May 2012


Upcoming Events

Commencement Weekend
May 11-12, 2012

Mark your calendars now for the College’s 118th Commencement ceremonies!

For more information, visit Commencement 2012.

Senior Art Student Show
Through May 12, 2012

9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Mon. - Fri.) - Lewis Art Gallery, Academic Complex Recital Hall, Third Floor
The second installment of the senior art students' show will feature works by Lura Glatzer, Ksenyia Savelyeva, Masaki Fang. Email Jonathan Webb for more information.

MBA/EMBA Info Session
May 15, 2012

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Sal & Mookie's Restaurant, Jackson, MS
Hosted by the Else School of Management. For more information or to RSVP, email

Austin, Texas Area Alumni Event
Meet the President
May 17, 2012

6 - 8 p.m. - Home of Sam and Marcy Greer
Featuring Millsaps President Rob Pearigen. Hosted by: Sam and Marcy Greer, Dr. Tom McHorse ('63), Everett McKinley ('91), Stacey Oliver ('91) and Chad Songy ('09). For more information or to RSVP, email

New York City Area Alumni Event
Meet the President
June 8, 2012

6 - 8 p.m. - The Lotos Club, Five East Sixty-sixth Street

Featuring Millsaps President Rob Pearigen. Hosted by Jay and Julie Lindsey. For more information or to RSVP, email

33rd Annual "Mississippi in the Park" Picnic - New York City
June 9, 2012

12 - 4 p.m. - Central Park - Dead Road (also called Center Road) between the Bandshell and Sheeps Meadow at 72nd Street
Alumni and friends are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, and games for a family picnic and celebration of all things Mississippi! For more information email

22nd Annual "Mississippi on the Mall" Picnic - Washington, D.C.
June 23, 2012

3 - 6 p.m. - Henry Bacon Drive Ballfield (NE Side of the Lincoln Memorial), Washington, D.C.
Register online at
Alumni and friends are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, and games for a family picnic and celebration of all things Mississippi! For more information email

Washington, D.C. Area Alumni Event
Happy Hour
June 23, 2012

6 - 8 p.m. - Circa at Foggy Bottom - 2221 I Street, NW, Suite 300
For more information or to RSVP, email

4th Annual "Mississippi Picnic in the Park" - Atlanta, GA
June 30, 2012

10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Chastain Park in Buckhead
Alumni and friends are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, and games for a family picnic and celebration of all things Mississippi! For more information email

Homecoming Weekend - Save the Date!
November 3, 2012

Many activities for Homecoming 2012 are being planned for alumni, friends, parents and students.  Reunions will be held for the classes of 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007.  Join your class group on Facebook and check back often for updates on Homecoming 2012!

If you would like to help plan the activities for this year's Homecoming class reunions, need to update your contact information, or have other questions, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 601-974-1038 or

For a full list of Millsaps events, see our public events calendar.

For the latest alumni event updates, visit the alumni events calendar.

Bobashela 2011-2012

It's time to order your Majors yearbook!

Extra yearbooks are available for family, friends and alumni, and this year it's easier than ever to purchase the yearbook.

Just visit and click on "Locate School" to begin the ordering process. Your yearbook will be shipped directly to you as soon as it is printed next fall.

For more information, contact Allie Mills.

Let Us Know!

New job? Newly married? Expecting a new addition to your family?

Know a high school student who'd be a great match for Millsaps College? Let us know using our student referral form.

The alumni relations office would also like to know your whereabouts and major news. Update your contact information by e-mail (, phone (601-974-1038), or use our alumni update form.

On the Web

Millsaps College to Bestow Honorary Degrees

In a tradition starting at the 1917 Commencement Ceremony, Millsaps College confers honorary degrees upon individuals who have been influential in their respective fields or have made significant contributions to society. Millsaps College will honor the following distinguished individuals at the College's 118th Commencement Exercises, Saturday, May 12:

Robert Parker AdamsRobert Parker Adams, an alumnus, is a Jackson architect who has overseen the preservation of many of Mississippi's historic buildings including the Old Capitol, New Capitol, Governor's Mansion, the War Memorial Building and Jackson City Hall.  He is a nationally recognized authority on the preservation and restoration of historic structures. After spending a year at Millsaps, Adams finished his degree in architecture at Auburn University. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his exceptional services in directing construction operations during the Vietnam War. At the age of 69 he received a master's degree in historic preservation from Goucher College.

Judge Neill Biggers Jr.Judge Neal Brooks Biggers Jr., a native of Corinth who completed his bachelor's degree at Millsaps in 1956, served four years in the United States Navy before receiving a law degree from the University of Mississippi. He practiced law for five years in Corinth prior to his election as Alcorn County prosecuting attorney in 1964. He served as district attorney for the First Judicial District of Mississippi from 1968 to 1975, and served as circuit judge of that district from 1975 to 1984, when he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to his current position as U.S. District Judge for North Mississippi. He was chief judge from 1998 to 2000.

