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Millsaps College Announces 2018 Honorary Degree Recipients

by Web on May 2, 2018

A Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, a civil rights activist, and an internationally recognized geologist and chemist will receive honorary degrees from Millsaps College during the 124th Commencement, scheduled for 10:30am on May 5. Commencement exercises are scheduled to take place at Christ United Methodist Church, located at 6000 Old Canton Road in Jackson.

The College will confer honorary doctorate degrees on Richard Ford, Dr. John M. Perkins, and Dr. Gordon Edgar Brown Jr.

Ford was born and raised in Jackson, and graduated from Murrah High School in 1962. After earning his undergraduate degree in English at Michigan State University, he eventually turned to writing and published short stories before completing his first novel, A Piece of My Heart (1976). His novel Independence Day won both the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1996. His most recent book, Between Them: Remembering My Parents, was published in 2017.

Born in New Hebron, MS and raised by his grandparents, Perkins moved to southern California at the age of 17. He returned to Mississippi in 1960, and established the Voice of Calvary Bible Institute in Mendenhall in 1964. Since then, he has been a tireless voice against racism and a strong advocate in the development of health clinics, thrift stores, youth programs, and other initiatives to serve youth and disenfranchised communities.

A 1965 graduate of Millsaps, where he majored in geology and chemistry, Brown is currently the D.W. Kirby Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences in the Department of Geological Sciences, School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. He also serves as professor emeritus of photon science at the Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory. With nearly 250 invited lectures presented worldwide, Brown stands as a highly recognized researcher, having received a number of awards including the Roebling Medal in 2007 for lifetime achievement from the Mineralogical Society of America, an honorary doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris, and the Ian Campbell Medal from the American Geosciences Institute.