Eddie Holloway, dean of students and vice president for student affairs at Southern Miss, will retire after 40 years.
Holloway said he greatly appreciates his time at Southern Miss and will cherish all the memories, but it is time for a change.
“I have some ambivalence about leaving because this is what I have enjoyed doing, and obviously I am concerned about what I will do with my time. But I’m into personal growth and development,” Holloway said.
Holloway explained that one of his greatest accomplishments during his time at the university was being able to help students by being the dean of students.
“Becoming dean of students was just a joy for me. I think a person’s life is heightened if their avocation becomes their vocation and if their playtime becomes their work time, so it’s really been an enjoyment,” Holloway said.
Holloway has not only impacted students by being dean of students but also as a professor.
Ashley Wood, senior psychology major, said she enjoys Holloway’s unique teaching style.
“I like how Dr. Holloway makes you think during his class,” Wood said. “He really challenges us. He brings a lot of real-life examples into his teaching. While taking his drugs and alcohol class, I learned there is so much more than what meets the eye. He breaks down the lesson so everyone can understand it. His classes are never boring.”
Ashlei Dotson-Hamby, senior psychology major, said Holloway always makes his class informational yet interesting.
“Being in Dr. Holloway’s class is fun and entertaining. I can learn and laugh at the same time. He has the best personality,” Hamby said.
Holloway said he has seen a lot of change during his time at Southern Miss and hopes the university will continue to grow.
Holloway named some of the changes that occurred during his time at Southern Miss.
“Working with student affairs in student government, we started back after a 24-year absence. We’ve enacted the Fallen Eagle Service Fund for the students, faculty or staff members that have died during the course of the year. We started the Big Event, and we’ve developed student affairs that did not have anyone working with The National Pan-Hellenic Council, The NPHC, which are the nine historically black fraternities and sororities. We’ve created the Office of Multicultural Services and Programs, the Office of Student Ombudsman Services for students with extenuating circumstances, and we have started C.A.R.E.S. for students that have difficulties transitioning into the normal gate of work needed to succeed,” Holloway said.
Holloway said that achieving all of these was a lot of hard work, and he could not have done it all without the help of Deloris McNair.
“Ms. McNair came on board about 23 years ago, and that’s been the most consistent of the office in that almost everything that we have accomplished during that time she has been present,” Holloway said.
Deloris McNair, student advocate specialist in the Office of the Dean of Students said working for Holloway for so many years has been a great experience.
“I have grown professionally and personally with his leadership,” McNair said. “Because of his extensive history and knowledge, every conversation is meaningful and provides insight. Dr. Holloway is a supervisor who wishes the best for his staff. Throughout my employment with him, he has provided opportunities for professional development and encouraged me to go beyond expectations. His retirement will definitely leave a void at Southern Miss.”
Holloway said that his time at Southern Miss has been “a joyous ride.”
“I think I was able to help the university and help the city. I was elected to the Hattiesburg City Council for 16 years. It was a part-time work but it meshed with what we were able to do. I think to a certain extent those successes have led to an increase in enrollment for African-American students because we did it right. We were inclusive, and we made the programming available to all. And I think those quality efforts is what makes USM to be highly recognized,” Holloway said.
Holloway said that although his time at Southern Miss is coming to an end, he hopes that he has inspired students and his efforts will not be forgotten.
“I believe that education is the ladder in which students grow and develop. I think education is the factor and pathway to even the playing field for even the underserved. I think I have developed and done relatively well because of education. So, as we become a premier institution with probably the highest percentage of minority students I don’t know anywhere anybody has given any more to the uplift of mankind, municipal government and education than I’ve tried to,” Holloway said.