by Web on May 18, 2017
The Distinguished Alumni recipients are accomplished in three distinct areas: professional achievement, service to society, and service and support to Millsaps College. This distinction is reflective of Millsaps College's core values - dedication to academic excellence, open inquiry and free expression, the exploration of faith to inform vocation, and the innovative shaping of the social, economic and cultural progress of our region.
Polly (1968) and Joe (1969) Bailey are residents of Tupelo, Mississippi, and were recently named Tupelo Outstanding Citizens. They founded the Tree of Life clinic in 2009 which provides free basic health care and dental services to those who have no other access. Joe, a retired gastroenterologist, is chairman of the board for the clinic and physician on duty, while Polly purchases supplies, coordinates with volunteers and oversees the clinic’s operation. The Baileys also have worked with the Antone Tannehill Good Samaritan Free Clinic. He was a volunteer and past board member, and she served as its chairman of the board. In addition, they have volunteered with the American Red Cross. Joe has served on numerous boards, and was awarded the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award, considered the Nobel Prize for community service in the United States, for his work in the Tupelo community. Polly Bailey is a past president of Junior Auxiliary. She spent eight years on the Tupelo Public School Board, including a time as chairman. She’s also one of the founders of the Association for Excellence in Education. The Baileys have supported Millsaps with Joe serving on the Board of Trustees, Polly serving on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and as parents; their daughter, Paula Bailey Whitacre, is a 1993 Millsaps graduate.
The Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna of Millsaps College who has shown promise in his or her chosen profession or in service to the broader community and has demonstrated a continuing loyalty, support and advocacy for the College. The recipient must be within 15 years of his or her graduation from the college. This year’s winner is Dr. Leslie Frese, Class of 2007. She is a dentist at Hope Health Center in Fairfield, Alabama, which provides whole-person healthcare to a medically underserved community. She has a passion for medical missions, and in 2013 worked in Papua, New Guinea in a missionary village, Ukarumpa, to provide dental care to residents. In 2014, Dr. Frese worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, at the Mercy Medical Clinic; she then traveled around Cambodia to hold dental clinics to train dentists. She most recently served in October of 2016 in Lebanon, and worked along the Syrian border in refugee camps. She is returning to the Middle East in spring 2017for another two week trip working with Syrian refugees because her last trip revealed the need for dental care.
The Livesay Award honors the spirit of commitment in which Jim Livesay (1920-2001) served the College as an alumnus, a member of the College administration, and as a volunteer. At his retirement in 1987, a group of alumni established the Jim Livesay Award to honor him. Dr. Lynda Lee, alumni president at the time, awarded the first Livesay to him, saying "the Livesay Award will be given each year in recognition of outstanding service and dedication to Millsaps College. The recipient should exhibit a spirit of volunteerism, leadership and support that its namesake has exemplified." This year’s recipients are faithful supporters of Millsaps College. Alan Lange (1993) is a long-term member of the Else School Advisory Board, and an advisor to the Alpha Iota chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha at Millsaps. Holly (1991) has served as an advisor to the Gamma Zeta chapter of Tri Delta, as the president of the Jackson alumni chapter, and as a volunteer campaign consultant. The Langes have graciously hosted Millsaps events in their homes, including the 2015 Major Pride event for the annual fund, and the 2014 and 2015 Holiday Parties for the Jackson alumni chapter.
Please join us to celebrate these award winners at the Alumni Awards Reception the evening of October 27, 2017.