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William Jewell College president emeritus Dr. Thomas Field dies at 93
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
March 13, 2009

Dr. Thomas S. Field, president of William Jewell College from 1970 to 1980, passed away March 12 in Springfield, Mo. Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. March 16 at Second Baptist Church in Springfield. Visitation is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the church. 

Dr. Field initiated a “Decade of Greatness” at William Jewell which encompassed numerous developments and physical improvements at the College. Enrollment increased significantly during Dr. Field’s tenure, and the College’s overseas study program was established with an agreement at Regent’s Park College of Oxford University and at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England. The College’s Pillsbury Music Center was dedicated in 1974, and significant funds were secured through the successful “William Jewell Tomorrow” campaign for construction of the Mabee Center for Physical Education, which was completed in 1980.

Dr. Field served as interim president at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis from 1991 to 1995, and following his interim presidency continued to serve as director of special projects and consultant to MBU president Alton Lacey. In 1995, Dr. Field received the Charles D. Johnson Outstanding Educator Award from the Southern Baptist Education Commission.

“He served William Jewell College honorably and well,” said President David Sallee. “Dr. Field loved the College and its students. His work provided a solid foundation for the generations of Jewell students who are the ultimate beneficiaries of his insight.”

Dr. Field was born on June 2, 1915, in Chicago, Ill. He received a B.S. in business administration and public relations at Wheaton College. He also completed graduate work at Northwestern University. He attended Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, where he received his degree in theology.

While at Wheaton, Dr. Field met Virginia Margaret Leach, and they were married in 1939. Dr. and Mrs. Field had two daughters, Melinda Ann Field Duncan and Rebecca Lyn Field Montgomery. Mrs. Field preceded Dr. Field in death in 1994.

Dr. Field served as pastor of churches in New York, Louisiana and Georgia before coming to Missouri. At the time of his election as president of William Jewell, Dr. Field was senior minister of First Baptist Church of Springfield, at that time the largest Baptist church in Missouri. He served two terms as president of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Contributions may be made in Dr. Field’s memory to the Dr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Field Scholarship fund in care of the advancement office at William Jewell College, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068, or online at “Give to Jewell” at the College’s website, www.jewell.edu

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