Class of 2024 Celebrates Commencement

Joey Lee

May 16, 2024

"Keith Dunn praised the accomplishments of this class and assured them, “…every student walking across this stage is worthy of our praise and admiration,"

Millsaps College recently held its 130th commencement ceremony where 175 students celebrated their scholarly achievements and received their diplomas in front of a packed crowd of family, friends, faculty, staff and alumni.

The ceremony was held in its traditional location, the Bowl, in the heart of Millsaps’ campus. The outdoor venue allowed graduates and attendees alike the opportunity to enjoy the campus in all its splendor.

Jay Lindsey, chair of the Millsaps Board of Trustees, welcomed everyone to the celebration.

He challenged the class of 2024 to continue in the spirit of Millsaps’ motto, “Ad Excellentiam,” – toward excellence. He also spoke of the importance of a liberal arts education.

“We see the liberal arts not as a relic of the past or something vague and intangible, but as a practical and essential preparation for a productive future,” he said. “And we recognize the special and ongoing ability of Millsaps to produce the graduates that influence this city, this state and this country. Millsaps does change lives!”


Millsaps students celebrate commencement exercises in the Bowl.

Interim President, Dr. Keith Dunn, followed Jay. Dunn praised the accomplishments of this class and assured them, “…every student walking across this stage is worthy of our praise and admiration,” he said. “Whether you’ve graduated Summa Cum Laude, or ‘Thank you, Lordy,” you have satisfied the rigorous standards of Millsaps College.”

He also challenged the graduates to commit to goodness by staying true to their ideals and values daily. “When given the choice between pursuing greatness and maintaining goodness, may you choose goodness every time,” he said. “The future is yours to shape. I challenge you to strive for greatness, but insist on goodness.”

The Founders’ Medal, going to the graduate with the highest GPA and a grade of excellent on the comprehensive examinations, was presented to creative writing major,  Patricia Syner.

Syner delivered an address of optimism to the graduates. “I’m going to look for happiness every step of the way, even when it feels difficult to find,” she said. “I will not sit quietly while the world spins on its wild axis around me, while people face war and danger and suffering. I will not turn away from tragedies and hardships, because I will believe that these things can be changed by us.”

Hannah Henderson was recognized as the Frank and Rachel Laney Award winner, presented to the graduate who has written the finest essay reflecting the value of a Millsaps liberal arts education.

Camille Fremaux won the Outstanding Master of Accountancy award and Landry Lemoine won the Charles Sewell Award, presented to the Oustanding Master of Business student.

Molli Perry was presented the Don Fortenberry Award, given to the graduate considered to have performed the most diligent and devoted service to the Millsaps community.

Amy Forbes, professor of history, was named the 2024 Millsaps College Distinguished Professor.

After diplomas were conferred on the 178 undergraduate and graduate students, President of the Millsaps College Alumni Association, Kelly Walsh (’00) welcomed them to the alumni community.

“Even though after today you will no longer live, work or study together within the Millsaps’ walls, you are forever connected to this place you’ve called home,” she said. “Forever connected to this place that has pushed you, even while nurturing you; forever connected to this place where you have met people who will be with you the rest of your lives.”

Images from commencement exercises can be viewed here.