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Homecoming 2012

Schedule of Events

Special Reunions Tri-Delta Sorority 50th Anniversary

Friday, October 26, 2012 11:30–2:00

Alumni Board of Directors Meeting • Alumni House


Social Prior to Alumni Awards and Gala Dinner • Walter Sillers Coliseum


Alumni Awards and Gala Dinner • Walter Sillers Coliseum (Outstanding Alumnus of the Year & Service Awards, Golden Circle, Class of 1962, Alumni & Friends)

Saturday, October 27, 2012 8:00–11:00

Homecoming Registration • H.L. Nowell Student Union


Athletic Alumni Meeting • Room 302, H.L. Nowell Student Union


Delta Music Institute Open House


Veterans Exhibit and Refreshments • Jobe Hall


Ceremony for Veterans Atrium • Jobe Hall


Organizations, Constituent Group Meetings, and Open Houses


Lunch Young-Mauldin DSU Dining Hall (special lunch)


Wright Art Gallery

Statesmen Park Homecoming Festivities Noon

Tailgating, Cheerleaders, and Band


Reunions, Open Houses, Tents • Statesmen Park (N. Field)


Kickoff • Delta State University vs. University of West Alabama Queen and Court Presentation at Half Time

Activities Patriotic Exhibit • Jobe Hall Atrium Student Government Association will ask all DSU Alums to stand and be recognized at halftime of the football game. Homecoming T–Shirts for sale in the H.L. Nowell Student Union Jimmy R. Williams Bookstore open 9:00–2:00 • H.L. Nowell Student Union (10% discount with presentation of alumni membership card) >> Tentative Schedule of Events for Homecoming 2012

Scan the code for a detailed homecoming schedule

Kappa Delta Sorority 50th Anniversary

Scan the code for more information about the DSU Athletic Department

Class of 1962 50-year Graduates; Golden Circle: Classes 1928–61

LETTER FROM the alumni association president

With the football season in full swing, the fall is always an exciting time of year for your Alumni Association! I hope you are making plans to be with us at Delta State for Homecoming weekend October 26–28. Homecoming is a time to see old friends and classmates and reminisce about the memorable experiences of our time as students on campus. If you haven’t been to a football game on campus lately, please join us in Statesman Park prior to kickoff for a fun time of tailgating. As you can see, this publication is full of information about Homecoming weekend. I especially hope you will take the time to read about our award recipients and Hall of Fame inductees, including our outstanding alumnus, Dr. William C. Bell, who will be recognized during our Homecoming festivities. They are a truly deserving group of honorees and will be officially recognized at a dinner on Friday evening of Homecoming. Friday night’s gala dinner is open to everyone; please contact the Alumni Association for ticket information. On behalf of the DSU Alumni Association, I want to congratulate all of our award recipients and hall of fame inductees—you have distinguished yourselves and this university, and we are proud of you! Of course, Homecoming weekend would not be complete for the Alumni Association without honoring our 50th-anniversary class. This year, the Class of 1962 will be inducted into the Golden Circle. This distinguished group of DSU graduates provides integral scholarship support on an annual basis. We applaud their support of Delta State and their long-time commitment to their alma mater. Preparing for an exciting Homecoming is just one of the many on-going activities of your Alumni Association. I hope you will continue to participate in the life of our organization and support your alma mater through our chapter meetings, alumni dues, scholarships, and affinity programs. Of vital interest to me is the referral of potential students to attend Delta State. This university is special to all of us, and I hope you will take the time to let prospective college students know what DSU means to you. More importantly, bring a prospective student to campus! Excellent things are happening at your alma mater, and Homecoming is a terrific opportunity to renew your relationship with Delta State. I hope you will join us.

All my best,

George Bassi ’87 National Alumni Association President

Studies show that good universities have strong alumni associations!

