Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Millsaps College honors Justice Graves with Livesay Service Award

February 20, 2004

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr. is one of this year's recipients of the Jim Livesay Service Award given by his alma mater, Millsaps College.

Justice Graves and other award recipients were honored at the annual College Awards and Recognition Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 19, on the Millsaps College campus in Jackson.

Livesay Awards are presented annually to Millsaps College alumni who represent the spirit of commitment with which Livesay served the college as an alumnus, a college administrator and a volunteer.

Millsaps College President Frances Lucas, Ph.D, said, "The awards acknowledge leaders who represent the excellence of Millsaps. They are outstanding examples of all that Millsaps is and can be."

Lucas said, "Justice Graves started building a reputation as a person of tremendous insight and intelligence when he entered Millsaps College in 1971. He has been a leader on the Millsaps campus as a student, a parent and a faithful alumnus. His service to both Millsaps and the community epitomizes the spirit of the Jim Livesay Service Award. We are so proud that Justice Graves is one of Millsaps' own."

Justice Graves said, "I was deeply honored to have received a Livesay Award. It was especially meaningful for me because it was awarded by my alma mater. Millsaps holds a special place in my heart and in my family. I met my wife at Millsaps, and one of my sons is a Millsaps graduate."

Other Livesay award winners this year are William (Billy) Carter Jr., Karen Ezelle Redhead and Janet Gildermaster.

Justice Graves received a B.A. degree in sociology from Millsaps College. After working at the Department of Public Welfare for almost two years, he enrolled at Syracuse University College of Law, where he received his law degree. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

He worked as a staff attorney at Central Mississippi Legal Services, and as a special assistant attorney general. He headed the Human Services Division of the attorney general's office, where he served as chief legal counsel to the Mississippi Department of Human Services. He later was director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement of the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

He was appointed by Gov. Ray Mabus in February 1991 to serve as Circuit Court Judge of the 7th Circuit District. He was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove on Oct. 29, 2001.

His teaching experience includes serving as an instructor at Harvard Law School. He is called upon frequently to speak to students of all ages as well as to civic groups. He coaches student mock trial teams. Jackson Public Schools named him Parent of the Year for 2000-2001.