Elaine Gradinger CrystalElaine Gradinger Crystal, businesswoman, civic and cultural leader, and life trustee for Millsaps College, has lived in Mississippi since her marriage in 1949. She attended MacMurray College, the University of Iowa and Millsaps College and participated in Millsaps' Leadership Seminar in the Humanities in 1988-89. She is a member of the board of directors for her family’s business, Jackson Iron & Metal Company, where she oversaw real estate management and development activities in the 1970s and 80s. She is an original board member for the Institute of Southern Jewish Life. The Elaine and Emmanuel Crystal Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund administered through the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, supports arts, religious and educational entities in Jackson, including Millsaps College.

Charles L. OverbyCharles L. Overby, a native of Jackson, is an advocate for the field of journalism and until his recent retirement, headed the Freedom Forum, which developed and operates the Newseum in Washington, D.C., among many other global commitments to freedom of expression. Before his work in Washington, he was executive editor of The Clarion-Ledger when the newspaper's news and editorial coverage of Mississippi's education reform received a Pulitzer Prize. In 2008 he received the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media.

Bishop Hope Morgan WardBishop Hope Morgan Ward was elected a bishop in The United Methodist Church and appointed to Mississippi in 2004. A native of North Carolina, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Duke University. She is a frequent teacher and preacher across the global United Methodist connection. She has served as vice president of the General Board of Global Ministries, president of JustPeace, chairperson of The Advance (channel of missional giving for the United Methodist Church) and Vision Alignment Chairperson of the Council of Bishops. Recently, she has been recognized for outstanding leadership by the Mississippi Religious Leadership Council.

Millsaps Life Trustee Mike Sturdivant Sr. Dies

The Millsaps family has lost "a giant of a man." Mike P. Sturdivant Sr., a two-time gubernatorial candidate and fourth-generation Delta farmer, died Tuesday, May 1st at his home on Due West Plantation.

Mike Sturdivant Sr.

"Mike Sturdivant was one of Mississippi's most valuable and effective citizen leaders," said former Gov. William Winter in an article in the Clarion-Ledger. "He was totally dedicated to improving life for everyone in Mississippi. He had a compassion for the less fortunate and did everything he could to improve their lives."

Sturdivant, 85, had been in declining health for a year or so, said his son, Mike Sturdivant Jr., of Itta Bena.

The elder Sturdivant ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1983 and 1987.
"He was a giant of a man," said Woods Eastland, board chairman of Staplcotn, in the article published on May 2. "God blessed him with a lot of ability, and he used it to his fullest."

"He was a brilliant man and a brilliant businessman. He was very insightful, and on top of that, he was a very pleasant man and a gentleman - and just a nice guy. He had all of his values in the right places," Eastland said.

Sturdivant remained active until recently with the family's 12,000-acre farming operation. He served as chairman of the state College Board and as board chairman of Methodist hospital systems in Memphis. He was co-chairman of the Jackson-based hotel group Mississippi Management.

At Millsaps College, he served on the Board of Trustees from 1965-1972, and from 1977 until his death. Although he did not attend Millsaps, Sturdivant was a staunch supporter of the College, and shared his time, wisdom and resources with generations of Millsapians.

In recent years, Sturdivant was honored by the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America with its distinguished citizen award, not only for his support of scouting but also for his leadership in the community, Eastland said.

In addition to son Mike Sturdivant Jr., who also serves as a Millsaps trustee, he is survived by his wife Ygondine Walker Sturdivant of Glendora; sons, Walker Sturdivant of Greenwood, Sykes Sturdivant of Glendora and Gaines Sturdivant of Jackson; and a daughter, Ygondine Creasy of Lynchburg, Va. Wilson and Knight Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Lynn Raley Awarded Fulbright Scholar Grant

Lynn Raley, associate professor of music, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach music at National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, during the 2012-13 academic year.

Dr. Lynn Raley

"This award is an extraordinary honor for Lynn, international recognition of his contributions to the creative world of contemporary music. This guest professorship will allow him to share his passion for performing cutting-edge music, pursue his own interests in Chinese musical traditions and collaborate with local Taiwanese composers," said David Davis, associate dean of Arts & Letters. "Lynn has established a strong reputation at Millsaps for his Heritage lectures on music history and his courses on world music and jazz.  This year-long experience will allow him to bring new ideas back to our students and enrich their understanding and appreciation of music."

