San Gabriel Valley Press), winner of the 2013 San Gabriel Valley Chapbook Contest. Boada is a graduate of the Center for Writers at The University of Southern Mississippi. His poetry appears in the Southern Poetry Anthology, Urban Voices: 51 Poets /51 Poems, Rhino, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry East, North American Review, and Third Coast, among others.  
Dr. Edward Harvey, Class of 1960
Dr. Edward Harvey published “The Gospel According to the Universe” in 2016. “God may speak to us through a burning bush, dreams, visions, answered prayers, a miraculous healing, a still small voice, a sermon, the testimony of the changed life of a friend, or the Scriptures – all of these various epiphanies increase the luminosity of ‘The Light in the Window’ – making God more evident to prodigal humanity,” Harvey wrote for the back cover of his book. 
Dr. Harvey, a former Mr. WCU, received a BA in biology from William Carey College, a BD in theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in biology from The University of Southern Mississippi. He has worked in private and public institutional programs and retired in 2001 from California Baptist University, where he served as chair of the science division for 14 years. As a minister, he has served in pastoral positions in Mississippi, California, and Illinois. He and his wife, Rose, now live in Gautier. 
Dan Nelson, Class of 1973
Dr. Dan Nelson has served as pastor at First Baptist Church of Camarillo, California, for the last 33 years. After graduating from Carey, he attended Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. degree from California Graduate School of Theology, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Janice have been married for 41 years and have two daughters. 
His first book “Baptist Revival: Reaffirming Baptist Principles in Today’s Changing Church Scene” addresses his concerns that many of the cherished Baptist teachings may be forgotten, in a rush to not turn off people by teaching doctrines “for whom many have fought and even died.” He wrote that the objective of his book “is to help those who have taken Baptist beliefs so lightly and loosely. In doing so, I want them to know we not only have a biblical faith, but that we are clear on why that faith is biblical.” He encourages others to “study and proclaim the truths that have made us great” and that in turn will bring revival to churches.
Dr. Nelson’s second book will be “Game On All the Time: Growing up in the Home of a Legendary Football Coach: L.R. Nelson” and he is awaiting publication of his book “A Burning Shining Light: The Testimony and Witness of George Whitefield.”
Danyele (Chance) Patrick, Class of 2014
Danyele Patrick graduated from Carey in 2014 with a degree in elementary education. She is a kindergarten teacher at Glade Elementary in Laurel and plans to begin work this summer on her master’s in dyslexia therapy. Danyele married Rease Patrick in June 2016 and they live in Ellisville.
Patrick’s book “Perfection” is a Christian romance that was published by Westbow Press (a division of Thomas & Nelson and Zondervan) on June 23, 2016. The storyline follows Georgia, an up-and-coming actress with her own television show and a spot in the constant limelight. But when the ghosts of her past beckon her to come home, she must answer pressing questions: Is perfection truly attainable? And if so, is it worth losing yourself to find it?
Friday, March 24, 2017 - 4:44pm
William Carey University alumni and guests are invited to attend the 2017 homecoming festivities on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1.
“In spite of the overwhelming damage to the campus, Carey is moving forward. We didn’t miss a beat with classes, and we won’t with Homecoming, either,” said Pam Shearer, director of alumni relations. “With creative planning and the support of our terrific alumni, we will have a great Homecoming weekend.”
Events will begin at 1:30 p.m. March 31 with the presentation of the homecoming court at Wheeler Field. The Crusaders baseball team will take on Bethel University at 2 p.m.
A Tea and Cookies reception for the classes of 1955-1967 will be held at 4:30 p.m. at Southern Oaks House and Garden, located at 1246 Richburg Road. The alumni banquet will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Southern Oaks followed by a Broadway Revue presented by the School of Music at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a new event: The Decades Celebration. This event will honor the classes of 1957, ’67, ’77, ’87, ’97 and 2007 by recalling music and other trends from those years. Each decade will be featured during this celebration time at the new volleyball facility. 
The annual Crawfish Cookout and Festival will be held at 11 a.m. at the Kennedy Sports Complex. The Crusaders will take to the field again at noon Saturday for the second game of the doubleheader with Bethel University.
Saturday’s events also include a book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring published alumni and faculty members and a poetry read at 2 p.m.
The Sports Hall of Fame induction and dinner at 6 p.m. at Southern Oaks will wrap up the weekend.
Click here to view a full schedule and to register. For more information, contact Pam Shearer at (601) 318- 6561 or email
The Student Government Association will present several activities for students during the week. 
  • Monday: Movie Night at 9 p.m. in the Student Conference Center. Grab some popcorn and candy as you watch “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.”
  • Tuesday: Outdoor Concert at 8 p.m. in front of Common Grounds. Listen to a Carey band play and enjoy a cold glass bottle of root beer.
  • Wednesday: Homecoming Happy from 11 am. to 1 p.m. in front of the cafeteria. Be sure to get your homecoming treat 
  • Thursday: Tacky Tourist Semi Formal from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Student Conference Center. Throw on a Hawaiian shirt and socks with sandals to dance the night away. Refreshments will be served.
  • Saturday: Crawfish Boil from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fix your crawfish craving and enjoy homecoming entertainment and activities.