Timeline

Major Reuben Webster Millsaps
1890
Major Rueben Webster Millsaps founds College with
a personal gift of $50,000.
Millsaps College builds first golf course in Mississippi1901
Millsaps builds the first golf course in Mississippi.
Mary Letitia Holloman1902
Mary Letitia Holloman becomes the first woman to graduate from Millsaps College.
Sing-Ung Zung
1908
Sing-Ung Zung, of Soochow,
China, becomes the first
international student to graduate from Millsaps.
       
Millsaps College Old Main Burning
1914
Old Main, one of the first buildings on the Millsaps campus built in 1892, burns and is replaced by Murrah Hall.
Millsaps Tomb
1916
Major Millsaps dies and is buried on campus.
Gas well at Millsaps College
1931
A gas well is erected to heat the campus and save money. The heat is thermostatically controlled, a very advanced technique for the time.
Millsaps Majors vs Mississippi A&M
1931
The first night football game in Mississippi is played on the Millsaps campus between the Majors and Mississippi A&M (Mississippi
State University).
       
Elbert Wallace
1941
The first bachelor of arts degree for economics is issued to Elbert Wallace.
Millsaps College V-12 Program
1943
184 Marines and 196 Navy sailors move on to campus to begin the V-12 program.
Louis H. Wilson
1944
Louis H. Wilson ('41), future commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, receives the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Millsaps College Fight Song
1948
The Millsaps fight song is sung for the first time, during a football game between the Majors and the Mississippi College Choctaws.
       
"Pinky" movie poster
1949
"Pinky," a movie based on the book Quality by alum Cid Ricketts Sumner (1909), is made by controversial director Elia Kazan. The movie receives three Oscar nominations.
Dr. Homer Ellis Finger, Jr.
1952
Dr. Homer Ellis Finger, Jr. becomes the first alumnus to be named president of the College.
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
1953
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis judge a Millsaps College beauty contest.
20th Century Fox Studios
1957
Millsaps is selected as a hunting ground for new talent by 20th Century Fox studios.
       
Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War
1961
David Donald ('41) wins the Pulitzer Prize for his biography Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War.
Johnny Carson
1962
Millsaps V-12er Johnny Carson
becomes host of the Tonight Show.
Millsaps College voluntarily integrates in 1965
1965
Millsaps becomes first all-white college in Mississippi to integrate voluntarily.
Robert Kennedy
1967
Robert Kennedy speaks at Millsaps about obligations of young Americans to give back to their country.
       
Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara
1967
Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara gives convocation speech.
Ms Magazine
1971
Joanne Edgar ('65) co-founds Ms. magazine.
President Jimmy Carter
1975
Jimmy Carter speaks to Millsaps students about the crisis in the Middle East.
Millsaps College Else School of Management
1979
The Else School of Management is formed.
       
Ellen Gilchrist
1984
Ellen Gilchrist ('67) wins the American Book Award for Fiction for her novel Victory Over Japan.
Habitat for Humanity
1988
Millsaps initiates the first campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi.
Phi Beta Kappa
1989
Millsaps College becomes the first school in Mississippi to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa honorary.
Dr. Frances Lucas
2000-2010
Dr. Frances Lucas served as the first woman president of the College.
       

 


  

Fight Song

Graffiti on Millsaps College ObservatoryThe current Millsaps fight song first appeared on October 27, 1948, and was introduced during chapel. The song made its first public appearance on October 29 during a football game with the Mississippi College Choctaws. The song is as follows:

"Fight, fight, Purple and White!
Give us the victory.
Millsaps' fame her Majors have made.
Never let her glory fade!
Alma Mater to thee
Ever we'll loyal be.
Let song and cheer
Ring loud and clear
For Millsaps and victory!"

The athletic rivalry between Millsaps and Mississippi College has endured through countless years, spawning such fierce competition and related pranks that the rivalry often had to be temporarily discontinued. In 1948, the photo at left appeared in the Bobashela, Millsaps' yearbook. Accompanying text states that the message appeared on the dome of the Millsaps Observatory on the occasion of the annual Major-Choctaw football clash. Perhaps particularly motivated by this message, the Majors trounced the Choctaws that year, 7-0. (Apparently, the message didn't have the effect the Choctaws had hoped. Possibly because they failed to spell the name of their arch-enemy correctly?)

The Millsaps and Mississippi College football teams faced off for the first time in more than 40 years in the fall of 2000. Millsaps won with a field goal with only 16 seconds left in the game.

 


  

V-12 Program

Millsaps College V-12 ProgramDuring World War II, Millsaps was one of only 131 colleges and universities with high academic standing selected as a site for training officers for the U.S. Navy and Marines.

It all began in February of 1943, when Millsaps grounds and facilities were inspected by officials to determine if the college was adequate for handling a naval unit. Less than one month later, Millsaps was named a Navy school, and in April, the college welcomed 380 students to the Jackson campus for the Navy and Marine V-12 program. The program provided basic naval and marine training in addition to special curriculums in aviation engineering and pre-medical and pre-dental programs. By July of 1943, five naval officers were on campus to head training, and Millsaps was accommodating naval forces year-round. From 1943 to 1945, 873 officer candidates attended Millsaps, marking an important chapter in the history of the college.

Today, the Millsaps V-12ers remain an vital part of the Millsaps community. After World War II, many of them went on to become senators, governors, congressmen, and leaders in business, religious life, education, medicine, and the United States military. In 1987, these dedicated servicemen banded together to establish a V-12 Memorial Scholarship, a fund that has grown from its original goal of $100,000 to a total of more than $1 million.

 


  

Old Main Makes Way for Murrah Hall

Old Main BurningAt 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 28, 1914, a raging fire destroyed Old Main, a building which had served as the center of college events for almost 22 years.

A number of students discovered the fire in its early stages. The students immediately sounded the fire alarm and began battling the blaze. Although the flames proved to be beyond their control, students still refused to abandon the effort, risking life and limb to save many of the valuable articles in the building. Two portraits which hung in the Main chapel, the piano, and the organ were among the many items saved. Valuable property from the college bookstore, also located in the building, was hurriedly thrown from windows just before the stifling fumes made further rescue work impossible.

Old Main, which had been built in 1892, was the oldest building on campus before the electrical fire that destroyed it took place. The structure was built by the combined efforts of the people of Jackson, the Methodists of Mississippi, and the many members of the Millsaps family.

According to the subsequent edition of the Millsaps Purple & White, the student newspaper, "It was a building dear to every Millsaps man. Many an alumni was saddened by the news of the fire, and many a student watching the conflagaration felt almost that a friend was passing away. But no demoralization was caused by this loss, and now everything is in due order. The one question is not 'How did it happen,' but 'What will the new building be?' All will rally soon - Hurrah for a Greater Millsaps!"

On the site of the Old Main building, the college erected Murrah Hall, which still stands today. The building, which underwent a comprehensive renovation in 1981, now houses the Else School of Management and the Modern Languages department.