Raley will teach in the Institute of Music at the university. "The music faculty there is very impressive," Raley said. "One of my primary interests is the performance of new music, and the institute has a strong program in contemporary music, with four composers on faculty. NCTU sits in Taiwan's 'Silicon Valley,' and so it's not surprising that the Institute of Music has a state-of-the-art computer composition studio."

While in Taiwan, Raley plans to research young composers who are synthesizing Eastern and Western music traditions.

The Institute of Music at the university also has a focus on early music and have asked Raley's wife, Rachel Heard, assistant professor of music at Millsaps, to present lecture-recitals on 18th century performance practice on the fortepiano, which is her area of expertise. She will also provide performance coaching.

Going to Taiwan will be a homecoming for Raley who spent 16 years in the country before attending college in the United States. He last visited the country in 1999 while setting up a study abroad course in China.

"I'm excited about giving our 13-year-old daughter Gillian the experience of living there for a year," Raley said.

Raley has taught at Millsaps since 2002. He has degrees from Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts where he earned a doctor of musical arts degree. He can be heard in contemporary solo and ensemble works on the Leonarda and Capstone compact disc labels.

The Fulbright award is a prestigious award from the Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Fulbright awards are intended to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and people of other countries. The awards are highly competitive and awarded on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential. Forty-three Fulbright alumni have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and 75 have received Pulitzers.

Chelsey Overstreet is Millsaps College's First Newman Civic Fellow

Chelsey OverstreetJunior Chelsey Overstreet, a native of Oxford, received the 2012 Newman Civic Fellows Award for her commitment to creating lasting change for the better in the community. She is the first Millsaps student to receive the national award.

"Chelsey's active commitment to civic engagement has made a real difference on the Millsaps campus and in the Jackson community. As a leader of the Wellspring Living-Learning Community she has helped Millsaps freshmen connect to the local community for weekly service work, which has been a fabulous learning experience for our students and a great help to our community partners," said Darby Ray, professor of religious studies and director of 1 Campus 1 Community.

As a member of the 1 Campus 1 Community student leadership team, she has worked to develop partnerships between the college community and the schools, neighborhood groups and non-profit organizations in the Midtown community.

As a Newman Civic Fellow, Overstreet will join a network of fellows around the country. Together - sharing ideas and tools through online networking - the fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change, and will continue to set examples for their classmates and others.

The Newman Civic Fellows Award is given by Campus Compact, a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education by improving community life and educating students for civic and social responsibility.

Q & A with Maud DeLes Gober Lancaster, Class of '84

Lancaster is Past President of the
Millsaps Alumni Association
Maud DeLes Lancaster

What's your first memory of Millsaps?
My first memories of Millsaps were as a little girl watching all of my four siblings attend Millsaps and all of the activities they were involved in.  Of course, the M-Bench and the dream of finding my love there some day was memorable, as well as the the tomb of the major and his wife, my great great great uncle and aunt whom I had heard so much about and seen in pictures hanging on our walls at home.

What are some things you remember most about Millsaps?
Some of the memories I will cherish most from Millsaps include meeting my husband, Ken, at the first day of school at the Chapel Service; singing, dancing, and traveling with the Toubadours while having the times of our lives; hearing the Lambda Chis serenade the girls with "Wise Men" outside the windows of Faye Franklin Dorm, and the late nights hanging out with the girls in the dorm eating pound cakes my mom would bring for "nourishment!"

Tell us about your family. Are they connected to Millsaps? 
I have been very blessed to have quite a history with Millsaps with my parents, siblings, husband, in-laws and two daughters attending Millsaps. I also have a 16-year-old son who is already receiving recruitment information from Millsaps and hopes to attend there some day. He dons Millsaps t-shirts and sweat-shirts so much in North Mississippi that he is sometimes called "Millsaps" on the soccer field.

How did Millsaps prepare you for your future? 
With the liberal arts education I received at Millsaps, I found that I had so many opportunities available to me in addition to my major area of study. I have loved the fact that I have played different roles in the different "seasons" of my life. I have been a teacher, day care/ preschool director (actually at Millsaps!), event planner and business owner. In each of my opportunities, I felt that Millsaps had given me the confidence needed and had equipped me like no other college could have! I have also been blessed to have seen my daughters graduate from Millsaps, acquire jobs right out of college (yay!), and thrive in what they were called to do. I can see the gifts they received at Millsaps flourishing in their day-to-day lives.

Explain the ways you have volunteered with Millsaps through the years. 
I volunteer with Millsaps because it is a great way to keep me connected to the College. It has also given me some great opportunities to be with my daughters while they attended the College. It is a wonderful way to see first-hand the great things that are going on within the campus! I have volunteered as a parent, but also served as President of the Alumni Association. I am very proud of the progress this board and association have made engaging its board members with a strategic plan, increasing communication with its alumni members, and revitalizing our Homecoming Weekend. If you haven’t been to Homecoming in a while, you are missing out!

