November 18, 2017  

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USM College of Business Honors Rayburn as Entrepreneur of Year

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Dr. Bill Rayburn, left, is presented a soaring eagle statue by Dr. Faye Gilbert, Dean of the USM College of Business. (Photo by Danny Rawls)

The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business honored one of its own on Friday, April 7 as mortgage industry expert Dr. Bill Rayburn received the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Rayburn, a 1981 Southern Miss Business Administration graduate, became the co-founder of FNC, Inc., a financial technology company that focused on scoring appraisals for the mortgage industry. Rayburn and his partners sold FNC,Inc. in 2016 and started mTrade.com.

Rayburn was honored during a luncheon at the Trent Lott Center on USM’s Hattiesburg campus where he was presented with a soaring eagle statue. In his acceptance Rayburn stressed that Southern Miss provided him with the education to be successful. He shared tips for students, faculty, administration and business leaders, all of whom were present in the packed ballroom. 

“On behalf of the Business Advisory Council, I extend congratulations to Bill Rayburn,” said Dr. Faye Gilbert, Dean of the USM College of Business. “We enjoyed his presentations to students and the process of honoring him at the luncheon. Bill has the energy and integrity to serve as that exemplar for entrepreneurs and we are grateful he accepted the award.”

Rayburn, a former finance professor at USM, also addressed a full classroom of students and faculty earlier in the day motivating them to think outside the box while striving to solve everyday problems.

Senior Healthcare Marketing major Jacob Fitzgerald was inspired by Rayburn’s comments.

“Hearing Dr. Rayburn speak and listening to his experience and success in the business world was inspiring and encouraging. Learning that someone from my small town of Petal, Mississippi could have such immense success, with their foundation from Southern Miss, made me realize how lucky I am to study in the College of Business at USM,” said Fitzgerald.

The Entrepreneur of the Year luncheon and award is sponsored by Joe Boardman, Jr.