The Delta Center’s NEH “Most Southern” workshop funded for tenth year

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NEH Most Southern Place on Earth scholars gather at Po’ Monkey’s Lounge, internationally renowned rural juke joint in Merigold, MS

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $43.1 million in awards for 218 humanities projects across the country. The grants include the first awards made under NEH’s new Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant program, which will support infrastructure projects at 29 U.S. cultural institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Most Southern scholars at the Flood of 1927 levee break site outside of Scott, MS

This round of funding, NEH’s third and last for fiscal year 2018, will support vital research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. These peer-reviewed grants were awarded in addition to $47 million in annual operating support provided to the national network of state and local humanities councils during fiscal year 2018.

“From nationally broadcast documentaries to summer workshops for high school teachers, the projects receiving funding today strengthen and sustain the cultural life of our nation and its citizens,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede.

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University is among 15 institutions that received Landmarks of American History and Culture grants. These grants support one-week workshops for a national audience of K-12 educators that enhance and strengthen humanities teaching at the K-12 level.

This is the tenth year that The Delta Center’s “Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, History, and Culture of the Mississippi Delta” workshop has been funded by NEH.

“We are honored that NEH has funded Most Southern again, making summer 2019 the program’s tenth anniversary,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center and co-director of the workshop. “Our region is making considerable strides in cultural heritage development through Delta State and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. We look forward to immersing our participants in this dynamic place by engaging them with scholars, performers, and residents who are telling Delta stories through Blues, civil rights, food, and expressions of faith.”

Most Southern scholars with Mississippi Delta Chinese Cathy Wong at Chinese Cemetery in Greenville, MS

Over the past decade, the NEH Most Southern workshops have developed a dedicated network of over 600 alumni scholars who serve as educational and cultural ambassadors for Delta State University and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA). The workshops use an experiential learning approach, engaging participants directly with historically and culturally significant people and places in the MDNHA.

Workshop participants take what they have learned back to their schools and communities, sharing stories and lessons from the MDNHA with students, colleagues, family and friends, nationally and globally. Many past participants have made return visits to the region, bringing students, colleagues, family and friends with them.

“This year, we had participants from Hawaii, Illinois, and New York, as well as several scholars from right here in Mississippi,” said Lee Aylward, program associate for education and community outreach at The Delta Center and workshop co-director. “Our alumni are actively engaged with and have enduring respect for The Delta Center, Delta State and the Delta region because of this workshop. Several of them have presented at our International Conference on the Blues and have completed the International Blues Scholars Program, our online Blues Studies certificate.”

Earlier this year, the National Humanities Alliance recognized Most Southern as a high impact NEH program in several key measurement areas, including Enriching K-12 Education; Providing Lifelong Learning Opportunities for Diverse Audiences; Facilitating Community Dialogue; Fostering Local Tourism Economies; and Promoting Civic Education.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the NEH Most Southern Place on Earth workshop and the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit

The MDNHA is a partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. The MDNHA was designated by U.S. Congress in 2009 and is governed by a board of directors representing agencies and organizations defined in the Congressional legislation. More information about the MDNHA, including the complete approved management plan, is available at

Pig Pickin’ Sponsorship Opportunity

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The Delta State University National Alumni Association is gearing up for the 33rd annual Delta State University Pig Pickin’ scheduled for Sept. 21 & 22 at Statesmen Park.

Each year, Pig Pickin’ continues to grow in attendance, and supporters are invited to become an official sponsor of this signature university event.

“The National Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 33rd annual Delta State University Pig Pickin’,” said Amanda Robinson, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. “The growth of Pig Pickin’ over the past 30 plus years is a testament to the support of the local businesses of Cleveland, Boyle, Bolivar County and the greater Mississippi Delta region. Pig Pickin’s deep rooted tradition was established through the vision of former Executive Director Mr. Hugh Ellis Walker many years ago.

Sponsorship opportunities range from $300-$2,500+, and donations help support the event. The deadline to become a sponsor is Sept. 7.

This year, the Alumni Association is offering a business the opportunity to sponsor the Pig Pickin’ entertainment for $5,000, which includes Friday night’s headlining band Stretta from Nashville, Saturday afternoon’s DMI bands and DJ at the park. Businesses interested in the opportunity are urged to contact the Alumni Office at 662-846-4660 or

The success of Pig Pickin’ 2018 is largely dependent on the financial and in-kind support of the community, Delta region, state and national business partners. Businesses can benefit by:
• Business exposure to over 10,000 attendees at Statesmen Park
• Business exposure to over 30,000 alumni and friends of Delta State University (local, state, national, international)
• Over 15,000 email addresses (all email blasts for the event)
• Social media outlets (sponsored Facebook posts/Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram)
• Association with the premier cultural event in the Mississippi Delta
• Tax benefits of supporting a 501©3 organization
• Website exposure (

The 33rd Annual Pig Pickin’ official Facebook event page can be found at

To become a sponsor, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660 or visit the official Delta State University Pig Pickin’ website at

To view photos from the 2017 Pig Pickin’ visit

To stay up-to-date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 21–22) and Homecoming (Nov. 9-10).