This publication is a service of the Delta State Alumni Association and is made possible by dues-paying members and donations to the annual fund. If you’d like to renew your alumni membership or contribute to the annual fund, please scan here or mail checks to DSU Box 3104, 1003 West Sunflower Road Cleveland, MS 38733. 4

Homecoming Preview President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. John Hilpert Executive Director, Alumni-Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Fulcher Administrative Assistant, Alumni-Foundation . . . . . . . . Sharon Krugler Director of Donor Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ann Giger Director of Alumni Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeffrey Farris Assistant Alumni Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jordan Thomas Senior Alumni Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cheryl Oleis Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Gary Bouse Campaign Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marilyn Johnson Director of Annual Giving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Missy Pearce Director of Advancement Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dameon Shaw Chief Financial Officer, Alumni-Foundation . . . . . . . . . Deborah Cox Bookkeeper, Alumni-Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miriam Hart


Board of Directors Delta State University Alumni Association: George Bassi, President; Richard Myers, President Elect; Serena Clark, Secretary/Treasurer; John Cox, Past President; Anne Weissinger, Foundation President; Lana Aguzzi, Rob Armour, Johnny Arnold, Patrick Davis, Amanda Fontaine, Sayward Fortner, Alanna Ferguson, Lylla Joe, Chrissy LaMastus, Teresa Haynes, George Miller, David Parker, Jeremy Pittman, Ron Selby, Chris Shivers, Michael Oleis, Karen Swain, Walter Trevathan, Lynn Weaver

Board of Directors Delta State University Foundation, Inc: Anne Weissinger, President; Tim Harvey, Vice President; Jeff Tarver, Secretary/Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair; Judson Thigpen, Development Committee Chair; Tom Janoush, Trusteeship Committee Chair; Ned Mitchell, Campaign Committee Chair; Mike Neyman, Past President; Louis Baioni, Hunter Cade, George Bassi, Bryce Griffis, Laird Hamberlin, Ed Kossman, Jr., Rex Lyon, Billy Nowell, Alan Walters, Dr. David Webber, Dr. Bennie Wright, David Abney, Kay Dockery Clark, Dr. Anna Looney Dill, Earnest Hart, Gloria B. Johnson, Carol Puckett, Nan Sanders, Homer Sledge, Margaret Walker, Anita Bologna, Jeff Ross Capwell, Hank Drake, Peter Jernberg, Randy Randall, Sam Waggoner, Lynn Varner, Ike Brunetti, and Bill Alford The Alumni & Foundation Homecoming Preview is published by the Delta State University Alumni & Foundation. DSU Box 3104, 1003 West Sunflower Road Cleveland, MS 38733 Email: Phone: 662.846.4660

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National foster child advocate named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year BY LYNNE JETER

In 2006, more than a half-million children were in foster care in the United States. In six years, the number has dropped to 390,000. By 2020, the Building Communities of Hope for America’s Children strategy is to have fewer than 250,000 children in foster care. At the heart of the national movement is William C. Bell, Ph.D., CEO of Casey Family Programs and the 2012 Delta State Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. “We’re well on our way to our goal,” said Bell (Class of ’82). “For us, the objective isn’t just to get the overall number lower; it’s also to build stronger communities so children don’t have to go into foster care.” Bell is a stellar example of turning adversity into opportunity, a talent he learned by example at Delta State. The ninth of 12 children born to farm laborers in Bolivar County between Pace and Beulah, Bell excelled as a middle and high school linebacker in Rosedale during the early days of school integration. With an academic scholarship in hand to Delta State, he had an opportunity to walk on as a football player but decided to focus solely on academics in the university’s pre-medicine program. “I also had another academic scholarship to a major Mississippi university, but choosing Delta State was easy,” he said. “My older sister, Carrie, had graduated from there. For me, I was always chasing my smart sister.” When Bell didn’t get into the University of Mississippi School of Medicine after earning a degree in biology and behavioral science, he was understandably heartbroken. “It was a painful rejection,” admitted Bell. “I look back at how my life might’ve been different had I gone to medical school. Since I got that ‘no,’ it was absolutely necessary for me to make the contributions I’ve made.” At a crossroads, Bell moved to New York, married, and began his career as a caseworker with the foster care child abuse prevention program. He became associate executive director for Miracle Makers,



