Former MSU professor and administrator Harvey S. Lewis is pictured in this 2016 photo with his wife, Di Ann Lewis at the Dr. Harvey S. Lewis Mezzanine on the second floor of the Seal Family Business Complex atrium in McCool Hall. Harvey lewis died this week at 80 years old. 

A well respected former leader of the Mississippi State University College of Business and the broader university community has died.

On Monday, the university announced former MSU College of Business Dean Harvey S. Lewis died in St. Petersburg, Florida at the age of 80. Lewis was a 1961 alumnus of the MSU College of Business. Throughout his career, he served as associate dean for the University of Central Florida College of Business and executive vice chancellor at the University of Mississippi. At MSU, in addition to leading the College of Business from 1992- 1997, he served as vice president for administration and university development and as interim president in 1983. He also served as a member of the MSU Foundation Board of Directors in 1984-1985.

In addition to his MSU degree, he earned a MBA and doctorate from the University of Arkansas.

He served on faculty at MSU starting in 1965, and moved to Ole Miss in 1973, before returning to Starkville.

He was a native of Byram.

“He was a beloved dean and just a very well-respected human being,” said MSU College of Business Dean Sharon Oswald. “In my opinion, he was a prince of a man. When I got to State a little over eight years ago, he reached out to me early on and always kept in touch. He always knew what was going on in the college and always kept Mississippi State in his heart.”

Oswald said she admired Lewis for staying true to himself.

The mezzanine on the second floor of McCool Hall was named in his honor, and Lewis gave generously to MSU, including contributing to endowed scholarships in business and special education.

Harvey’s always going to be with us.”

Outside of his academic responsibilities at MSU, Lewis was also heavily involved with the Starkville Rotary Club, serving a term as the group’s president.

Lewis is survived by his wife of 58 years, Di Ann Lewis and three children Jon Brian Lewis, Lauri Lewis Hayes and Heather Lewis. He chose to donate his body to medical research.

A private ceremony for family members will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to the Harvey and Di Ann Lewis Scholarship, Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church at 107 16th Ave. St. Pete Beach, FL 33706, or to the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation at P.O. Box 1986 Jackson, MS 39215-1986.


For more on this story, read Friday's Starkville Daily News. 

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