Fireside Chat – July 16, 2018 – Music Department Studies Abroad in South Korea

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Joining President LaForge are Amanda Lutz and Catheryne Booth, two music majors who participated in the study abroad trip to South Korea.

Earlier this summer, Dr. Christy Riddle and Ms. Michelle Johansen joined President LaForge in a Fireside Chat segment to discuss Delta State’s international programs, including Study Abroad, the newest division of the DSU Student Success Center that provides students and faculty with opportunities to participate in academic and cultural programs around the world.

At the beginning of the summer, faculty and students from the music department traveled to South Korea for a week, which included attending classes, performances by faculty and students, as well as some sight-seeing.

At Delta State, we believe that opportunities, like the study abroad program, produce well-rounded graduates, and we encourage students to pursue these types of opportunities. By studying abroad, students have the chance to see a side of their major that they may not have been exposed to at home. Also, studying abroad is a great way to really experience and understand the host country and its people, its traditions, and its culture.

In other news on campus, the Lady Statesmen Individual Skills basketball camp is this Saturday, July 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Instruction will be given by the DSU coaching staff, as well as former and current DSU Lady Statesmen. To register, visit

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

Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Grants Announced

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The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA) has awarded over $200,000 in grants for fourteen projects focused on cultural and heritage development in communities across the Mississippi Delta.

The funded work focuses on the MDNHA’s five themes: The River and the Land, Culture of the Delta Blues, Moving Toward Freedom, Wellspring of Creativity, and Diverse Communities. The grants support learning opportunities for students, museums, documentary films, and the historic preservation of Delta landmarks.

“With this year’s round of funding, MDNHA has now provided almost $550,000 for a wide range of community projects that promote and preserve the cultural heritage of the Mississippi Delta,” said Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Chair of the MDNHA Board of Directors. “We had a record number of applications this year from over 30 organizations, and the Board is grateful for their participation and commitment.”

“We were fortunate this year in that the proposals addressed most components of MDNHA’s mission, goals and central themes, allowing us to fund a more diverse range of projects,” said Meg Cooper, Chair of the MDNHA Grants Committee. “We were able to make some grants in communities not previously served, and for some really unique projects.”

“MDNHA is working to build and expand a network of community resources and organizations that work together to promote the cultural heritage of the Mississippi Delta,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, MDNHA executive director and director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, which serves as the management entity for MDNHA. “With this third year of funding through our partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service, this network is a critical part of our mission of preserving, perpetuating and celebrating the heritage of the Mississippi Delta.”

Grant recipients and their funded projects include:

• Charleston Arts and Revitalization Effort (C.A.R.E.), Charleston, MS – $4,300 for a summer arts camp that will engage local youth in studying their community and the land around it through art, photography and written work, resulting in a book and exhibit produced by the students.
• Tutwiler Community Education Center, Tutwiler, MS – $13,825 to preserve the history and increase the capacity of the Tutwiler Quilters by designing a new website with online purchase capability and increasing the use of technology for marketing and promotion of the Quilters.
• Lower Mississippi River Foundation, Clarksdale, MS – $10,000 to provide educational programs and recreational opportunities to connect the Delta’s youth to the Mississippi River, including paddling trips and river conservation activities.
• Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, MS – $5,000 to create a video chronicling the 40-year history of the Museum, for use in welcoming visitors to the Museum, promoting its 40th anniversary in the summer of 2019 and marketing the Museum nationally and internationally.
• Griot Arts, Inc., Clarksdale, MS – $23,575 to create and equip a music studio for local students to record, preserve and broadcast their musical creations and share their work with people around the world through podcasts.
• From the Heart Productions, Kilmichael, MS – $22,680 to produce a documentary film on Fannie Lou Hamer, with an associated K-12 civil rights curriculum based on Ms. Hamer’s life and work, and to train Ruleville area students as production teams to record oral histories.
• Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood, MS – $24,500 to develop an exhibit that uses the Museum’s archaeological and other artifacts to tell the story of the Delta’s formation, its first Native American inhabitants and the early explorations by Europeans.
• Cleveland Music Foundation, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, Cleveland, MS – $22,550 for two summer music camps for students that promote the musical heritage of the Delta and encourage them to create original works that tell the Delta’s story.
• Delta State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Cleveland, MS – $24,500 to collect and preserve flora and fauna representative of the Delta’s bottomland hardwood forests for display in DSU’s Natural History Museum and for use in educational workshops and activities.
• Delta State University, Department of Music / Division of Languages & Literature, Cleveland, MS – $12,500 to support scholars and performers participating in workshops, clinics and other presentations at the Fifth Annual International Conference on the Blues.
• Mississippi Heritage Trust, Jackson, MS – $6,250 to conduct a Preservation Toolkit Workshop in Vicksburg, MS that will train up to 20 people in real estate development, tax credits and other strategies and tools used in the development and preservation of historic properties.
• Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, Vicksburg, MS – $4,174.50 to interpret the history and cultural significance of the Fort St. Pierre site in the Redwood community as it prepares to celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding.
• Mississippi Heritage Trust, Jackson, MS – $24,500 to support preservation of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church building in Estill, Washington County, MS, by installing a metal roof, securely storing church pews and furnishings, and engaging the congregation and other residents in developing a long-term plan for use of the building
• Greenville Renaissance Scholars, Greenville, MS – $5,742.27 to produce a documentation on Delta Blues and Civil Rights: The Story of Greenville that will be researched, recorded and showcased by middle school students through after-school activities.

