LOOKING BACK AND AHEAD
MSU President Robert “Doc” Foglesong returns today to reflect on his first year at the helm and discuss his plans and goals for the future of Mississippi State.
SID SALTER IS NEXT WEEK’S GUEST
Always one of our most popular speakers, Sid Salter, Perspective Editor for the Jackson Clarion Ledger, will be our guest.
NO MEETING MAY 28
Starkville Rotary Club will NOT meet Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day.
LAST WEEK AT ROTARY
Invocation and Pledge : Jeff Read.
Attendance : . There were 129 members (90 active, 36 exempt, 3 honorary) present and 68 members (42 active, 17 exempt, 5 honorary, and 4 on leave) missing.
Guests : Guests included Frank Owen of Bill Robinson; Lynn and Hunter Berch of Nellah Taylor; Patrick Jue of Tommy Tomlinson; and Trey Breckenridge of Joe Thompson. Club guests were Bill Kibler, MSU Vice President for Student Affairs, and Rotary Exchange Student Ruth Schorling. The were introduced by President-elect Ned Browning
Makeup : Donna Reese made up on-line April 28.
$$ For Troop 14 : President Larry Mullins presented a check to Scoutmaster Perry Sellars to support Boy Scout Troop 14, which Rotary has sponsored since 1927. Perry reported that on January 1, there were 41 scouts in the troop. Since then, 4 or 5 new members and 10 crossovers had joined. Sixty awards were presented to 31 boys at the court of honor the previous week. Perry said 30 had participated in the camporee in April.
Meeting Notes : Dave Boles was asked to comment on the Bulldogs’ current SEC standings. He said the team has the 8 th highest RPI rating and he’s optimistic that MSU’s chances are very good to host a regional tournament.
President Larry reminded officers of the May Board meeting (May 8) and the retreat for all new officers, committee, chairs, and co-chairs. It will be held at his home this evening, starting at 6:30.
Rotary Minute : Bill Parrish gave an update on the Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee. Kyle Frasier, who we nominated for the scholarship is currently at M.I.T. and will use his scholarship to continue his studies in the fall at a university in Australia.
Bill said former Rotary Exchange Student Allison Noffsinger has applied for an Ambassadorial Scholarship to study international communications at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Currently finishing her junior year at Western Kentucky University, Alli is majoring in Spanish and communications, and is here today for her committee interview.
MILLSAPS PRESIDENT FEELS AT HOME HERE
“It’s just like coming home,” Dr. Frances Lucas told Rotarians last week. The President of the prestigious Millsaps College is a graduate of Mississippi State, and she gives much of the credit for her successful career in higher education to her experiences here as a student and as a faculty member.
“There are many friends here today, many of whom were my leaders. I went to school with Rex (Buffington) My favorite drinking partner was Dan Camp,” she admitted. (The Mayor was present and just smiled and nodded agreement.) She was the first woman to intern with Sentaor John Stennis. Prentiss Gordon was her former minister.
“Dr. Roy Ruby and Dr. Bill Foster were my mentors in student affairs. Frances Coleman was one of the best mentors of all times,” she said. Labeling her 3 years as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs as “my best 3 years,” she said “everything I learned here is critical to what I do – it was a superior experience.”
At the age of 29, she became the youngest Vice President of Student Affairs in the country and the first female vice president at Ohio’s Baldwin Wallace College. Later, she became the first woman to serve as vice president at Emory University in Atlanta.
In 2000, Dr. Lucas was named the seventh president of Millsaps College and the first woman to hold that post in the college’s 125-year history.
“Mississippi has wonderful educational opportunities. We are rich with options. Let me talk about Millsaps, the only college in the state with a national ranking. Millsaps fills a certain niche. We cater to students who are ambitious and who want a lot of challenge. We play big in a small market.”
Founded by the Methodist Church in 1890, Millsaps ranks as one of the best values in higher education nationally. Current enrollment is nearly 1,100 undergraduate and 70 graduate students, half of them from Mississippi and the rest from 31 states and 15 foreign countries.
She said the faculty::student ratio is 12:1, 99 percent of the faculty have top degrees in their disciplines, and there are no graduate students teaching classes. Average class size is 15.
Twenty percent of all Millsaps students have ACT scores above 30. Seventy percent of the graduates go straight into a profession or to graduate school. Of the graduates, some 16% become CPA’s, 10% go to medical school, 23% to law school, 3% to dentistry, and 5% to theological professions. “Eight bishops of the United Methodist Church are Millsaps graduates,” she said.
One of the unique opportunities offered by Millsaps is to enable a student create his or her own major if they can’t find an existing major that fits their goals. “We try to customize the education to the students. A third of our students have international studies experience.”
Most Rotarians were surprised to learn that Millsaps has 42,000 acres of rain forests in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The site contains a wealth of Mayan reserves, offering students an extraordinary study experience. Students are offered study abroad opportunities there and in more than a dozen countries.
The College is a NCAA Division III school with good athletic programs. Dr. Lucas said they hope “to go all the way nationally” in Division III competition”
She is extremely proud of Millsaps, and with good reason. The College is ranked 82 nd by US News and World Report and is listed as one of the nation’s best value undergraduate institutions by The Princeton Review. It’s also been featured in Fortune Magazine. “This is great billing. We’re proud to be in Mississippi and we think we’re bringing good talent into the state.”
Dr. Lucas then responded to a number of questions from the audience.
Tuition at Millsaps is $30,000 a year, but the college is well endowed and very generous with scholarships and financial aid. “We bring many students in from families with modest incomes.
“Our alumni are very good about giving back. We are currently halfway through $160 million capital campaign.”
Asked about the College’s rigid testing program, she said “we are one of only a few colleges requiring comprehensive exams – both written and oral. This prepares our students for graduate school. We tell them up front they’re going to write like demons for 4 years!” The writing program is independent of the English Department and writing and communication skills are taught throughout all disciplines for all 4 years. US News ranks Millsaps as one of only 17 colleges that “make writing a priority.”
Asked specifically about the Else School of Management, Dr. Lucas said the school was started in 1978 and has become one of the College’s “points of pride.” It has a 5-year program leading to Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy degree.
“It’s a terrific program, ranked 8 th in the country by Princeton Review. Millsaps is one of only a few small colleges with Phi Beta Kappa and a top business program.
“Thank you so much for inviting me back to Starkville and Mississippi State, My heart is still right here.”
Bill Parrish introduced Dr. Lucas. After Rotary, one Rotarian exclaimed that it “was one of the best programs we’ve ever had.”
CLUB’S NEW WEB SITE IS LIVE
If you haven’t visited starkvillerotary.com in a while, be sure to take a look. The web site has been completely redesigned. In addition to a fresh, new look featuring highlights of our community, the content has been updated to ensure the information is useful to members as well as interesting to external audiences who want to learn more about Rotary in our community.
Members will find much helpful information, including current listings of board members and committees, highlights of our service activities, and a “Guide for Members” section that explains Rotary basics and procedures. There are even photos from our recent awards banquet and rodeo.
Tom Knecht is responsible for gathering the information and getting the site up and running. The revamped site was designed and built by Katherine Jacobs of Jacobs Design, a local firm. The site is hosted for the Club by Southern Computer Solutions, courtesy of Rotarian John Simpson.
If you have suggestions for improving the site, please send them to Tom Knecht, .