James E. Foy, former dean of students at Auburn University from 1950 to 1978 and a great friend to the Ludwig von Mises Institute, died at the age of 93 at October 9, 2010. His funeral is today. To be with Dean Foy was to understand something about what made Auburn “the loveliest city on the plains.” He was charming, genuinely optimistic, and had an unfailingly bright outlook on life. His energy even in his 80s and 90s was an astonishing thing to behold. He loved to golf (and was annoyed when any club insisted that he use a cart rather than run between holes) and won skiing contests all throughout the 1990s. He enjoyed attending Mises Institute events and especially meeting students.
One can see from the obituaries in the local news (here, here, and here) what kind of man he was. In times when greatness is identified with political power on the national stage, Dean Foy’s life provides us with another and more authentic model of what greatness really means: personal character, service to others, and dedication to excellence in every area of life. His commitment to this community, its students and people, made him a legend in his own time, left a permanent mark on this city, and made this world a better place. His memory will always be a living presence at the Mises Institute.