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The Face of Delta State President Bill LaForge is Leading the Charge for a New DSU

Will, Richard ’91, Anna, and Stacy Marchant Myers ’94 at DSU Homecoming 2012

GROWING UP GREEN & WHITE You know what it means to be a true Statesman, now pass it on! Start a legacy by sending your child’s name, birthdate, and address to enroll them in Delta State’s Legacy Program. They will learn about everything bright, green, and fun in their future.

We want to get to know the small smiles on your kids’ faces so we can see their giant grins at graduation. KEEP THE TRADITION ALIVE. The Alumni Association has recently partnered with Admissions and Recruiting on an initiative to better recruit children of alumni. Send us your child’s name, birthdate, and address, and he or she will begin receiving information from the Delta State Alumni Association. Send information to For more information, contact the Alumni office at 662.846.4660. Know a student who would be a great fit at Delta State? Tell us by using the Good Student Referral at


Alumni Magazine President..............................................William “Bill” N. LaForge ’72 Executive Director, Alumni-Foundation.................Keith Fulcher ’83

Alumni Magazine Advisory Committee: Editor............................................................... Jordan Thomas ’11 Alumni Board Representative.............................Richard Myers ’91 Foundation Board Representative.................. Anne Weissinger ’81 Alumni Editor.........................................................Jeffrey Farris ’04





Foundation Editor..................................................... Ann Giger ’93



Board of Directors Delta State University Alumni Association:





Richard Myers ’91, President; Rob Armour ’95, President Elect; Patrick Davis ’96, Secretary; Sayward Fortner ’04, Treasurer; George Bassi ’87, Past President; Anne Weissinger ’81, Foundation President; Michael Ainsworth ’94, Angela Boone ’02, Serena Clark ’97, Brad Evans ’87, John Fletcher ’91, Angela Grayson ’94, Chrissy LaMastus ’96, Paul “Bubba” Mancini ’00, George Miller ’00, Henry Outlaw ’61, Jeremy Pittman ’05, John Polles ’05, Chris Shivers ’94, Reagan Smith ’08, Lauranne Tomaszewski ’03, Sydney Hodnett ’14, Amy Scott ’14

Board of Directors Delta State University Foundation, Inc:


Anne Wynn Weissinger ’81, President; Tim Harvey ’80, Vice President; Nan Sanders ’67, Secretary/Treasurer; Mike Neyman ’72, Past President; Jeff Tarver ’76, Finance Chair; Tom Janoush ’90, Trusteeship Chair; Ned Mitchell ’62, Campaign Chair; Judson Thigpen ’79, Development Chair; Richard Myers ’91, Alumni President; David Abney ’76, Louis Baioni ’56, Dr. William C. Bell ’82, Anita Bologna, Amanda Borgognoni ’82, Hunter Cade ’66, Jeff Ross Capwell ’60, Kay Clark, Dr. Anna Looney Dill ’74, Hank Drake ’69, Bryce Griffis ’54, Laird Hamberlin ’87, Earnest Hart ’77, Peter Jernberg ’65, Gloria B. Johnson ’79, Ed Kossman Jr. ’59, Draughon McPherson, Rex Lyon ’73, Billy Nowell ’72, Carol Puckett, Randy Randall, Krista Roberts, Homer Sledge III, Sam Waggoner ’76, Margaret Walker ’67, Alan Walters, Dr. David Webber ’78, Jimmy Wilson ’68, Dr. Bennie Wright ’74 The Alumni & Foundation Magazine is published by the Delta State University Alumni & Foundation DSU Box 3104, 1003 West Sunflower Rd, Cleveland, MS 38733 E-Mail: Phone: (662) 846-4660 Note: In an effort to reduce our environmental impact, only one magazine per household is mailed.

Art and Layout by President LaForge with a group of Alumni at the Memphis Alumni Chapter Meeting at the Crescent Club.

Special Thanks to our Delta State Alumni Association Corporate Sponsors


18 Billy’s Home

LaForge returns to his beloved Cleveland to take the helm of Delta State

24 Outstanding Alumni Chapters Cleveland Medical Clinic, PLLC and Wright Surgical Services


Alumni use chapter meetings to raise scholarship dollars for Delta State students

On the cover:

DSU President William “Bill” N. LaForge with a host of Delta State students, faculty, staff, and alumni on the quadrangle during his second week as President. Photographed by Rory Doyle ’11.

Patrick Davis

Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 1


To My Fellow Delta State Alumni, Colleagues, and Friends: As I assume the presidency of Delta State University, I return to my home—my alma mater and my hometown. It is a privilege to come back to the university that has had such a wonderful impact on the lives of so many of us. While our remembrances of Delta State may differ based upon the era in which we knew it, the one constant is that it remains the “jewel” of the Mississippi Delta region, with a rich heritage of culture and achievement. Ours is an accomplished institution of which we can all be very proud. I take this opportunity to salute my predecessor, Dr. John Hilpert, who has served Delta State so well for a decade, often during some very trying times. He has provided gracious and meaningful assistance to me during the leadership transition, and, for that, I am very grateful. Now President Emeritus Hilpert and his wife, Pat, are entering a muchdeserved retirement, and the Delta State family wishes them all the best. As alumni and friends of Delta State, you should be proud of the superb college education and environment we are providing for our students. We offer a wide array of educational, cultural, and athletic activities. Your university plays a key role in the leadership and development of the Mississippi Delta and of the State of Mississippi through a variety of partnerships with businesses, local governments, and community organizations. I am fond of saying that Delta State is a university of champions—in the classroom with talented faculty who focus on student instruction and mentoring; through award-winning degree programs in business, arts and sciences, nursing, and education; with unique, cutting-edge programs such as aviation, geospatial studies, and the Delta Music Institute; in intercollegiate athletics where we proudly boast national and conference championships in many sports; and, with a full package of extracurricular activities and a university experience that prepare our students for careers in an ever-changing, global economy. But we are not resting on our laurels. Many good things are happening at Delta State, and there is much more to come. The campus is alive with ideas, energy, and renewal; and Delta State is on the move. Stay tuned for some exciting days ahead! I ask for, and will need, the good assistance and support of all our loyal alumni and friends as we embark on the journey to the next level of excellence. I look forward to the opportunities ahead, and I am confident that, together, we will ensure the success and excellence of Delta State for many years to come. My leadership team and I are rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. I ask for your active engagement, and I offer the following menu for things you can do that will have the most direct and meaningful impact on our university: 1) Help recruit excellent students for Delta State; 2) Support our Foundation’s efforts to secure funding for much-needed student scholarships, faculty development and support, and athletic programs; and, 3) Engage with our Alumni Association and its many chapters. As we face the ever-increasing challenges of student recruitment, faculty retention, and quality programming on campus, we need­—and I humbly request—your time, talent, and treasure at this exciting and pivotal point in Delta State’s history. I encourage you to visit us often to see for yourself why Smithsonian Magazine named Cleveland and vicinity #2 in “The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013.”  Come see why your Delta State is a Mississippi public university of national distinction. You and I know that no one else can beat the hospitality and warm welcome you will find at Delta State University! Be sure to keep up with Delta State through our website, and stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. It is a distinct honor to serve as your President. I hope you will call on me at any time. Come see us! Very best regards, William N.  LaForge ’72 President

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Dear Alumni and Friends, Another outstanding academic year has come to a close at Delta State University, and while things may slow down some during the summer in the academic arena, that is definitely not the case for your Alumni Association. The summer begins with us continuing to welcome William LaForge, a fellow Alumni Association member who returns to Delta State as President. President’s LaForge’s selection has generated much excitement around campus, and we look forward to his leadership. I encourage you to make an effort to get to know him and experience firsthand his contagious enthusiasm for Delta State. President LaForge’s selection is also a good opportunity to reconnect with the school and to make a commitment to his request for active engagement. The summer is a busy time for your Alumni Association staff. Fresh off the heels of a superbly festive, record-setting Bolivar County Alumni Chapter meeting, there are many opportunities and events planned to keep you connected with Delta State and each other. Examples include local chapter meetings across the state from DeSoto County to the Gulf Coast. There are also national events planned in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Stop by a meeting to visit with friends, get an update on campus, athletics, and the good work of the Alumni and Foundation offices. The Alumni Association has many outstanding programs that support its efforts. Vital to this cause are our corporate sponsors. I want to thank Bolivar Medical Center, Casey Family Programs, Cleveland Medical Clinic and Wright Surgical Services, Patrick Davis State Farm, and Air Evac Lifeteam for their support. As alumni, we can assist by purchasing a DSU affinity car tag, paying our alumni dues, supporting a local chapter, and becoming a Life Member. If you are already a Life Member, please consider participating in our new Sustaining Life Member program. Finally, congratulations to the newest members of the association, the Class of 2013. We all commend this class for its many contributions to the growth and success of Delta State. These good students and leaders are the lifeblood of the university. As alumni, we are the best ambassadors and recruiters for Delta State. If you know a high school student that would make a contribution to DSU, the “Good Student Referral” link is available on the Delta State “Alumni & Friends” website to provide you an easy and convenient way to refer a prospective student. I hope to see you at an event soon. Please stop by the Alumni House, your home away from home when visiting Cleveland. Best regards, Richard Myers ’91 National Alumni Association President

Studies show that good universities have strong alumni associations! Your alumni dues allow the Alumni Association to be able to provide better services to our students and alumni. Please consider joining or renewing your membership today! To become a member, scan the QR code with your smart phone, call 662.846.4660, or send an email to Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 5


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William Faulkner coined the phrase “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” Although these two quotes are seemingly different, when combined they explain the experience of a very unique individual—an international student studying in the heart of the Mississippi Delta at Delta State University. Delta State currently has 64 international students representing 22 countries. Fifty-three of these are undergraduate students, while 11 are pursuing post-graduate degrees. Their majors vary as widely as the countries they hail from—including everything from the Delta Music Institute to Flight Operations. These students come to Delta State for various reasons. Ali Shahid, a senior business major with a concentration in marketing and finance from Islamabad, Pakistan, came to Delta State as an exchange participant with Global UGRAD. Global UGRAD is a highly competitive undergraduate exchange program which places students from Eurasia and Central Asia in an American university. UGRAD participants don’t get to choose the city in which they will be studying. When asked how he felt when he heard he was placed in Mississippi, Shahid laughed and said “I was not too excited about it because Mississippi is not a place you see in movies.” But he was quick to add “Now, if you asked me, I would definitely come to Mississippi again. I had a great time here.”

