Vice President-Gulf Coast

Dr. Frances Lucas at the Friendship Tree at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus

Dr. Frances Lucas

Dr. Frances Lucas is the vice president and campus executive officer for The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast operations. In this position, Lucas is responsible for the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach and the four teaching and/or research sites across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Dr. Lucas was named President of Millsaps College in January 2000, becoming the first female president in the college's history. Dr. Lucas' career in higher education is an illustration of opening doors and breaking barriers with grace.

Prior to taking the helm of Millsaps College, Dr. Lucas served Emory University as senior vice president for Campus Life, becoming the first woman to hold a vice-presidential role in that university's 160-year history. At age 29, she was the youngest vice president for Student Affairs in the country and the first female vice president at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio, where she was named that college's Most Outstanding Administrator.

Dr. Lucas is a frequent keynote speaker for national professional organizations in higher education and business and has served as president of Mississippi Foundation of Independent Colleges, Southern University Conference, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church, and Jackson Medical Education District Board.

She was named to the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and holds a position in the Annapolis Group, a consortium of college presidents. Dr. Lucas was instrumental in raising Millsaps College's national profile, including recognition in multiple college rankings and guidebooks.

With her leadership, the college raised $115 million in its largest capital campaign and enrolled two of the largest entering classes in recent history.

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