The Elise and William Winter Speaker Series honors the spirit and determination of Elise and William Winter in their decades-long fight for a better Mississippi. The endowment, created through an anonymous $100,000 gift and held at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, will help ensure that Millsaps can continue and expand opportunities for students, Jackson citizens, community leaders, and others to discuss together matters of public significance.
The gift was made following a much-celebrated forum held at Millsaps in November 2012 commemorating the 30th anniversary of the historic Mississippi Education Reform Act of 1982, which passed under Governor Winter’s leadership.
In his introductory remarks at that forum, Governor Winter noted, “What more appropriate place to gather for a discussion of education than Millsaps College? You have been an intellectual oasis in Mississippi for a long time – and have provided an inspiration to many of us at times when the lights were flickering out there and we were wondering if Mississippi was going to survive the sixties. But we did, thanks to you and your predecessors, the students and faculty, and alumni of Millsaps College.”
“Millsaps College is deeply grateful to the donors for establishing a fund that will help ensure continued success of our public forums and that will reinforce a key component of our Strategic Plan, Across the Street and Around the Globe: Partnerships and Influence at Millsaps College,” said President Rob Pearigen. “We believe our location in the heart of the capital city provides us with the opportunity and responsibility to bring important topics and speakers to the public’s attention. We’re especially pleased and honored to have our name linked with that of Elise and William Winter through this major gift.”