Mark Loftin to Deliver Last Lecture Friday

Retiring School of Applied Sciences associate dean to share reflections in Bryant Hall

OXFORD, Miss. – Jasper Mark Loftin, associate dean of the School of Applied Sciences and professor of exercise science at the University of Mississippi, will present the Mortar Board’s Last Lecture on Friday (April 29), during the last class session of the last day of classes for the academic year.

The lecture, at 4 p.m. in Bryant Hall, Room 209, is free and open to the public. The UM Tassels Chapter of Mortar Board created the annual lecture series in 2013, based on Randy Pausch’s book “Last Lecture” (Hachette Books, 2008).

The group asks one Ole Miss professor to deliver a lecture to end the academic year as if it were the last lecture of his/her career. Professors are asked to consider their legacy in higher education and what final thoughts he/she would want to impart to students.

Mark Loftin, associate dean of the School of Applied Sciences and professor of exercise science, is set to present the university’s Last Lecture for the 2021-22 academic year at 4 p.m. Friday (April 29) in Bryant Hall. Submitted photo

“The title of my lecture is ‘Moto Ergo Sum,’ which means ‘I move; therefore, I exist,'” said Loftin, who is retiring June 30 after 16 years at the university. “I will spend some time during the lecture to chat about the impact of physical activity and chronic disease. I will also talk a bit about folks who have inspired me over my career.”

Over his 38-year career in higher education, his exercise physiology research has focused on cardiorespiratory performance, body composition, and obesity among children and youth.

Before his service as an associate dean, Loftin served as chair of the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management from 2006 to 2013.

He also was a professor at the University of New Orleans and Springfield College. Loftin was department chair at UNO and also an adjunct research professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Science Center at New Orleans.

“I often tell folks that I have had an opportunity to serve at three universities across my career, and Ole Miss is the best,” Loftin said. “Our faculty, students and staff are treated very well.”

Loftin completed his Ph.D. in exercise physiology at the University of Illinois and also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise science from the University of Texas at Tyler. He also served as a research associate in cardiovascular rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.

Loftin has made great contributions to the School of Applied Sciences and will be missed, Dean Peter Grandjean said.

“Mark Loftin has been a colleague, mentor and friend to me for almost two decades,” Grandjean said. “Mark has done what we all aspire to do – that is to make a positive difference in the world. I am thankful for having had the opportunity to work with him over the last few years.”