Archives and Museum

Delta State University will honor legendary Lady Statesmen basketball coach Margaret Wade with a statue dedication Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.

Wade statue dedication planned for Nov. 14

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Margaret Wade’s impact on women’s collegiate athletics and the game of basketball is immeasurable. On Nov. 14 at 2 p.m., Delta State University and the Department of Athletics will dedicate a statue in honor of Wade’s indelible legacy.
“No single individual has had a larger impact on women’s athletics, especially in Mississippi, than coach Margaret Wade,” said Ronnie Mayers, director of athletics. “Her legacy lives on today through the countless young women who have the opportunity to participate and enjoy competitive sports.”
The dedication ceremony will take place at the West Plaza of Kent Wyatt Hall. Delta State President William N. LaForge will host the event, which features former presidents Dr. Kent Wyatt and Dr. Aubrey Lucas, and former Ole Miss and WNBA head coach Van Chancellor. A reception will follow the ceremony in the Leroy Morganti Atrium of Kent Wyatt Hall.
Wade served as head coach of the Lady Statesmen from 1973-79, leading Delta State to three consecutive AIAW National Championships from 1974-75 through 1976-77. During that time, Wade amassed a remarkable 157-23 record and helped pave the way for future female head coaches like Pat Summitt to excel in the sport they love.
“Her first four years back in coaching have been called one of the most amazing accomplishments in sports history,” said Langston Rogers, former Delta State and Ole Miss sports information director.
During those four years, Delta State went from having no team at all to Wade leading the Lady Statesmen to a 109-6 record and the three titles.
Wade received numerous awards during her career, including AIAW National Coach of the Year; Kellogg’s Mississippi Coach of the Year; and following her retirement, the title of “Mother of Modern Collegiate Basketball” was bestowed her by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. 

In addition to being the most recognizable name in women’s college basketball in Mississippi, the WBCA named its player of the year award after the Mississippi Delta legend. The “Lily Margaret Wade Trophy” is annually awarded to the nation’s top women’s basketball player in the NCAA. In 1978, Wade awarded the first-ever trophy to Montclair State guard Carol Blazejowski. 
In 1986, the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame made Wade the first female inductee and first female head coach to be enshrined into the hall. She is also a member of the Delta State University Sports Hall of Fame, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
A year-by-year breakdown of Wade’s career and her accomplishments at Delta State is listed below:
1973-74: 16-2
1974-75: 28-0 / AIAW National Champions 
1975-76: 33-1 / AIAW National Champions 
1976-77: 32-3 / AIAW National Champions 
1977-78: 27-5
1978-79: 21-12
Totals: 157-23 (.872)

1975 – AIAW National Champions
1975 – Inducted into MS Sports Hall of Fame
1976 – AIAW National Champions
1977 – AIAW National Champions
1977 – Kellogg’s National Coach of the Year
1978 – Wade Trophy established by WBCA
1986 – Inducted into Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame

Delta Chinese: Reflections & Reunion takes place Friday and Saturday at Delta State University and the city of Cleveland’s Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum.

Delta Chinese: Reflections & Reunion — Oct. 24-25

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Before big railroad companies forged the length of the interior of the Mississippi Delta, a group of sojourners found themselves in the midst of this alluvial plain, enticed by the stories and promises of “Gold Mountain.”

By 1870, approximately 400 Chinese laborers landed in New Orleans with a small core of that number finding their way to the upper Mississippi Delta to work in agriculture. Life was not easy for these first immigrants, but they worked hard and found that they could and would make the Delta “home.”

Learn more about the legacy of Chinese immigration in the Delta by attending Delta Chinese: Reflections & Reunion at Delta State University and the city of Cleveland’s Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum this Friday and Saturday.

A series of lectures and events will be held at the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum at the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum on campus and the train museum. Scheduled speakers include Susie Jeu Tonymon, Ted Gong, Martin Gold, Gwen Gong, Adrienne Berard and John Jung.

Topics of interest will include a family’s journey from southern China to southern Arkansas, the 1882 Chinese exclusion laws, Mississippi Chinese WWII veterans, the Gong Lum vs. Rice civil rights case and an author’s perspective of the Mississippi Delta Chinese.

“This reunion is a celebration of Chinese Americans who have their roots in the Mississippi Delta,” said Raymond Wong, president of the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum board. “Unlike Chinese Americans from (other) parts of the United States, the Chinese from Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas share a unique bond because of their Southern heritage and upbringing.

