Dr. Lewis Nobles

Published 7:20 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dr. Lewis Nobles, 81, scientist, educator, and administrator died May 25, 2007 at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland. Visitation was Sunday and Monday at Lakewood Funeral Home. Services were Monday in the funeral home chapel with burial in Lakewood Memorial Park.

Dr. Nobles was the son of J.S. Nobles and Ruby Roper Nobles. He was born in Meridian, Miss., on September 11, 1925. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1944, attended Ursinus College in the V-12 program during WWII, and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant in 1952. He earned his B.S. in Pharmacy in 1948 and the M.S. in Chemistry in 1949 from the University of Mississippi, and the Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1952. He was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan from 1958-59.

Dr. Nobles was a member of the University of Mississippi faculty from 1952-68, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry 1955-68, Dean of the University of Mississippi Graduate School 1960-68, and coordinator of university research 1964-68.

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Dr. Nobles authored more than 75 technical papers and was co-author of Physical and Technical Pharmacy and contributor to numerous other publications. He was a national leader in pharmaceutical circles and recipients of the International Rho Chi Pharmaceutical Award as well as numerous other awards for his stimulation of research. Among his pioneering pharmaceutical works were the initial production of a gel formulation of alcohol and work on an anti malarial agent for Park-Davis.

He served on the Board of Trustees for both the Oxford Separate School District and the Clinton Public School District. He was a member of the Lions Club in Oxford and Rotary in Oxford and Jackson.

He began his tenure as President of Mississippi College in the summer of 1968. His contributions to the College include the strengthening and expansions of academic programs with a School of Nursing and a School of Law. Under his leadership, a FM radio station (WHJT 93.5 FM) was established and the Latimer House, a Victorian home on the campus, was restored and now serves as a college guesthouse.

An avid fan of all Choctaw Sports, Dr. Nobles led the way in moving intercollegiate athletes from original facilities on the east side of the campus to new facilities and fields on the west side of the campus. He was instrumental in the formation of the Gulf South Conference.

He was recognized in 1986 as one of the Top 18 most effective college presidents in the nation and was very much involved in public policy issues at the state and federal levels. He was a founding member of the Coalition of Christian Colleges, and served as president of many leadership associations of Baptist and independent colleges. He was instrumental in the formation of a consortium of colleges devoted to missions through international programs. Dr. Nobles was honored many times over by his peers and associates including a series of celebrations in 1992-93 of his 25-year tenure as President of Mississippi College.

He was a member of First Baptist Church of Clinton and served as a deacon. He was also active in denominational affairs at the local, state, and national levels.

His brother, J. Sydney Nobles, and his daughter, Suzanne, who was killed in an accident in 1973, preceded Dr. Nobles in death. He is survived by his wife of over 58 years, the former Joy Ford of Picayune who lives in Clinton; his daughter, Sandra Nash and husband, Ben, of Clinton; and two grandchildren, Amy Nash Parker and husband, Ryan, of Alameda, Calif., and Benny Nash and wife, Windy, of Brandon.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, gifts be made to the WMU Foundation or the Christian Women’s Job Corps Special Fund at Woman’s Missionary Union, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242.