ALumnus of the year

Dr. William C. Bell, Governor Gregoire of Washington State, and the Dalai Lama at the Seeds of Compassion event hosted by the Casey Family Programs in Seattle in 2008

a private-sector, minority-owned, not-forprofit child and family services organization in New York City (NYC), and then deputy commissioner of field services and contract agency case management for the NYC Human Resources Administration. In 1996, he was named deputy commissioner of the NYC Administration for Children’s Services’ (ACS) Division of Children Protection. In 2001, he was elevated to commissioner of the NYC ACS, where he managed child welfare services— child protection, foster care, child abuse prevention, day care, and Head Start—with a staff of more than 7,000 and a $2.4 billion annual budget. Before leaving NYC, Bell earned a graduate-level degree in social work and social welfare at Hunter College. In 2010, Bell received his doctoral degree in social welfare, also from Hunter College. Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system, recruited Bell to its headquarters in Seattle in July 2004 as an executive vice president. United Parcel Service (UPS) founder Jim Casey had established Casey Family Programs in 1966. The mission: to foster families and change. Bell became president and CEO in November 2005. In its 46-year history, the

foundation has invested nearly $2 billion in programs and services to benefit children and families in the child welfare system, and plans to invest another $1 billion to fulfill its 2020 goal: Building Communities of Hope strategy. “Seeing difficult cases over a nearly three-decade stretch has propelled me to try to change a system that doesn’t always see the greatest adult outcomes for children who grow up in it,” said Bell. “We don’t do a good job as a government raising children, and we need to get them back in communities. We need to surround children with family—either their mother’s or father’s families or adoptive families. They’ll have less trauma in their lives and a stronger possibility of being successful.” Bell also serves as a trustee for America’s Promise Alliance, chair of the Association of Black Foundation Executives, and board member of Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, and the local United Way agency. He has served as a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Youth at Risk, Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, and executive committee of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators. He also has served as a board director for the Council on Social Work Education and Marguerite Casey Foundation, and as co-chair of the board of directors of the


Community College and was a Pace Head Start teacher until she retired. His dad, Ollie, died when Bell was a college student. His mother died in 2005. “One of the greatest life challenges has been watching my older siblings pass away,” said Bell, noting that in the last three years, three siblings have died and another is in hospice care. The sister he “chased academically” was enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Delta State when she died last August after suffering two strokes. “That was a tough one.” Even though she had received a full scholarship to Meharry Medical School, his sister had remained in the Delta, working 28 years in the public school system, including Cleveland High School. “Understanding the cycle of life and the impact of those before me has shaped my focus on life, and how we’re interconnected,” said Bell. “I don’t think we would be having this conversation if it hadn’t been for the contributions made in my life by my siblings, mom, dad, and stepdad,” said Bell. “They’ve set examples about the value of hard work, the meaning of integrity and honesty, and helping other people.” Bell has two adult children from his first marriage—Shireen, 28, mother of Ajani, 4, and Jayven, 2, who lives in North Carolina; and Rashida, 26, an aspiring law student. With his wife, Dorian, he has two children—Kaylia, who turns 6 in February; and Morgan, 3. “Delta State has been very significant in terms of an educational opportunity for my family,” he said. “My youngest sibling, Murray, is a graduate. Carrie graduated. My sister, Mae, took classes, as did my mom. It’s been an incredible life-giving opportunity for us, and as our family numbers get smaller, we get closer to each other. I’m grateful for the opportunity Delta State has given me as I try to not only nurture and support all vulnerable children and families in this country, but also my own family.”

“Understanding the cycle of life and the impact of those before me has shaped my focus on life, and how we’re interconnected.”

Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. Dr. Bell has recently received two highly prized accolades: Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps’ 2012 Embracing the Legacy Award; and New York City’s CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Award in 2010. His other honors include the Vincent de Francis Award from the American Humane Association and Lifetime of Service Award from City Year Seattle/King County in 2009; the 2007 International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award from the National Association of Social Workers Foundation; the 2005 Valeria Bullard Black Administrator of the Year Award from the Black Administrators in Child Welfare; and the 2004 Betsey R. Rosenbaum Award for Excellence in Public Child Welfare Administration from the National Association for Public Child Welfare Administrators. Bell’s strong family support system laid the groundwork for his success. “My mother had 12 children, and we were all very close,” he said. “The first cohort of mom’s children didn’t have an opportunity to go to school because they had to work on the (Tullos) farm to make money to keep the family fed and clothed. The second cohort had an opportunity to go to school, but also had to work seasonally, and often had to leave school to work. But the third cohort of kids, which included my older sister, my three siblings from my step-father James Williams, and myself, all had the opportunity to focus solely on our education.” When the youngest children became school age, Bell’s mother, with a fifth-grade education, left the fields to work in a school cafeteria. She eventually received a GED, earned an associate’s degree from Coahoma

To view more photos of Dr. William Bell, visit the DSU Alumni Facebook page, Statesmen Graduates.


award Recipients Alumnus of the year

William Bell 1982

Edward E. Milam, Ph.D., CPA 1965

A native of Bolivar County, Dr. William C. Bell is a 1982 graduate of Delta State University with a degree in biology and behavioral science. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Casey Family Programs. Bell has over 30 years of experience in the human services field. Bell received his Ph.D. in Social Welfare and his masters of social work degree at Hunter College. He is a trustee for America’s Promise Alliance, chair of the board of directors of the Association of Black Foundation Executives, a member of the board of Grantmakers for Children, Youth & Families and United Way of King County.

Edd Milam, a native of Hernando, MS, graduated from Delta State in 1965. Edd received both his masters and doctorate in accounting from LSU. After a 38-year career in higher education, Edd is now retired. He has served three terms on the Board of Directors of the DSU Foundation. Edd has authored or co-authored numerous books, journal articles, proceedings, and presentations. Edd and his wife, Kay Nevels Milam, of Brookhaven, MS, have one daughter, Meg Milam Arnold, and one grandson, Milam Robert Arnold, and a second grandchild due in early November. The Milams reside in Starkville, MS.

Stan Topol 1965 Stan Topol received his undergraduate degree from Delta State and a Master of Arts from the University of Alabama. He founded the award-winning design firm of Stan Topol & Associates in the early 1970s. Topol’s distinctive style and signature work have been chronicled in countless publications including Atlanta Magazine, Southern Home Magazine, Interior Design, Interiors of the World, Elle Decor, Veranda, and Architectural Digest. His awards include “Southeast Designer of the Year” on two separate occasions and Town & Country’s “Top 25 Designers of the United States Award.” In 1997, Mr. Topol was inducted into the Designers Hall of Fame.

Hall of fame award For more detailed information on the 2012 DSU Alumni Association awards recipients visit



Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award

Nan Sanders 1967 A native of Cleveland, Nan earned her B.A. and B.S.E. in English from Delta State University in 1967. She is currently serving her third term on the Delta State University Foundation Board. The Sanders Family built The Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden on the front lawn of the Bologna Performing Arts Center, dedicated to the memory of her late friend, Pam Mathews, who founded the garden in 1999. In 2009, Nan won the Delta State “Year of the Arts” Community Service Award, and in 2010, she was awarded the Bologna Performing Arts Center’s President’s Award. Nan has been married to Mike for 43 years. They have three children and six grandchildren.  

Kent Wyatt Young Alumnus Service Award

PAUL “BUBBA” MANCINI JR. 2000 A native of Indianola and an Indianola Academy graduate of 1996, Paul earned a Biology degree from Delta State University in 2000. Mancini graduated in the Nuclear Medicine Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He currently works at Bolivar Medical Center in Cleveland. Mancini has volunteered many years with the Alumni Association and recently served as President of the Bolivar County Alumni Chapter. He is a member of the DSU Community Pride Task Force with the ClevelandBolivar County Chamber of Commerce. Mancini and his wife Lesley (2000), both Life Alumni Members, currently reside in Cleveland and have two children, Marleigh and Sela.

