- University of Southern Mississippi President Dr. Shelby
Thames will discuss his rise as a pioneering faculty member
to the university's top post as part of the 2003 Lecture Series
in the Sciences April 2.
presentation titled "From Polymer Scientist to President,"
Thames will detail the challenges he faced transitioning from
distinguished university research professor and founder of
the internationally renowned Polymer Science Department to
Southern Miss' eighth president.
presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Reuben Auditorium in Walker
Science Building, with a reception to follow.
from my area of expertise, polymers, to become president of
Southern Miss has been challenging, but similar in several
ways," Thames said. "Long hours are a must in both,
but my love for this university keeps me motivated and working
hard for our students."
a 38-year career at Southern Miss, Thames assumed the office
of the president May 1, 2002. At the time of selection, Thames
was leading a research team of 50 people in the polymer science
program he founded in the 1970s.
was also instrumental in securing funding from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture for the university's three-story, 86,000-square-foot
polymer research center that bears his name. In November 1996,
the state College Board unanimously approved naming the center
in honor of Thames.
ultra-modern polymer science center officially opened in April
1991. It houses state-of-the-art instrumentation for the department
and the independently funded Mississippi Polymer Institute,
which directly helps fill industry and training and consulting
teaching, research and now presiding over the state's only
dual-campus institution, Thames has also served Southern Miss
as dean of the College of Science and Technology, vice president
for administration and regional campuses and executive vice
came to Southern Miss as a faculty member in 1964. He earned
bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from Southern Miss in 1959
and 1961, and received his doctorate in organic chemistry
from the University of Tennessee in 1964.
of Southern Miss, Thames leads Mississippi's second largest
university and the only comprehensive institution in the southern
half of the state.
presentation in the 2002-03 Lecture Series in the Sciences
will be held April 16, with Dr. Adel Ali discussing "Supercomputing
and High Performance Visualization." For more information
call (601) 266-4887.