Millsaps College has received an anonymous $1 million endowment gift from the parents of a Class of 2012 graduate.
"This gift is evidence that we are actually changing the lives of our students each day," said Dr. Robert W. Pearigen, president of Millsaps. "The gift was made by parents in honor of the professors and mentors who have changed their child's life forever and in appreciation of the inspiring experiences that mark a Millsaps education."
Those "inspiring experiences" are one of the reasons Millsaps is one of 40 colleges profiled in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives.
College leaders hope the endowment will be an inspiration to others to support initiatives associated with the new strategic plan, "Across the Street and Around the Globe: Partnerships and Influence at Millsaps College." The five-year plan for the College was developed during the past school year with input from faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and students.
"One of the key pieces of the strategic plan is a new and distinctive educational and leadership program that leverages our location in the capital city of Mississippi and in the communities we touch around the world," said Dr. Keith Dunn, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. "The program is designed to expand the reach of our classrooms - embracing opportunities in our neighborhood and within our reach internationally to allow students to graduate with real-world skills and experiences that will be an advantage to them in their careers and in their future contributions to their communities."
The endowment supports the College's new strategic plan by providing resources for local, national and international internships for students, enabling them to work, study and serve. It will support students pursuing honors projects and collaborative research and teaching experiences with their professors. It will also provide funds for students to study abroad, particularly students whose resources do not allow for international travel.
"This gift reminds us of the privilege and joy we have as educators in helping transform the hearts and minds of our students, even as our students shape our own hearts and minds. It also reminds us of the sacred trust that families place in us," Pearigen said.