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.

The Delta State University Alumni Association traveled with staff this summer to attend Mississippi picnics in Atlanta, New York City,  and Washington, D.C.

Alumni Association travels to Mississippi picnics

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The Delta State University Alumni Association has been busy traveling this summer with staff members recently attending Mississippi picnics in New York City, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The picnics are hosted by Mississippians living in these metropolitan areas and are typically supported by the state’s universities. The events also offer a little taste of home for people living out of state.

The Alumni Association attends each of these events annually to engage with alumni living in the host cities. The association recently established scholarships that are awarded to Delta State students originally from the New York, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

The Mississippi Society of Georgia held its picnic June 6 in Atlanta’s Chastain Park and was part of an entire weekend of scheduled events. One such event was the Alumni and Celebrity Golf Tournament held at Wolf Creek Golf Course. All proceeds raised went to the Mississippi Society of Georgia Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is given to a student from the greater Atlanta area who will attend a college or university in the state of Mississippi.

Following the tournament, the group hosted a social in the Hank Aaron Room at Turner Field prior to an Atlanta Braves game. The weekend culminated with the picnic in Chastain Park, which included live music, door prizes and Mississippi authors and artists. Jeffrey Farris, director of alumni affairs, attended the picnic.

The 36th annual New York Mississippi Picnic in Central Park was held June 13. This year’s theme was “Elvis is in the Park.” Glen McCullough, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, spoke to the crowd and brought greetings from Mississippi. Live music was provided by Jon Paris, Jimmie Rodgers and Pals, and Brandon Bennett, an Elvis tribute artist. There was also an Elvis lookalike contest. Alumni-Foundation staff members in attendance were Jordan Thomas, assistant director of alumni affairs, and Gary Bouse, chief development officer.

The Mississippi on the Mall picnic was held June 20 at Henry Bacon Ball Field in Washington, D.C. The yearly event is sponsored by the Mississippi Society of Washington, D.C., a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the best interests of Mississippi in the nation’s capital. Approximately 500 people attended this year’s event. Live music was provided by Kingfish. Thomas was in attendance representing Delta State, along with Mikel Sykes, SGA president. All three picnics featured catfish and sweet tea.

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 (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

The Desoto County Alumni Chapter is planning its upcoming annual meeting. Pictured are (seated, l to r): Hank Ludwig, Desoto County Chapter past president and founding member; Angela Carter, DSU admissions recruiter;
(back, l to r) Kayla Savage, 2015 scholarship recipient; Madison Ennis, 2013 scholarship recipient; Milton Kuykendall, superintendent of Desoto County Schools; Natalie Howarth, 2015 scholarship recipient; and Mollie Evans, 2013 scholarship recipient.

Desoto County Alumni Chapter plans annual event

By | Alumni, Community, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University Alumni Association will hold its annual Desoto County Alumni gathering Aug. 8 at the BankPlus Training Center in Southaven. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a social hour, followed by campus updates from President William N. LaForge and the Alumni-Foundation staff members.

There will also be a silent auction to benefit the Desoto County Alumni Scholarship fund. This scholarship is awarded annually to students in the county who will begin studying at Delta State in the fall. This year’s recipients are Natalie Howarth and Kayla Savage.

“My family looks forward to this event every year. I think the kids enjoy it as much as my wife and I do,” said Hank Ludwig, founding member of the chapter. “It provides an opportunity to visit with old friends that you don’t see as often as you would like and make new acquaintances, all while raising funds for scholarships awarded to Desoto County High School seniors headed to DSU.”

The chapter will also recognize Milton Kuykendall, superintendent of Desoto County Schools and Delta State graduate. More details of the event will be released in the coming weeks. 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 (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).