Millsaps College is a private liberal arts college located in Jackson, in the U.S. state of Mississippi. Founded in 1890 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Millsaps is home to 985 students. Millsaps College is one of 40 colleges featured in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives and is one of only 21 private colleges nationwide named a Best Buy in the 2013 Fiske Guide to Colleges.
The college was founded by a Confederate veteran, Major Reuben Webster Millsaps in 1889-90 by the donation of the college's land and $50,000. Dr. William Belton Murrah was the college's first president, and Bishop Charles Betts Galloway of the United Methodist Church organized the college's early fund-raising efforts. Both men now have halls named in their honor. Major Millsaps and his wife are interred in a tomb near the center of campus.
Despite its religious affiliation, the curriculum is secular. The writing-intensive core curriculum requires each student to compile an acceptable portfolio of written work before completion of the sophomore year. Candidates for an undergraduate degree must also pass oral and written comprehensive exams in their major field of study. These exams last up to three hours, and may cover any required or elective course offered by the major department. Unacceptable performance on comprehensive exams will prevent a candidate from receiving a degree, even if all course work has been completed. "Comps" are usually associated with graduate degree requirements, so their inclusion at the undergraduate level is a source of pride (and possibly pressure) for Millsaps students.
Millsaps offers B.S., B.A., B.B.A., M.B.A. and MAcc degrees and corresponding programs.
The current undergraduate population is 910 students on a 103 acre (417,000 m²) campus near downtown Jackson, Mississippi. The student to faculty ratio is 1:9 with an average class size around 15 students. Millsaps offers 32 majors and 41 minors, including the option of a self-designed major, along with a multitude of study abroad and internship opportunities. Millsaps employs 97 full-time faculty members. Of those, 94 percent of tenure-track faculty hold a Ph.D. or the terminal degree in their field. The professors on the tenure track have the highest degree in their field. The college offers research partnerships for undergraduate students, and a variety of study abroad programs. Millsaps reports that 57% of their student body comes from outside Mississippi; a large portion of out-of-state students are from neighboring Louisiana. Millsaps is home to 910 undergraduate, 75 graduate students from 26 states and territories plus 23 countries. The college also offers a Continuing Education program and the Community Enrichment Series for adults in the Jackson area.
The Millsaps campus is close to downtown Jackson. It is bordered by Woodrow Wilson Avenue to the north, North State Street to the east, West Street to the west, and Marshall Street to the south.
The center of campus is dominated by "The Bowl," where many events occur, including Homecoming activities, concerts, the Multicultural Festival, and Commencement. Adjacent to the Bowl is the Campbell College Center, renovated in 2000, which contains the campus bookstore, post office, cafeteria, and Student Life offices. This central section of campus also holds the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex, Olin Science Hall, Sullivan-Harrell Hall, and the Millsaps-Wilson Library.
The north part of campus includes the Hall Activities Center (commonly called "the HAC"), the sports fields, and the freshman dormitories. On the far northwestern corner is James Observatory, the oldest building on campus. Operational since 1901, the observatory underwent major renovations in 1980. It is open for celestial gazing.
Upperclassmen dormitories are located on the south side of campus, with Fraternity Row and the Christian Center. Originally constructed as a memorial to students and graduates who died in service during World War II, the Christian Center houses an auditorium and the departments of Performing Arts, History and Religious Studies.
Between the Christian Center and Murrah Hall, which houses the Else School of Management, is the tomb of Major Millsaps and the "M" Bench, erected by the classes of 1926, 1927, and 1928. The Nicholson Garden was added to improve the aesthetics of this area.
Statistics (as of 2012)
Average GPA (for incoming students): 87% have above a 3.0 cumulative in high school; 23% have a cumulative 4.0 in high school on a 4.0 scale
Middle 50% SAT composite scores: 1050-1260
Middle 50% ACT scores: 23-29
Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Rankings and distinctions
Millsaps was ranked 90 out of 251 national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News & World Report of America's Best Colleges Issue; top ranked liberal arts college in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama; also, named to the list of "High School Counselors' Picks" for 2011 and 2012. 
Millsaps College professors are ranked among the best in the nation, according to The Princeton Review's The Best 377 Colleges - 2013 Edition. The Millsaps faculty won praise in The Princeton Review's special Top 20 category: Professors Get High Marks, where Millsaps was ranked twelfth in the country. 
The Princeton Review also named the Else School of Management at Millsaps College one of the Best Business Schools in the Southeast in the 2011 edition of its book, The Best 300 Business Schools. 
Millsaps is one of 40 schools in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives. 
Millsaps is among 21 private universities and colleges nationwide named a "best buy" in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013. Millsaps is the only institution in Mississippi to earn the "best buy" honor from the annual guide. The guide names Millsaps as "the strongest liberal arts college in the deep, Deep South and by far the most progressive" and notes that what differentiates the school is "its focus on scholarly inquiry, spiritual growth, and community service, along with its Heritage Program, an interdisciplinary approach to world culture."
Millsaps leads the list of 13 United Methodist-related colleges named among the top 100 liberal arts colleges by the 2012 Washington Monthly College Guide. 
The school's sports teams are known as the Majors, and their colors are purple and white. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Men's sports include: baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track and field. Women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance team, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
The Majors had a fierce football and basketball rivalry with Mississippi College in nearby Clinton through the 1950s before competition was suspended after an infamous student brawl at a basketball game. Campus legend says the brawl was sparked by the alleged theft of the body of Millsaps founder Major Millsaps by Mississippi College students. The rivalry was considered by many as the best in Mississippi, featuring a prank by Mississippi College students who painted "TO HELL WITH MILSAPS" (sic) on the Millsaps Observatory. The football rivalry resumed in 2000 as the "Backyard Brawl", with games at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. The rivalry took a one-year hiatus in 2005 but resumed in 2006.
Millsaps was the summer training camp home for the NFL's New Orleans Saints in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
Millsaps was also home to the famous game-ending play in the 2007 Trinity vs. Millsaps football game, in which Trinity University defeated Millsaps by a score of 28-24 after the miraculous play that later won the Pontiac Game-Changing Performance of the Year award, which had never before been bestowed upon a play outside of the NCAA's Bowl Subdivision.
In 2008, Millsaps quarterback Juan Joseph was awarded the Conerly Trophy, which goes to the best football player in the state of Mississippi.
The school is home to six different fraternities: Kappa Alpha Order, Alpha Phi Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Pi Kappa Alpha, Lambda Chi Alpha, and Kappa Sigma; as well as five sororities: Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Delta, Phi Mu, Chi Omega, and Delta Sigma Theta.