And A Lasting Legacy

Letter from President Aubrey K. Lucas to Dr. Joseph A. Greene

Letter from USM President Aubrey K. Lucas to Dr. Joseph A. Greene in 1986, extolling his accomplishments.

At the time of Dr. Greene's retirement as dean, the modest business program he had been hired to transform had grown into one of USM's largest and most successful colleges. Its development had been realized through steady and sometimes hard-fought incremental improvements. In academic year 1958, it became the School of Commerce and Business Administration. In 1964, Dr. Greene succeeded in obtaining separate bachelor and master degree programs, differentiating the School’s degrees from others and providing the faculty with more autonomy in developing curriculum and majors. In 1975, the School was recognized by the Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) as its own college. The recognition aided in Greene’s longstanding efforts to obtain accreditation by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business the following year. In 1979, the School of Accounting obtained a separate accreditation, making Southern Miss one of the elite universities in the country to obtain this distinction. When he retired as dean, the College boasted 2,300 students and 70 faculty members. At the following spring commencement, Greene was named the Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Alumni Association. Following his retirement as dean, Greene remained on faculty, dedicating himself to his teaching and writing Memoirs. In 1986, the IHL board designated him dean emeritus and professor emeritus of economics.

A victim of its own success, the College subsequently outgrew Greene Hall. In 2015, a new home was completed for the College. Named for successful businessman Charles Scianna, who graduated from the College in 1975 and donated funds toward the 93,000-square-foot facility, it houses the current College of Business and Economic Development’s schools of accountancy, finance, management and marketing. In 2019, Greene Hall underwent substantial renovations to house the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Upon the opening of Scianna Hall, former College of Business and Economic Development Dean, Faye Gilbert, commented, “When I walked in for the first day of our move, I took a moment to be grateful for . . . the commitment Dr. Greene had for securing good faculty and providing quality programs for our students. We will continue honoring his legacy.” The portrait commissioned of Dr. Greene now hangs in the College’s new home.

And A Lasting Legacy