Tell us about your professional life. 
In my present professional life, I own my own business, Soiree' Floral Event Design. I feel that I am very blessed to have a profession that allows me to have a flexible schedule for my family while combining organizational and creative skills that I love.

Why do you think others should give back to the school?
To me, especially in today's difficult economy, it is more important than ever to give regularly to our esteemed College. If we could all give as little or as much as we are able - no matter what the amount - we could together make a huge difference. Why should we give? We should give because Millsaps provides an excellent liberal arts education while offering students an opportunity to form relationships with award-winning professors in small classroom settings - relationships that for many last a lifetime. Another reason to give back is to support the students on campus who are extremely involved in giving back to their community! The students on campus are more committed than ever to volunteer service in the city of Jackson, and especially in their own backyard with 1 Campus 1 Community. This service spirit will go with them into their adult lives where they will continue to give back "within their own worlds."

Baseball Coach Jim Page Picks Up 600th Win

In an incredible 24 year coaching career all with the Millsaps Majors, Head Baseball Coach Jim Page picked up his 600th win on Wednesday, April 4 as Millsaps rallied from behind and scored six runs in the sixth inning to defeat the Belhaven Blazers in Game Four of the Maloney Series, 6-3. With the win, Page improves his overall record to 600-331-3 (.642).

Jim Page
"Because I can show you where we're gonna hit it, and still beat you"

"This means I've been around for a long time," laughed Page. "It means I've had some terrific teams and terrific players and that's what's so special about being a coach, it's the relationships."
Page continued to give much credit to players he has had in the past for his accomplishments.
"Players win ballgames," said Page. "We try to create an atmosphere that is conducive for them to get better, but it goes back to them, they have to do the things and we have been fortunate to have enough players put in the work and do it right."
All of Page's 600 wins have been in the purple and white and he has loved every minute of it. "I absolutely love this place, I've watched my children grow up here, my wife (and I) graduated here, we love our church and we love this area," said Page. "I don't know if there is another Millsaps."

Page is a 1985 graduate of Millsaps. He has two daughters who attend Millsaps: Caitlyn, a senior, and Jamie Blair, a sophomore.

Making Brain Awareness Elementary

Brain Week at Brown ElementaryFour Millsaps College students joined members of the Mississippi Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience to visit fourth and fifth graders at Brown Elementary School in Jackson recently to teach them about brain form, function and health as part of a national brain awareness campaign.

A group of six neuroscience graduate students from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, four undergraduates from Millsaps College, and two UMMC faculty members set up four stations in the school's auditorium to present different aspects of the brain and its functions.

The elementary school students learned about the brain lobes, built models of neurons from colored pipe cleaners, learned how brains process visual inputs, and got tips on keeping their brains healthy and safe. They also took the Stroop Test, a commonly used psychological attention task.

"The overall goal was to reach out to the community and emphasize what we do every day at UMMC," said second-year graduate student Jennifer Naylor. "Also, we wanted to share what we know about neuroscience and how it can be fun, interesting and useful."

Miller To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Hal Miller
Hal Miller, B.A. 1957, will receive the Mississippi Bar's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in July at the annual meeting.

The award is presented by the Bar in recognition of devoted service to the public, profession and the administration of justice over the span of a professional career.

Only lawyers or individuals who have worked within or contributed significantly to the system of justice or legal profession are qualified to receive the award.


It's Picnic Time – Join Alumni For Summer Picnics Around the Country

Summer is fast approaching and with this season comes the time-honored activity of which people of all ages love to partake - picnics.  And there is no better combination than a picnic with Millsaps alumni and some "Mississippi" thrown in for good measure. 

Alumni Picnics

This delightful mixture can be found in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, three cities that have embraced and celebrate Mississippi and all it has to offer. The 33rd annual "Mississippi in the Park" Picnic in New York City is planned for June 9, Noon - 4 p.m.  This picnic will be preceded on Friday, June 8 with a "Meet the President" alumni event at the Lotos Club. The 22nd annual "Mississippi on the Mall" picnic in Washington, D.C., will take place on June 23, 3 - 6 p.m. and will be followed by a Millsaps Happy Hour at Circa at Foggy Bottom. And the third stop on the Mississippi picnic tour is the 4th annual "Mississippi in the Park" Picnic in Atlanta on June 30, 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Each picnic provides alums an opportunity to catch up with other Millsaps alumni in the area, connect with the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations and visit with other Mississippians and schools from the state. Throw in some good southern cooking (fried catfish is a must at these picnics) and your purple and white garb, and you have the makings of a great afternoon of fun and fellowship!

To find out more about these picnics, contact