JACKSON, Miss.—Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore of Jackson was honored with a
Doctor of Public Service during Millsaps College’s commencement ceremony
on Saturday, May 10.
McLemore was recognized as a leader and public servant and for his
extraordinary ability to create community and opportunity. He is the
president of the Jackson City Council, professor of political science at
Jackson State University, and director of the Fannie Lou Hamer National
Institute on Citizenship and Democracy.
“As a dynamic force for change, as an educator, and as a civic leader,
we salute him. For his guidance, his commitment and his compassion, we
salute him. Dr. Leslie Burl McLemore serves as an inspiration and a role
model for the next generation,” said Millsaps College President Dr.
Frances Lucas during the outdoor ceremony.
During the Civil Rights movement, McLemore organized several
demonstrations and voter registration drives and was the founding
president of the college chapter of the NAACP while attending Rust
College in Holly Springs. In 1962 he became associated with the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and in 1964 he was elected vice chair
of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
A constant supporter for youth in the community, McLemore is the
immediate past president of the Jackson Chapter of 100 Black Men of
America where his focus has been on advising and supporting African
American males in the Jackson Public School District. The mission of the
Hamer Institute, which McLemore and colleagues formed in 1997, is to
engage primary and secondary schools in the exploration of the Civil
Rights Movement with students and teachers.
A native of Walls, McLemore earned a B.A. in social science and
economics from Rust, an M.A. in political science from Atlanta
University and a Ph.D. in government from the University of
– 30 –
Millsaps College, founded in 1890, is an independent, national liberal
arts institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Consistently ranked in the top tier of national liberal arts colleges,
Millsaps is located in Jackson, Miss., a metropolitan capital city of
425,000. Millsaps College is also the only Mississippi institution
featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges, and is cited as one of Loren
Pope’s 40 Colleges That Change Lives.