Warren Sheldon Webb
Warren Sheldon Webb offered solid leadership as Mississippi College’s third Baptist president from 1873 through 1891. Rev. Webb accepted the job on the Clinton campus after working as an MC instructor and pastor at local churches in Clinton and Brandon. A native New Yorker reared in a Baptist home with 13 other siblings, Rev. Webb possessed presidential experience before taking the reins at Mississippi College. The Colgate University graduate served as president at the Yalobusha Female Institute in Grenada, Mississippi beginning in 1851. On the Clinton campus, the MC administrator organized several schools: Greek, Latin, English, Mathematics, Natural Science and Moral Philosophy, with a military school added in 1880. As president, Webb received a $1,500 annual salary and lived in a house rent-free. Rev. Webb helped the Baptist college survive tough times when economic conditions across the United States skidded to a low ebb. Economic woes were widespread in Mississippi where cotton reigned as the state’s kingpin. Rev. Webb laid the foundation for a bright future despite Mississippi College’s deep financial struggles. With tuition priced at an affordable $50, MC reported an enrollment of 145 students in 1874-75. That topped such Southern Baptist schools as Baylor, Furman, Wake Forest and Howard (now Samford). Enrollment grew to 250 students during his final year in office. Webb’s own children helped MC’s numbers grow. Five boys graduated from Mississippi College and five daughters graduated from the Central Female Institute (later Hillman College). The Latimer-Webb Hall was later built and named in his memory. The residence hall was also named as a tribute to his son-in-law, Murray Latimer. Another campus facility, the Latimer House, was acquired by the college in 1969. It serves as a frequent gathering spot for alumni and overnight guests. The Latimer House today remains one of the enduring legacies of the Webb administration.