Millsaps College Update (April 21, 2020)

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I’m writing to bring you up-to-date on developments and planning processes at Millsaps.

But first let me thank you again for your determination, resilience and commitment to success. I remain incredibly impressed by all that I see and hear about our educational efforts and business enterprise. You bring distinction to the college and hope for our future. Indeed, your witness to “hope” was the thing that came to mind when I was recently asked to do a one-minute video on the theme of hope for St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

We are now in the final weeks of the semester. With that comes anticipation of and work toward final projects and exams. With that also comes opportunities to recognize our seniors. Although plans for a formal commencement ceremony later in the year are still being developed, we do expect to name winners of various awards and prizes and we intend to mark Saturday, May 9, 2020, the original date for Commencement, with a special, virtual event. Details coming soon.

Class registration for the fall semester is underway and summer school offerings have been posted and are attached to this email as a PDF. We hope returning students will take a close look at this summer’s online course offerings. The number and variety of summer classes has expanded because we know that many students may wish to catch up on courses they may have missed this spring or use this as an opportunity to get ahead. And, given the remote nature of our summer classes, more students are able to take advantage of the offerings without having to be on campus. We think that some of our classes may even be of interest to students who do not attend Millsaps and to adult learners who would like to audit our classes.

Planning groups have been formed to address current circumstances, to develop plans for the coming weeks and months and to map out scenarios for long-term consideration.  Some groups are well underway with their subject matter while others are in the formative stages. Each planning group has a defined purpose, timeline, and objective. Of course, as we all know, the planning groups are working under challenging circumstances, most notably that some basic facts about the short- and long-term future are both unknown and unknowable.

Members of the planning groups include a broad range of Millsaps stakeholders from the ranks of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees. The groups will report their results and findings to the senior leadership of the college for review and consideration of next steps.

Planning Groups Include:

  • Academic program (including summer school), chair Keith Dunn
  • Commencement, chair John Sewell
  • Community life, chair Demi Brown
  • COVID-19 and health-related matters, chair Annie Mitchell
  • Finances (budget and financial modeling), chair Whitney Emrich
  • Instructional technology and services, chair Susan Womack

A series of online town hall events are in the works to address the questions and concerns of our students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. Although we may not have answers to all of your questions, we are working diligently to keep our community engaged and updated on progress as we move forward. Stay tuned for details.

Finally, as we all seek good news during these difficult days, don’t miss Reflections from Yates Chapel every Wednesday at noon on Facebook Live @millsapscollege. We are encouraged that our first Reflection video has been viewed 945 times!

Thank you for your transformative work, for your continued spirit of resilience, and for your ability to work together during this unprecedented time.

I wish you continued good health!

Rob Pearigen
President

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