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.




Laney Award Winner

Making the Strange Familiar
Hannah Saulters

Laney Award Finalists

Black Drink
Diane Bravenec

"Ad Perfectum et Ad Excellentiam
Edna Chuckwuemeka

Building Character and Courage at Millsaps
Madison D’Angelo

On Forming Tangential Lines to a Focused Whole
Mary Frances Ivey

Self-Determination: A Millsaps Story
Katie Lane Kirkland

Reflection Essay
Anthony J. Vernaci III

Millsaps College and the Liberal Arts: Connecting the Dots of an Unsuspecting Childhood
Ericka Wheeler




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




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




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