Many international students come to the U.S. for a chance to participate in collegiate sports while studying­—an opportunity many don’t get at home. Rebekah Napier-Jameson, a sophomore from Johannesburg, South Africa, double majoring in general biology and environmental science with an emphasis in wildlife management, came to Delta State to join the swim team. “South Africa doesn’t really have a good sports and college system, and America is known for their Varsity sports. I knew I wanted to come here so I could carry on swimming and study at the same time,” she said. To choose her school, Napier-Jameson did a College Board search for universities that had her desired major as well as a good swimming program. She set up recruiting trips with eight universities all over the United States. She chose Delta State based on “the fact that it offered biology and environmental sciences, and it had a good swimming program, and was affordable. When I came over and walked in to the pool, I was just like ‘the pool is so nice,’ and the team­­—I met a bunch of them and they all seemed really nice.” Guillaume Lacour, of Orleans, France, also came to the United State to participate in sports. “I was in a university in France, and I wanted to have another experience to discover another culture. I was looking for a university in the U.S.,” he said. “I got the opportunity to

go to the U.S. with tennis, so I just talked to the coach (Asa Atkinson), and I got a scholarship.” Waldemar Juschin from Dillenburg, Germany, is no stranger to life in the U.S. The Delta State graduate is currently pursuing his MBA in marketing from Delta State. But university life was not his first experience in America. “I came here for a high school year first to learn English, and my host family, they asked me if I’d do a sport because my host brother did a sport,” he explained. “I said ‘I can swim’ and they started taking me to swim practice. My assistant coach was a student here at DSU, and she told me about swimming at Delta State. And I got a scholarship here.” Juschin swam with Delta State for four years before graduating in 2011. He decided to stay for his master’s and has loved his time here. “It was a very nice experience, and it made me love America,” he said. “I was excited because I didn’t know anything about Mississippi; I didn’t know anything about the South or the cultural differences, but I’ve made some really good friends here.” Many international students come to Delta State strictly for their major. Minji Kim, a freshman from South Korea, was recruited by Dr. Jung-Won Shin for the piano program. She became interested in Delta State after hearing about it from Dr. Shin and browsing the website. Then, when she visited, the people were so welcoming, and she liked the

Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 5

environment, so she decided to stay. Kim is a very talented pianist and recently won the Alcorn State University Piano Competition where she played three pieces and competed with students from all over the state. Hyacine Do Rego, a senior from Gabon in Central Africa, came to Delta State strictly for the Delta Music Institute. He had been studying in New York at Queens Borough Community College, and he was looking for somewhere to transfer to get his bachelor’s degree. “I googled and found all the schools in the U.S. that had an audio production degree and I found DMI. I looked up the program, and it was exactly what I was looking for,” he said. “It gives me not just practical knowledge but a theoretical knowledge on how the industry works.” Going to school in a foreign country can certainly have its challenges. Many of the students had trouble adjusting to the language barrier when they first arrived. “This is not the accent that I thought the Americans had, so I used to have a problem understanding,” said Shahid. Lacour agreed. “In France we are not very good at speaking English when you try to learn it; you really learn it when you go to the country and speak it every day. It took me two years to be comfortable with the accent because some people it is difficult to understand,” he said. There’s also the challenge of being thousands of miles away from friends and family. “I think to leave my family and then to come to a place where you don’t know anyone with another language—the first couple of weeks it was really intense,” said Lacour. “I miss my friends too. Even if you talk to them, they have their own life over there.” They also all had an opinion about the difference in food. “It’s a different flavor from what we eat. We are used to a lot of spices—too much fried here,” said Shahid. “American food has lots of oil. Food in Korea is spicy and more seafood,” said Kim. “I’m not used to fried food, but I love fried chicken.”

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TOP. Shahid took advantage of many unique classes DSU has to offer including an Outdoor Recreation Hiking class with Todd Davis. RIGHT. Lacour with a fellow Delta State student. BOTTOM. Rebekah Napier-Jameson, a sophomore from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Although studying internationally brings its own set of challenges for each student, they all adjusted and have become a part of the DSU family. Both Shahid and Lacour joined fraternities on campus. Shahid pledged Kappa Sigma, and Lacour pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon. “The purpose of coming here to the U.S. was to have the American college experience, and we don’t have a Greek system. I think it’s the only country to have that system so religiously followed,” explained Shahid. “I wanted to experience something from college so that’s why I joined Kappa Sigma. When I joined, I came to know that it’s something more than on-campus partying. They do good philanthropy things. This is something that I would like to keep with my name forever and that has moved me.” “In France, it’s not a good thing to be in a fraternity, so when my parents watched a TV show about that they were like ‘Guillaume, you are not going to join,’” he laughed. “But I needed something else. I was just going to school and playing tennis. I’m more involved on campus, and the fraternity helps me get more involved.” One thing each of the students have in common is their love

for their new home. “I’ve made friends everywhere. It’s very easy because everybody is greeting everybody even though you don’t know them,” said Juschin. “On campus, if you just walk, some guys say ‘hey what’s up,’ and we don’t do that in Germany.” “I love the fact that Delta State has small classes, and you get to know your professors really well,” said Napier-Jameson. “They’re all really interested in how you’re doing. I love my teammates and the people here—they’re all really friendly.” “I like DMI. I like the studio,” said De Rogo. “Me studying at DMI is like a dream come true. I’m blessed, and I’m really, really happy with my experience at DMI and Delta State.” “My first impression of the campus was peaceful,” said Kim. “All the people are kind; I love Delta State’s people.” Delta State’s International Student Association in conjunction with the Student Success Center is working to improve the adjustment period for international students. “Things are moving in a good way for international students,” said Lacour. “We have a good team, and we are all working together.” Although Delta State students may come from both near and far, we are all Statesmen at heart.

There is a new Cleveland tradition: on Wednesday nights, townspeople and students form teams and gather at Hey Joe’s in the Historic Warehouse District to play a highly competitive and spirited trivia game. This weekly ritual is the brainchild of Hey Joe’s owner, Justin Huerta, and his wife, Tasha Belokon Huerta, both 2007 graduates of Delta State. It is hosted by DSU alums Kirkham Povall (’13) and Jordan Thomas (’11). Thomas is the assistant director of alumni affairs at Delta State University. With so many DSU alums, students, staff, and faculty participating in the weekly trivia night, Huerta and Thomas put two-and-two together and came up with a once-amonth Delta State University Departmental Trivia Night, to be played during the course of a regular academic semester. The winner would be the team that collected enough points over the course of five Trivia Nights. Any department was welcome, and many participated. Teams included the Art Department, The Hamilton-White Child Development Center, the Chemistry Department, the History Department, the Alumni Association, and a few others that drifted in and out. The prize? A $1,000 Delta State University scholarship. DSU alum Amber Marie Wright (’12), a one-time employee of Hey’ Joe’s, began to “encourage” her professors in the Division of Languages and Literature to participate. Multiple text messages were sent. Facebook messages called certain professors and alums out. Then, more alums got involved. Soon, the core team of John Cox (’96), Suzy Jones (’99), Associate Professor of English Don Allan Mitchell, Assistant Professor of English Mike Smith, and his wife, Jennifer Shy, Adjunct Instructor Michael Ewing, and a rotating bullpen of DSU alums, instructors, and students, including David Dallas (’88), Sayward Fortner (’04), Alissa Chadwick, Chad Steen, and Jessi Malatesta (’11, ’12) gathered regularly to slowly pull away from the pack of competitors. On May 29, the Division of Languages and Literature team, affectionately named “Haysed and Confused” after current departmental chair Bill Hays, clinched the championship. “Haysed and Confused was a strong team. They had a variety of knowledge.” said Povall. “It’s great that people could hang out and play a game with a chance to help somebody pay for school.” As Bill Hays puts it, “We would like to thank all the folks at Hey Joe’s, especially Justin Huerta, for sponsoring this contest. It was a wonderful gesture to provide scholarship funds for deserving students. But as an added value, everybody had a lot of fun. This is a unique way to form a great partnership with Delta State.” But the story does not end there.

TOP. Dr. Bill Hays (center) accepts the $1,000 check from Hey Joe’s trivia hosts Jordan Thomas ’11 (left) and Kirkham Povall ’13 (right). LEFT. The Languages and Literature Department named the scholarship after English Department and Delta State alumna Amber Wright’s father, who recently passed away. Wright served as a marine in the Vietnam War and was proud to send his daughter to Delta State.