Statement from NCAA Leaders on College Basketball Reforms

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Following action by the NCAA Board of Governors this past Friday night, the Division I Board of Directors has just voted to implement significant changes to address the recommendations of the Commission on College Basketball. Please see the joint statement below and learn more at

This week, we delivered on a promise made just months ago to make profound and meaningful changes to college basketball. Ultimately, these decisions will support the success of student-athletes both on and off the court.

The NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors adopted a series of significant policy and legislative changes, setting in motion actions to change the structure of the NCAA fundamentally. These changes will promote integrity in the game, strengthen accountability and prioritize the interests of student-athletes over every other factor.

We remain committed to promoting fairness in college sports and creating an environment that will champion the success of student-athletes.

To that end, the changes we approved will:

• Provide college basketball players more freedom and flexibility to decide their future.

• Minimize the leverage of outside influences on high school recruits and college athletes.

• Add fresh perspective and independent judgment to NCAA decision-making at the highest level of policymaking and in investigations and case resolution.

• Strengthen accountability and deter future rule-breaking with harsher penalties for those who break the rules.

The NCAA and its member schools are part of the broader higher education community, and today’s actions renew our commitment to our core purpose — preparing students for a lifetime of opportunity.

Change doesn’t end here. We will continue to work in all of these areas and continue to pursue collaboration with outside organizations, including the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, apparel companies and USA Basketball. If they are unwilling or unable to act, we will consider additional changes that will support the success of student-athletes. It’s on us to restore the integrity of college basketball and continue to improve the interests of all student-athletes. They deserve nothing less.

Mark Emmert, NCAA President; 

G.P. “Bud” Peterson, NCAA Board of Governors chair and Georgia Tech president; 

Eric Kaler, Division I Board of Directors chair and University of Minnesota, Twin Cities president

Fireside Chat – August 13, 2018 – Statesmen Football Preview

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President LaForge is joined by Todd Cooley, Head Coach of the Statesmen football team.

Delta State’s football program distinguishes itself as one of the premier programs in Division II, with a national championship in 2000, a runner-up finish in 2010, seven Gulf South Conference titles, and nine playoff appearances.

Coach Cooley, the 19th coach of the Statesmen football team, has been instrumental in Delta State’s success since taking the job in 2013. Some of the highlights during his tenure include a stellar 9-2 record for the 2014 season ending with a Gulf South Conference Championship, two playoff appearances in 2014 and 2017, and numerous All-American selections including from last season’s squad, running back Chris Robinson and offensive lineman George Roberts.

Be sure to come out and support the Statesmen during their first home game against Grand Valley State University on Saturday, September 8 beginning at 6 p.m. at Parker Field-McCool Stadium.

In other news on campus, Fall Convocation will take place on Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center, during which time I will deliver my annual State of the University address. Classes for the fall semester begin on Monday, and it’s not too late to register. If you are interested in enrolling at Delta State, contact our Admissions office at 662-846-4020.

To keep up with all of our news, events and activities, please visit our website at

Delta State Alumni Meet in Greenwood

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Pictured are the Leflore Alumni Event planning committee members (left to right): Amanda Robinson ‘10, Rebecca Arant ’09, Danielle Morgan ’01, Forrest Hodge ’12, Sarah Pinkston ’11, Miller Arant ’03, and Jeffrey Farris ’04.

The Delta State University Alumni Association will host the Greenwood/Leflore County chapter meeting at The Alluvian Hotel on Tuesday, August 7th. Registration and a social will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m. The Alluvian Hotel will provide catering for the event.

“The Alumni and Foundation Office is excited to bring guests from campus to Greenwood,” said Amanda Robinson, assistant director of alumni affairs. “We look forward to visiting with our alumni, friends of the university and future Delta State students.”

Featured guests will include: Rick Munroe, vice president for external relations and advancement; Matt Jones, senior associate athletic director of communications and marketing; Rebekah Arant, admissions recruiter; and the Delta State Alumni-Foundation staff.

The cost for the meeting is $15 per person and $25 for a couple. Prospective students are invited to attend as guests of the Alumni Association. To RSVP, contact the association at 662-846-4660 or visit

Supporters are asked to consider contributing to the Greenwood/Leflore County Alumni Scholarship Fund and the Delta State University Marketing Dollars Campaign. Donations can be made on the event page.

“This event always promises to be a great time and focused on raising scholarship dollars for students who attend Delta State,” said Miller Arant, president of the chapter. “Greenwood and Leflore County DSU alumni are proud of our university and take great pride in promoting current and future endeavors. In addition to the sendoff of our newest Statesmen, we are extremely excited about the opportunity to award scholarships.”

To view photos from the 2017 Leflore County meeting visit

To stay up-to-date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 21–22) and Homecoming (Nov. 9-10).