“There is a connectivity and camaraderie even if you have left the South. Everyone is invited to come join in the fun and reunion.”

Friday’s first lecture will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Jobe Hall and will feature the personal stories of Tonymon, whose family made the journey from Southern China to Southern Arkansas. Tonymon will present her memories “as a child growing up between the devastating Mississippi River flood of 1927 and the depression years of the 1930s, and how we endured the tragedies of both World War II and the Korean War — as we experienced life in the segregated South.”

The second session, beginning at 10:45 a.m., will feature Gold, author of “Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress: A Legislative History,” and Gong, founder and executive director of the 1882 Project Foundation, who will speak about the legacy of America’s Chinese exclusion laws.

The final lecture session Friday will begin at 1:45 p.m. and feature stories from Delta native, Gwen Gong. Gong is the author of six books and has been the founding and chief editor of the Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, an international journal, for the past 20 years.

Friday’s lecture series will culminate with a ribbon cutting for two new wings of the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum, located on the third floor of the Capps Archives. The museum features a full size replica of a Chinese grocery and offers a unique view into the history and daily lives of the Delta’s Chinese residents.

The new additions to the museum will showcase the vital role that the Delta Chinese played in shaping Mississippi’s educational landscape and the heroic efforts of Delta Chinese veterans. A reception will be held at the Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum following the ribbon cutting.

Saturday’s lectures will begin at 10 a.m. at the H.L. Nowell Student Union and feature Jung, author of four books on the Chinese American experience, including a memoir titled “Southern Fried Rice: Life in A Chinese Laundry in the Deep South.” Journalist Adrienne Berard, who is the scholar in residence at Delta State will also be featured. Berard’s current book project on Rosedale’s Gong Lum v. Rice case was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Award by Harvard University.

Both of Saturday’s lectures are free and open to the public. The museum, including its two new additions, will be open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday.

To learn more about this event and to register, visit

*Special appreciation to Dr. and Mrs. Tony Chan for their financial contribution, which has initiated the Chinese Reunion. This program is financially assisted by the Mississippi Legislature through the Mississippi Department of Archives & History and by the Mississippi Humanities Council. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Mississippi Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mississippi Department of Archives & History or the University of Southern Mississippi.


New faculty learn about Delta

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A group of new faculty members at Delta State University were treated to an introduction of the Mississippi Delta and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area by Dr. Rolando Herts and Lee Aylward of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning on Oct. 30.

Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies and Research, organized the educational session at the Charlie Capps Archives & Museum. Emily Jones, university archivist, also provided an overview of various resources and services available at the facility.

Those who participated in the session included (l to r): Amy McAdams, instructor in health, physical education and recreation; Dr. Fatematul Jannat, visiting assistant professor in social justice and criminology; Dr. Amit Verma, assistant professor of logistics; Melaku Tadesse, assistant professor of commercial aviation; Eric Owens, visiting instructor in social justice and criminology; Dr. James Gerald, assistant professor of physics; Lee Aylward, Delta Center; Dr. Sharon Hamilton, assistant professor of chemistry; Kalilah Kemp, instructor in HPER/athletic training clinical education coordinator; Dr. Rolando Herts, director, Delta Center; and Emily Jones, university archivist.

Delta State graduate Debra Ferguson '74 presents her traveling exhibit "This Delta" Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Capps Archives & Museum.

“This Delta” to launch at Delta State Archives

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Photographer Debra L. Ferguson has teamed up with Delta State University Archivist Emily Jones to create “This Delta,” a traveling exhibit of Ferguson’s images of the Mississippi Delta taken over the last 30 years.

The exhibit launches with a special Sunday opening on August 24 at 2 p.m. at the Capps Archives & Museum on Delta State’s campus. The public is invited to the free event, and Ferguson will be in attendance.

“This Delta” features Ferguson’s images with a mixture of words from some of the most notorious and noteworthy writers from the Delta and Mississippi. The exhibit will remain on site for two weeks.

A 1974 graduate of Delta State University, Ferguson works as a magazine and advertising photographer, specializing in agricultural and rural lifestyle subjects. She is also a partner with her husband, Owen Taylor, in AgFax Media, an online agricultural news organization.

Her photography has appeared in Farm Journal, Progressive Farmer, Southern Living Travel and other publications and advertising campaigns. A prolific stock photographer, her images are represented by agencies in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

“Emily and I had a lot of fun creating this exhibit from my images,” said Ferguson. “I left the Delta in the early 1970s, but it was always home. Luckily for me, my family and work assignments kept bringing me back often enough to create a body of work. I’m honored and very excited to share these images, many of which have never been seen.”

