Hall of Fame: 2011

Honorable Reuben V. Anderson

Reuben Vincent Anderson is a senior partner at the law firm of Phelps Dunbar LLP.  Born Jackson, Mississippi, he attended Jackson Public Schools and graduated from Jim Hill High School in 1960.  He received his B.A. degree with a major in History in 1964 from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi, and his J.D. degree in 1967, becoming the first African-American to graduate from the University of  Mississippi School of Law.

Anderson was admitted to the Mississippi State Bar in 1967.  His professional experience includes Mississippi Associate Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., 1967-75; a partner with Anderson, Banks, Nichols & Stewart, 1968-77; Municipal Judge for the City of Jackson, 1975-77; County Court Judge for Hinds County, Mississippi, 1977-82; Circuit Court Judge for the 7th Circuit Court District of Mississippi, 1982-85; Mississippi Supreme Court Justice, 1985-90; and Jamie L. Whitten Chair of Law and Government at the University of Mississippi, Fall of 1995.

Anderson has received a wealth of recognitions throughout his legal career.  Among others, he is the first African-American to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court, the first African-American President of the Mississippi Bar, and listed in The Best Lawyers in America.  He was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame in 2009, was presented the Mississippi Bar’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, the University of Mississippi Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995, and is the namesake for the Reuben V. Anderson Pre-Law Society at Tougaloo College.  He also served as president of the state Chamber of Commerce (MEC), 2001.

Anderson is a current Director of AT&T, Dallas, Texas; The Kroger Company, Cincinnati, Ohio; and MINACT, Inc., Jackson, Mississippi, among others.  He is a former director of a number of boards, including Trustmark National Bank, Jackson, Mississippi; Mississippi Chemical, Yazoo City, Mississippi; Burlington Resources, Houston, Texas; and BellSouth, Atlanta, Georgia.

Anderson is a member of the 100 Black Men of Jackson, the American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, Hinds County Bar Association, Magnolia Bar Association, National Bar Association, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Bar Association, and U.S. Supreme Court Bar Association.

Anderson is married to the former Phyllis Wright and has three children, Vincent, Raina (Reginald Lee) and Rosalyn.  He is the proud grandfather of two grandchildren, James and Anderson.

Thomas D. Bourdeaux


Thomas D. Bourdeaux was born on July 10, 1925 in Meridian. He attended Meridian public schools, graduating from Meridian High School in 1943. He later served in the United States Navy as an aviation cadet.

Upon leaving the Navy in 1945, Mr. Bourdeaux entered the University of Mississippi, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was Editor of The Daily Mississippian from 1946 – ’47. Mr. Bourdeaux obtained his LLB from Ole Miss Law School in 1949. He taught classes in history while in law school.

Upon graduating law school, Mr. Bourdeaux began his law practice in Meridian as a sole practitioner. He later formed a partnership with Gipson Witherspoon and in 1956 was a founding member of what became Bourdeaux & Jones, LLP. Mr. Bourdeaux was the senior partner of the firm and was still actively engaged in his law practice until the time of his death on October 30, 1995.

Mr. Bordeaux enjoyed a very distinguished career. He was admitted to all state and federal courts in Mississippi, as well as the court of appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States. He was a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” (1991-1994) in three practice areas: business litigation, corporate law and personal injury litigation. Mr. Bordeaux tried cases throughout the Southeast.

He served as president of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association and as chairman of the American Bar Foundation of the State of Mississippi. He had the privilege of serving on the Board of Trustees for the Institutions of Higher Learning for the State of Mississippi from 1980 –’89, serving as president of the board in 1988-’89. He was a member of the Southern Regional Education Board.

Locally, Mr. Bourdeaux was a member of the board of directors of Great Southern National Bank, in addition to serving as its general counsel. He was a creator of the Meridian Community College Foundation, and he taught a business law class at what is now Meridian Community College. He was active in the Meridian Chamber of Commerce and Meridian Industrial Foundation. He was a member of The Church of the Mediator and served as a senior warden.

Mr. Bourdeaux was married to Norma Sanders Bourdeaux and had four children: Lisa B. Percy, Marian B. Barksdale, Ellen Bourdeaux and Thomas Bourdeaux, Jr.

