The MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum, housed at Delta State University, was recently selected for the Ernest M. Pon Memorial Award from the National Association for Ethnic Studies. Receiving the award was Natchee Barnd (left) and Frieda Seu Quon.

Chinese Heritage Museum selected for prestigious award

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The MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum was recently selected to receive the prestigious Ernest M. Pon Memorial Award from the National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES). 

The museum opened in October of 2012 in the Capps Archives and Museum on the campus of Delta State University and is free and open to the public.

“I was completely and pleasantly surprised when I received word that the museum had been recognized by the NAES and that we would receive an award at their national meeting in March,” said Delta State University archivist Emily Jones. “We have had visitors from all over the United States stop through the museum to learn more about the special history of the Chinese communities in the Mississippi Delta, and I am often told that our story is spread by word of mouth.

“I am so thankful to the city of Cleveland and Delta State University for the collaborative effort of preserving this history with the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum board.”

The Ernest M. Pon award recognizes Asian American organizations dedicated to advancing the causes of human rights and equal justice. Award committee co-chair Natchee Barnd shared, “Your organization’s effort to promote and educate the public concerning the Chinese American heritage in the state of Mississippi and beyond clearly promotes both of these ideals.”

Upon receiving the award, MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum board member and secretary, Frieda Seu Quon, said the recognition reinforced what she already knew about the museum’s significant impact of preserving important local history.

“The museum allows the Chinese of the Delta to share their life stories with their children and grandchildren and the community of friends they have,” she said. “We now have a place to honor our parents and grandparents who worked diligently to provide a life and a future for another generation.”

Qon is formerly of Greenville, Miss., where her brothers continue to run the grocery store her father established in the 1930s.

Learn more about the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum at

Members of the Delta Diplomats provided campus tours during Go Green Weekend to potential Delta State students. Festivities also included the annual Spring Visit Day hosted by the Office of Admissions.

Campus celebrates Go Green Weekend

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Delta State family and friends came together this past weekend for sports, music, games, campus visits and a cooking competition as part of the second annual Go Green Weekend.

Events kicked off Friday with the jambalaya cook-off sponsored by the National Alumni Association. The Student Government Association sponsored the Patty and the Mayonnaise band performance at Statesmen Park.

On Saturday, 20 teams played in the Wyatt Golf Classic at the Cleveland County Club, and the admissions team welcomed about 50 prospective students along with their family members to campus. They learned about degree programs at an academic fair before receiving a welcome from President William N. LaForge. An information session and campus tour was provided before a special jambalaya luncheon.

The National Alumni Association provided a tailgate outside Ferriss Field beginning at noon. An official Go Green Weekend Alumni Association clacker was available to everyone, along with information on Delta State’s programs and offerings. There was a designated kids zone with activities, a radio live remote and vendor concessions from Crustacean’s Crawfish, Domino’s Pizza, Southern Style Snow Cones and Aramark Concessions.

The Delta All Star Cheerleaders and Fusion Gymnastics provided entertainment before the awards for the cooking competition were announced. Six teams participated in the cook-off. The team “Bottoms Up Smokers” received First Place Jambalaya and Grand Champion awards. “Swine Before Pearls” won the Best Booth Decorations award. First Place Sausage was awarded to “It’s a Family Thang.”

The Statesmen baseball team and Lady Statesmen softball team won weekend series against University of West Georgia.

“The series victories for the Lady Statesmen and Statesmen teams were the icing on the cake for a fun weekend of fellowship for future and current Statesmen faithful,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of the Alumni Association.

Go Green Weekend provides an opportunity for departments campus-wide to support Spring Visit Day hosted by the Office of Admissions. From student groups, academic departments, alumni and athletics, the weekend offers visitors the full experience of being a Delta State student.

For more information on admissions, or to apply, contact 662-846-4020, visit or email


The second annual Go Green Weekend is scheduled for March 27-29.

Alumni encourages Go Green Weekend attendance

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The Delta State University Alumni Association will participate in Delta State’s upcoming event Go Green Weekend March 27-29.

Director of the Alumni Association Jeffrey Farris said tailgating will begin at noon Saturday, and the Alumni Association will be handing out clappers for the baseball game as well as information on the group.

“We encourage alumni and friends to come out and enjoy the weekend that is packed full of activities including a kids zone, live music, a cooking competition, Spring Visit Day and baseball and softball games,” said Farris.

Crustacean’s Crawfish, Domino’s, South Style Snow Cones and Aramark Concessions will be selling food throughout the day Saturday.