Jones, who has collaborated with Ferguson on previous work, is honored to see the kickoff take place at Delta State.

“This has been a labor of love for the both of us,” said Jones. “We first talked about traveling exhibits when we worked together on another exhibit, ‘Vanishing Delta.’”

Ferguson won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters photography award for “Vanishing Delta” in 2007.

“Ever since then, we have hoped and thought about what an exhibit of her work might look like in a traveling format. Finally, we did it,” added Jones.

“This Delta” is a collection of seven panels with individual titles: Delta Folks, Delta Relics, Going to Town, Nature’s Rhythm, Passing Through, Sacred Spaces and Taming the Land, plus the exhibit’s opening panel.

Laura Walker, Delta State University graphic designer and brand manager, designed the traveling exhibit around Ferguson’s photography. In addition, Mothlite Media, a design agency owned by Laura and Josh Walker, created a website that will be the Delta State Archives’ first online companion to a traveling exhibit. The web aspect of the exhibit will also be launched and shared with the public at the opening reception.

The exhibit will tour Mississippi sites for the first year — from September 2014 through September 2015. After the first year, “This Delta” will be available to tour outside of Mississippi.

“We are keeping the exhibit home-state-bound this first year to thank the Mississippi Humanities Council for their support of this project,” added Jones. “There is still time for future hosting sites. Contact us at the archives if you are interested in hosting the exhibit.”

For those missing the initial exhibit launch, the following Mississippi sites will also be hosting “This Delta:”

  • September 2014 – William Alexander Percy Memorial Library, Greenville
    * October/November 2014 – Tunica Museum, Tunica
    * January/February 2015 – DeSoto County History Museum, Hernando
    * March/April 2015 – Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, Columbus
    * May/June 2015 – Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood
    * July/August/September 2015 – Rolling Fork, site TBD

To learn more about Delta State’s Archives & Museum, visit Follow Archives on Facebook at

Journalist and author Adrienne Berard joins the Capps Archives & Museum as a writer in residence this fall.

Archives welcomes accomplished writer

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

Adrienne Berard, writer in residence for Delta State’s Capps Archives & Museum, will present a lecture to the Bolivar County Historical Society at noon August 11 in the Archives’ seminar room. The public is invited to attend this free event.

Berard is an award-winning journalist based in New York City who will spend the fall at Delta State. Her book “Love and War” was voted one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year for 2014.

She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Smith College. Her current book project, “When Yellow Was Black: The untold story of the first fight for desegregation in Southern schools,” will be published by Beacon Press in 2015.

Berard is the Archives & Museum’s first writer in residence, where she will focus her efforts on the Mississippi Delta Chinese, and particularly the Gong Lum v. Rice case.

The case is considered the first desegregation case in Mississippi. From the courts in Rosedale, to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1927, the question of access to public education was debated back and forth to allow Martha Lum to continue her education.

“I am incredibly grateful for the chance to explore a forgotten yet vital part of the Delta’s history here at Delta State,” said Berard. “By offering lectures to the public, I hope to shed light on what is normally a very insulated process — the act of writing a book.

“In the coming months, I plan to explore the legacy of Gong Lum while engaging the community in discussions about what it means to be a chronicler of history.”

Berard will be teaching a course this fall, JOU/COM 492, specifically about the Lum case. Students are still able to sign up for the class. poster for jou 492[7]

Delta State Archives has been awarded a Mississippi Humanities grant to support the lecture series and oral history work that Berard will take on this semester.

“The Mississippi Humanities Council offers us the opportunity to examine our mission, prepare a scope of work and then financially support our programs and activities,” said Emily Jones, university archivist. “I am excited to have their support with our first writer in residence and to continue the tradition of collecting oral histories through the Archives.”

Berard will present the following discussions as scheduled:

* Sept. 11 — tales and discoveries from an accidental historian
* Oct. 25 — co-present with Dr. John Jung: field stories, from spoken to written words
* Nov. 13 —making stories from scraps of history: how to use archives for narrative
* Dec. 4 — a reading from Berard’s new book

This program is financially assisted by the Mississippi Legislature through the Mississippi Department of Archives & History and by the Mississippi Humanities Council. Also supporting the program is the Kings Daughter’s & Sons Circle #2 in Greenville.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the MHC, National Endowment for the Humanities, the MDAH or the University of Southern Mississippi.

To learn more about Delta State’s Archives & Museum, visit Follow Archives on Facebook at