2005 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Gordon, King, Morgan, Hewes, Thames, Dearing, Robertson, Huggins, Little, Dawkins, Walley, Williamson, Harvey, Ross, Pickering, Burton, Carmichael, Nunnelee, Hyde-Smith, Chaney, Albritton, Lee (35th), Moffatt, Flowers, White, Jackson (15th), Mettetal, Posey
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVICE AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF DR. SHELBY F. THAMES, PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.
WHEREAS, Dr. Thames is the eighth President of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He took office on May 1, 2002, continuing an illustrious career of 40 years at Southern Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, his previous administrative positions at Southern Mississippi were Chair of the Department of Polymer Science, Dean of the College of Science and Technology, Vice President for Administration and Regional Campuses, and Executive Vice President. In 1970, he was the founder of the Department of Polymer Science, and in 1973, co-founder of the Waterborne and High-Solids Coatings Symposium, an event that has expanded to the annual International Waterborne, High-Solids, and Powder Coatings Symposium in which he continues as its co-director. He sought and gained approval for the enhancement of the College of Science to the College of Science and Technology by creating several new technology programs; and
WHEREAS, he was instrumental in the conception and implementation of the "2+2 Degree Program" between the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and USM Gulf Coast, which provided a bachelor's degree program course work on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in over 26 subject areas. Another of his many accomplishments involves three entities created to improve statewide economics: Mississippi Polymer Institute; International Coatings and Formulations Institute; and Southern Diversified Products, LLC (a Mississippi University Research Authority company); and
WHEREAS, among his numerous honors and awards are the designation as Distinguished University Research Professor of the Department of Polymer Science, recipient of the first Distinguished Professorship by the Southern Society of Coatings Technology, the 1966 USM Alumni Association Continuous Service Award, the 1998 NUC Wheeler McMillan Award for his work with agricultural products, the 1999 AAIC Anson Ellis Thompson Career Achievement Award for his career in promoting the use of agricultural-based materials as industrial raw materials, and inductee in 1998 to the USM's Alumni Hall of Fame. In 1998, USM's $29 Million Polymer Science Research Center was named in honor of Dr. Thames and is now known as the Shelby Freland Thames Polymer Science Research Center. In 2002, President Thames was recognized by Modern Paint & Coatings magazine as its R&D Person of the Year. Recently, President Thames was selected as one of the top ten community leaders in South Mississippi by The Sun Herald and The Journal of South Mississippi Business and received the Outstanding College President Award from the All-American Football Foundation, Inc.; and
WHEREAS, at the time of his selection as President of the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Thames had a research team of 50 people and supervised five graduate students. Most recently, this team is known for the commercialization of a zero-volatile organic content (VOC) paint that is completely environmentally safe, emitting no odor or harmful properties into the environment. The paint called "American Pride" was used to paint a section of the offices at The Pentagon in 2003; and
WHEREAS, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for Conference USA and the Mississippi Technology Alliance, and the Executive Board of the Pine Burr Area Council, Boy Scouts of America; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Thames earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi in chemistry and organic chemistry and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Tennessee in organic chemistry; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the achievements of the University of Southern Mississippi under the leadership of Dr. Thames, whose dedication to excellence in higher education and research in our state is a matter of record:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the public service of Dr. Shelby F. Thames, President of the University of Southern Mississippi, recognizing his contributions to research and technology and dedication to excellence in higher education in our state, and extending to him the best wishes of the Legislature on his future endeavors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Dr. Thames, forwarded to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.