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Archives and Museum

Lebanese in America

Photos Scanning Days hosted for Lebanese exhibit

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On April 3-4, the University Archives will host Photo Scanning Days as part of programming for the Lebanese in America exhibit.

Over the two-day period, guests are encouraged to bring in photographs related to Lebanese culture and heritage in the Mississippi Delta. Scanning will begin on April 3 at 1 p.m. and will continue until 6 p.m. On April 4, scanning will begin at 9 a.m. and will conclude at 3 p.m. The scanning stations are set up in Jobe Hall, inside the auditorium’s side stage area.

While guests visit with digitization specialists, they can also share stories with oral history interviewers set up for the days.

The images and information will become a part of the MS Digital Library, and a copy will be housed within the University Archives & Museum. Individuals may donate their original images to the University Archives & Museum or may take their originals back home after they’ve been scanned.

Guests are also invited to tour the exhibit.

“Hosting the traveling exhibit has provided us the opportunity to reach out to this particular group in our community, and I am thankful for that,” said Emily Jones, university archivist.

Keith Fulcher, executive director of Alumni-Foundation, has been a driving force in making the traveling exhibit and supporting programming a reality.

“People sometimes ask me why we put so much energy and time into collecting a particular piece of our history, and I have to be honest, I am able to dedicate more time to specific projects when there is someone within that community willing to commit their time to helping me collect on their behalf,” said Fulcher.

“Collecting our shared Delta history is a shared responsibility,” added Jones. “With support from groups like the Quality Enhancement Plan, the university’s Diversity Committee and the university’s Special Programs Committee, we are able to shine a spotlight on different areas of our history for a time. Collaborative work such as the traveling exhibit and supporting programming is a key element in encouraging community support and collecting a well-rounded representation of our collective history.”

In order to serve as many individuals as possible during the photo scanning, participants are asked to select 10- 15 images to be scanned. Additional images can be left in the care of the University Archives to continue digitizing and will be returned to each owner once all images have been scanned.

For more information, contact Jones at ejones@deltastate.edu.

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Matsy Wynn Richards tabbed for Howorth Woman of Achievement Award

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The public is invited to attend the 2017 Lucy Somerville Howorth Woman of Achievement Award on April 2 at 2 p.m. at the Charles W. Capps Jr. Archives and Museum Building at Delta State.

The Awards Committee recently announced this year’s recipient as the late Martha “Matsy” Wynn Richards.

Richards was born Martha Kinman Wynn in 1888 in Friars Point, Mississippi. She moved to Greenville with her parents at a young age, where she lived until attending school in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1918, she read an article in the Christian Science Monitor that steered her to pursue a career in photography.

“Matsy was a successful woman in a time where women were unlikely to be,” said Daniel Shemwell, recipient of the 2016-17 Lucy Somerville Howorth Fellowship. “Matsy broke free of perpetuated norms in the south in 1918 when she went in search of an education in photography. Forging a career out of something she was both deeply passionate about and skilled at, her work became so successful, she attracted attention from giants like Vogue Magazine and Fox Studios. She lived life to the fullest. Matsy was an inspiration to many in the field of photography and is still talked about and studied today.”

Following the award ceremony, a new exhibit featuring Richards’s life work and accomplishments will open in the main gallery.

“Since beginning my work with Matsy when I received the fellowship in the fall of 2016, I have had the unique opportunity of working with some of her living relatives who knew her,” added Shemwell. “Her family offered me a real life connection to the woman whose works are in boxes in the archives. This project has focused my historical interest and I hope others will enjoy seeing her life’s work as I have.”

Emily Jones, university archivist, said she is looking forward to honoring another worthy recipient.

“Women of the Delta have made significant contributions to not only the social and cultural landscape of the region, but have been in the unique position to serve as ambassadors of the Delta to the rest of the world,” said Jones. “I am proud that Judge Lucy chose this awards program to bear her name and support as a lasting legacy.”

Previous recipients of the award include:
• Emma Knowlton Humphreys Lytle-2000
• Keith Dockery McLean- 2003
• Mae Bertha Carter- 2005
• Franke Keating- 2007
• LePoint Cassibry Smith- 2009
• Fannie Lou Hamer- 2012
• Dorothy Shawhan- 2015

For more information, contact archives@deltastate.edu.

Campus and community will unite Sept. 15 at noon to celebrate the 91st anniversary of Delta State's founding.

Campus to celebrate 91st anniversary

By | Academics, Archives and Museum, Community, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

All campus members, friends and supporters of Delta State University are invited to a birthday celebration Sept. 15, as the university marks the 91st anniversary of its opening.

The public is encouraged to join the university as it kicks off its celebration of 91 years of excellence.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge, joined by members of the Dedicated Statesmen Association, will start the ceremony at noon at the Alumni Brick Plaza in front of Ward Hall. The event will conclude with a luncheon of sandwiches and pizza.

