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Yates Family Gift Designated for Christian Center

by Web on October 11, 2017

A $2.2 million gift from the William G. Yates family for the transformative renovation of the Christian Center at Millsaps College has been designated for the new chapel. As the Christian Center begins a new life and service to the Millsaps community, the chapel will be dedicated in the name of the Yates family. 

“Serving as a worship space and as the center of the College’s religious and spiritual life, the new chapel will allow students of all faiths to connect their intellectual, spiritual, and moral commitments,” said Dr. Robert W. Pearigen, president of Millsaps College. “It will also provide a central, sacred, gathering place for our community in times of celebration and in times of difficulty.”

William G. Yates III, president and CEO of W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co., served on the Millsaps Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2016 and, during that time, expressed his family’s interest in providing a chapel at the College. Having previously helped provide the Paris-Yates Chapel at the University of Mississippi, the family saw at Millsaps an opportunity to further strengthen the College’s historic relationship to the Methodist church and the faith commitments of all its students.

“With this gift, future generations of Millsaps students, alumni, and friends will have the type of sacred space that has not been available on our campus before,” said Pearigen. “With the humanities departments and the chapel under one roof, it will also reinforce the shared values and compatibility, though not without tension, of reason and faith—the mind and the heart—in our world today.”

Yates shared the importance of the gift to his family.

“This project has a special place in our heart,” he said. “Being able to provide a space where Millsaps students for years and years can come and worship is very meaningful, and we’re proud to be part of that.”

Construction on the project, which will be rededicated as the Selby and Richard McRae Christian Center, is estimated to be completed by spring 2019.