Amber Marie Wright had to quit the Trivia Night team to return home to Hernando and take care of her mother and her terminally-ill father. Unfortunately for Amber and her family, her father, Robert D. “Buzzy” Wright, Jr. lost his battle with cancer in April. Buzzy Wright, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and U.S. Marine, was very proud of his daughter. Buzzy worked for many years as part of the ground control crew for Northwest Airlines (presently Delta Airlines), and although Mr. Wright did not attend college, he made certain that Amber would. He also instilled in Amber a respect for the Marine Corps Motto, Semper Fidelis, which means “Always Faithful.” Ms. Wright embodies Semper Fidelis in so many ways, but in particular, she is a faithful and proud alum of Delta State University. And so, during Memorial Day week, the Division of Languages and Literature decided to name that $1,000 Trivia Night Scholarship after Lance Corporal Robert D. “Buzzy” Wright, Jr. Delta State University will continue to thrive with students and alums of the caliber of Amber Marie Wright, and the scholarship will go to help a student very much like Amber. The scholarship will also serve as a reminder not to forget the roles that parents and loved ones play in the lives of DSU students and the sacrifices they make for their educations. When it comes to bringing together DSU alums, staff, students, supporters, and faculty, there is nothing trivial about Trivia Night at Hey Joe’s.

Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 7

Wiley Community Garden

s part of this year’s Earth Day celebration, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Delta State’s Wiley Community Garden was held on April 22. The service was opened by Dr. Barry Campbell, Division of Biological and Physical Science chair.   “What better way for the citizens of Cleveland to get to celebrate Earth Day and to act locally than by opening the Wiley Community Garden,” said Campbell.  President William N. LaForge thanked the Wiley family, those involved with creating the garden, the attending students, and citizens from the community. He spoke about the impact of awareness and efforts of people in Cleveland.  “Earth Day is important. It is important to stop and make sure we all consider the important things we do in our daily lives, 8 • Delta State Magazine • Summer 2013

whether it is switching off the extra light or driving a fuel-efficient car,” said LaForge. Special remarks were made by Dr. Michael Whelan, alumnus; Keith Fulcher, Executive Director Alumni-Foundation; Julie Wiley Mosow, daughter of Roy and Clara Belle Wiley, and daughter, Emily Mosow.  Ryan Betz, Delta Health Alliance project manager, spoke about the economic impact of buying food locally and the opportunities created by programs like the Wiley Community Garden. “The garden is a strong catalyst for so many things and a huge piece of the puzzle to help our impact on the Earth,” said Betz.  The Wiley Community Garden provides a special place that will be useful, attractive, and educational. Many people have dedicated time, resources, or funds to create the garden, including the Art Department faculty,

the Division of Biological and Physical Sciences, Facilities Management staff, students and community members, and the Delta Health Alliance Garden Project. The mission of the Delta State Wiley Community Garden is to educate the Delta State and Cleveland communities on the cultivation of fresh, healthy, local foods and food systems; to preserve campus green space through beautiful, edible landscapes; and to foster collaboration among Delta State and the wider Cleveland community that gratifies the desire to share good food around a common table. 

For more information on how to get involved, updates, opportunities, and activities at the Delta State Wiley Community Garden, follow the facebook page at www.facebook. com/dsuwileycommunitygarden.




Delta State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences Recreation Leadership Program hosted an Outdoor Photo Contest and Adventure Film Experience. The contest was open to Delta State students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The goal of the contest was to see the different views of the outdoors through the eyes and lenses of the Delta State network. The Adventure Film Experience showcased different outdoor adventure documentary films for the audience to view the hardships as well as the amazing adventures that the outdoors can offer. Holly Potter, a senior recreation leadership major and a DSU Healthy Campus/Community Initiative student public relations team member, along with Todd Davis, HPER Director of Recreation Leadership under the “Dave Heflin Professorship,” directed and coordinated the event.

CHRIS GAINES was named Director of Recruiting for Delta State University. Gaines previously served as the Coordinator of Transfer Students in the Admissions Office. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management from Delta State in 2006 and a Master of Education degree in 2008.

DR. LESLIE GRIFFIN, Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, is currently serving a two-year term as president of the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE).

THE WINNERS: BEST WHIMSICAL • Fowl Play by Talbot Brooks BEST WILDLIFE • Stare Down by Brittney Storey BEST LANDSCAPE • Blue Sunset by Eva Champion JUST MISSISSIPPI • Stay Gold by Elizabeth Vaughn BEST RECREATION • America’s Pastime by Elizabeth Zengaro VIEWER’S CHOICE • Living on the Edge by Jackie Kelly

LAURA HOWELL was named Executive Director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC). Howell received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina in 2008 and her master’s degree from Delta State University in 2013.



RONNIE MAYERS has been named Director of Athletics at Delta State. Mayers has served in numerous capacities in his 37 years at Delta State. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1972 and his master’s degree in 1975 from Delta State. Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 9

ATHLETICS The highlight of the annual Athletic Awards Banquet is the presentation of the Charles S. Kerg Senior Student-Athlete of the Year Awards. Each year, the Kerg Award is presented to one male and one femaile student-athlete who exemplifies what it means to be a Statesman or Lady Statesman.

Tyler Aldridge

Q What does it mean to you to win the Charles S. Kerg Award? A It’s an honor and great accomplishment to win the Charles S. Kerg Award, to be named Student Athlete of the Year and be recognized alongside previous winners and to be a part of something special.

Q Looking back on your years of playing baseball at DSU, what are some of your


#14 | 2B/3B Steens, MS

favorite memories? I only played at Delta State for two years, but those were filled with many memories. I would have to say my favorite memories would be dating back to 2011–2012; we were able to win the Gulf South Conference Championship, South Regional Championship, and play in the D2 College World Series and place second. Also, this year when I was able to break the longest hit streak record with 28, and being able to play under one of the greatest coaches in the game of baseball and get to cherish every memory with my teammates would be my all-time favorite memories.

Q What does it take to balance academics with athletics as a student athlete? A To balance academics with athletics takes a lot of prioritizing and organization. Between practice and school

Kendall Sizemore

Q What does it mean to you to win the Charles S. Kerg Award? A To be a winner of any award at Delta State, I feel, is a huge accomplishment. Delta State is known for having outstanding student-athletes that not only shine on the field but also in the classroom. When my name was called for the Charles S. Kerg Award, I was beyond excited to receive this accomplishment. Receiving this award proved to me that hard work and dedication do pay off in the long run.

Q Looking back on your years of playing softball at DSU, what are some of your


#1 | Catcher Cleveland, MS

favorite memories? I will never be able to replace the friendships I have made. The memories I share with those girls are my favorite memories. They made the hardest times better and greatest times ones I will never forget! Some of my favorite memories are breaking Valdosta’s 36-game winning streak on their field and making it to the championship game in the conference tournament.

Q What does it take to balance academics with athletics as a student athlete? A Balancing academics, athletics, sorority, and all the other school activities, all I can say is “I MADE IT!” Being a student-athlete is like working a full-time job while going to school full-time as well. I was a biology pre-vet major and took 19+ hours every semester, while playing a sport that practiced from day one of school to the last day of exams. I also was a Kappa Delta, member of CSA, on homecoming for four years, in the pageant for two years, vice president and president for SAAC, and in numerous other clubs on campus. Balancing all these activities was never easy, but it has made my time here the greatest experience a girl could have.

10 • Delta State Magazine • Summer 2013

you are only given a limited amount of time to do homework or study for tests, so it is important to prioritize your day and your week and to always be on top of things in school. My favorite quote from Coach Kinnison is “The best time to do something is today not tomorrow.”

Q How do you plan to get involved as an

active alumnus of Delta State?

A I plan to be more involved in all sports and support other activities at DSU, and I will always bleed green and white.

Q What are your plans for the future? A I will graduate in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and minor in Family and Consumer Sciences and begin my journey in the work force.

For just $250 a year, you can sponsor a Statesman’s locker! Funds raised will go to covering upgrades in our basketball program that will directly benefit our players. Contact Assistant Coach Chris Richardson at 662.588.4991 or



FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Q How do you plan to get involved as an


active alumnus of Delta State? I was chosen to be on the board for the search of the new Athletics Director, and when I sat in on the interview with Ronnie Mayers, I knew changes would be made to get student alumni involved. I am overly thrilled to be a part of that change and to get involved as an alumni. I know that in the future I will still come back to sporting events, the annual Pig Pickin’, and other school functions. I hope to one day give back to Delta State what it has given to me.

Q What are your plans for the future? A This summer, I will be making a huge step in my

career and will be starting vet school at Mississippi State. After my next four years at MSU are complete, I plan to come back to Cleveland and start my own veterinary clinic. I know that the four years at Delta State being a student-athlete has prepared me for this next journey in my life.

Sept 7

MS Valley State

Sept 13

Texas A&M-Commerce

Sept 21

University of N. Alabama

Sept 28

Florida Institute of Tech

Oct 5

University of W. Alabama

Oct 19

Tarleton State University

Oct 24

Shorter University

Nov 2

Valdosta State University

Nov 9

Concordia College

Nov 16

University of W. Georgia

Itta Bena, MS

Dallas, TX (Cowboys Stadium) Florence, AL

Cleveland, MS (Pig Pickin’) Livingston, AL

Cleveland, MS Rome, GA

Cleveland, MS (Homecoming) Cleveland, MS

Carrollton, GA

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Sports Shorts postseason passing record. Davis was named the Gulf South Conference and South Region Offensive Football Player of the Year. He was awarded the Gulf South Conference Commissioner’s Trophy and was a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, an award given to the top football player in Division II. Graduating with a perfect GPA, Davis was named a National Scholar Athlete by the National Football Foundation and received the organization’s postgraduate scholarship. Davis was a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, presented to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete. A team captain and member of the Football Player Council, Davis was a leader in the Cleveland Mentor Program and the Pearman Reading Project. Davis also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society.

