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Board of Trustees Announces Search for President – April 6, 2023

To the Members of the Millsaps College Community,

The search for a new president at Millsaps College is officially underway. As a 1981 graduate of Millsaps, I am honored by the opportunity to chair the search committee and look forward to collaborating with the members of this committee to engage in an honest, transparent and enthusiastic process that will result in our selection of the 12th president of Millsaps.

The members of the committee include:

  • Paul Benton, B.A. 1976, an attorney, now largely retired from practice, in Biloxi, Mississippi. Benton’s service on the Board of Trustees dates to 1999, and he was inducted into the Millsaps College Sports Hall of Fame that same year. The Paul Benton Award is given annually to the top senior male athlete at Millsaps.
  • George Bey, professor of sociology and anthropology, Chisholm Foundation Chair of Arts and Sciences, and director of the Millsaps Yucatán Program. He previously served as the associate dean of sciences and dean of international education. Bey joined Millsaps in 1990.
  • Michael Bourland, B.S. 1980, an emergency physician and formerly the president and CEO of EmergiNet LLC, an Atlanta-based emergency medicine staffing and management company. Bourland was inducted into the Millsaps College Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2017, having previously served on the Board of Visitors. His son, Alex, is also a Millsaps graduate (B.S., 2018; MBA, 2019).
  • Katherine Brady, a community volunteer in Houston, Texas. Brady is a past member of the Millsaps Board of Visitors, serving from 2013 to 2015, and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2015. Her two sons are graduates of Millsaps—Beau (B.B.A., 2015; MBA, 2019) and Jack (B.B.A., 2019).
  • Lee Anne Bryan, B.A. 1993, executive director of alumni & parent relations. She joined Millsaps in 2016 and leads the largest constituent group (alumni base includes over 13,000 individuals) of the college and is responsible for parent relations. Bryan is a fourth generation Millsaps alum.
  • Elizabeth Buyan, president of the H.F. McCarty, Jr. Family Foundation, a private, independent foundation established by her late grandfather, H.F. (Mac) McCarty, Jr., a longtime trustee of Millsaps College. Buyan has served on the Board of Trustees since 2021 and is also a member of the board of Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and a past board member of the Jackson Choral Society.
  • Dr. Stephen Cook, district superintendent of the West Jackson District of the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He has chaired the Board of Directors at the Wesley Foundations at both Jackson State University and Mississippi Valley State University and has served on Millsaps Board of Trustees since 2018.
  • Whitney Emrich, vice president for finance & administration. Emrich started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and joined Millsaps as controller in 2015. She was promoted into her current position in 2020.
  • Blakely Fender, B.A. 1992, professor of economics since 2000 and recently named associate dean of Millsaps’ Else School of Management. Fender teaches both undergraduate and graduate students, for which she is the director of the Executive MBA and MBA programs.
  • Tom Fowlkes, B.A. 1965, an attorney, former company executive and college administrator and retired member of the Emory & Henry College faculty. Fowlkes has served on the Millsaps College Board of Trustees since 1991 and chaired the board from 2010 until 2018.
  • Sabrina Grondhuis, associate professor of psychology & neuroscience. She joined Millsaps in 2013 and has served in multiple leadership roles at the college, including Faculty Council president and former chair of the Marketing and Communication Strategic Initiative Working Group. Grondhuis will become chair of the psychology & neuroscience department, one of the largest on campus, in fall 2023.
  • Maurice Hall, B.A. 1967, an attorney and executive chair of Hall Timberlands, a Meridian-based timberland business. Hall has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1984 and was board chair from 2002 until 2010. His daughter, Catherine Hall Laurenzi, is also a Millsaps graduate (B.B.A., 2000; MBA, 2001).
  • Monica Harrigill, B.S. 1988, managing member and co-founder of The Sunray Companies, operators of restaurants, spas, and hotels. A member of the Millsaps Board of Trustees since 2002, Harrigill serves on several boards, including the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the International Women’s Forum, the State Work Force and Canopy Children’s Solutions. She and her husband, Ray (B.A., 1990; MBA, 1991), are the parents of twins Max (B.S., 2018) and Tori (B.B.A., 2017; MAcc, 2018).
  • Otis Kenner, president of the Student Body Association. He is a junior studying business administration and is from Destrehan, Louisiana.
  • Chuck Lathem, B.B.A. 1981, an equity partner and managing director at Clarion Partners, a New York-based private equity real estate investment firm and an investment affiliate of Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE: BEN). He has served on the Millsaps Board of Trustees since 2013 and is chair of the President Search Committee.
  • Sharma Lewis, Bishop, Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church. Lewis joined the Millsaps Board of Trustees in 2023 and is an ex officio member of the committee.
  • Jay Lindsey, retired president of the New York-based Thomas International Publishing Company, and a partner in Brandon Petroleum Properties, an oil and gas production company based in Laurel. Lindsey has served on the Board of Trustees since 2000 and was named board chair in 2018. He is an ex officio member of the committee.
  • Bill Storey, professor of history, associate dean of arts and humanities, and Sanderson Chair of Arts and Sciences. Storey is interested in the history of the world wars and the British Empire, as well as the history of the environment and technology. He has written four books. In 2013, he was named the Carnegie-CASE Professor of the Year for Mississippi.

We have engaged the services of WittKieffer, a premier executive search and leadership advisory firm with a major practice in higher education, to assist us in our work. Their guidance will ensure we are presented with a diverse and experienced group of candidates for this exciting opportunity at Millsaps.

Chuck Lathem

Chair, President Search Committee

Vice Chair, Millsaps College Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees Announces Search Committee to identify successor to Dr. Robert Pearigen – January 26, 2023

With Robert Pearigen’s departure as Millsaps President as of May 31, 2023, Millsaps is losing an outstanding leader whose deep dedication and service to Millsaps over the past twelve-plus years will leave a lasting legacy. As Rob returns to his alma mater, the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, as vice chancellor and president, the Millsaps board of trustees wish him and Phoebe the very best in their onward journey.

The board has authorized the creation of a president search committee to find the best possible successor to Rob. This committee, headed by vice chair of the board Chuck Lathem, includes representatives of the trustees, faculty, staff, students, and other Millsaps constituencies as appropriate.  The board has an abiding interest and optimism in the future of Millsaps College and is fully committed to finding the right leader for the next chapter in Millsaps’ exceptional history.

Provost and dean of the college Keith Dunn has been named to assume the duties of the president as of June 1, 2023.  Between today and June first, Rob will continue to be fully engaged as president, in support of Keith as he begins the upcoming transition.

John L. Lindsey

Chairman, Board of Trustees

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