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Millsaps College to Award 172 Undergraduate Degrees and 38 Graduate Degrees During 122nd Commencement on Saturday

by Web on May 4, 2016

Millsaps College has scheduled its 122nd Commencement on Saturday, May 7 at 9:30 a.m. in the Bowl on the Millsaps campus.

One hundred seventy-two undergraduates and 38 graduate students will receive degrees during the ceremony that will stress student excellence.

During the ceremony, the recipient of the Millsaps College Founders' Medal, which is bestowed upon the graduating senior with the highest grade point average and an excellent on comprehensive examinations, will speak.

The recipient of the Frank and Rachel Anne Laney Award, which is given for the essay that best reflects upon the value of a Millsaps liberal arts education, and the Outstanding M.B.A. graduate, will be recognized.

The college will confer honorary doctorate degrees on two individuals for their accomplishments and service to their communities. Honorary degree recipients are:

  • Jerry W. Mitchell, an investigative reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson whose work has helped put four Ku Klux Klansmen behind bars: Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers; Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers, for ordering the fatal firebombing of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer in 1966; Bobby Cherry, for the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four girls; and Edgar Ray Killen, for helping organize the June 21, 1964, killings of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Schwerner (popularized by the fictional movie about that case, Mississippi Burning).

    For his work, Mitchell has received more than 30 national awards. In 2006, the Pulitzer Prize Board named him a Pulitzer Prize finalist, praising him “for his relentless and masterly stories on the successful prosecution of a man accused of orchestrating the killing of three civil rights workers in 1964.”

    After winning the prestigious George Polk Award for a second time, Mitchell received a MacArthur “genius” grant—only the second investigative reporter to ever receive the $500,000 award.
  • The Rev. David A. McIntosh, a 1949 graduate of Millsaps College and the father of two Millsaps graduates, has a long history of service and pastoral leadership in the Methodist Church. He is a graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

    While his career as a minister led him through eight different churches in the state, McIntosh is most well-known for his appointment at Jackson’s Christ United Methodist Church, the largest United Methodist Church in Mississippi, from 1972 to 1983, during which time he organized the church’s response to the devastating Easter Flood of 1979. As a result of his thoughtful management during this crisis, the Christ United Methodist Foundation was created to serve as resource for emergency aid.

    After his retirement in 1990, Rev. McIntosh served for the next 20 years as the minister of hospital care at Christ United Methodist Church.