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Recipients of 2012 College Alumni Awards Named


2012 Alumni Awards Recipients 


Luther Ott, B.A. 1971
2012 Millsaps Alumnus of the Year

Luther OttLuther Ott, an Episcopal priest and lawyer known for his dedication to improving the community where he lives, is the 2012 Millsaps College Alumnus of the Year.

Ott, a 1971 graduate of Millsaps, earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law and practiced law for more than 20 years before he and his wife, Janet, 1970, returned to school to earn their master of divinity degrees at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.

He has served as curate and assistant rector at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Jackson, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Creator in Clinton, and interim rector at St. Paul’s in Meridian and the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vicksburg. He was executive director of Stewpot Community Services, an interfaith social services agency in Jackson, from 1997 until 2002.

Ott served on the Millsaps College Board of Trustees from 1991 until 2012, and was a member of the Development, Student Life, Investment, and Trustee Selection Committees.

As chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, he worked to secure financial resources to develop and sustain distinctive and transformative programs, all with a rigorous appreciation for the College’s stated vision of excellence. His work in support of the 1 Campus 1 Community initiative and his efforts to grow the College’s international programs so that they embrace service learning have fostered the mission of the College in terms of good citizenship, good deeds, and a practical appreciation of service to others.

Luther and Janet are the parents of two children, Luther S. Ott II, B.A. 19 93, and Sara Katherine Ott Beckett, and grandparents of six.


The Rev. Deacon Jay Biedenharn, B.A.2005, and Louise Chandler, B.A. 2005
2012 Young Alumnus Award Recipients

The Rev. Deacon Jay Biedenharn, curate at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Memphis, and his wife, Louise Chandler, an attorney, hold the top offices in the Millsaps Young Alumni Association in Memphis. He is vice president, and she is founder and president.

At Millsaps, Biedenharn majored in history, played varsity football, was an athletic trainer, and a member of Kappa Alpha. He received his master of divinity degree. from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 2008 and was a licensed pastor on the Walnut Charge of the New Albany District, Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church from 2008 until 2010. He became a postulate for holy orders in the Episcopal Church in 2011, was ordained a deacon in 2012 and has held the curacy at Saint John’s since June.

Chandler, an associate attorney at the HF Law Group, PLLC in Memphis, received her B.A. in political science with a minor in art history in 2005. At Millsaps, she was active in student government and Chi Omega.

She earned her J.D. at the University of Memphis in 2009, where she received the CALI Award in Torts, was a member of the Moot Court Board, and the Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition Team. While in law school, she clerked for Judge John R. McCarroll, Circuit Court, Division 1, and served an externship for Judges David S. Kennedy and Paulette J. Delk at the United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Tennessee.

She is a member of numerous organizations related to her profession and is a pro bono volunteer with Memphis Area Legal Services and the Community Legal Center. She is a volunteer with the Junior League of Memphis, and is active in its Girls, Inc. and GROW Memphis Placement programs.


Jim Livesay Award Recipient
Maud DeLes Gober Lancaster, B.S.Ed. 1984

Maude DeLes Gober LancasterMaude DeLes Gober Lancaster, co-owner of Soiree’ Events, Floral and Design, is a former president of the Millsaps College Alumni Board. She served on the Parents Council for six years, the Alumni Board for five years, was a member of the recent Presidential Search Committee and is the founder and coordinator of Tasting @ the Tents, a Homecoming event.

At Millsaps, she was active in Kappa Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa and Sigma Lambda. She was selected homecoming queen for two years and was the Major’s Lady her senior year. She majored in elementary education and graduated cum laude. She met her husband, Ken, B.B.A. 1984, now vice president at Trustmark National Bank, Corinth, when they were members of the Millsaps Singers and Troubadours.

She is board president of the A.M.E.N. Food Pantry, volunteer coordinator for Corinth Habitat for Humanity and the Downtown Main Street Association, and chaplain and charity ball chairman for the Junior League of Corinth. She serves on several committees at Corinth First United Methodist Church and sings in the Chancel Choir.

The Lancasters have three children: Darrington Lancaster Ludlam, B.A.2009; Liz Lancaster, B.A. 2011; and Neal.


Jim Livesay Award Recipient
Dr. Will Sorey and Marti Sorey

Will and Marti SoreyDr. Will Sorey and his wife, Marti, served on the Millsaps Parents Council from 2006 until 2012 and as co-chairs of the council from 2010 until 2012.

Will Sorey is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and division director of Ambulatory Pediatric Service at UMC’s Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. A 1978 graduate of Ole Miss, he received his medical education at UMC, as well as his internship and residency training in pediatrics. He completed a post-residency fellowship in adolescent medicine at UMC in 1987.

His honors and awards include the Norman C. Nelson Order, 2008-09; the Carl G. Evers Society All-Star Clinician Award (multi-year); Teaching Faculty of the Year (Pediatrics), University of Mississippi School of Medicine (multi-year); and Clinical Professor of the Year, University of Mississippi Alumni Association’s Medical Alumni Chapter, 2005-06.

Marti Sorey had a long career as a medical technician before she became a science teacher at Jackson Prep. A native of El Paso, Texas, she graduated from Mississippi State with a degree in general science-chemistry before earning a medical technology degree at the University of Texas El Paso. She returned to Mississippi State in 1999 and completed a master’s degree in geoscience.

She is a charter member of Parents for Public Schools, where she served on the Grants/Funding Committee; Jackson Public Schools Promotion and Retention Oversight Committee; a former member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Girls Choir; Leadership Jackson, Class of 1993-94; and the Junior League of Jackson. She is a member of Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church where she is a member of the Student Ministry Committee, the Chancel Choir and the Carillion/Wesley Ringers Hand Bell Ensemble.

The Soreys have three daughters: Mary Rogers, B.S. 2009; Katie, B.A. 2011; and Laura, B.S. 2012.


Alumni Chapter Award Recipients

 Teresa White Bailey  Lynne Pickett

Teresa White Bailey, B.A. 1994, president of the Memphis Alumni Chapter, received, on behalf of the chapter, the Alumni Chapter of the Year Award

Lynne Pickett, B.A. 1965, received on behalf of her class an award for annual giving. The Class of 1965 had the high participation in annual giving for the last fiscal year.


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