Contributions to the Sustaining Life Member Program support the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Scholarship Fund, which is given to incoming freshmen and transfer students whose parents are active dues-paying members of the The Delta State University National Alumni Association.

Sustaining Life Member Program boosts scholarships

By | Alumni, Community, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association launched the Sustaining Life Member Program in 2013 as a voluntary way for current paid-in-full lifetime members and honorary lifetime members to provide additional annual support to the association with a yearly tax-deductible gift of $100.

With the program now in its third year, members are recognized for their generosity in an issue of Delta State magazine and listed on the Alumni Association’s website. Members also receive a Sustaining Life Member certificate and a special edition lapel pin.

2015 pinThe 2013 lapel pin featured the Delta State quadrangle with the oak trees towering above. The 2014 pin featured the Lena Roberts Sillers Chapel, and the 2015 pin features Walter Sillers Coliseum.

The program was started to enhance the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Scholarship Fund.

“All funds raised will be used strictly for the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Scholarship, which is given to incoming freshmen and transfer students whose parents are active dues-paying members of the Alumni Association,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of alumni affairs.

The Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Scholarship is a one-time gift of $500. Over the past six years, over 120 students have received the scholarship. With the establishment of the Sustaining Life program, the Alumni Association hopes to double the number of scholarships given each year to legacies.

There are currently over 2,600 Life Members of the National Alumni Association. Members who did not join the Sustaining Life Program for 2013 or 2014 can still donate and receive their special edition lapel pin. To participate in the Sustaining Life Member program, or for more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660 or visit the website

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the dates for Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 19) and Homecoming (Nov. 7).

Join th Delta State University National Alumni Association for the annual Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event July 30 at the Jackson Yacht Club. The event begins with a social at 6 p.m.

Alumni Association to visit Jackson

By | Alumni, Foundation | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association will be traveling to Jackson for the annual Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event July 30 at the Jackson Yacht Club.

The event begins with a social at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. featuring Delta State President William  N. LaForge, Assistant Athletics Director Matt Jones,  Alumni-Foundation staff, and other guests from campus. Entertainment will be provided by the Double Shot Band.

The silent auction is always a signature component of the Jackson alumni event. All proceeds raised from the auction benefit the Greater Jackson Area Scholarship, which is awarded to incoming freshmen from the area attending Delta State.

The Alumni Association is still accepting sponsorships for this event. Businesses or individuals can sponsor at $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 levels. Sponsors for this year’s event are: Polles Properties; BKD; BankPlus; AvantGarde Strategies, LLC; Integra Realtoy Resources, Inc.; Celia Manley Real Estate; Casey Myrick – Edward Jones; and Sleeplinks.

To purchase tickets, donate to the fund or secure a sponsorship, visit You can also join the Facebook group at Statesmen Graduates, Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event (

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Delta State University and Delta State Athletics will erect a statue of legendary baseball coach Dave "Boo" Ferriss Oct. 3 at 2 p.m.

University to honor Coach Ferriss with statue

By | Alumni, Archives and Museum, Athletics, Community, Faculty/Staff, Foundation | No Comments

Delta State University and the Department of Athletics are erecting a statue in honor of legendary baseball Coach Dave “Boo” Ferriss in recognition of his decades of commitment to the Green and White.

The life-size statue, created by renowned Mississippi artist Kim Sessums, will feature Ferriss in his Delta State uniform and will be placed behind the grandstand this fall after renovations are complete at the baseball complex named in his honor. The statue dedication is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Athletic Director Ronnie Mayers said the statue is an appropriate way to pay tribute to a coach who had an illustrious career at Delta State.

“As a friend of Delta State University Athletics, you already know the impact that Coach Ferriss has had on the Delta State baseball program, and also for the game on the state, regional and national levels,” said Mayers. “What truly makes this man worthy of having a statue erected on the Delta State campus is reflected in the time he has always taken to know his players and fans so well — something he has continued to do in the years since he last hung up his uniform.”

Ferriss retired from Delta State following the 1988 season, but he continues to be a tireless supporter at all levels of baseball throughout the state and especially for his beloved Statesmen.

While he is known locally as the legendary Statesmen baseball, Ferriss also became a Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer.

The Shaw, Miss. native spent 46 years in baseball on the collegiate and professional levels, including 26 seasons at Delta State. A legend in national collegiate baseball coaching circles, Ferriss was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1988 in Atlanta, Ga.

He compiled a 639-387-8 record at Delta State, and his coaching record ranks him among all-time national coaching leaders at the NCAA Division II level. His 1988 team was ranked 9th nationally in the Collegiate Baseball poll.

When Ferriss took over the DSU baseball program in 1960, he started it from the ground level. The Statesmen played many of their games off campus and Ferriss coached without the benefit of an assistant. He directed teams to the NCAA Division II Playoffs in eight of his last 12 years, including three trips to the NCAA Division II championships where the Statesmen finished third, second and third respectively in 1977, 1978 and 1982.

Gulf South Conference championships came in 1978, 1979, 1985 and 1988, with the Statesmen finishing second in 1981 and third in 1982. Forty-nine of his players earned All-Gulf South Conference honors.

