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Athletics

Campus Update from President LaForge

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By: Delta State President William N. LaForge

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Greetings Colleagues and Students!

Welcome back from Spring Break, and happy “soon-to-be” spring this week!

Thanks to our hard-working colleagues in Facilities Management and good progress with major projects, the campus is looking great.  The Quad is DSU green, flowers are popping up around campus, and we are anticipating the reopening of Zeigel Hall soon, as well as the dining hall and Statesmen Boulevard later in the year.

We are in the midst of a very good year and productive semester, with spring-to-spring enrollment numbers up eight percent, and a six percent increase in the retention of first-time, full-time freshmen.  We received the coveted designation as a “military-friendly” school, and, in the area of community outreach, we rolled out the Local Government Leadership Institute that will assist Delta municipal and county leaders in building skill sets that will enable them to run their communities more effectively.

The academy has implemented our two new requirements for all graduates — participation in upper-division courses that provide enhanced writing experiences, and the completion of a capstone project as a requirement for graduation.  This boost in academic requirements should make our graduates more prepared and competitive as they move on to jobs and/or graduate or professional schools, as well as ratchet up Delta State’s academic reputation in the eyes of the public and student prospects.  Additionally, our Student Success programs are providing superb services to our students, and making a difference in the academic progress of students across the spectrum of disciplines.

We started the month of March with the announcement of the Gertrude Ford Foundation’s $3 million pledge in support of our Center for Teaching and Learning, our internal professional development program for faculty.  Be on the lookout for more major gift announcements in the near future that will support scholarships and other vital programs on campus.

The next two weeks promise to be Delta State’s version of non-basketball “March Madness!”

On Wednesday of this week, FedEx founder and CEO, Frederick W. Smith, will be our distinguished lecturer at the spring Colloquium in Jobe Hall at 6pm.  There will be a reception for him — and you — immediately following.  He will also meet with student leaders the next morning.

On Thursday evening, the BPAC hosts the legendary Gladys Knight.  At this point, tickets may only be available from scalpers! J

Next week features the 5th annual Winning the Race Conference, and the 13th annual International Business Symposium.  I hope you will make every effort to attend both programs.

Our baseball, softball, golf, and tennis teams are all in full action, so come out to support them when you can.  And, a shout-out is due to Statesmen basketball for going to the conference championship finals, and to men’s and women’s swim-dive for their outstanding showing at the NCAA national meet last week.

We are pleased to report that we have a record number of international students enrolled — 134 — from 48 countries.  Efforts are underway to bolster our international programs abroad for students and faculty.  We have formal relationships now with universities in Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, and Korea, and a DSU delegation is in China now working with seven universities on student exchange and recruiting opportunities.

In April, look for specifics about this spring’s campus forums we will host for students, faculty, and staff, respectively.  These forums will be live opportunities to hear about and discuss current campus activities and plans for the future.  Our annual Go Green Weekend for student recruitment is slated for April 27th and 28th, and will provide an opportunity for us to welcome prospective students to campus.

In early April, we should be able to report to you the results of the current state legislative session.  We are hopeful that we will be able to secure increased operational dollars for the university, as well as bond authority to fund campus infrastructure improvements.

As we approach spring graduation on May 5th, I am pleased to announce that our commencement speaker will be Dr. Glen Jones, President of Henderson State University (Arkansas) and President of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council.  And, we will bestow an honorary doctorate on music legend Mavis Staples.

Finally, I continue to enjoy the opportunity to meet with faculty and staff through my departmental visits and periodic luncheons.  It is refreshing to learn about all of the good things our professionals on campus are doing for our students and the university.

Thanks to all of you in the Delta State family for making this university a great place to live, work, and learn.

Onward and Upward!

Very best regards,

Bill LaForge

Ferriss honored with state resolution

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Senator Buck Clarke presented the official resolution in honor of Coach David “Boo” Ferriss to his wife, Miriam Ferriss, on Nov. 13.

 

Delta State University’s baseball legend Coach David “Boo” Ferriss was recently honored by the Mississippi legislature through an official senate resolution.

On Nov. 13, Senator Buck Clarke and Delta State President William N. LaForge presented the resolution to his wife, Miriam Ferriss.

