On Friday, Joshua Morse III, the former dean of the University of Mississippi School of Law, passed away at home at the age of 89. He was living in Tallahassee, Florida at the time of his death. Morse was responsible for defying segregation when he admitted the law school’s first black students. His death was announced by his family. Morse stepped down from the position of dean in 1969.
The school’s first black law students were admitted in 1963, which was one year after the university’s first black student enrolled. There were 20 black students enrolled in the law school by 1967 in a class of 360.
Morse was born on March 1, 1923 in Poplarville, Mississippi. Morse graduated from the university and from its law school. Morse was a veteran of World War II. Morse became a member of the faculty at the university as an associate professor in 1962. He was named dean by 1963.
It was never made clear as to how Morse left the law school; either by resigning or by being fired from his position. When he did leave he joined Florida State University. At FSU he served as the College of Law dean until 1980. He taught at the school until 2003.
Morse is survived by the former Eva Triplett, his wife of 66 years; his daughters Anne Morse Burris and Mary Jeanne Morse Lykes; his son Joshua and six grandchildren.