Frank and Rachel Laney Awards


The Frank and Rachel Anne Laney Award recognizes the graduating senior who has written the finest essay reflecting on the value of a Millsaps liberal arts education.

In order to satisfy the Core 10 requirement, all graduating seniors must submit essays in which they reflect on the value of their liberal arts education. A faculty panel chooses ten finalists whose papers are published as a record of the seniors' reflections. The one winning essay is then selected each year for the Laney Award based upon its excellence in thought and expression. In order to pass down the wisdom of the graduating seniors, the winning paper will become required reading for incoming freshmen the following year.

The award was established in honor of Frank and Rachel Anne Laney as a tribute to their commitment to excellence in higher education. Dr. Laney was a professor of history for 34 years at Millsaps. During his tenure he served as Dean of the College from 1962-1969 and chaired the History Department from 1971-1984, during which time he was named Distinguished Professor of the Year. In 1987, he helped organize and lead the College's successful effort to secure a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter. Mrs. Laney was Frank's best friend and is loved by all who meet her. She is gracious and supportive to faculty and staff alike and attended nearly every event at Millsaps - student recitals, Singers and Players performances, football games, lecture events, and ceremonial occasions. In short, Dr. and Mrs. Laney worked tirelessly on behalf of the College.

Millsaps prides itself on being an institution that teaches students not what to think, but how to think - and we now have the Laney Award to honor and preserve our students' thoughts about the College and our philosophy of teaching and of the life well lived.

The Frank and Rachel Anne Laney Award is made possible through the generosity of the Phil Hardin Foundation.


2014-15 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format) 

Laney Award Winner

"Numbers 2.0"
Resham Rahat

Laney Award Finalists

Elizabeth Allen

"Our Words Matter"
Katharine Aten

"Finding Me"
Danielle Buckingham

"It's Ok to Not Know"
Bailey Duhé

Sara Jane Humbert

"Leaving Plato’s Cave"
Megan Rebman

Michala Sullivan

Emily Wilson


2013-14 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format)

Laney Award Winner

"The Illusions of the Social Well: A Millsaps Undoing"
Anna Claire Gary

Laney Award Finalists

"1701 North State Street"
Syed Ali

Sara Del Castillo

"On Millsaps and Coming Home"
Laney Lenox

"Millsaps College: Moving Beyond Practicality in Search of Passion"
Megan Starke

"A Different Kind of Millsaps Bubble"
Dorothea Staursky

"Popping the Bubble"
Morris Wilson


2012-13 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format)

Laney Award Winner

"The Outlier You Want to Keep"
Victoria Wheeler

Laney Award Finalists

Suzanne Glemot

"Liberal Arts: A Gift that Can't be Packaged"
Katie Greer

"Music: The True Magic of the Liberal Arts"
Jordan Hammons

"Changed for Good"
Elizabeth Land

"There Are Too Many Idiots in This World"
Treshika Melvin

"Heritage, the Canon, and Opinions"
Jessica Muller

Jake Warren


2011-12 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format)

Laney Award Winner

"Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited: The Next Stop in the Great Conversation"
Will Webb

Laney Award Finalists

"Core 10 Paper"
Kaitlin Short

"In More Ways Than One"
Mallory Satcher

"Porque se tenga entera noticia de mi persona: A Picaresque Journey through the Liberal Arts"
David Guyott

Eamon Cottrell

"I Am Not One"
Casey Holloway


2010-11 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format)

Laney Award Finalists

"Ubuntu and Other Defining Moments"
Bryan Dupree

"The Rhyme of All"
Emma Sloan

"The Globalization of the American Dream"
Jana Mertens

"Il faut participer: The Liberal Arts Dialogue"
Joe Muller


2009-10 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format)

Laney Award Winner

"A Synthesis of Truths: The Making of a Liberal Arts Marine"
James Walley

Laney Award Finalists

"Voices: Learning to Listen"
Nadia Al Hashimi

"Millsaps: Forever Constant in My Life"
Erin Fleming

"Sponge Runners and the Sanity of Paradox"
Lloyd Gray

"Fancy White Columns and Yellow Carbon Copy Slips"
Cartiér Gwin

"Case Studies"
Bradley Nicholson

"I Ain't a Statistic"
Kimberly Sampson

"Scratching the Surface"
Amanda Smithers

"Major Musical Moments"
Rachel Tillay


2008-09 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format)

Laney Award Winner

"The Good Thieves"
Dominique Powell

Laney Award Finalists

"Deep Roots for Rich Living"
Chad Bowen

"We're All In This Thing Together"
Andy Carlson

"Facing the Future through the Past: Learning by Experience"
Candice Fisher

"How I Spent My Summer Vacation"
Molly Fromkin

Kathleen Hamm

"My Four Twins"
Christie Kokel

"So What Are You Going To Do With That?"
Stephanie Maxwell

"Core 10 Reflective Essay"
Kristie Mueller

"Aegrescit Medendo?: Reflections on the Reconstruction of Self"
James Rice


2007-2008 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format)

Laney Award Winner

"Niggas Don't Do That"
Chelsi West

Laney Award Finalists

"My Quilt of Words"
Elaine Blaine

"Track Listing: A Millsapsian's Soundtrack"
David Chandler

"Laughter and Tears: Millsaps' Effect on My Limbic System"
Erica Cooksey

"Boxes Are What We Live In"
Walt Duncan

"Slower to Speak"
Ashley Hewitt

"Core 10 Paper"
John Kellogg

"Identity Crisis"
Ka'trevia Kirk

"Studying Myself to Death"
Thomas Richardson

"Trading My Degree for a Diamond Tiara"
Beth Sadler


2006-07 Finalists

(Essays are in PDF format)

Laney Award Winner

"The Fixer-Upper"
Chris Spear

Laney Award Finalists

"Millsaps: A Place That Has Changed Me But Has Not Changed"
Ashley Davis

"Mississippi Mud"
Emma Doineau

"The Journey"
John Douglas

"From Jackson to Jackson: The Memories of Hometown Boy"
Samuel Griffin

"A Game Played to Win"
Renee Hebert

Jessica Hoffpauir

"Moving On"
Caroline Morrison

"My 4.0 Failure"
Ashley Wilbourn

"Re-invention and the Bookstore: My Morbid Fascination with Language and Literature"
>John Yargo