Keynote Speaker

Dr. Frances LucasDr. Frances Lucas joined The University of Southern Mississippi in July 2010 as
vice president and campus executive officer of the school’s Gulf Coast Operations. Dr. Lucas oversees USM’s five Gulf Coast campuses, which serve over 3000 students.

Dr. Lucas served as President of Millsaps College for ten years, as the first female president in the College's history. She was named Mississippi’s Most Outstanding Business Woman while at Millsaps.

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. While at Emory, she received the Campus Life Time Achievement Award. 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 Woman Administrator. Dr. Lucas' career in higher education is an illustration of opening doors and breaking barriers with grace.

Dr. Lucas is a frequent keynote speaker for national professional organizations in higher education and business and has served as president of several national and regional organizations.

She has a son, Michael, age 20, who is a second year student at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She also has
a daughter, Anna Catherine, age 18, who is a senior in high school and is starting a modeling career.