Millsaps names Mills top alumna


presented the 2006 Alumna of the Year award to Mary Bentley Mills, in recognition of her stellar contributions and leadership as an athlete and educator.

The award was presented at a March ceremony in the A. Boyd Campbell College Center on campus in Jackson. In addition, the 2006 Livesay Awards, presented annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to the college, were given to Betsy L. Bradley (Class of ‘84), Tom R. Shima (Class of ‘87) and Price and Jane Hildebrand, parents of a current Millsaps student and a Millsaps graduate.

A groundbreaking female athlete, Mills is a world-class professional golfer whose performance in the LPGA helped push the women’s tour to new heights of excellence and visibility.

“Millsaps helped me become a national winner,” said Mills in her acceptance speech. “To win takes character, courage, tenacity and some grit, and Millsaps helped me believe in myself.”

Mills, who now lives in Boca Raton, Fla., began her career by winning the Mississippi Women’s Amateur Championship in 1954 at the age of 14 — the youngest person to ever win this title. In 1962, her first year on the LPGA Tour after graduating from Millsaps, she was selected as the Rookie of the Year by Golf Digest. Her subsequent major victories, including the USGA Women’s Open Championship in 1963 and the LPGA Championships in 1964 and 1973, mark Mills as one of the most accomplished professional athletes to have attended Millsaps, graduating in 1962. Mills was inducted into the Millsaps Sports Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Livesay Awards honor the spirit of commitment in which Jim Livesay (1920-2001) served the College as an alumnus, administrator and volunteer for nearly 50 years.