Lady Statesmen Claim NSISC Championship, Statesmen take Second The Delta State University Lady Statesmen Swimming and Diving team claimed the 2013 NSISC Championship, their first conference title since 2001. The Lady Statesmen held off a late charge from Henderson State to win the title with 942 points. Heidi Nichols and Dan’l Murray picked up awards on the women’s side. Nichols was named the 2013 NSISC Women’s High Point Award winner, and Murray was named NSISC Women’s Coach of the Year. The Statesmen finished up as NSISC Championship runner-ups, falling to Missouri S&T 899.5 to 858. The Statesmen also picked up awards in the event. KarlRichard Hennebach was named 2013 NSISC Men’s High Point Award winner. The Lady Statesmen’s victory came after leading the NSISC Championships from wire-to-wire, leading after all four days of the event. The conference championship is the first for Delta State since the Statesmen won the New South Intercollegiate Swim League championship in 2002. The Lady Statesmen won the championship in 2001. 12 • Delta State Magazine • Summer 2013

Micah Davis receives NCAA Top 10 Award at Honors Celebration

The NCAA officially recognized its 2013 Top 10 Award recipients at its Honors Celebration at the annual convention. The NCAA Today’s Top 10 Award recognizes studentathletes who completed their athletics eligibility during the 2011-12 academic year for their success on the fields and courts, in the classroom, and in the community. Award recipients were recognized at the Honors Celebration during the NCAA Convention in Grapevine, Texas. The NCAA Honors Committee selects the honorees. The committee is composed of athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes. Delta State University’s Micah Davis was among the recipients. Davis led Delta State to an NCAA Division II national runner-up finish in 2010 and a semifinal finish in 2011. A quarterback, Davis holds every Delta State

NCAA recognizes AIAW Basketball Pioneers: DSU’s Wade, Harris, and Brock to be honored

Pioneers who helped build women’s basketball through their accomplishments on and off the court were honored during halftime of the Women’s Final Four Championship game. Delta State University’s Margaret Wade, Lusia Harris-Stewart, and Debbie Brock were all honored during the celebration. Among the honorees are administrators who took the game to new heights under the auspices of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, which governed women’s collegiate sports before the NCAA began sponsoring championships in 1981-82. “This is the perfect time to celebrate the players, coaches, and administrators from the AIAW who helped establish the foundation for collegiate women’s basketball,” said Anucha Browne, NCAA vice president of women’s basketball championships. “Their achievements at that time were remarkable and opened the door to what we have today with the Women’s Final Four growing into the marquee women’s sporting event in America.”

Coach of the Year and All Conference Selections

Top: Margaret Wade Bottom: Lusia Harris-Stewart and Debbie Brock

Delta State University was well represented with Brock, Harris-Stewart, and Wade. Brock was the starting point guard for the Delta State teams that won AIAW national titles in 1975, 1976, and 1977. Harris-Stewart averaged 25.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game while leading Delta State to three straight AIAW national titles (1975-77). Wade, the namesake of the Wade Trophy, guided Delta State to three straight national titles (1975-77).

The Delta State University Baseball team was awarded 11 all-conference selections from the Gulf South Conference. Head Coach Mike Kinnison was named Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career. A GSC- leading eight Statesmen were named to the All-Gulf South Conference First Team, and three more were named to the All-Gulf South Conference Second Team. Starting pitchers Josh Branstetter and Michael Manley, along with reliever Taylor Stark, earned first team honors. Outfielders Jordan Chovanec and Michael Vinson each earned first team selections. Catcher Carlos Leal and third baseman Tyler Aldridge, as well as designated hitter Ben Kingsley, were also named to the first team this season. Shortstop Josh Crowdus and second baseman Kasey Hinton joined pitcher Colton Mitchell in being named to the AllGSC second team.

Nick Glaser Head Coach of Statesmen Soccer

Delta State University director of athletics Ronnie Mayers announced the hiring of Nick Glaser, who brings eight years of NCAA Division I coaching experience to Delta Field as head men’s soccer coach. Glaser replaces Matt Watts, who resigned to accept the same position at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.  “We’re excited to add coach Nick Glaser to our family here at Delta State,” Mayers said.  “Coach Glaser brings a wealth of experience to the program, and we look forward to building upon our recent successes on the pitch.” The Nashville, TN, native began his duties at DSU in February. Prior to coming to Delta State, Glaser spent six seasons as an assistant on Richie Grant’s coaching staff at the University of Memphis.  Coach Glaser took an active role in the squad’s recruiting, scouring the globe for players to fill the U of M roster with talent, leadership, and championship-caliber student-athletes.

COOLEY NEW LEADER OF STATESMEN FOOTBALL Over 150 members of the campus and community turned out as Delta State University officially welcomed Todd Cooley as the 19th head coach in Statesmen football history. Cooley took over the program in January and has hit the ground running since arriving at Chadwick-Dickson Fieldhouse. Known as one of the top offensive coordinators in the country, Cooley brings his high-octane system to Delta State after serving as the offensive coordinator at Northwestern State University (2009–2012), University of Central Arkansas (2005–2008), and Arkansas Tech University (2004).    In three years running the NSU offense, Cooley established the Demons as one of the top units in the Southland Conference. In 2012 under Cooley’s tutelage Brad Henderson finished the season ranked seventh in the SLC with 181-of-330 passes completed for 1,874 yards with 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The Demons averaged 24.1 points per game and ranked fifth in the league in scoring.    Cooley’s explosive offenses at Central Arkansas lit up scoreboards around the Southland Conference in 2007-08 and during his four seasons with the Bears as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. In that time (2005-08), UCA posted an overall 35-13 record, including an 11-3 SLC mark in the Bears’ first two years (2007-08) as an NCAA Division I FCS member. Born September 7, 1975, Cooley married the former Lisa Gatlin of Conway, AR, on July 16, 2005. His parents are Don and Lynne Cooley, who reside in Nashville, AR. 

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First Fellowship Established in College of Education Bob ’62 and Sylvia Ferguson ’61, active alumni and longtime supporters of Delta State University, were honored recently with the establishment of the Ferguson Fellows Program, designed to help aspiring school leaders envision and implement innovative and data-driven strategies for lasting systemic change in Mississippi schools. The Fergusons are veterans in the education field, with Dr. Bob Ferguson providing decades of leadership for schools across Mississippi, and Sylvia Ferguson championing early childhood education throughout her career, teaching and providing leadership for early childhood/ elementary education. The annual award of $27,000 is made available through the Tri-State

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Educational Foundation. Dr. Ferguson’s vision for the Fellowship stems from his experience as a Ford Foundation Fellow early in his career. According to Ferguson, the opportunities to travel and study best practices in education made a lasting impact on his leadership capacity. Ferguson also stressed that his wife, Sylvia, was instrumental in helping him to maximize this opportunity. It is their desire to see other young educational leaders have similar opportunities—knowing that strong leadership for our schools greatly enhances educational outcomes for students and capacity for the future health of our state’s schools in general.

In recognizing the potential of this Fellowship, DSU President William N. LaForge commented, “The Ferguson Fellows Program is the perfect example of private support, from loyal alumni and friends, that underpins some of our key needs in ensuring that K-12 school leaders have the training, experience, and leadership to influence positive changes in our school systems and to ensure a higher quality of education throughout the state.” According to Dr. Leslie Griffin, Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, the Fergusons have established a legacy for impacting P-16 education across the state. This Fellowship enhances the potential for this legacy to impact education in our state for decades to come.” For more information on the Ferguson Fellowship Program, contact Dr. Joe Garrison at 662.846.4400 or For information on establishing a fellowship program or scholarship, contact or 662.846.4704.

Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment to Fund Inaugural Event Literacy educators throughout Mississippi and the surrounding region look forward to enhanced training in best practice in literacy instruction as the result of the recent establishment of the Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment within the College of Education and Human Sciences. Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley, or “Dr. A-B” as former students affectionately called this revered, retired faculty member, served Delta State for 13 years after decades in literacy instruction both at the P–12 and higher education levels. She continued to serve Delta State post-retirement through her involvement with the Barksdale Reading Institute. Friends, colleagues, family, and alumni wished to recognize Dr. Allen-Bradley’s legacy and fittingly chose to initiate an endowment that would allow pre- and in-service teachers to engage in high-quality literacy education experiences annually as a result of the endowment. “This endowment is an important recognition of Dr. Allen-Bradley’s substantive contribution to building a high-quality literacy education component in the elementary education degree program in the College,” said Dr. Leslie Griffin, College of Education and Health Sciences (COEHS) Dean. Janie felt an affinity for her content area—literacy—and her energy and dedication were palpable— students could easily see her heart and soul through her teaching. And teaching children to read requires a passion—it is a highly

Dr. Leslie Griffin, Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences with Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley.

skilled task that requires dedication and much understanding of the reading process,” Griffin continued. Plans are underway for the inaugural event sponsored through the Endowment. Dr. Joe Garrison, Chair of the Division of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Research, who, along with a faculty committee, is finalizing details of the event, will announce specifics of the event mid-summer. Meanwhile, he encourages interested educators to contact him directly by calling 662.846.4400 or via email at According

to Garrison, “This event will demonstrate the vision of a unique educator whose impact is still felt across the state. It is important that we maintain the standards for literacy instruction she established throughout her career.”

