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Lance Goss Endowment for the Theatre

Theatre Studies


Lance Goss Endowment for the TheatreFifty years ago Lance Goss walked onto the Millsaps College campus as a freshman planning to go to medical school. Instead of medicine, he chose a career of teaching and directing. As a result of the life-changing decision, many generations of Millsaps students and the larger community have come to experience the magic of the theatre.

The scope and vision, the creative energy and imagination that Lance Goss brought to his work as a director gave his productions a distinction rarely found in college theatre. He had a capacity to inspire young actors and actresses to reach beyond themselves in their performances and, in so doing, established a legacy that will endure for many generations to come.

In the four and one half decades Lance Goss taught and directed at Millsaps, many of his students were not theatre majors and most did not make a career of acting. However, many of those who studied under his direction can now be found in all branches of entertainment, including film. television and the stage. Those who did pursue acting as a career sought further professional training in New York or London and found themselves well prepared by the range of theatrical experience acquired at Millsaps. Heartbreakingly, Goss passed away in 2001. To read the eulogy delivered by Millsaps alumnus Ward Emling, click here.

Honoring the tradition

To honor his outstanding contributions, the Lance Goss Endowment for the Theatre was established in 1992 with gifts from former students and friends. This endowment will form a permanent fund which will provide support in perpetuity for enhancing the artistic and educational experience for all Millsaps students through the Theatre program.

Gifts to the Goss Endowment will build on the strength and quality of the Theatre program at Millsaps by:

  • enabling students to work and study under guest artists
  • providing opportunities for master classes
  • allowing the entire community to enjoy renowned guest lecturers
  • supporting the College's interdisciplinary curriculum by connecting the academic to the artistic
  • providing a continuing forum for partnerships with Millsaps College and the Jackson community
  • enriching the presence of quality theatre in Mississippi

The gift of one man touched the lives of countless students, teachers, actors and audience members. It is fitting that such extraordinary talent should be recognized in this way. Gifts to the Lance Goss Endowment for the Theatre may be made anytime to Millsaps College, P.O. Box 150552, Jackson, MS 39210