The Delta State University Alumni Association recently wrapped up another successful homecoming. With inauguration and homecoming coinciding in the same week, there were many activities for alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students to participate in. Many alumni returned to their alma mater for the festivities.
“Homecoming is the time for our alumni and friends to rekindle old relationships and create new ones,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of alumni affairs. “Thanks to all who came back home to enjoy the old school we love best.”
Alumni events for the weekend kicked off with the class of 1963 and Golden Circle reunion Friday night. The Golden Circle is a constituent group of the Alumni Association that consists of alumni who graduated 50 years or more ago. This year’s featured class, the class of 1963, was inducted into the Golden Circle at the Alumni Awards and Gala Dinner, which was also Friday night.
The Alumni Association honored alumni who have dedicated their time to their alma mater. This year’s recipients were: Neal Holcomb, the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award; Sayward Fortner, the Kent Wyatt Young Alumnus Service Award; the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, the Gladys Castle Friend of Delta State Service Award; Dave Heflin, the Legacy Award; and Desoto County Chapter, Alumni Chapter of the year. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are George Bassi, Dr. Keith Parker, and Jeff Russell. Hugh Ellis Walker, Sr. was named the 2013 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.
This year, the Alumni Association teamed up with the Athletic Department and the Athletic Hall of Fame was also inducted at the dinner. This year’s inductees include: Nicki Genre (softball); Anita Robinson (women’s basketball); Liberty Cash (football); Norris Ashley (men’s basketball); Jamie Cox (track and field); Casey Myrick (baseball); and Brad Vickers (swimming and diving). The DSU Alumni Coaches Hall of Fame Class included Ray Ishee and Derrick Hunter. Ray Wilson, long-time professor and supporter of athletics, was honored with the Distinguished Statesmen Award. Over 350 attended the Gala Dinner, and entertainment for the evening was provided by Dr. James Robinson.
Saturday’s festivities included the annual Veterans’ Atrium Program in Jobe Hall, Delta Music Institute Open House, tailgating on Statesmen Park and the Swimming and Diving Reunion. Entertainment at Statesmen Park was provided by DMI bands Ol’ Skool Revue and Delta RoX, and the DSU Continuing Education All-Star Cheerleaders.
The football game, which featured a showdown between the Statesmen and rival Valdosta State University, was preceded by a flyover from the Delta State Commercial Aviation team.
The homecoming queen for 2013 was crowned by President William N. LaForge during halftime at this past weekend’s football game. The student body selected Tori Jenkins, a senior art major from Lawton, Okla., to serve as their queen. Jenkins is the current Miss Delta State University and serves as president of Phi Mu Fraternity. She is also a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Kappa Pi, an honorary art society.
In 2012, Jenkins served as a junior maid on the homecoming court. She has held the positions of chief justice and treasurer of the Student Government Association. Jenkins is also active on the Union Program Council. She is the daughter of Dr. Matt and Cindy Jenkins.
National Alumni Association past presidents were also recognized during the game.
Delta State came out victorious in an exciting 63-55 win over the Blazers. The Cleveland-Bolivar Chamber of Commerce sponsored a fireworks shows that lit the fall sky over Parker Field-McCool Stadium.
To end the weekend, the National Alumni Association hosted a goodbye brunch for the Golden Circle on Sunday at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Foundation House.