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Legacy of Dr. Joseph A. Greene, founding Dean of the College of Business and Economic Development

 Unprocessed Collection
Identifier: M586


  • Creation: 1950-2018

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Arthur Greene, Jr., was born October 19, 1920, in Johnson City, Tennessee, to Joseph Arthur and Cozie Josephine Carpenter Greene and grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. On August 20, 1946, he married Sarah Virginia Jessee of Lebanon, Virginia, and they had four children: Kathryn Ann, Jacqueline Lee, Michael Joseph, and Alan Vince.

A towering figure at 6-foot-6, Greene became an all-star basketball player while working his way through Kentucky’s Berea College, doing school janitorial chores and working in a broom factory en route to a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1941. Green continued his studies on a DuPont scholarship at the University of Virginia, earning a master’s degree in economics in 1943.

Then, with World War II raging, he was called into the U.S. Army and was went to Mississippi’s Camp Shelby for training. He was discharged on Thanksgiving Day, 1943, however, because of an old football injury that left one leg shorter than the other.

While working on his doctorate at the University of Virginia, Greene accepted an offer from Dr. R.C. Cook, then president of Mississippi Southern College, to build a business program at the Hattiesburg campus for World War II veterans.

He came to the University of Southern Mississippi (then Mississippi Southern College) in 1949 as Head of the Division of Commerce, which had been established only eight years earlier. During his time at Southern Miss, Greene led the effort to establish the School of Business Administration with an MBA program (1964) which later became the College of Business Administration (1975). He helped the college earn its first AACSB Accreditation (1976) and fostered the creation of the Professional School of Accountancy (1979). Under his leadership the College of Business administration grew to 2300 students and 70 faculty members.

In 1985, the USM business building was dedicated in Joseph A. Greene’s honor.

Dr. Joseph A. Greene resigned from the position of dean in 1985 to return to teaching. On September 21, 1989, he was granted the title of Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Economics.

Dr. Joseph Arthur Greene, Jr. passed away in Hattiesburg August 1990. His legacy lives on in the College of Business and Economic Development where his portrait still and will continue to hang in the halls of the new business building, Scianna Hall.


1 Cubic Feet

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