Gladys Castle Friend of Delta State Service Award

Homer Sledge III Homer Sledge III is a native of Cleveland and the Vice President of Nehi Bottling Company. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in business. He is a member of the Delta State Alumni Association and a board member of the DSU Foundation Board of Directors. Sledge is the recipient of the DSU Athletics Lawrence Stewart Award. He is an active member of the Cleveland Rotary Club, having served as Sergeant at Arms, Director, and President, and he is a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow, the highest award given to an individual in Rotary. He and his wife, Susan Brown Sledge, have two children—Maggie Helene and Homer Sledge, IV.


Legacy Award

Gene Ayers Gene Ayers is a native of Grenada, MS, and a graduate of Delta State University with a bachelor’s of music education and a master’s of music education. He began working in the Music Department at Delta State in 1974. He is best known for forming and directing Renaissance, a musical group that is known for performances throughout the Mid-South, Europe, Mexico, and several Caribbean Islands. He was the director of Renaissance for 34 years. Ayers has one daughter, Madelyn Elizabeth Marley, and two grandsons— Leyton, 3, and Hunter, 1. He retired in 2008 and now resides in Biloxi, MS.

Golden Circle Honoring Delta State Graduates Celebrating 50 Years or More BY Jordan Thomas

Celebrating any anniversary is special, but celebrating 50 years is a feat that deserves special recognition. Also known as the “golden anniversary,” it marks half a century dedicated to something special and is typically commemorated with a gift of gold. For the class of 1962, it means 50 years since the day they graduated, and as their gift, they will be welcomed into the university’s prestigious Golden Circle. The Golden Circle was established to honor graduates who are celebrating 50 or more years since their graduation. This year’s festivities will be kicked off with the Class of 1962 Social and Reunion in the Leroy Morganti Atrium of Kent Wyatt Hall from 5 to 6:30 p.m. There will also be a social prior to the Gala Dinner at Walter Sillers Coliseum from 6 to 7 p.m. The Gala Dinner will immediately follow the social. “I think it’s neat that Delta State’s alumni association has chosen to recognize alumni who graduated 50 years or more ago,” said Dr. Johnny Arnold, president of the Golden Circle. “By bringing individuals into the Golden Circle, they get the opportunity to come out annually and also to welcome new inductees.” Dr. Henry Outlaw, retired Chair of the Department of Physical Sciences and professor of chemistry at Delta State, is a member of the 1961 class and was inducted into the Golden Circle last year.


“The Golden Circle is not only a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of graduating from Delta State but, as important, it is a time to remember the ole school we love best, tell stories, and reconnect with friends that we have not seen in many years,” said Outlaw. Delta State President, Dr. John Hilpert, is a supporter of the Golden Circle and encourages alumni to get involved in alumni activities. “The Golden Circle is a special constituent of the Alumni Association because it honors our alumni who are celebrating 50 or more years since their graduation from Delta State University,” said Hilpert. “We are proud to honor this special group of alumni, and we encourage our alumni to participate not only in the Golden Circle program but also in our many other alumni programs.” The Golden Circle has been vital in developing and providing funding for the Veterans Atrium in Jobe Hall. The Atrium was established to honor alumni, faculty, staff, or family members of Delta State University who served in the military. The Veterans Atrium consists of a beautiful fountain and a memorial. The memorial includes a bronze tree honoring veterans who meet the requirements to have their names included. There is also a bookcase which includes service records for the


Photo by Mothlite Media

The Alumni Brick Plaza is comprised of bricks in honor or in memory of Delta State alumni, supporters, and friends.

honored veterans. Dr. James Robinson, DSU history professor and class of 1968 graduate, was instrumental in organizing the Veterans Atrium. Robinson noted the importance in identifying veterans to honor in the Atrium. “I just wish people would help with the names of our veterans and also with additional information about their service,” said Robinson. “The atrium gets more

beautiful each year with additional work and purchases. The program at homecoming is the most inspirational part of the weekend. Watching our veterans stand as their service songs are played is alone worth attending. Listening to Taps played from the atrium is unforgettable.” To find out how you can donate to the Veterans Atrium, call 662-846-4660 or visit


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Homecoming 2012 Preview  
Homecoming 2012 Preview  

The Delta State Alumni Association 2012 Homecoming Preview is now available.