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Funeral Services Set for Sept. 11 for Southern Miss Professor Charles Hoyle PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Contact David Tisdale - 601.266.4499   

Services are set for Friday, Sept. 11 at 1:30 p.m. at Temple Baptist Church, East Campus, in Hattiesburg for Dr. Charles Hoyle, a professor of polymer science and chemistry at The University of Southern Mississippi who died Sept. 7. He was 60.

Visitation will begin at noon at the church prior to the service. Moore Funeral Home in Hattiesburg is in charge of arrangements. Receptions will be held before and after the services from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and from 3-5 p.m. on the second floor of the Shelby F. Thames Polymer Science Research Center at the university’s Hattiesburg campus.

Hoyle was a pioneer and leading scientist in the fields of photopolymerization and photochemistry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Baylor University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry under the direction of professor Fred Lewis at Northwestern University. He was a member of the American Chemical Society.

“He was a gentleman and a great scientist and cared about people, especially his students He did everything in his power to help them become successful,” said Dr. Joe Whitehead, interim dean of the College of Science and Technology.

“When I came to Southern Miss in 1990 he became a mentor and a collaborator for me, and so I learned a lot about doing science from Charlie. He had a positive impact on my career.”

He was internationally renowned as a photo-chemist with special emphasis on the photochemistry and photophysics of polymers, in which he studied the interaction of light with polymer molecules and the use of light to initiate the formation of polymers. He authored more than 160 refereed publications and his work has been cited nearly 2,500 times.

Hoyle’s colleague Dr. Robert Lochhead, director of the Southern Miss School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, remembers Hoyle as a dedicated and caring teacher and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students alike, “who represented the kind of person we should all aspire to be, both professionally and personally.”

“Despite his own success and status in the field, he was one of the kindest, most humble and caring individuals one could ever hope to know. He was always the first to praise and encourage others,” Lochhead said.

After working nearly two years at the University of Toronto in Jim Guillet's lab focusing on polymer photophysics, he joined Armstrong World Industries in Lancaster, Pa., in 1978 where he investigated polymer photodegradation and photoinitiated polymerization.

In 1983, he joined the faculty at Southern Miss, where he obtained dual appointments in the departments of polymer science and chemistry. In his 25-plus years at the university, he focused on all aspects of polymer photochemistry and photophysics including photopolymerization, photodegradation, polymer luminescence, and laser flash photolysis.

Hoyle was a member of Temple Baptist Church, East Campus. He is survived by his wife, Karen Hoyle of Hattiesburg; a daughter, Abigail Hoyle of Hattiesburg; and a son, Austin Hoyle of Vicksburg.

A student scholarship fund in Hoyle’s honor has been established through the USM Foundation. Contributions may be sent to: USM Foundation, assigned to Dr. Charles E. Hoyle Memorial, and sent to Candy Sigler, administrative assistant to the director, School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, The University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Dr., #10076, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001.

Dr. Charles Hoyle

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at

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