Jack F. Dunbar

Jack Dunbar grew up around Indianola, then made his way to Millsaps College where he graduated with honors. He was then accepted to and enrolled at Georgetown Law School, but later transferred to the University of Mississippi School of Law where he received his J.D. degree.

As a law student in Oxford, he was a member of the Mississippi Law Journal and served as president of the student body. He graduated at the top of his class.

His legal career blossomed in the Delta, but he eventually transitioned back to north Mississippi. Over the course of his career, he earned a reputation as one of the most respected trial lawyers in the state. He has been included in every issue of The Best Lawyers in America since the publication’s inception.

Dunbar has served as president of both the Mississippi Bar and the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents. He has also served as Mississippi’s delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. During this time, he was a member of the ABA Board of Governors. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation and the Mississippi Bar Foundation.

Within his community, he has volunteered his services to make it a better place for all. He put countless hours into a contract negotiation between Baptist Hospital and his community hospital, which led to a deal that immediately improved local health care. Because of the major role he played, he was awarded the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award in 1990.

His professional achievements have also garnered numerous awards. Most recently, he was presented the Mississippi Bar Foundation’s 2010 Professionalism Award.

Honorable Evelyn Gandy


The late Evelyn Gandy was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the daughter of Kearney C. and Abbie (Whigham) Gandy.

She graduated with honors from Hattiesburg High School where she was active in debating and oratory. She attended the University of Southern Mississippi where she continued to be active in debating. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law. As a law student, she won the state oratorical contest in 1944, was the first woman editor of the Mississippi Law Journal, and was the first woman to be elected President of the Law School student body.

Having an interest in politics from childhood, she began making political speeches for candidates when in high school.

In 1947, she began the practice of law in Hattiesburg, and after her career in public service, she returned to private law practice in Hattiesburg in January 1984 with the firm of Ingram and Associates.

In 1948, Ms. Gandy was elected to serve as representative in the State Legislature from Forrest County. Later she served in the following state-wide elective positions: State Treasurer (1960-1964, 1968-1972), Commissioner of Insurance (1972-1976) and Lieutenant Governor (1976-1980). She was the first woman to hold each of these offices.

Ms. Gandy served on a number of policy-making state boards and commissions. She served as a member of the National Advisory Council of the Salvation Army and the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy.

She was active in numerous professional and civic organizations and is a past state president of the Mississippi Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, the South Central Mississippi Women Lawyers Association, and the Mississippi Official Women’s Club.

Ms. Gandy was a member of the University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg where she served as a Deacon.

Crymes G. Pittman

Crymes G. Pittman attended Georgia Tech and received his undergraduate degree in 1964 from the University of Mississippi. He practiced law in Raleigh from 1966 to 1974 with L. D. Pittman. He moved and began practicing law in Jackson and, in 1978, along with James P. Cothren, formed the firm of Cothren & Pittman. Today, Crymes continues his practice of law as a partner of Pittman, Germany, Roberts & Welsh, LLP, which was formed in 1993.

Pittman is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association and the Hinds County Bar Association where he has served on numerous committees. He served two terms as a bar commissioner from the 7th and 13th circuits. He is a lifetime member of the Mississippi Association for Justice (MAJ) where he was president and a winner of the Stalwarts Award. He served on the board of the American Association for Justice and American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He served as president of the Mississippi Chapter of ABOTA and is a Fellow of the ABOTA Foundation. He is a member of American Inns of Court, Charles Clark Chapter, and is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. He has served on the U.S. District Court Magistrate Selection Committee as well as the Mississippi Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee. He has tried numerous civil cases in state and federal courts.

He has spoken at multiple seminars for the Mississippi Judicial College and MAJ and has taught classes on trial advocacy sponsored by the Mississippi ABOTA chapter at the University of Mississippi and Mississippi College Schools of Law. He has served on various committees for the Mississippi Bar and MAJ dealing with improvements of the administration of law, judicial liaison work and dealing with the legislative branches.

He has served on the Board of the University of Mississippi Alumni Association. He is a sustaining member of the Lamar Order and has served as its Chairman. In 1999 he was awarded the law school’s Alumnus of the Year Award. He served as co-chair of the School of Law Campaign for the Robert C. Khayat Law Center, which was dedicated on April 15, 2011.