University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus Vice President Frances Lucas will serve as the keynote speaker for the 8th Annual Celebration of Caring Women luncheon to be held April 22 at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi.
Lucas, who will address an audience of outstanding women on the coast, joined the university in July 2010. Following a 10-year presidency at Millsaps College in Jackson, Lucas brought 31 years of executive experience to Southern Miss. At Millsaps, Lucas served as the first female president in the college's history, as well as being named Mississippi’s Most Outstanding Business Woman during her presidency.
In addition to Millsaps, her experience includes serving as senior vice president for campus life at Emory University, where she served as the first woman to hold a vice presidential role in that university's 160-year history, and as vice president for student affairs at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio, where, at the age of 29, she served as the youngest vice president for student affairs in the country.
In October 2013, Lucas was named Woman of the Year by the Lighthouse Business and Professional Women during their Women of Achievement Awards Ceremony. Lucas has keynoted over 50 national and regional conferences in higher education and has served as president of several national and regional organizations
Biloxi Regional Medical Center, who leads the “Celebration of Caring Women,” described Lucas' career in higher education as “an illustration of opening doors and breaking barriers with grace.”
Described as celebrating ordinary women with extraordinary lives, this year’s “Celebration of Caring Women” marks Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Lifetime Television for Women and CableOne’s 8th year in celebrating women. During the luncheon, five Caring Women will be honored from the Gulf Coast who have shown extraordinary character in the categories of leadership, perseverance, mentor, defender and promise.
For more information about Southern Miss Gulf Coast, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast.