Delta State University President William N. LaForge was featured in the July 1 “Leadership Letter” email from the Mississippi Economic Council’s Leadership Mississippi program.
“As we prepare for the upcoming fall school semester, Leadership Mississippi would like to take this opportunity to showcase our very own alumni who serve as president in higher education across the state of Mississippi,” the email explained.
Numerous collegiate presidents were asked the following question: “How did Leadership Mississippi influence your growth as a leader and your (new) role as a collegiate president?”
President LaForge’s response:
“I was privileged to be a member of the inaugural Leadership Mississippi cohort while I was in law school. The program focus and experience with a distinctive group of colleagues provided me with outstanding exemplars and terrific lessons that served me well and encouraged me to remain a student of leadership throughout my career. I was fortunate enough to later experience leadership roles in a wide array of organizations, ranging from my international social fraternity and a nationwide bar association to staff service under U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in Washington. Those cumulative experiences all contributed to the skill sets and preparedness I brought to my position as a university president.”
The Mississippi Economic Council “deals with broad issues that relate to businesses through advocacy, research, resources, and leadership,” according to its website, and “has been the voice of Mississippi business since 1949.” Leadership Mississippi is an annual training program that dates to 1973-74; the second oldest statewide leadership program in the nation, it “has graduated more than 1,300 alumni active in Mississippi business and politics,” according to its webpage.