April 18, 2012

More than 300 people filled the Lod Cook Alumni Center’s Noland-Laborde Hall for the 2012 LSU Alumni Association Hall of Distinction gala on Friday, March 30.

The Association’s premier event of the year, the 2012 event spotlighted the 47th Hall of Distinction induction class, including telecommunication industrialist Joseph Fail. A native of Bay Springs, Miss., Joseph D. “Jody” Fail graduated from LSU in 1961 with a degree in electrical engineering.

Other honorees were 2012 Alumnus of the Year Dr. John Butler and NFL linebacker Bradie James, who was recognized as the Young Alumnus of the Year. The remainder of the class included urban designer and landscape architect Kurt Culbertson; lawyer and cattleman David Means; award-winning designer, writer and educator James Richards; food manufacturing mogul Donald Welge, and retired businessman Claude West.

Mr. Fail is president and chairman of the board of the family-owned Telephone Electronics Corporation, a holding company for numerous telecommunications subsidiaries in the southeast United States. TEC employs more than 240 people and provides services to more than 60,000 customers in Mississippi and surrounding areas.

Mr. Fail holds Professional Engineering licenses in four states and is active in both the telephone industry and electrical engineering professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels. In 2011, Fail was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies.

Active in community and education efforts in his hometown, Bay Springs, Mississippi, Mr. Fail is a member of the Bay Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Bay Springs Baptist Church, where he is a deacon. He established the D.L. Fail Memorial Scholarship, which offers high school students a chance to continue their educations. He is also a member of the board of trustees at William Carey University in Hattiesburg.

A music enthusiast, Mr. Fail is the founder of Jazz in the Grove, Mississippi’s only outdoor jazz festival, held in Bay Springs.

A longtime, generous supporter of the LSU Alumni Association, Mr. Fail’s name is attached to the Joseph D. Fail Foyer in the Lod Cook Alumni Center.

Mr. Fail and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters – Brandi Callison, an LSU alumna, and Joey Garner – and four grandchildren.

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