Dr. Phillips speaking at dedication of the new Institute building March 23, 2001. Chancellor Robert Khayat in background.
Dr. Jeanette Phillips
Dr. Jeanette Phillips passed away June 13, 2017. A memorial service was held Friday, June 16, 2017, at First Baptist Church, Oxford, MS.
Dr. Phillips was instrumental in the establishment of the Institute of Child Nutrition (originally the National Food Service Management Institute) at the University of Mississippi in 1989 and was the first Acting Executive Director who played a pivotal role in setting up the Institute in 1990-1991. She then served as Associate Executive Director and acting Director of Technology Transfer division. She again served as interim Executive Director from September 1, 1996, until June 30, 1997. During her tenure, Dr. Phillips played a fundamental role in planning for the construction of a permanent building for the Institute. The new building was dedicated on March 23, 2001, along with Jeanette Phillips Drive, a street on the University of Mississippi campus where the Institute is located. The street’s historical marker reads: Dr. Jeanette C. Phillips devoted her life to improving nutritional programs throughout Mississippi and the Nation.
She conducted the first BLT training on a national level at the American School Food Service Association (now the School Nutrition Association) Annual National Conference in July 1991, bringing the Institute to the national stage.
She was also an organizer and instructor in the Orientation to School Nutrition Management Seminar, which has been a signature training course for the Institute since 1994.
She was known for her quiet leadership and encouragement of students, faculty, and the staff of the Institute.
Prior to her work with the Institute, Dr. Phillips was a professor at the University of Mississippi and chair of the Department of Home Economics.
When she “retired” from the University December 31, 1997 after serving over 40 years, almost 300 guests attended her reception at the Triplett Alumni Center on the Oxford campus of the University. USDA Food and Nutrition Services (USDA FNS) was represented by Dorothy Caldwell, Special Assistant for Nutrition and Nutrition Education, who expressed her appreciation to Dr. Phillips for providing leadership to the Institute in a variety of capacities. Jim Reeves, Assistant Director for Administration, described Dr. Phillips’ long association with nutrition educators in Mississippi and her untiring efforts to start the Institute from “a clean sheet of paper.” Dr. Gerald Walton, Provost, presented the retiree with a wristwatch from The University staff council. NFSMI staff had solicited and compiled mementos from friends and colleagues into a memory book. The book was displayed at the reception and presented to Dr. Phillips at the conclusion of the event (NFSMI Update Vol. Three Number One. Spring 1998).
In June 2002, Dr. Jeanette Phillips again assumed the position of interim Executive Director where she served until June 30, 2003. She continued to serve the Institute as Associate Executive Director Emeritus.
During her tenure at Ole Miss she received a number of honors including Outstanding Teacher Award, The University of Mississippi; Outstanding Teacher Award, School of Education; Magnolia Award; Mississippi Dietetics Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession of Nutrition; Leston L. Love Award for Outstanding Service in the Area of Students; Teacher of the Year Award; and Mortar Board. She was also initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa, an honorary fraternity that recognizes the highest degree of service, leadership, and scholarship at the University.
Jeanette Collier Phillips, Ed.D., L.D., received her bachelor’s degree from Blue Mountain College, and her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Mississippi. She was project director for the Nutrition Education Training Program for Mississippi from 1979-1989 through a grant from the Mississippi State Department of Education, and served as chair of the Home Economics Department at the University of Mississippi.
She was preceded in death by a son, Daniel Morris Phillips who died Dec. 12, 2005, at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital; and her husband of 62 years Jesse Pittman Phillips, who died February 28, 2016. She is survived by two sons: Tim Phillips and Andy Phillips.
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