The second annual jambalaya cooking competition sponsored by the Alumni Association will also take place through Saturday with the announcement of winners at 2 p.m.

On Friday at 9 p.m., live entertainment will be provided by Patty and the Mayonnaise in Statesmen Park. For a full schedule of events for the entire weekend, visit

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 date for next year’s Pig Pickin’ (September 19, 2015) and Homecoming (November 7, 2015).

Alumnus Will Simpson '00 was selected for the inaugural Presidential Leadership Scholars Program.

Simpson selected for inaugural Presidential Leadership Scholars Program

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Delta State alumnus William Simpson is one of 60 scholars selected to participate in the inaugural class of The Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, a leadership development initiative supported by former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The program allows scholars like Simpson to interact with distinguished professors and former administrative officials as a way to develop their talents. The initiative also utilizes the presidential centers of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Lyndon B. Johnson, and George W. Bush.

Simpson discovered the six-month program while reading the Wall Street Journal, and his interest grew when he watched its promotional video on From there, he logged onto and submitted an application, which required the submission of essays, three references and details of a personal leadership project.

“I almost talked myself out of applying,” Simpson said. “I didn’t want to inconvenience people with writing recommendations for me.”

The program is non-degree bearing, entails approximately 100 hours of informative sessions and case studies, and covers expansive approaches to leadership theory while drawing upon examples from recent presidents.

After being evaluated and later interviewed by three panelists online, Simpson was notified of his acceptance over the Christmas holidays. The inaugural program began in February.

While in the scholars program, Simpson aims to develop the skills he uses daily as deputy administrator at the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

“I want to do my job here better and grow personally,” he said. “I want to help Mississippi. I live and I work here.”

The alumnus, who graduated in 2000 with a degree in social science, is a Jackson, Miss. resident who grew up in Clarksdale. He is also involved in a leadership project, the Oakley Youth Development Center. As part of the initiative, Simpson reaches out and aids troubled youth.

Simpson, a former SGA president at Delta State, credits the university for being a critical source of leadership at an influential time in his life.

“Delta State is where I first recognized what leadership is and its importance,” he said. “Most of what I bring to the table as a leader traces back to a skill or concept introduced to me at the university. Those skills — particularly communication — make me a better lawyer and public administrator.”

His advice to those interested in applying for the scholars program is to “gear your program around helping people.”

This concept is embedded in the scholar program’s curriculum, which concentrates on four principles: vision and communication; decision-making; influence and persuasion; and building coalitions.

Utilizing program features such as leadership skill-building and peer learning group sessions, the program aims to aid its scholars.

During the program’s first week, the group visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon, where Dr.  Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense, was a speaker.

“It was fantastic because you got to see him up close and personal,” Simpson said. “He was candid.”

Simpson is thrilled to be included amongst his selective peers and be meeting some of America’s most distinguished leaders.

“I almost have to pinch myself,” he said.

This week, the group will visit the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, followed by the George W. Bush Presidential Center in April, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in May and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in June.

The inaugural class will graduate at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas in July. Learn more about the program at


Delta State Preview coming to Jackson

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Delta State University is hosting an event in the City With Soul April 7 called Preview in Jackson, an interactive college fair for potential students in the greater Jackson area.

Students, parents, counselors, alumni and friends local to Jackson are invited to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum from 4:30-7 p.m. The center is located at 1152 Lakeland Dr. in Jackson.

President William N. LaForge, administrative and academic representatives, and current students will be on hand to talk one-on-one about the university’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs, financial aid, scholarships, campus life, admissions and more.

Southwest Mississippi Admissions Recruiter, Robyn Rouse, said the event is sure to be a beneficial experience for prospective students.

“I look forward to helping Delta State get its name out there,” said Rouse. “There are plenty of students in the Jackson area who don’t know a lot about Delta State, our affordable tuition and all the programs we have to offer.

“A lot of community college students think four-year colleges cost too much, but Delta State has such an inexpensive tuition rate compared to other universities. And the fact we can stack scholarships will also peak the interest of Jackson students and their parents.”

The goal behind Preview in Jackson is convenience and accessibility for those interested in Delta State. More than 20 academic departments will be available to answer questions about classes and career paths.

Door prizes will be given away throughout the event, and light refreshments will be served. The come-and-go atmosphere will include kid-friendly activities.

This is the second Preview for the institution following last month’s inaugural event in Memphis.

For more information, visit or contact Rouse at 662-402-0867.