Millsaps announces honorary degree recipients: Jon Meacham, Jesmyn Ward, Dr. Lamar Weems

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Beowulf Sheehan, Mississippi Book Festival

Jesmyn Ward

Mississippi author Jesmyn Ward, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham and Dr. Lamar Weems will receive honorary degrees at the Millsaps College May 11 commencement.

“This is an incredible group of individuals, and we are excited about the opportunity to recognize and honor their contributions to our state and nation,” said Millsaps College president Dr. Robert W. Pearigen, in a news release. “The insight and skill they bring to our political discourse, our health care systems, and our literature are immeasurable.”

Ward, who grew up in DeLisle, is an associate professor of English at Tulane University and a novelist, essayist, and memoirist. Her novel “Salvage the Bones” won the National Book Award in 2011, and her novel “Sing, Unburied, Sing” was recognized with the award in 2017; she is the only woman to have won the National Book Award twice, notes the release by Millsaps. Ward also received a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant in 2017.

Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and the author of The New York Times bestsellers “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship,” “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” and “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.” Meacham, the release goes on to say, is a contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review and a fellow of the Society of American Historians.

Weems graduated from Millsaps College in 1953 and is a retired urologist and surgeon and professor emeritus of surgery (urology) at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. A long-time champion of health care for Mississippi’s uninsured poor, Weems also held visiting professorships at major medical schools around the nation, including the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, LSU Medical Center, National Naval Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Temple University, and Duke University Medical Center.