During World War II, Millsaps was one of only 131 colleges and universities with high academic standing selected as a site for training officers for the U.S. Navy and Marines.
It all began in February of 1943, when Millsaps grounds and facilities were inspected by officials to determine if the college was adequate for handling a naval unit. Less than one month later, Millsaps was named a Navy school, and in April, the college welcomed 380 students to the Jackson campus for the Navy and Marine V-12 program. The program provided basic naval and marine training in addition to special curriculums in aviation engineering and pre-medical and pre-dental programs. By July of 1943, five naval officers were on campus to head training, and Millsaps was accommodating naval forces year-round. From 1943 to 1945, 873 officer candidates attended Millsaps, marking an important chapter in the history of the college.
Today, the Millsaps V-12ers remain an vital part of the Millsaps community. After World War II, many of them went on to become senators, governors, congressmen, and leaders in business, religious life, education, medicine, and the United States military. In 1987, these dedicated servicemen banded together to establish a V-12 Memorial Scholarship, a fund that has grown from its original goal of $100,000 to a total of more than $1 million.