“This was a really special moment, and I am very humbled by the resolution,” said Miriam. “I appreciate Sen. Clarke and President LaForge taking the time to honor him in this way.”

Boo was a Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer and legendary coach of the Delta State Statesmen. He retired from Delta State after the 1988 season, but he spent the rest of his life as a Statesmen supporter before he passed away in November of 2016.

Ferriss was so revered in the state, that some called him the “Dean of Mississippi Baseball.”

“As much as he loved playing in the MLB, he was even happier coaching,” added Miriam. “That’s where his heart was. He loved the players he coached, and they loved him back. It was his greatest joy. He lived his dream, and I supported him in everything he wanted to do.”

Sen. Clarke said Boo was more than deserving of the recognition.

“One of the legislature’s ways of honoring those who have contributed so much to our state is by passing a resolution, which is much like a bill, that tells of their life and what sets them apart,” said Clarke. “This resolution is then entered into the Senate journal and thus is a permanent record for all time.”

“Personally delivering the resolution to Mrs. Ferriss was a special treat for me,” added Clarke. “Resolutions are usually handed to someone in the Capitol, maybe in a ceremony, and the legislature is then done with it. Mrs. Ferriss is such a gracious person, and it was an honor for President LaForge and me to visit her in her home. Coach Ferriss was truly a remarkable person, and a legendary Mississippian. If you ever met him, you would never forget him — just as he never forgot you.”

LaForge said he was honored to present the resolution directly to Miriam.

“In his resolution, passed by the state legislature, Sen. Buck Clarke captured the spirit of Coach Ferriss’s life and character,” said LaForge. “It is a very fitting tribute to a great man, and one of Delta State’s legends. What a pleasure it was to be there with Sen. Clarke when he delivered the resolution to Mrs. Ferriss.”

Learn more about Boo’s unparalleled career at http://www.clarionledger.com/story/sports/college/2016/11/24/legend-boo-ferriss-dies-thanksgiving-age-94/91616420.

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

 

DSU Homecoming: A Statesman Stroll Down Memory Lane

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Delta State University is gearing up for its biggest Homecoming in years. Join the celebration of Statesmen pride with Homecoming festivities beginning Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. with Catfish on the Quad sponsored by the Student Government Association.

While the official kickoff for the Homecoming football game is Nov. 11 at 2 p.m., an amped up schedule of activities will lead up to the game. This year’s theme is “A Statesman Stroll Down Memory Lane.”

Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president for Student Affairs, has spearheaded the event schedule.

“Student Affairs and the Homecoming Committee are really focused on engaging more students, alumni and community members in Homecoming this year,” said Bennett. “Some of our new initiatives include a Homecoming webpage with links to the various events, various college open houses, a bonfire/pep rally at Statesman Park, and the Statesman Stroll.”

The stroll, beginning at the Student Union on Nov. 11, features 12 campus locations that include the open houses and various historic venues. The back of each stroll card has facts about each stop, and each “stroller” is entered into a drawing to win a Visa gift card. This activity begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 11 a.m. For more information on the stroll, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life/homecoming-statesman-stroll.

Registration for the parade is still available at http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life/homecoming-parade. This year’s parade will again feature approximately 10 bands from throughout the region, and campus, alumni and community participants. The parade’s theme is “Statesman Pride On Parade.”

View the full Homecoming schedule below:

For more information, visit the official 2017 Homecoming webpage at http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life/dsu-homecoming.

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Join Alumni Association for Saturday’s tailgate

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All alumni, friends and fans of Delta State are invited to join the Delta State University National Alumni Association for food, fun and fellowship as they tailgate before the football game Saturday in Clinton, Mississippi. The Statesmen will battle the Choctaws for the Heritage Bell Trophy.

Fans should take the visitor’s entrance and look for the Alumni Association tent, to be set up near the baseball complex. Tailgating will begin at 5 p.m. and will continue until kickoff at 7 p.m. For game tickets, visit http://gochoctaws.com/sports/2006/8/1/tickets.aspx?&tab=2.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite tailgate dish. Delta State pompoms, RC products and water will be provided.

For more information, contact alumni@deltastate.edu or call Melissa Love, assistant alumni director, at 662-588-3780.