Eddie Lewis, a retired University of Southern Mississippi business professor who founded the school’s international business program, died Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg. She was 80.
Funeral services for Lewis are set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Moore Funeral Chapel in Petal, with visitation scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11 at the funeral home.
Lewis joined the university’s faculty in 1970 and retired in 2003. She taught courses in statistics, economic development and international business, among others. She was instrumental in the formation of an agreement of cooperation between Japan’s Kaetsu University and Southern Miss in 1995 that led to an annual exchange of business students and faculty between the schools.
The agreement also included the establishment of the College of Business’ Kaetsu Distinguished Professorship of International Business, of which Lewis was the first recipient.
Dr. David Duhon, chairman of the university’s Department of Management and International Business who now holds the Kaetsu Professorship, described his former colleague as a “great colleague” and a “pioneer and visionary for international and global business education.”
“She was well respected by colleagues in Asia and the United States,” said Duhon.
Bill Smith, chairman of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, said Lewis was also a favorite among her pupils. “She taught what many thought to be a difficult subject, statistics, but the students loved her and she served as a role model of great teaching for many in the College of Business," Smith said.
Karen Reidenbach, one of Lewis’ former students who now works as customer care/human resources liaison for iTech at Southern Miss, said her former professor “loved teaching and she loved her students.”
“She was full of love for life, family and teaching,” Reidenbach said. “I know that she will be sorely missed by her friends and family.”