SPRF | Hall of Fame

The Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to recognize the distinguished accomplishments, commitment and leadership of professional public relations practitioners and educators from the southeastern United States, for the benefit of promoting the public relations profession. Inductees are current and former southern public relations practitioners or educators who have brought honor to the field of public relations.

For more information, contact Hall of Fame Chair Kristie Aylett, APR, Fellow PRSA, SPRF Past President.

Click here for more information about members of the Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame.

Click here to nominate a practitioner or educator whose work made an impact on public relations in the U.S. Southern Region.

Induction into the Hall is intended to identify leaders in our industry who should be recognized and honored for their extraordinary achievements, accomplishments and contributions to their organizations, communities and the public relations profession.

The Hall is co-sponsored by SPRF and the Mississippi State University Department of Communications and is permanently installed outside the John Grisham Room inside in the Mitchell Memorial Library on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville.

Hall of Fame candidates must be SPRF members to be considered for selection, but a membership application may be submitted along with the Hall of Fame nomination form, and the waiting period will be waived.

Criteria for selection includes 25 years or more of professional experience by candidates who:

  • have brought honor to the profession of public relations (Inductees may also be recognized for some strong contribution to their company, organization, city, state or region.);
  • may be deceased;
  • may have shown leadership at the local, state and regional levels of SPRF and member organizations and chapters; and/or
  • may have demonstrated professional practice and behavior that are characteristic and consistent with the SPRF Code of Ethics.


Members of the Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame include (from left:): Ken Hair, John Wittig, PhD, APR; Sherry Harlow, APR; Suzanne Fornaro, APR; Karla Gower, PhD (representing the late Betsy Plank, APR, Fellow PRSA); Carol Mann, APR; John Forde, PhD, APR, Fellow PRSA; and Philip Shirley, APR. They gathered at Mississippi State University in Starkville during the 2015 induction ceremony. 



Members of the Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame gathered in Starkville, Miss., in July 2014 to welcome the new inductees. Pictured left to right, Rex Kelly of Gulfport, Miss. (2011); Ken Hair of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (2012); Joe Purka, of Niceville, Fla. (2014); Sherry Harlow, APR, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (2011); Shelia White, of Gulfport, Miss. (2014); John Forde, PhD, APR, Fellow PRSA, of Starkville, Miss. (2014) and Philip Shirley, APR, of Jackson, Miss. (2014).

2013 HOF

Inductees of the 2013 Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame were recognized in a ceremony at the John Grisham Room of Mitchell Memorial Library on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville. Pictured left to right, Ken Hair of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (2012 inductee); Sherry Harlow, APR, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (2011 inductee); Betsie Gambel of New Orleans, La.; Renie Saucier of Alexandria, La., accepting on behalf of her late husband, Charles "Chuck" Saucier; Caron Blanton, SPRF president; Carol Mann, APR, of Mobile, Ala.; Tony Bahou of Jackson, Miss., PRAM Central president, accepting on behalf of the late Neal W. Cirlot; and John Wittig, PhD, APR, of Hoover, Ala.

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