Cleveland, MS — Delta State University’s Fall 2018 Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series will feature NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert. His talk, “College Sports: A Pathway to Opportunity,” takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 6 PM in Jobe Hall on the Delta State campus. The event is free and open to the public.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Emmert has agreed to speak at Delta State. As president of the NCAA, he will bring a special message to our student-athletes, the Delta State family, and the entire community about college sports today,” said Delta State President William N. LaForge, who serves on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council. “President Emmert is the epitome of a distinguished speaker, and I know that his appearance at Delta State will be a big hit.”
Emmert, who also will meet with coaches, student-athletes, professors, and others during his Delta State appearance, became the fifth president of the NCAA in 2010. Under his leadership, the NCAA has prioritized academics, well-being, and fairness—the subject of his colloquia talk—among other initiatives. He also spearheaded the creation of the NCAA Sport Science Institute and a new governance structure to encourage student-athlete input.
“I am looking forward to visiting with Delta State students, staff, and faculty while on campus for the Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series,” said Emmert. “President LaForge’s leadership in the association, through his role on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, contributes to our efforts to provide opportunities for student-athletes to earn a college degree while competing in a sport they love. I look forward to partnering with him to share insights on the world of intercollegiate athletics with the Delta State community.”
Before joining the NCAA, Emmert served as president of University of Washington, one of his alma maters. Earlier in his career, he was chancellor of Louisiana State University, provost and chancellor of University of Connecticut, and provost and vice president for academic affairs at Montana State University-Bozeman, among other positions. Emmert has chaired the executive group of the Worldwide Universities Network, served on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, and was an American Council on Education Fellow and Fulbright Administrative Fellow.
Delta State, a founding member of the Gulf South Conference, competes in 13 men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports, collectively, within NCAA Division II. The Statesmen and Lady Statesmen have won 9 national championships, 37 regional championships, and 62 conference titles—more than any other university in the state. Delta State’s scholar-athletes also rank high; in the history of the CoSIDA Academic All-America Program, Delta State is tenth in NCAA Division II in Academic All-American honors earned.
“It’s a rare opportunity to have the head of the NCAA on campus,” said Ronnie Mayers, Delta State director of intercollegiate athletics, “and our student-athletes, coaches, and staff are honored to have the opportunity to visit with and learn from President Emmert.”
Delta State President LaForge established the Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series in 2013 upon his inauguration. The first speaker was former Mississippi Gov. William Winter. Others include former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, former U.S. Comptroller General Charles Bowsher, and current UPS CEO and chairman of the board, David Abney, a Delta State alumnus.
About Delta State University: Delta State University is a four-year public institution whose more than 3,750 students come from most U.S. states and more than 50 countries. The university offers numerous unique programs, including the Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program, and is the only university in Mississippi to offer undergraduate and graduate aviation programs. Situated in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, which is recognized as the birthplace of American music, Delta State has become the center of music and culture for the state and the region. The university is also the academic center for the blues, offering an online blues studies curriculum that leads to a certificate for advanced study of blues music. In addition, Delta State offers top-notch academic programs in business, arts, sciences, nursing, and education, among other areas.