The total of $204,096.77 in grants will be matched by an additional $319,103.84 provided by the applicants and their communities for a total cost of $523,200.61 for all funded projects. The MDNHA Grants Program provides funding of up to $24,500 for local projects, which must be matched on at least a 1:1 basis by in-kind or cash resources. For more information on the Grants Program and funded projects, visit

The MDNHA includes 18 counties that contain land located in the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi Delta: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo. 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

The mission of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning 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 International Delta Blues Project and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshops. For more information, visit

2018 DMI Summer Campers to Present Showcase

By | Delta Music Institute | No Comments

CLEVELAND — Students attending the twelfth annual DMI Summer Camp, hosted by the DMI Entertainment Industry Studies program at Delta State University, will present a musical showcase on Saturday, July 14 at 6:00 pm in Jobe Hall on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. The showcase will include cover songs by the camp band along with original songs written by the camp’s songwriting students.

Sixteen high school students representing Georgia, Virginia, and multiple counties in the state of Mississippi, are participating in the 2018 DMI Summer Camp. The intensive six-day residential camp experience explores four entertainment industry tracks, including performance, audio engineering, digital media, and songwriting, culminating in a recording session at the DMI studios and the final showcase performance.

Instructors for the DMI Summer Camp are made up of DMI faculty members, entertainment industry majors and recent graduates from the DMI program.

“The DMI Summer Camp offers a great opportunity for young aspiring musicians, engineers, and songwriters to develop and showcase their talents by empowering them to each find their own ‘voice.’ I can report that there is no shortage of talent in Mississippi,” says Tricia Walker, Director of the DMI.

The 6:00 pm concert on Saturday evening is free and open to the public. Supporters of these talented young musicians are encouraged to attend and enjoy the show.

The DMI is an independent center under the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State University. The mission of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative, and business areas of the entertainment industries. The DMI offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Industry Studies. For further information, call the DMI office at (662) 846-4579 or visit

Alumni gather in D.C. and Atlanta

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The 28th annual Mississippi on the Mall and 9th annual Mississippi in the Park recently allowed Delta State alumni and fellow Mississippians to celebrate their home state by visiting with alumni staff and vendors.

On June 16, Mississippi Society of Washington, D.C. hosted the annual Mississippi on the Mall event at the Henry Bacon Ball Field beside the Lincoln Memorial. This year’s event included Simmons’ Mississippi Farm-Raised Catfish, fellowship and live music featuring the Brian Farley Band. Delta State University President, William N. LaForge; Assistant Alumni Director, Amanda Robinson; and National Alumni Association President, Sayward Fortner ’04, represented Delta State. The university has 25 alumni living in Washington, D.C., but also invited guests from the greater area.

“Mississippi on the Mall presented a wonderful opportunity to connect with alumni and friends in Washington, D.C.,” said Robinson. “It’s important our institution is represented alongside the other institutions of higher learning in the state of Mississippi.”

See more photos from the event at

The Mississippi Society of Georgia hosted the Mississippi in the Park event in Atlanta on June 22-23. Mississippians occupied a special section of the crowd at the Atlanta Braves baseball game at SunTrust Park. Guests also gathered at Chastain Park in Buckhead to enjoy Penn’s catfish and chicken, live music featuring The Shufflejunkies, and fellowship with Mississippi universities alumni associations.

Additionally, the society presented a $1,000 scholarship for a Class of 2018 Georgia high school senior to attend a four-year Mississippi institution in the fall of 2018.

“The Mississippi Society of Georgia volunteers are a joy to work with,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of alumni affairs. “Special thank you to alums BJ Abraham ‘64, Toni Jernigan ‘66 and Bob White ‘73, who volunteer on the planning committee.”

Farris and Robinson represented the university at the event.

View photos from the Atlanta event at

The Greater Jackson Alumni Chapter will hold its meeting on July 19 at the Jackson Yacht Club. The DeSoto County Alumni Chapter will meet on Aug. 4 at the Bank Plus Training Center in Southaven. On Aug. 7, the Leflore County/Greenwood Alumni Chapter will meet.

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).

Fireside Chat – July 9, 2018 – Key Leads Men’s Golf to Tremendous First Season

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President LaForge is joined by Easton Key, head coach of the Delta State men’s golf team.

Coach Key has just completed his first season at the helm of the Statesmen golf team, and he earned Gulf South Conference Co-Coach of the Year honors along with the University of West Florida’s head coach Steve Fell.  He was instrumental in the Statesmen turn-around season that produced two team titles at the Reddie Classic and Grover Page Classic, and a runner-up finish at the 2018 GSC Men’s Golf Championship.

Sophomore Zach Zediker garnered several accolades that include being named All-GSC, Division II PING All-South Region and an NCAA All-American. One of the highlights of Zediker’s season was capturing the top medalist honor at the 2018 Gulf South Conference Men’s Golf Championships when he sank a birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden death play.

The Statesmen capped off their stellar season tying for an 11th place finish at the NCAA Championship in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the highest finish for DSU since they finished 18th at the 2014 championships.

In other news on campus, the annual Delta Music Institute Summer Camp Final Showcase will take place Saturday, July 14 at 6 p.m. in Jobe Auditorium. DMI Summer Campers, which is composed of approximately 20-25 high school students, along with DMI faculty, staff, and counselors will perform original and cover songs at the Showcase, which follows a week of songwriting, recording, rehearsals, and showmanship training. Community and family members are invited to attend the free showcase.

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