Ferriss also earned several honors for his coaching accomplishments. In 1988, he received the United States Baseball Federation Service Award for his contributions to the game. He was named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year three times while also earning Gulf South Conference coaching honors three times.

In 1978 and 1982 he was selected as College Baseball Coach of the Year in Mississippi and was runner-up in that category in 1985.

In 2007, University Archivist Emily Jones helped pay tribute to Ferriss’s remarkable career by establishing The Dave “Boo” Ferriss Museum, which is housed inside the Robert L. Crawford Center adjacent to the baseball field.

“This statue is really going to tie everything together,” said Jones. “It will let everyone know right where they are — at the field named in his honor, the museum to the side and now the statue. Everyone is going to feel welcomed.”

Mayers encouraged fans and Delta State supporters to take part in the community effort to raise money for the statue fund.

“We invite you to be a part of this momentous occasion by contributing to the Ferriss Statue Fund,” said Mayers. “Along with your donation, we encourage you to jot down a fond memory to be shared with coach and Mrs. Ferriss.

“Coach Ferriss has given us more than 55 years of service and memories here at Delta State. Don’t miss this opportunity to support this overdue tribute and to share in honoring this legendary coach and man.”

To donate to the Coach Dave “Boo” Ferriss Statue Fund, visit For more information, contact The Delta State University Foundation 662-846-4704.



Delta State National Alumni Association announces 30th Pig Pickin’ celebration

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The Delta State University National Alumni Association is preparing for the 30th annual Pig Pickin’ scheduled for Sept. 18-19 at Statesmen Park, the north end of Parker Field-McCool Stadium. This signature event draws a large crowd each year, and patrons are invited to become an official Pig Pickin’ sponsor.

“The National Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 30th annual Delta State University Pig Pickin’,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. “The growth of Pig Pickin’ over the past 29 years is a testament to the support of the local businesses of Cleveland and Bolivar County. Pig Pickin’s deep rooted tradition is evident with the thousands who attend Statesmen Park on an annual basis.”

Sponsorship opportunities range from $150 to $1,000+, and donations help to support the event. The deadline to become a sponsor is Sept. 6.

This year, the Alumni Association is offering a business the chance to sponsor the Pig Pickin’ entertainment, which includes Friday night’s headlining band, Saturday afternoon’s DMI bands and DJ on the Park, for $2,500. Those interested in this opportunity are urged to contact the Alumni Office at 662-846-4660 or

The success of Pig Pickin’ 2015 is largely dependent on the financial and in-kind support of the community, Delta region, state and national business partners.

Businesses can benefit by:

  • Business exposure to over 8,000+ attendees (Statesmen Park)
  • Business exposure to 30,000+ alumni and friends of Delta State University (local, state, national, international)
  • 14,000+ email addresses (all email blasts for the event)
  • Social media outlets (sponsored Facebook posts/Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram)
  • Association with the premier cultural event in the Mississippi Delta region
  • Tax benefits of supporting a 501©3 organization
  • Website exposure ( )

To become a sponsor, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660 for a brochure, or visit the Delta State University Foundation website to complete the sponsorship online.

For more information, visit our new, official Pig Pickin’ website The official hashtag is #DSUPigPickin. To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Thank you for your loyalty and continued support of this Delta State University Alumni Association signature event, and we look forward to seeing you this year at Pig Pickin’!



Delta State announces Family Roadshow

By | Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University Family Roadshow is coming to a Mississippi Delta town near you this summer, just in time to get ready for another exciting fall semester.

Over a three-week period, President William N. LaForge, head football coach Todd Cooley and representatives from campus will be traveling to five counties in the Delta to give updates and connect with Statesmen and Lady Statesmen alumni, fans and supporters. The event is made possible by a partnership between the National Alumni Association, Department of Athletics and Delta State University.

“The surrounding communities are an important part of the Delta State family,” said LaForge. “We are excited to reach out to our friends, fans, alumni and supporters in their hometowns and in such a unique way. I invite all supporters of the Green and White to come out to show the flag.”

There are six scheduled stops on the Delta State Family Roadshow, with Vince’s Restaurant in Leland being the first on July 13 at 6 p.m.

“This is an exciting time at Delta State and we want to involve every corner of the Mississippi Delta,” said Cooley. “We are the Delta’s university, and we want everyone to join the family.”

Greenwood, the second scheduled stop on the Roadshow, is set for July 16 at the Elk’s Lodge. Larry’s Fish House will provide the meal.

On July 20, the show makes a stop at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola for an event in Sunflower County. Dinner will be catered by local favorite The Blue Biscuit.

Clarksdale will host the following event on Aug. 3 at the Coahoma County Higher Education Center. Legendary Abe’s Barbecue will provide the meal.

Cleveland will be the final stop as the Cleveland Country Club hosts the third annual DSU Family Bash on Aug. 6. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a social followed by a family style dinner at 7 p.m.

Detailed information and the opportunity to RSVP for any one of the stops on the Delta State Family Roadshow is available at www.DeltaStateGiving.Org/alumniassociation/roadshow or by contacting the DSU Alumni Association at 662-846-4660.