Instructor bids farewell

David Noblett speaks to Greg Brown, Friend Printing representative, and Bryan Fairbanks, senior graphic communication major, on the Blixt project.

David Noblett speaks to Greg Brown, Friend Printing representative, and Bryan Fairbanks, senior graphic communication major, on the Blixt project.

After 19 years with Missouri Southern, David Noblett, associate professor of art, is leaving.

Noblett said teaching is his passion and his students have helped him grow.

“It isn’t my coworkers, it’s the students,” Noblett said. “I’m here for the dang students. It worries me that I’m going to sit back and get old and I won’t have these students with me. I’m going to miss them a whole bunch. Everything I’ve done, I hope it’s been for the students.”

Noblett’s influence has transformed the department and affected students’ lives. He started the Ad Club and kept students linked to professionals in the business across the United States.

“We have graduates from the east coast to the west coast,” he said. “I’m proud of that. When I started, I think we had 10 or 12 majors, so I built it up and now we have about 80.”

Noblett has even convinced students to change majors. One of which is Greg Brown, a 2002 alumnus and sales representative for Friend Printing in Monett.

“I was a business major and then I took a drawing class because I was flunking out of everything,” Brown said. “I took a night class with Noblett and he showed me graphics and he told me we are business, and we can be creative. And I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

A current student, Rahila Khan, senior graphic communications major, said she experienced the same thing.

“I used to be an engineering major and I switched because of Noblett,” she said. “He’s more than a professor, he’s an inspiration. We’re going to miss him more than we could ever say.”

After retiring, Noblett says he is looking forward to working with his daughter, Diane Trujillo, an elementary teacher in New Mexico. Even though Noblett is retiring it doesn’t mean the work has ended.

“The reason I’m retiring now is I’m planning on forming a publishing company and I’m going to design and publish her books,” he said. “We have 15 books ahead of us so I’ll be working for years.”

A move to New Mexico is too far for Noblett and his wife, Mary Jean. However, a smaller move to Springfield might be a possibility. Despite his retirement, Noblett plans on keeping in touch with his students. He already does with graduates from his department.

“I love it because they contact me,” he said. “Every time I go home I have an e-mail from someone.”

Noblett has led the award-winning Winged Lion and Blixt through the past 19 years. He said the awards mean nothing without the students, and to some students the feeling is mutual.

“He’s entertaining,” said Steve Wasson, junior graphics and studio art major. “It’s sad he’s leaving but he’s moving on to what he wants to do so that’s great.”

Noblett said he doesn’t know who will be filling his shoes when he leaves.

“I’ve worked hard to build up this program and I don’t want to see it go the other way,” he said. “I hope they get someone good, we need someone who is stronger in electronics and the Web. I know they’ll do better than me.”