For the first time in the 132-year history of Millsaps College, five graduating students have been awarded the Founders’ Medal.
The Founders’ Medal is presented each year to the senior with the highest grade point average for the entire course of study. To be considered for the award, students must have begun their course of study as a first-year student at Millsaps, completed all work required for their degree, and earn a grade of “excellent” on their comprehensive examinations.
“We have never, in the history of the college, had this many students in a single class achieve this status – and they did it in the midst of a global pandemic and serious disruptions to the academic process,” said Dr. Keith Dunn, provost and dean of the college.
Students earning the medal were:
- Anna Grace Boxx from Bay St. Louis, Miss., who earned her Bachelor of Science in environmental science;
- Mary Frances Dickie of Jackson, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in English;
- Newlon Bryce Gillihan of McComb, Miss., who earned his Bachelor of Science in biology;
- Paul Starnes Thomas of Hattiesburg, Miss., who earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in economics and business administration; and
- Taylor Kay Weintritt of Metairie, La., who earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in economics.
“This level of excellence is remarkable under the best of circumstance, but these students continued to excel through an emergency shift to remote instruction with technology and connectivity limitations, the anxieties and protocols of dealing the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging personal and family situations, a seriously debilitating ice-storm and times when water for basic hygienic needs was in very short supply,” Dunn said.
The college has awarded multiple Founders’ Medal in years past. The largest group of multiple winners was in 1987, when four students earned the medal.