The program will begin with words from President LaForge, and a few DSA members will reenact some of the old campus rules that were established in the university’s rulebooks known as the Green Books. Members of the Delta State Wind Ensemble will also perform musical numbers at the affair.

Dr. James Robinson, president of the DSA committee, is exited to once again celebrate the university’s founding.

“We should celebrate each year with growing excitement as the 100th birthday approaches,” said Robinson. “A yearly celebration allows more of our students to be on campus to learn about the school’s history and its exciting future. The Founders’ Day activities help our spirits and bring us closer as students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends.”

Emily Jones, university archivist, has been working closely with the DSA to bring the event together.

“We celebrate our anniversary not for our own benefit, but for those before us and those who will come after us,” said Jones. “I enjoy spotlighting our history, and I’m thankful that we have the platform of our anniversary to do that each year.”

Stay up to date on all university events and activities at http://www.deltastate.edu.

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Documentary film “My Life in China” set for August 28

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The public is invited to attend a screening of the documentary My Life in China on Aug. 28.

PBS describes My Life in China as “an unvarnished portrait of the life and memories of a stoic and reticent man committed to his family and two sons.”

The documentary team, Kenneth Eng and Ehren Parks, will bring their film to Delta State on Sunday, August 28 at 2 p.m. in the BPAC Recital Hall. The event is sponsored by the Quality Enhancement Plan, the MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum and the University Archives & Museum.

It is free and open to the public and will include a screening of the film and discussion lead by the filmmakers Eng and Parks.

Fleeing China’s Cultural Revolution in 1966, Eng’s father made his way to America to start a new life for his wife and two sons. Stories of his perilous journey to escape poverty and Communism finally led Eng to take his father back to China so that together, they could document the powerful decisions his father made all those years ago.

My Life in China is a story of migration passed down from father to son, ultimately asking the question, what does it mean to be both Chinese and American?

Other showings of the film are set for:

Saturday, Aug. 27: Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Memphis, Tenn., at 1:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 29: Greenville, Arts Council, time TBA

Tuesday, Aug. 30: Jackson State University, College of Liberal Arts Room 166/266, at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Oxford Public Library, at 6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 1: Hernando Public Library, at 6 p.m.

For more information on the program, follow the University Archives & Museum’s facebook page here: www.facebook.com/DSUArchives or call the University Archives at 662.846.4781

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University to celebrate 90 years

By | Academics, Archives and Museum, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

All friends and supporters of Delta State University are invited to a birthday celebration Tuesday, Sept. 15, as the university marks the 90th anniversary of its opening.

In 1924, two Mississippi senators introduced a bill to create Delta State Teachers College, which was signed by the governor on April 9. Just under a year later, James Wesley Broom was appointed the first president of the college, and the institution was formally opened on Sept. 15, 1925.

“Starting with just 11 faculty members and a fall enrollment of 97 students, the university has grown into a noted four-year institution that continues to educate some of the brightest students in the state,” said Delta State President William N. LaForge. “In addition, the university has developed into a center of excellence in areas such as business, aviation, nursing, music, entertainment industries, culture and more.”

LaForge, joined by members of the Dedicated Statesmen Association, invites everyone to attend the celebration which will get started at noon with the dedication of the newly-restored clock and Alumni Brick Plaza in front of Ward Hall.

The project is the first of 10 projects to be identified by the DSA committee, which includes both retired and current Delta State faculty and staff who have put many hours into planning the 90th celebration events.

The dedication will be followed by lunch on the quadrangle and then a program looking back at Delta State’s 90 years scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. in the Jobe Hall Auditorium. Student and campus groups will pitch in on a number of campus beautification projects beginning at 3 p.m. Tuesday, including a project to repaint the footsteps marking the “Green Mile” on campus.

Other opportunities to reflect and celebrate the university’s history include a main gallery exhibition at the Charlie W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum on 90 years of Delta State students. The exhibit, under the direction of University Archivist Emily Jones, will explore how the student body grew from under 100 students as well as nine decades of academic achievements. 

“We’re really driving home that this anniversary is about 90 years of celebrating students at Delta State,” said Jones. “We’ve had 90 years of people putting lots of energy and dedication into the university. We want to make sure that in another 90 years we have done as well as those who came before us. Collecting our history and knowing our foundations are essential.” 

Leading up to the anniversary date, Jones has also been publishing “History Days,” a series of informative posters focusing on all things related to the student experience over the years. View the series at http://www.deltastate.edu/anniversary/history-days/.

James Robinson, president of the DSA committee, said he encourages everyone to take the time to join in the events on Sept. 15.

“We thank all those individuals and businesses who have helped organize the day’s events and who have provided gifts and prizes,” he said. “We want the day to be full of excitement and joy as we express our love for our alma mater.”

Stay up to date on all anniversary events and activities at http://www.deltastate.edu/anniversary. The public is encouraged to join the university as it continues to celebrate 90 years of excellence.