United States Marine Corps (1920-2005)
When Louis Wilson joined the Marines as a Millsaps senior in the spring of 1941, he wasn't exactly sure what comprised this military branch. But the 21-year-old economics major knew he wanted to serve his country as tensions escalated in the build up to World War II.
As it turned out, not only did Wilson learn what the Marines were all about, he distinguished himself in combat during the war. For his actions in the invasion of Guam during the Marianas campaign in 1944, Wilson was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
From distinguished service in the war to a distinguished military career, this Millsaps graduate served 39 years with the Marines. Wilson rose through the ranks, became general and was named Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1975 by President Gerald Ford.
Following his retirement in 1979, Wilson was appointed to numerous corporate boards of directors. He was made a trustee of Millsaps College in 1978 and was made a life trustee in 1990.
And though General Wilson died in 2005, Jane Wilson, his wife of 61 years and also a Millsaps graduate, would later say the academic discipline he learned as an undergraduate at Millsaps was the underpinning of the high standards he expected of his troops as a Marine Corps General.
"He really believed in education, and I think the high standards he insisted on as commandant came from the strength and integrity of his family, and from the demanding curriculum of Millsaps."
While General Wilson's beloved Marine Corps prides itself on being 'the few and the proud', similarly, Millsaps prides itself on its high scholastic standards and alumni who have achieved success from a strong foundation in academic excellence. They are the few and the proud indeed.