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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.

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

 

James W. Broom, director, led the way as Delta State Teachers College welcomed its first students to campus for a summer institute 90 years ago today.

90th anniversary of Delta State Teachers College

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Delta State Teachers College welcomed its first students to campus for a summer institute 90 years ago today. The students at the institute were teachers taking review work for certification purposes.

Delta State Teachers College was not officially in operation, but members of the institute faculty included some who would be on the regular college staff in September, with President James W. Broom as the director.

The faculty for the institute included James W. Broom, director; J.C Windham, local director and algebra instructor; William Marion Kethley, education and history instructor; Callie Maffett, primary methods and supervisor of play instuctor; Annie Caulfeild, English instructor; Albert Leon Young, social sciences and general sciences instructor; B.P. Brooks, plane and solid geometry and hygiene instructor; G.B. Sanders, review work instructor; and Jane Figg, history and physical education instructor.

The summer normal was not part of the regular school and provided no credit toward a degree at Delta State. Delta State Teachers College opened its doors officially on Sept. 15, 1925.

“With another class of Teach For America students visiting campus, it seems timely to celebrate this anniversary,” said Emily Jones, university archivist. “Since before the doors officially opened as an educational institution, Delta State teachers were reaching out to the community to ensure students had the best possible education accessible.”