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Ole Miss alumnus, Biloxi mayor A.J. Holloway honored

The 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award will honor Biloxi mayor A.J. Holloway for his efforts after Hurricane Katrina and community service.

The Ole Miss Department of Political Science will award its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award to A.J. Holloway, mayor of Biloxi, early next month.
The Distinguished Alumni Award, established five years ago by the Department of Political Science, aims to recognize Ole Miss alumni and their post-graduate accomplishments. The Advisory Board of Alumni meets every spring to review possible selections.
“People really appreciate this; there’s no money, there’s no building named after them,” John Bruce, chair and associate professor of political science said. “There’s nothing of great consequence, but it’s a symbolic thing that seems to be really valued by people.”
A.J. Holloway, also a former Ole Miss athlete, was chosen for his efforts and leadership after Hurricane Katrina and his devotion to his city.
“He was mayor when Katrina hit, and they lost about 25 percent of housing in Biloxi,” Bruce said. “He led a very effective and aggressive building campaign. That’s the kind of service we try to recognize.”
Holloway’s building campaign reminded the city, along with the rest of the state and nation, how far Biloxi has come.
Just this year, the city repaired and replaced $355 million worth of infrastructure that was damaged by the hurricane, according to the Biloxi WLOX.
About 100 miles of streets, more than a million feet of water, sewer and storm drain lines, and more than 70 wastewater pump stations were replaced or repaired.
Along with infrastructure improvements, the mayor also re-opened the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library, Walmart, Margaritaville Casino, McElroy’s Restaurant, Sharkheads souvenir shop, Santa Maria Del Mar apartments and the largest building on the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art campus.
Richard Forgette, senior associate dean and professor of political science, praised Holloway for his achievements in Biloxi.
“The Political Science Department recognizes someone who has had a lifetime of public service and achievement, and we’re really pleased to be awarding it this year to A.J. Holloway,” Forgette said.
Forgette added that Holloway led the city of Biloxi through the recovery of Hurricane Katrina and has been “active in lots of ways improving the economy in south Mississippi.”
“As mayor he was instrumental in getting governmental relief and coordinating governmental relief,” Forgette said.
The A.J. Holloway Distinguished Political Science Alumni Award reception will be held Nov. 9 at the Oxford-University Club.