To contribute to the Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment, contact the Delta State University Foundation at 662.846.4704 or visit www. For more information on establishing an endowment or scholarship, send an email to or call 662.846.4704.

REBIE HAMILTON POWELL AWARD Dr. Lisa Moon, chair of Social Work, recently recognized Patrick Martin as the 2012-13 recipient of the Rebie Hamilton Powell Award during the Social Work’s Senior Awards Ceremony. Patrick is from Tutwiler and received his degree in Social Work in May 2013. Dr. Moon said, “Patrick was selected for the award because of his love and passion for Social Work. He has consistently shown exceptional work inside and outside of the classroom. In fact, Patrick has already been offered and has accepted a position in the social work field.” Patrick said, “I learned about the Rebie Hamilton Powell Award about three years ago, and to be chosen as the recipient is extremely overwhelming to me. There is not a better moment in my life right now than being selected to receive this prestigious award. I am truly honored.”

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Aviation Program Continues to Soar In a recent interview with Good Morning Memphis, Delta State President Bill LaForge was discussing Delta State’s Commercial Aviation program with the interviewer. The weather had taken a turn for the worse, and she asked LaForge “Would you fly in this weather?” to which he replied “With a pilot from Delta State I would.” Since the 1980s, Delta State University has offered a degree in Commercial Aviation (CAV). This program at Delta State is unique because students obtain flight training and a university degree. Students can receive both a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Aviation and a Master’s Degree in Commercial Aviation. Delta State is the only university in Mississippi to offer this degree and one of the few in the mid-south. SouthGroup Insurance Services recognized the importance of this program to Delta State and has established an annual scholarship fund. “We at SouthGroup felt that we wanted to do something to help attract even more excellent aviation students to Delta State,”

Brett Boykin, Ned Mitchell, and Roger Easley of SouthGroup Insurance Services with Dr. Julie Speakes, chair and professor of Commercial Aviation and Chip Cooper, director of flight operations at Delta State.

said Ned Mitchell, president of SouthGroup Insurance Services in Cleveland. “The Aviation program is one of the unique programs that Delta State provides.” SouthGroup Insurance Services will donate $3,000 in funding for scholarships. The scholarships will be awarded to freshmen or transfer students who are in good academic standing and enrolled in the Bachelor of Commercial Aviation program. The Department of Commercial Aviation’s Scholarship Committee will select the recipients of the scholarship. Although Delta State offers a competitive

tuition rate, scholarships are still greatly needed to help deserving students obtain their degrees and become professionals in their chosen fields. Dr. Julie Speakes, chair and professor of Commercial Aviation, is grateful for the funding of this scholarship and hopes that it will encourage students to pursue their goals in flight training. “We’re excited to have community support to help our flight students with the extra expenses of flight training,” said Speakes. With this partnership between SouthGroup Insurance Services and Commercial Aviation, Delta State continues to fly high.


Bill and Cheryl Thomas Marchant

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Friends, family, and colleagues have established the Bill and Cheryl Thomas Marchant Scholarship, which will annually provide a scholarship to a physical education major and an elementary education/early childhood major in the College of Education and Human Sciences (COEHS). Bill Marchant enjoyed a highly successful career as a baseball coach at the high school and collegiate level for 28 years, and since 1996 he has been a dedicated faculty member in the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) at DSU. His wife, the late Cheryl Thomas Marchant, was a public school teacher for 34 years, known widely for her compassion and service orientation to students and fellow teachers. As Beverly McWilliams, close friend to Cheryl Marchant, and her husband, Clay, sought a way to honor her memory, Bill’s colleagues in the COEHS were considering a scholarship in his honor. Ideas converged, resulting in the Bill and Cheryl Thomas Marchant Scholarship.

Q&A with Georgene Clark Georgene Clark is an assistant professor of English, coordinator of composition, and coordinator of diversity activities at Delta State.

What year did you come to DSU? I came to DSU in the fall of 1976 and stayed for four years. I took a two-year leave and returned in the fall of 1982. When I came to Delta State I only intended to stay about two years— never dreaming that I’d fall in love with DSU and remain for over 30 years. I began as an Instructor in English. I am now an Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of Diversity Activities. How would you encourage students to come to DSU? I would encourage students to attend by simply telling them that DSU offers the best opportunity there is for a quality education. It is small enough for students to get individual attention from their professors; it’s affordable; and it’s accessible. DSU has a dedicated faculty and staff that will see the student through his/her entire tenure at the university—good or bad. There will

always be someone on hand to assist, guide, encourage—whatever is needed at the time. Why are scholarships so important? Scholarships are important because they provide the opportunity for an education that might not otherwise exist. In addition, scholarships provide a recruitment tool for attracting and retaining talented students, which in turnwill help to strengthen individual programs and ultimately, the university as a whole. What is your favorite memory as a professor? This is a very difficult question. I have so many favorite memories as a professor—many of which are related to the friendships and associations formed as a result of being here as a professor. However, if I had to narrow it down to

my favorite memories it would have to be seeing students succeed in their chosen career fields. One case in point is a student named Dayle Houston from Indianola. Dayle was a phenomenal student and the first graduate of what was then our Honors College. I had the opportunity to attend her defense of her dissertation a few years later at Chapel Hill and she did an exceptional job. The pride I felt is indescribable. It’s moments like those that are so memorable and so rewarding.


Kenneth Thomas and Dr. Roger Blake

Dr. Roger Blake (right) of Blake Surgical Association in Cleveland received a visit from Kenneth Thomas, 2013-14 recipient of the Blake Surgical Endowed Nursing Scholarship. Kenneth is a senior nursing major from Tchula and will graduate in May 2014. Mr. Thomas personally thanked Dr. Blake and his wife, Vicki, for providing the Blake Surgical Endowed Nursing Scholarship. With a smile on his face and deep appreciation in his voice, Kenneth said, “The scholarship means so much to me as it definitely alleviates the stress concerning finances, and it allows me to continue my studies to make a difference in the  nursing profession.” Dr. Vicki Bingham, Chair of the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing, stated, “We are extremely  grateful to Dr. Roger and Vicki Blake in their providing scholarships for recipients.  I encourage anyone who is thinking about how they can help students to contact the Delta State Foundation.” For more information on scholarships and how you can help, contact the Delta State University Foundation at 662.846.4704 or email Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 17

The inauguration of Delta State University's eighth president, William N. LaForge, will take place on Friday, November 1.

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By: Dorothy Shawhan, Chair Emerita of the Division of Languages and Literature, Professor Emerita of English at Delta State University Photography by Hays Collins Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 21

LaForge earned his law degree at Ole Miss, but undoubtedly the best thing that happened to him in Oxford was meeting Nancy.

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He’s brought Nancy with him from Washington, D.C. and given up his jobs as principal of LaForge Government Relations and adjunct professor at George Washington University. On April 15 William N. LaForge became Delta State University’s eighth president after a unanimous vote by the IHL board. Town and gown couldn’t be happier.

The level of excitement was reflected in the banner headlines of every local newspaper from the exuberant “LaForge-ing Ahead” of The Cleveland Current to the concise “LaForge named DSU President” of the Bolivar Commercial, the breaking news alert from the Bolivar Bullet, and The Delta Statement’s “William N. LaForge named as new President of Delta State University.” Clevelanders would like to claim our town as the new president’s birthplace, but actually he was born in Durham, North Carolina, where his father, William F. LaForge, was working on his Ph.D. in history at Chapel Hill. The LaForges moved from there to Mississippi Southern in Hattiesburg, but soon Dr. LaForge was recruited to Delta State by President Ewing where he taught history and became Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Cleveland is where Bill LaForge’s early memories are, where he grew up, and where he put down deep roots. “For me,” he says, “this is about coming home.” And Clevelanders feel the same way. Judge William Bizzell remembers that his backyard joined the LaForge’s and that sometimes both yards were the scene of parties for the LaForge children—Bill, Larry, and Suzanne. He says he’s very fond of Bill and that “with all that lobbying he’s surely learned to get along with folks. He’ll mix and mingle. He’ll do fine.” Jim Hunter McCaleb coached LaForge on the basketball team at Cleveland High School. McCaleb remembers him as “smart,” “very coachable,” and at the same time, “somewhat of a coach on the floor himself as leader of the offense, setting up plays as point guard.” Cleveland mayor Billy Nowell was a classmate of LaForge’s at Cleveland

