Three East Mississippi Community College alumni will be honored during the college’s 2019 Homecoming activities, including two Collierville residents.
Dr. Glenn Peters, Class of 1966, has been named the college’s 2019 Alumnus of the Year. Collierville’s Buster and Jeanie Orr, both graduates of the Class of 1956, received the 2019 Distinguished Service Award.
Peters and the Orrs will be recognized Oct. 26 at an alumni luncheon and at halftime during EMCC’s Homecoming football game against Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Alumnus of the Year
Dr. Peters, who is in his 37th year practicing medicine in Louisville, is a Macon native who spent most of his formative years in Noxubee County.
In 1964, he graduated with honors from Noxubee County High School and enrolled at what was then East Mississippi Junior College on a football scholarship, playing the positions of cornerback and wide receiver for legendary football coach Bob “Bull” Sullivan.
While at EMJC, he served as president of the Student Government Association and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
After graduating from EMJC in 1966, Glenn enrolled at Mississippi State University, graduating from there in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. It was there that he started dating and married Nancy Hummer.
In 1969, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and later trained to fly the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, the workhorse air transporter during the Vietnam War.
Peters was assigned to Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina, where his unit was tasked with flying troops and military equipment all over the world, including Vietnam.
“We transported everything that needed to be flown to and from Vietnam,” he said. “Sometimes we took armament and supplies. We flew troops in and occasionally brought body bags back out.”
While he was in the Air Force, Glenn and Nancy’s first two daughters were born. Although he enjoyed flying, Glenn was spending a lot of time away from his family and he and Nancy “made a decision to do something different.”
In 1975, he was accepted into the University of Mississippi Medical School in Jackson, where he earned his doctorate in 1979. Glenn served his residency at Capstone Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., from 1979 to 1982, where he worked with the team physicians for the University of Alabama during what would be Bear Bryant’s last three years as head football coach. During this time they welcomed another daughter and son into their family.
In July of 1982, he established a solo Family Practice in Louisville, later partnering with other physicians to form the Louisville Medical Associates, where Nancy served as the clinic manager.
“Our patients in Winston County have been absolutely marvelous to work with,” he said. “We have done well here and one of the reasons for that is because of Nancy’s involvement.”
On Monday, April 28, 2014, an EF4 tornado ripped through Louisville, destroying the city’s hospital and the 10,000-square-foot clinic where Glenn and his partner practiced. A week later, they opened a temporary 1,000-square-foot clinic in Louisville. Two days later, they opened a second clinic with about 1,500 square feet of space.
“If you had told me we could open one clinic in less than seven days and a second within nine days, I would have told you that you were crazy,” Glenn said.
Officials with the Choctaw County Regional Medical Center in Ackerman later offered to renovate a building in Louisville for permanent clinic space. Peters and his partners accepted this offer and went to work for CCRMC. He plans to continue practicing as long as he is making a positive impact on the lives of his patients.
“We can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Alumnus of the Year award,” EMCC Director of Alumni Affairs and Foundation Operations Gina Cotton said. “Glenn is a great role model for our students and his accomplishments are a testament to the power of hard work, focus and dedication.”
Distinguished Service Award
In June, Buster and Jeanie Orr celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary.
They married in 1956, the year they graduated from what was then East Mississippi Junior College.
Ever since that time, they have had a special attachment to EMCC and have been longtime supporters of the school. They were the primary donors to the Buster and Jeanie Orr Center for Christian Activity, which is located on the Scooba campus and was dedicated in December of 2011.
Among other things, the fellowship hall, a sister building to the Chapel in the Pines, is a 4,200-square-foot facility that serves as a meeting place for student organizations such as the Baptist Student Union, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Wesley Foundation.
“Buster and Jeanie have made an impact on the lives of countless students here at EMCC with their contributions,” EMCC Executive Director of College Advancement Marcus Wood said. “We are grateful for their continued dedication to the college.”
In February 2018, a bronze plaque was unveiled at the Orr Center titled “The Love Story of Buster & Jeanie Orr” that recounts the couple’s meeting and subsequent marriage.
Buster, a West Point native who attended EMCC on a football scholarship, was fitted with a body cast following a serious automobile accident in 1955. Because of the injuries, he was no longer able to play football.
While still in his cast, he met Jeanie, whose maiden name was Aust at the time. She began meeting Buster daily in the cafeteria and would carry his food to the table since he was on crutches.
Buster said he has always felt a sense of gratitude to EMCC, both as the location where he met the love of his life and for allowing him to finish his education although he could no longer play ball after his accident.
“That is why we have such a heart for doing things here,” he said.
After graduating from EMJC, Buster continued his studies at Mississippi State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering and Geology.
He accepted a job as a manager at Republic Finance in Greenwood, working later for the company in Brookhaven and in Tupelo.
In 1971, Buster accepted a job with National Safety Associates, which is headquartered in Collierville, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis. He has been working for the company ever since. He and Jeanie moved to Memphis, where they reside today.
Six months into the position, the company’s founders made Buster a partner and vice president. One of the best known subsidiaries of National Safety Associates is Juice Plus+, a health and wellness company operating in 20 countries.
While Buster was helping build the company, Jeanie was raising their two children, Stacey and Hap.
“During that time I was running carpools, going to PTA meetings and working at the church,” Jeanie said.
Buster has been working with Adult Teen Challenge in Memphis for more than 25 years and sits on that organization’s board of directors. Adult Teen Challenge is a faith-based drug and alcohol treatment program for adult males who are 18 or older.
“We have seen that grow and prosper and we are very proud of the way so many people come to know the Lord and completely change their lives,” Buster said.
Jeanie said they have had a good life.
“I wouldn’t change anything about all those years,” she said. “We have had bends in the road just like other people but God has always seen us through.”