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Alumni

Coach Ferriss to be honored with statue

By | Alumni, Athletics, Community, 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 at the baseball complex named in his honor. The statue dedication is scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m.

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 https://www.deltastategiving.org/Fund/Give/678. For more information, contact the Delta State University Foundation 662-846-4704.

Blansett to be honored with building dedication

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

Delta State University and supporters from the community will gather Oct. 17 at 3:30 p.m. to honor one of the university’s most beloved leaders, Dr. Wayne Blansett, recently retired vice president of Student Affairs.

To recognize Blansett’s 40 years of dedication to the institution, Delta State will hold a naming dedication to rename New Men’s Residence Hall to Blansett Hall. The ceremony will also include a reception in the lobby following the main event.

Over the past four decades, Blansett has remained a fixture as one of the most respected leaders at Delta State. Serving the green and white for nearly half of the institution’s existence, Blansett retired at the end of the academic calendar in June of 2015.

Most recently serving as vice president of Student Affairs — 1993 to 2015 — Blansett has been a role model and mentor for countless students in Delta State’s storied history. As he put it, his job was to improve the total development of students at the university.

“I started working at Delta State when I was 23-years-old,” said Blansett in a previous press release. “I’ve had a long and rewarding career, and I will certainly miss the interactions with students, staff and the entire Delta State family.”

The true leader is also a proud alumnus of Delta State, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1973, Master of Education in Counseling in 1974 and a Doctorate of Education in Professional Studies in 1988.

Shortly after his graduate studies, Blansett began working for his alma mater as the assistant dean of students from 1975-1980. He then progressed as the director of Student Activities (1980-1984), associate dean of Student Affairs (1984-1990) and dean of Student Affairs (1990-1993).

Delta State University President William N. LaForge, who has been Blansett’s longtime friend and colleague, said the building dedication is an appropriate way to pay tribute to Blansett’s outstanding service to the university.

“No one bleeds ‘Green and White’ more than Wayne Blansett,” said LaForge. “It is very difficult to say a professional farewell to someone who has given his entire career to this university and who has had such an enormous and positive impact on thousands of students during his 40 years of service in the student affairs arena.”

Continue to follow Delta State’s daily news feed at www.deltastate.edu for more information on Blansett’s building dedication.

Safety precautions to be enforced at Pig Pickin’

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

The 30th annual Pig Pickin’, hosted by the Delta State University Alumni Association, is a signature event at the university that many alumni, friends, students, parents, faculty and staff visit each year. With the sheer volume of people who will be at Statesmen Park this weekend, it is important that safety remains a top priority and creates the need for rules and regulations. To ensure everyone has a safe and fun experience at Statesmen Park, no vehicles will be allowed at the park.

Tailgaters needing to drop off tents or other heavy items will be allowed to do so before 5 p.m. Friday and before 11:30 a.m. Saturday. After these times, traffic will not be allowed in the park. Parking will be available at the athletics facilities, Shumate Park, Walter Sillers Coliseum, Kent Wyatt Hall and across Miss. Highway 8 on campus. Tailgating behind the visitors’ side of the stadium is prohibited. Directional signage will indicate the designated tailgating areas for Pig Pickin’ attendees.

Golf carts and ATVs will not be allowed with the exception of officials and staff golf carts. Pets are also not allowed at the event. These rules were put in place to ensure the safety of Pig Pickin’ participants, particularly the many children who attend. Video surveillance will be in use at the park.

Pig Pickin’ event times at Statesmen Park:

  • Friday, September 18, 5 p.m. – midnight
  • Saturday, September 19, Noon – 5 p.m.

The official hashtag for Pig Pickin’ is #DSUPigPickin.

For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (http://www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Pig Pickin’ entertainment announced

By | Alumni, Community | No Comments

Each year, one of the biggest components of the Pig Pickin’ atmosphere is the entertainment. The 30th annual Pig Pickin’ will feature a variety of entertainment on Friday and Saturday.

Friday night’s entertainment kicks off with local band Patti and the Mayonnaise from 9 p.m. to midnight. Consisting of members Horace Willis, Starlin Browning, Reed Smith, and Ethan Frink, Patti and Mayonnaise plays rock, pop, R&B and hip-hop hits from the ’90s and early-2000s.

Saturday’s entertainment starts at noon with the radio show “Statesmen Nation” live at Statesmen Park. Q102 will also have a live broadcast from the park from noon to 3 p.m. The CE Allstar cheerleaders will perform at 1:30 p.m., and beginning at 2 p.m., music will be provided by the Delta Music Institute bands Ol’ Skool Revue and DeltaRoX. Ol’ Skool Revue is comprised of Delta State students and faculty, playing hits from the blues, R&B, soul and funk genres. DeltaRoX also consists of Delta State students and faculty and focuses on classic rock. President Williamn N. LaForge will also jam with the DMI bands. The Fighting Okra and Statesmen mascots will be signing autographs and taking pictures at the Legacy Tent at 2:15 p.m.

The Delta State cheerleaders will lead a pep rally at 3 p.m. featuring the Delta State band. At 5 p.m., the winners of the BBQ cook team competition will be announced.

The official hashtag for Pig Pickin’ is #DSUPigPickin. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. Join the Facebook event at Statesmen Graduates:https://www.facebook.com/events/872293072848213/. To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Alumni Association to host young alumni tailgate at Pig Pickin’

By | Alumni | No Comments

The Delta State Alumni Association will host a young alumni tailgating party Friday in conjunction with Pig Pickin’ events. The event begins at 8 p.m. in Statesmen Park. Food and libations will be served and entertainment will be provided by Patti and the Mayonnaise.

“As your Delta State young alumni representative, I personally would like to invite you back to campus this coming Friday, September 18th and Saturday, September 19th for our annual Pig Pickin’,” said Parker Lipscomb, National Alumni Association Board young alumni representative. “We will have a special tent set up in Statesmen Park on Friday for young alumni. There will be live entertainment Friday evening, and as always, a great time to see many old friends and meet fellow alumni.”

This year’s event is sponsored by Lipscomb Oil Company, Inc; The Filling Station; Exxon; Shell; and Baskin Robbins.

Every young alumnus who visits the Alumni Association tent and updates their contact information will receive a free BBQ ticket for Pig Pickin’.

The definition of a young alumnus is anyone 36 years old and younger.

The official hashtag for Pig Pickin’ is #DSUPigPickin. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. Join the Facebook event at Statesmen Graduates:https://www.facebook.com/events/872293072848213/. To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).