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2018 Honored Alumni

Honored Alumni Honored Alumni Honored Alumni
Dennis Bohannon Paul Culliver Clyde Dease Jr.

Jones College’s 2018 Honor Alumni have contributed a lifetime of service to the institution and their communities in numerous ways. Laurel’s Dennis Bohannon, Paul Culliver, who is a Raleigh High School graduate and current resident of The Woodlands, Texas, and former Ellisville native and current resident of Picayune, Clyde Dease, Jr. were honored at the annual JCJC Alumni Luncheon on Homecoming Saturday, October 20, 2018.

“Each of the three Honor Alumni has poured their heart and soul into working or volunteering in various ways at JCJC. Dennis dedicated his life to education and athletics and has been a loyal supporter of the college, as have Paul and Clyde, who are also lifetime members of the JCJC Alumni Association. Paul currently serves as the Vice President of the JCJC Foundation Board and as a member of the college’s Finance and Investment Committee. Clyde Dease, Jr. is the only true rocket scientist I know! His contributions to NASA and Picayune reflect the amazing life he’s lived. We are excited to recognize these alumni for their outstanding service,” said VP of Advancement and Executive Director of the JCJC Foundation Inc., Charlie Garretson.

Dennis Bohannon of Laurel retired from West Jones after more than 26 years teaching 8-12 grade math courses and then finished his math teaching career in May 2018 after two years at Wayne County High School. At West Jones, he was the head coach for the Lady Mustangs soccer team for twelve years and he spent two years as head coach of the soccer and golf teams. He was also the assistant coach of the baseball, softball and football teams and spent twelve years as the football statistician for the West Jones Mustangs. The highlight of his soccer coaching career came in 2004 while coaching the South team of the Mississippi Association of Coaches’ Girls Soccer All-Star Team.

The 1974 Northeast Jones High School graduate earned All-Desoto Conference First-Team baseball honors and Second-Team football honors. He came to Jones in 1976 to play football and baseball where he lettered in football both years, and in baseball in 1975. After transferring to USM, he earned his B.S.B.A. in accounting in 1979. Additional honors Bohannon received include the Boy Scouts “God and Country” medal, he was elected as a JCJC Sophomore Representative and he was included in the Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges. Later, Bohannon would return to Jones to be part of the football radio broadcast crew in 1985 until 2000. Outside of education, Bohannon retired as VP of Bohannon, Inc. DBA the Popcorn Place in Sawmill Square Mall as co-owner with his parents after being in business for more than 27 years. As a member of Oakland Grove Baptist Church in Laurel, Bohannon has served as the treasurer since 1998, Sunday School Director and sound system director since 1984. Bohannon is also a member of the Laurel North camp of The Gideon’s International.

Currently living in The Woodlands Texas, Paul Culliver is a man with many “hometowns.” He was born in Jackson but his family moved to Raleigh where he discovered football. As a high school football player, he was selected as All-Conference, team captain, Most Valuable Player, and he was a member of the Wayne Bowl Championship team. He was also a member of the high school District 5 Track Championship team in the late 1970’s. At JCJC, the 1981 graduate started as a tight end in 24 consecutive games under Coach Sim Cooley. Playing in two football state championship games, Culliver was also part of the 1979 JCJC Mississippi Junior College State Football Championship team over Gulf Coast. He also competed for two seasons at the state level on the Bobcat track team in hurdles.

After earning an associate’s degree in construction engineering at JCJC, Culliver headed to Texas to work in the oil field industry. At age 23, he started the first of several oilfield service companies. Two years later, Culliver became operations manager of Triad Drilling & Supply, Geosouthern Energy Corporation and USX Exploration. He participated in the drilling, completing and operating of hundreds of producing wells throughout Texas before becoming an independent businessman in the real estate and healthcare industries, in addition to growing timber.

Continuing to be active in Raleigh, Culliver served as an officer and director of Rolling Acres Retirement Center from 1992 until its sale in 2014. Culliver also kept in touch with his alma mater by serving as vice president of the JCJC Foundation Board of Directors, the Foundation Finance & Investment Committee and he has endowed several scholarships, including one named for he and his brothers, Tim and Wayne who are also JCJC alumni. His contributions to Adam’s Angles Ministries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families cope with the diagnosis of childhood cancer, led to trips to Washington D.C. for several years as a representative with the Children’s Oncology Group seeking legislation and funding for pediatric cancer research. He and his wife Cindy have been married for 33 years and have two children who live in the Houston, Texas area.

Clyde Dease Jr., also has family ties to Smith County, but grew up in Ellisville and is currently living in Picayune. The 1969 valedictorian of Roosevelt High School in Ellisville graduated from JCJC in 1971 and transferred to USM to earn a bachelor’s of science degree in biology with certifications in chemistry, physics, instrumentation and biochemistry. Before his current position as president and C.E.O. of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation in Picayune, Dease served as a NASA satellite and rocket scientist. He was a member of the NASA leadership team at Stennis Space Center where he served as Lead within the Center Operations Directorate providing a variety of scientific, engineering, laboratory, programmatic and institutional support to the flight certification testing of rocket engines, in addition to overseeing an annual budget of $75 million.

The former educator and chair of the Picayune High School Science department worked for NASA in various leadership roles for 35 years. From developing satellite sensors and applications for utilizing the data collected from satellites to being on the space shuttle’s rocket engine flight certification team to developing the requirements for the design and construction of the first large-scale rocket test stand and the upper stage testing of the Orion Spaceship launch system in preparation for the mission to Mars, Dease played an integral part in numerous operations at NASA. The past national Chair of the NASA Metrology and Calibration Working Group for NASA earned numerous awards including the MCAFA award, where he was selected as the Federal Employee of the Year from 25,000 federal employees on the Gulf Coast.

Each year, Jones College honors one or more individuals for their contribution to JCJC, their community and society.
Want to nominate someone?
Use the nomination form below or contact JoAnna Newcomb.

Honored Alumni Nomination Form