Venerable Gov. Winter to begin Delta State Colloquia series

By August 28, 2013General

The honorable Gov. William F. Winter is the distinguished guest headlining President William N. LaForge’s new Colloquia program, an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers.

Gov. Winter, considered one of Mississippi’s most distinguished political leaders, will lecture at the kickoff event on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Jobe Hall on the campus of Delta State.

Winter has served Mississippi in numerous official capacities, including Governor from 1980–1984, Lt. Governor from 1972–1976, Mississippi State Treasurer from 1964–1968, Mississippi State Tax Collector from 1956–1964, and Representative in the Mississippi House of Representatives from1948–1956.

LaForge said he couldn’t think of anyone more fitting to begin the hallmark initiative.


“I am thrilled to have Gov. Winter as the first Colloquia speaker,” said LaForge. “He has been such a prominent figure in Mississippi law, politics, education and racial reconciliation. 

“He is known in all circles of the state as a man who is fair, just and forward thinking.”

Winter and LaForge have had a professional bond and friendship since LaForge’s days as a Delta State student and SGA president.

“I’m honored to be the first speaker in the series and share a few thoughts that I hope will be welcomed on campus,” said Winter. “I think the Colloquia program represents the vision and creativity Dr. LaForge is bringing to Delta State.

“It is so important that Delta State University receives the recognition it deserves because of the role it fills as an intellectual beacon in the Delta — especially since so many people in the region are deprived of education.”

“My speech will build on some ideas President LaForge spoke of in his initial address. I will continue the discussion of Delta State and how it helps solves the educational, racial and economic problems that the Delta has faced for as long as anyone can remember.”

Education has always been one of the governor’s focus points. Winter is often remembered for the passage of the Mississippi Education Reform Act, which was the first serious attempt at establishing public kindergartens.

In addition, Winter is remembered for his dedication to racial equality — which is why the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation on the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus is named in his honor He is also known for serving as an infantry officer in both World War II and the Korean War.

Winter currently practices law as Special Counsel for Jones Walker in Jackson.

“On a personal note, Gov. Winter has been a friend of mine for many years,” added LaForge. “He is a pioneer in Mississippi in several areas, and we are delighted to bring him back to campus. He is the symbol of leadership.”

Following Winter’s speech, the next Colloquia lecturers will be in fast succession from Oct. 27–Nov. 1 during inauguration week. While speakers that week will be on consecutive days, the platform will continue throughout the course of the year.

“This is a university-wide program that will bring a unique and diverse array of people — from judges, former government officials, lawyers and business people,” said LaForge. “These are all folks our students can look up to. This is just part of what a university should be doing.”

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