High School and at Delta State and uses a sports metaphor to express his approval of LaForge’s appointment. “Delta State, Cleveland, and the Delta hit a home run today.” DELTA STATE DAYS When LaForge entered DSU in 1968, Dean LaForge made sure his son took six semesters of English from Dr. Maria Butler, she who struck fear into the hearts of many a student, this writer included. So we can be confident that the president can write. He’s published a useful book that testifies to the fact: Testifying Before Congress: A Practical Guide to Preparing and Delivering Testimony before Congress and Congressional Hearings for Agencies…Military, NGO’s, State and Local Officials. Jerry Dallas taught LaForge European history, a course that LaForge says served him well in his travels and his teaching. Dallas says he was a “student who sticks out in your mind, a good student.” The professor particularly appreciated the fact that LaForge was such an able discussant. Dallas couldn’t remember the final grade LaForge made but when asked what he admired most about the new president, he said that when LaForge bombed the first test, he didn’t say anything about calling his daddy. Instead he buckled down, worked hard, and redeemed himself. LaForge made an admirable record at Delta State—president of the student government association, charter president of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary society, co-founder of the Student Body Presidents’ Council of Mississippi, and one of the first four students inducted into Delta State’s Student Hall of Fame. His senior year, LaForge played the King in Shakespeare’s MacBeth in Jobe Hall, probably never imagining that he would stand on that stage again to accept the presidency of the university. ON TO LAW SCHOOL After graduating from Delta State with a history major in 1972, LaForge entered law school at Ole Miss, but was back in Cleveland frequently. Dr. Henry Outlaw, long-time chair of physics, remembers a trip organized by Dave Heflin to go white water rafting on the Nantahala River in North Carolina. The group was leaving on Wednesday, and Outlaw was slipping off from his chair duties and going along. They were to meet at Dave’s van, but LaForge had forgotten his sleeping bag and had to go back to the house to get it. Outlaw slunk down in the back seat, hoping the Dean wouldn’t come out, see him, and fire him on the spot. But the Dean walked his son out to the car, looked in the van at Outlaw, and said, “Oh, you’re going too?” Not a word about a firing. LaForge earned his law degree at Ole Miss, but undoubtedly the best thing that happened to him in Oxford was meeting Nancy. She was a political science major from Kosciusko. The two were introduced by her roommate’s boyfriend. They were standing under a street light that created a “halo effect” making it impossible for Nancy to see LaForge’s face clearly. Later another young man called her and told her he was Billy, but LaForge heard about that, called her up, told her the other guy was pulling her leg, that he was the real thing, and asked her for a date. The two were married in the Methodist Church in Kosciusko, and later

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she joined the Catholic Church with her husband. They have two children, both lawyers. Caroline practices in the D.C. area and will move into the family’s home outside Washington. Clayton is clerking for a federal district judge in Puerto Rico, and surfing too, Nancy said. WASHINGTON D.C. AND BEYOND After the couple moved to D.C., LaForge worked in a wide variety of endeavors. They include working for both Republican and Democratic legislators in both houses of Congress, earning an LL.M. in international law from Georgetown University, serving as Congressional Liaison for the Peace Corps, and studying international law at Cambridge University. He received fellowships to study government and public policy in the European Union at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from Stetson University College of Law. In the course of his career thus far, LaForge has been a visiting professor of law in Russia, Poland, and Bulgaria. He has served as national president of the Federal Bar Association. While LaForge and his family lived in Washington, they were no strangers in Cleveland. Michael Simmons, a young journalist who grew up in Cleveland, recollects in a recent editorial in The Cleveland Current, how his family lived across the street from Jeanne and Dean LaForge. His mother and Mrs. Jeanne grew especially close after Dean LaForge died and would “play backgammon and drink sweet tea” and keep an eye on the children at the same time. When “Mr. Billy,” Nancy, Clayton, and Caroline came to visit, Simmons felt like it was his own family visiting. And when Simmons transferred to Ole Miss, he had a helpful exchange of emails with LaForge and had the opportunity to interview him when his book came out. In 2009 LaForge returned to campus to deliver the Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture, a lecture that can be viewed on the website. He advises students to “cherish your relationships with your professors and learn from them. Your professors and peers will have immeasurable influence on the rest of your life.” He recommends involvement in politics and public policy because “politics affects us if we are active or not. You can get involved or be led by others.” And world travel is extremely important: “travel equates to education.” HITS THE GROUND RUNNING Although LaForge officially took the reins of the presidency on April 15, he had done a great deal of conference calling and conferring with campus leaders before he ever got here. He had even recruited in Poland recently where he taught at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. He presented the Center there with documents he acquired when Pope John Paul visited the U.S. during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. And he explored possible faculty and student exchanges. LaForge credits retiring DSU president John Hilpert with making “a seamless transition…a very cooperative and collaborative effort…a very pleasant thing.” Once on campus LaForge says he “hit the ground running,” an apt use of language for one who runs marathons, but clearly he had been running for DSU before he arrived. Three days after the new president officially took over, he celebrated

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his birthday. He’s an Aries, and according to our local expert on astrology, Jutta Ferretti, that sign can be summed up with “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Further research by Mrs. Ferretti reveals that Clarence Darrow was also born on this day, and that those who share this birthday are “compassionate and sensitive, with a tremendous capacity for understanding human frailties.” Always a good thing. April 18 people are also “aware of their appearance and their public image…and will rarely if ever be caught making fools of themselves in public.” That’s a comfort. At age 86, Mrs. Ferretti graduated with a degree from Delta State and hence became the oldest to receive a DSU degree. She’s a generous benefactor of the University, and a lovely research room in the RobertsLaForge Library on campus is named in her honor. LaForge set up meetings with various university groups immediately. He sees retention and recruitment of students as a top priority and believes that the whole community must work on that. He recruited in local high schools his first week here. The open forum with students and pizza in the Union was particularly lively. Confronted with the mascot question, LaForge said when he was here he was a Statesman, but at that moment the Fighting Okra rappelled from the top of the Union in full view through the plate glass windows. Once inside the building, the Okra began to dance. Then students and LaForge leaped from their chairs and began to dance too. When order was finally restored, LaForge said, “Yes, I’m a Statesman, but I’m now an Okra.” Students had questions beyond the fighting vegetable, however: budget, campus construction and parking, library hours, and what they could do to increase enrollment. LaForge listened closely and will no doubt remember student concerns. I can personally attest to the fact that the new president has a good memory. Long ago I told him the story of how a few parents had complained to the president when some of us assigned Alice Walker’s The Color Purple in our literature classes. We feared censorship would result, and on the day we met with Dean LaForge, we all wore purple. When the Dean opened the door to a blaze of purple, he couldn’t stop laughing. He worked out some compromise whereby parents who didn’t like the reading list could move their child to another section. Years later when I sent an email congratulating our new president on his appointment, he replied that he looked forward to visiting with me, “perhaps even clad in purple.” Bill Hays, chair of Languages and Literature, was gratified when LaForge agreed to address the honors banquet sponsored by the Division of Languages and Literature and the Division of Social Sciences and History just one week after his arrival on campus. LaForge worked the crowd first, meeting as many parents and students as he could. He was introduced by David Dallas, son of Jerry, with a humorous, nostalgic look at their joint histories. Then in his speech, LaForge congratulated the students, stressed the importance of their achievement, and urged them on. “A homegrown ‘fellow’ with a cosmopolitan view is exactly what we need,” Hays said. And Greg Redlin, Delta State CFO and one who has helped in the transitioning, says this about our new president. “Bill LaForge strikes me as the right man at this time in DSU’s history. The challenges ahead will require energy, intelligence, and vision, all of which he seems to have in abundance.” To which we all can say, “Amen.”

RIGHT: LaForge with Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant at the groundbreaking for the Grammy Museum in Cleveland. BELOW: Laird Hamberlin ’87, LaForge, Dave Heflin ’62, Dr. Henry Outlaw ’61, and Tommy Morlino at the Memphis Alumni Chapter Meeting.

ABOVE: Archie James ’76, LaForge, and Geoff Abraham ’70 at the Mississippi Picnic in the Park in Atlanta, Georgia. BELOW: LaForge, Jane Crump ’76, Angela Curry, and Bill Crump ’76 in Greenwood.

TOP LEFT: LaForge with incoming Delta State freshman Kordriques Gorman, and his parents Bonnie and Vince Gorman at the Memphis Alumni Chapter Meeting. TOP CENTER: LaForge with Pat Tigrette and Executive Director of the Alumni/Foundation Keith Fulcher in Memphis. LEFT: LaForge with Evelyn Echols ’63. RIGHT: LaForge with Jo Beth Janoush ’48.

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When speaking to a recent group of Delta State graduates, Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs said, “You will have a longer alumni experience than you will a student experience.” It’s something that the majority of the group hadn’t thought of. Although students leave Delta State with a lifetime of memories, the average student only stays at Delta State for four years. So, what’s next? How do you get the most out of your alumni experience? By participating in chapter meetings in your area. The Alumni Association currently has 30 active chapters. Although chapters range in size, they all provide a way for alumni and friends of Delta State to remain in touch with their alma mater. Over the years, there are a few chapters that have risen to the occasion and gone above and beyond that of a normal chapter meeting.

Greater Jackson Area The Jackson area boasts one of the biggest Delta State alumni bases in the state. What started as a small group of about eight at a planning meeting has grown to an annual meeting of about 4,000 alumni. One of the main focuses of this group is a silent auction that raises money for scholarships. “It’s a great way to see friends that you don’t get to see very often or stay in touch with, since we all get busy with life,” said Mandy Gardner ’99, former National Alumni Association Board Member. “It’s also a great way to stay connected to Delta State and keep up with what is going on back at campus.”

DeSoto County The DeSoto County Chapter has been in existence since 2005 when a group of alumni held an informal meeting to discuss starting their own chapter. “By word of mouth, we quickly found that there was a large group of alumni with a desire to hold our own meeting,” said Hank Ludwig ’99. “In eight years, we have grown from a group of approximately 15 initial people to over 125 at our event.” The DeSoto County Chapter started a tradition that has been adopted by many other chapters — an Alumni Scholarship. Funds are

raised through sponsorships and a silent auction that seems to grow every year. The group hopes that in the future, they will be able to offer a scholarship to a senior from each of DeSoto County’s nine high schools. “It brings people together that you don’t normally interact with over the course of the year,” said Ludwig. “People often say that DSU is like family. We embrace that by welcoming and encouraging alumni to bring the kids—a plus in an area with so many young families.”

