Director, Mississippi Museum of Art
Mississippi Museum of Art director Betsy Bradley remembers a time early in her years at Millsaps College when one of her professors returned a paper to her without a grade. The only marking was an admonishment: "See me." The professor, Dr. Catherine Freis, told her, "I know what kind of girl you are. You were trained not to think."
Bradley credits Millsaps with changing that. Since earning a B.A. in English from Millsaps and M.A. in literature from Vanderbilt University, she has forged an impressive career in the arts. Prior to her tenure at the museum, she served as the executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, the largest grant-making organization in the state. She currently serves on the board of directors for Americans in the Arts, has served on the boards of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, the Southern Arts Federation, and as a panelist of the National Endowment of the Arts.
"Millsaps opened a world of wonder to me. It is an education that has never failed me. I'm so proud of Millsaps for continuing to stay true to its mission of being a liberal arts college."
Bradley, a native of Greenville, has maintained her connection to her alma mater. She is a past board president of the Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series, a former Alumni Council member, and she serves as a mentor to Millsaps students through the Faith & Work Initiative's Lilly Internship program. She also taught at Millsaps before becoming the curator of education at the Museum of Art.
She has been quoted as saying, "Millsaps exposed me to the arts in an immediate way I'd never known before. I fell in love with poetry and literature, and the power of the mind to create beautiful things. I don't think I'll ever wander away from that."