South Central MS One of the oldest Alumni Chapters is the South Central MS Chapter, which includes Copiah, Lincoln, Lawrence, Amite, Pike, and Walthall counties. In 1972, Hugh Ellis Walker contacted several Delta State alumni about getting a chapter together. The original group consisted of Pat Hennington, Ruff Turner, Ralph Malatesta, Les Henning, Hansel King, George Lewis, and Bradley Smith. The annual meeting consistently has about 40-50 alumni in attendance. The group enjoys getting together with guests from Delta State and learning what’s happening on campus. Smith attributes the chapter’s success with planning. “Our chapter has always had a great nucleus of folks who love Delta State and who are willing to work to make our meetings successful. We have been able over the years to keep most of the planning committee together from year to year, so that continuity has helped,” said Smith ’71. “At the same time, we have added some ‘new blood’ of more recent DSU graduates. Delta State has also always been good to bring representatives from campus that we have requested and in whom we think our chapter would be interested in seeing and hearing.” The chapter also recently started a scholarship for DSU students in their area.

Bolivar County Held on campus every year is the annual Bolivar County Alumni Crawfish Boil, which always brings a large crowd. The group typically meets sometime around Spring Sports Weekend to serve as a kick-off for other campus events. Being located in the same town as Delta State

may give the Bolivar County Chapter a slight advantage, but it also puts pressure on the group to grow each year, which they have not had a problem doing. With a record attendance of over 800 people, the 2013 Bolivar County Chapter Meeting was by far the largest ever. Attendees enjoyed crawfish and jambalaya, perused the silent auction, and jammed out to local band Southern Halo and the DMI bands DeltaRoX and Ol’ Skool Revue. Thanks to Polk’s Meats, guests also sampled some delicious sausage. The event is also for a great cause. All proceeds raised go to the Bolivar County Alumni Scholarship, which was recently renamed the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship. Vaughn was the Assistant Alumni Director who lost her battle with cancer in April of 2012. She truly loved Delta State, and that love and her memory live on in the form of this scholarship which helps keep Bolivar County students at Delta State. This year, the silent auction raised over $2,700 and will help award scholarship dollars to some very deserving students. The Alumni Association recognizes the hard work of all of our alumni chapters. Alumni truly are the lifeblood of the university, and Delta State is so lucky to have active alumni who stay connected to their alma mater. Current chapters include: Attala-Holmes-Montgomery Counties, Bolivar County, Coahoma-Quitman Counties, DeSoto County, East Mississippi Area, Golden Triangle MS Area, Grenada County, Greater Jackson Area, Gulf Coast Area, Leflore County, North Central MS Area, Northeast Area, South Central MS Area, South Delta Area, Southeast MS Area, Southwest MS Area, Sunflower County, Tate/Panola Counties, Washington County, Yazoo County, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Dallas-Fort Worth, Florida, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, North Carolina, and Washington D.C.

If you’re interested in starting an alumni chapter in your area, or if you’d like to get involved with a chapter in your area, contact the Alumni Association at 662.846.4660.

Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 27


CLASS NOTES Against the Odds DSU Alumnus Pens Autobiography Dr. John L. Pendergrasss ’65 recently published his autobiography Against the Odds: The Adventures of a Man in His Sixties Competing in Six of the World’s Toughest Triathlons Across Six Continents. Against the Odds follows Pendergrass as he pushes his body to the limit and a feat that most only dream of. Pendergrass is an ophthalmologist who lives and practices in Hattiesburg, MS. He has currently finished more than 50 triathlons and continues to seek out new races and new challenges, big and small. Former Super Bowl Champion NFL Quarterback and fellow native Mississippian Brett Favre penned the forward for Pendergrass and said “Against the Odds is a remarkable story, a tale of courage and perseverance told with humor and honesty. There must be thousands of athletes who have finished an IRONMAN race faster than John Pendergrass, but there can’t be very many who have had as interesting a journey.”



Brett Marchant of Cleveland, has been named the Farm Bureau Insurance District Salesman of the Year for Northwest Mississippi for the second year in a row.


James Glorioso was promoted to senior vice president and credit administrator of Cleveland State Bank.


Nan Sanders received the 2013 Philanthropy Award from the Delta State University Department of Music.

Ray Gibson was recognized by the Delta State University Department of Music with the 2013 Philanthropy Award.


Gary Walker of Tampa, FL, has been listed in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top five percent of all lawyers in the country.


Tom Carson was named the 2013 Alumnus of the Year for the Delta State University Department of Music.


Jason Case was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by the Delta State South Central Mississippi Alumni Chapter. Jason is the principal at West Lincoln Attendance Center, where the school has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School, one of three schools in Mississippi and 269 schools nationally chosen for the honor.


Kevin Locastro is retiring as head football coach at Christian Brothers High School. Locastro will remain at CBHS as a teacher.

26 • Delta State Magazine • Summer 2013

John Cox was named President of the Mississippi Tennis Association Board of Directors.


Paul “Bubba” Mancini is the recipient of the 2013 Bolivar Medical Center Mercy Award. This honor places Mancini in nomination for LifePoint’s 2013 Mercy Award, the highest honor an employee can earn within LifePoint Hospitals, Inc., the parent company of Bolivar Medical Center.


Libby Story McRight was named Mississippi Business Journal’s Business Person of the Year.

Alicia Bariola, owner of Lux Alla Moda Boutique, was recognized in “Building Business in Washington County” by the Delta Democrat Times.

Andy Lee has been named President of Guaranty Bank and Trust’s Cleveland Branch. Burns Strider, founder of the Eleison Group, was listed as one of the 13 “players to watch for 2013” by Salena Zito, the national political reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


Brian Bishop, of the Cleveland Volunteer Fire Department, was named Officer of the Year by the Mississippi Firefighters Burn Association. Rebecca Lancaster, teacher at Sumner Hill Junior High, is the recipient of the 2012 Mississippi Art Education Association Outstanding Elementary Art Educator of the Year.


Tim Grommersch is an Insurance Agent with State Farm in Memphis, TN.


Jason Coslet, Vice President of CWS Grain Systems Inc. was featured in “Building Business in Washington County” by the Delta Democrat Times.


Kevin M. Scarborough of Chattanooga, TN, has joined BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee as a Security Operations Specialist. Jamie Wallace accepted a position with DevaCurl Concepts as Field Educator and Regional Guest Artist for the Southeast.


Baby Statesmen

Andrew “Elias” Abide, III to M/M Andrew Abide ’09 (Marion Weeks ’09), of Jackson, on January 4.

Arnold van Dyk recently opened up his own law firm. He is a member of the California State Bar and has an LL.M in taxation. He specializes in all areas of tax, including tax controversy, tax litigation and international tax. Check out his website at

Lila Katherine to M/M William Everitt ’09 (Pamela Mangrum ’09), of Brandon, on January 17.

John Walker, co-owner of Greenville Kawasaki, was recognized by the Delta Democrat Times in “Building Business in Washington County.”

Keegan Adams to M/M Jeffrey Farris ’04 (Stephanie Batchelor ’08), of Cleveland, on May 9.


Ellington Anne to M/M Dustin Goley ’07 (Jean Manning), of Biloxi, on March 18.

Sulee Blansett was voted Bell Academy’s Teacher of the Month for January.

Emma Alan to M/M Corey Loeffler ’08 (Meg York ’08), of Hernando, on May 15.

Russell Gainspoletti recently received his certificate as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). There are fewer than 20 CFPs in the state of Mississippi.


Mary Claire Kinnison has been promoted to Recruitment Manager in C Spire’s Human Resources Department.

Noah Turner and Jase Cooper to M/M Reeves Gaddy ’11 (Catherine Whitt ’11), of Clarksdale, on August 30, 2012.


Isabella Elaine to M/M Ryan Cooper McBride ’05 (Amanda Oleis ’10), of Mount Pleasant, SC, on May 9. Spencer Clark to M/M Andrew Strehlow (Fran Haaga ’00), of Brandon, on December 21, 2012. Rylee Lucian to M/M David Whitehead ’02 (Stacey Goff ’02), of Hernando, on February 5.

Marcie Behrens accepted the position of Community Development Director for Tuttle, OK.


Felicia Sorrels LPN, the CEO and owner of Helping Hands Care, LLC, was recognized in “Building Business in Washington County” by the Delta Democrat Times.


Ty Austin was recently promoted to Consumer Lending Officer at Guaranty Bank and Trust Company. Jeanna Wilkes accepted the position of Admission Recruiter at Delta State University.


Wedding Bells

Brittany Herndon (Attended) to Justin Quinn ’12, of Tuscaloosa, AL, on March 30.

Liz Davis was featured on NBC’s The Voice.

Faculty & Staff

George Hays received the 2013 Service Award from the Delta State University Department of Music in recognition of his decades-long relationship with the department as piano technician.

Alexandra Prisock ’13 to Christopher Johnson ’08, of Cleveland, on April 20. Megan Steinzor to J.T. Webb ’11, of Clarksdale, on June 30. Rebecca Seawright ’03 to Matthew Bishop, of Oxford, on June 4, 2011.


Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 27

IN MEMORIAM Belle M. Alexander ’69, of Cleveland, on April 11.

Sheppard W. Haaga III ’75, of Cleveland, on April 13.

Roberta J. Moorhead ’81, of Rosedale, on April 10.

William A. Barbee ’75, of Grenada, on January 22.

Jewel Henderson ’65, of Sheffield, AL, on May 12.

Curtis L. Pace ’73, of Lumberton, TX, on January 29.

Phillip L. Boggs ’63, of Dandridge, TN, on December 27, 2012.

Terry L. Herring ’75, of Memphis, TN, on January 4.

John F. Peden (Friend), of Schlater, on December 10, 2012.

Beatrice A. Bradley ’47, of Columbia, on February 1.

J. Paul Hollomon ’77, of Hattiesburg, on January 16.

Fred D. Riley ’56, of Bruce, on February 15.

Fred J. Bromund ’76, of Indianapolis, IN, on January 13.

Harold H. Jones ’53, of Coffeeville, on February 10.

Hoyt C. Butler, Jr. ’38, of Gastonia, NC, on November 25, 2012.

Limmie (Grogan) Kidd ’43, of Winter Park, FL, on December 8.

Ronald S. Sexton (Attended), of Greenville, on November 23, 2012.


Thomas Carson ’81, of Decatur, on May 6.

Capt. Viola Brown Sanders, USN Ret., 92, passed away at her home in Greenwood on April 28, 2013. A graduate of Greenwood High School, “Pinky,” as she was affectionately known by family and friends, attended Delta State Teachers College where she was head cheerleader and graduated with a degree in English. In her distinguished Naval career, Captain Sanders was recipient of the United Nations Korean and National Defense Service medals and Legion of Merit Award. She was also honored at Arlington with a chair in the theater at the National Women in Military Service Memorial and was named to Who’s Who of American Women.

Martha Scott (Scottie) Neal Kiihnl ’65, of Vicksburg, on June 10.

Sara Sarullo Sherman ’52, of Oxford, on February 3.

Kim Rodney Choate ’69, of Rolling Fork, on April 20.

Kathryn P. Kittleman ’50, of Greenville, on January 11.

Ida T. Slough (friend), of Lebanon, OH, on November 29, 2012.

Ruth D. Lerosen ’44, of Port Arthur, TX, on December 24, 2012.

Lillian T. Smith ’64, of Memphis, TN, on February 16.

Kenneth D. McClain ’61, of Jackson, on February 21.

Shirley Dianne (Berryhill) Smith ’99, of Belzoni, on January 19.


Rosalie Vetrano “Rosie” Bucy, age 103, died peacefully with her family around her at her Birmingham Ridge home in Saltillo on April 22, 2013. She was born on Dec. 27, 1909, to Italian immigrant parents, Joseph Antonio and Emilia Costanzi Vetrano. She was the oldest of seven children. She was raised in the Mississippi Delta, living in Lobdell and then Rosedale. She graduated from what was then Delta State Teachers College in 1932 and was the oldest living graduate at the time of her death. She was a member of the first freshman class to complete their degrees at Delta State. She married Jim Bucy and moved to the Bucy Garden Community in Saltillo in 1934.



Mrs. Frances Amelia Turpin Beckham, 100, of Cleveland, passed away on May 17, 2013, at Bolivar Medical Center. Mrs. Beckham was born in Shaw, MS, on February 17, 1913, to Milton Larkin Turpin and Draper Love Turpin. She married Clarence Leon “C.L.” Beckham on December 31, 1933, in Shaw, MS. She graduated Delta State Teachers College in 1934. She worked as a clerk for the United States Postal Services for 25 years. She was also the homemaker for her family and a devoted mother. She loved her family dearly and enjoyed taking care of them and encouraging them. She enjoyed playing bridge. She was also a member of the Covenant Presbyterian Church.

James A. Coleman, Jr. ’42, of Waco, TX, on January 24. Patricia A. Crawford (Friend), of Chillicothe, IL, on January 13. Jeff Curtis, Jr. (Attended), of Greenville, on February 16.

Billy M. McEachern ’52, of Greenwood, on February 2.

Margaret Eloise Morton Davis ’72, of Cleveland, on April 17.

Maxine P. Meriweather (Friend), of Columbus, on December 24, 2012.

William M. Durham ’50, of Cleveland, on April 25.

Dr. John Merrill ’49, of Cleveland, on September 20, 2012.

B.G. Garrison ’60, of Madison, on January 3.

Cassandra Bunch Moore ’38, of Saint Petersburg, FL, on November 25, 2012.

Mildred J. Gibson ’74, of Cleveland, on December 23, 2012.

Jane Riley (Friend), of Marietta, GA, on February 1.

Phoebe Monteith Strange (Friend), of Greenville, on November 12, 2012. Vivian S. Taylor ’29, of Grenada, on December 25, 2012. Robert M. Thompson ’57, of Tupelo, on April 8. Danny White ’70, of Tuscaloosa, AL, on April 12.

Rose Swann Mitchell ’59, of Pontotoc, on September 18.

*Due to space limitations, beginning with the Summer 2013 Delta State Magazine, listing priority in the “With the Classes” section of the Alumni & Foundation magazine will be given to dues paying members of the Delta State University Alumni Association. To submit a Class Note, Baby Statesmen, Wedding Bells, In Memoriam, or Miles Away photo, send it to or DSU P.O. Box 3104, Cleveland, MS 39042. The Association relies on numerous sources for “With the Classes” information and is unable to verify all notes with individual alumni.

28 • Delta State Magazine • Summer 2013

Summer 2013 • Delta State Magazine • 31

MILES AWAY Where has the road taken you? Share your travels with us. Let us see where you’re reading the Delta State Alumni & Foundation magazine. E-mail your photos to

7, 667 Miles Aw ay

Stephen Kamins ki (’02) in Kandahar, Afgha nistan

412 Miles Away

nta, GA

Jim Garverick (’64) in Atla

7, 242 Miles Away

Carolyn Harrison Kurts (’69) at the Great Wall of China in Beijing

30 • Delta State Magazine • Summer 2013

6,700 Miles Away

Carolyn Harrison Kurts (’69) at the Coliseum in Rome, Italy


$15 Million for Scholarships

“College is very expensive, and the financial help of a scholarship is making it possible for me to impact others who have hearing and speech challenges.” AUDRA WOODS Speech and Hearing Therapy Duck Hill, Mississippi


Scholarship Initiative

Scholarship support has never been more important to Delta State and the talented and deserving students who want to be a part of the Delta State family. Scholarships are the University’s top priority because they enable Delta State to remain accessible, affordable, and competitive.

For more information on establishing a scholarship for Delta State students, please contact us. Delta State University Foundation DSU Box 3141 | Cleveland, Mississippi 38733

662.846.4704 •


Dot Bright ’62 with her grandchildren at Bolivar County Alumni Night at Walter Sillers Coliseum.

Bradley Smith ’71, Neal Randall ’69, Coach Mike Kinnison ’77, and Les Bumgarner ’70 at the South Central MS Alumni Meeting in Brookhaven.

Jody Perkins ’00, chapter vice president, and Jamie Wallace ’04, chapter president, at the South Delta MS Alumni Chapter Meeting.

Alumni and Friends in the Memphis area cheer on the Statesmen and Lady Statesmen basketball teams as they take on Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN.

Coach Mike Kinnison ’77 with Natalie Ybarra’09, vice president; Luis Ybarra ’07, president; and Geralyn Russell ’03, secretary of the South Central MS Alumni Chapter.

Ryan Short, Rob Shipp ’00, Dameon Shaw ’97, Shea Skeen, Will Bradham ’01, Paul “Bubba” Mancini ’00, Michael Aguzzi ’97, and Gary Crews serve during the Bolivar County Alumni Meeting.

Dr. Kent Wyatt ’56, President Emeritus Delta State University; President William N. “Bill” LaForge ’72, and Dr. John Hilpert, President Emeritus Delta State University.

The Lady Statesmen Basketball team hosted a reunion for former and current players and coaches at a home game this season.

Kate Kinnison Van Namen ’09, Claire Howarth Wilson ’07, and Marya Paolillo ’11 at the Memphis Alumni Chapter Meeting.

REUNIONS Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity will celebrate 50 years on campus on March 1, 2014. Location and times are to be determined. Invitations will be mailed to Pi Kappa Alpha Alumni. For more information, contact Trey LaBella at 240.857.8785 or

Kappa Alpha Order will celebrate 50 years on campus. Date, location, and times are to be determined. For more information, contact Will Bradham at

The Biannual Statesmen Baseball Reunion will be held October 18 and 19.

The event will be held at Dave “Boo” Ferriss Field. For more information, visit or call the Statesmen Baseball office at 662.846.4291 or 662.846.4300.

The featured class at this year’s Homecoming is the Class of 1963.

The Class of ’63 will have a reunion and will be inducted into the prestigious Golden Circle. The Golden Circle will also have a reunion at Homecoming. More information will be mailed to class members. To ensure you receive information, contact the Alumni Association.

For additional information on any of these events, contact the Alumni Association at 662.846.4660 or

32 • Delta State Magazine • Summer 2013

Delta State can help you get ahead in today’s competitive job market. Contact Career Services to learn about employment opportunities, get career coaching, or polish your resume. • 662.846.4646

DSU Box 3104 1003 West Sunflower Road Cleveland, MS 38733 In an effort to reduce our environmental impact, only one magazine per household is mailed.

WHY NOT PURCHASE A DSU AFFINITY CAR TAG AND SUPPORT YOUR ALMA MATER? A portion of all proceeds directly benefits Delta State. For more information, scan the QR code, send an email to, or call 662.846.4660.

Delta State Alumni Magazine Summer 2013  

Delta State welcomes President William N. LaForge

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