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Delta State to celebrate Commencement May 5

By | Academics, commencement, Community, Students | No Comments

Delta State University will celebrate 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 5 inside the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of 493 graduates.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will honor graduates receiving doctorates, education specialists, masters degrees, College of Business and Aviation undergraduate degrees, and School of Nursing undergraduate degrees.

The 2 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduates receiving undergraduate degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Each graduate will receive four tickets to administer to family and friends. Ticket pickup will be at the Registrar’s Office May 2-4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If students choose to not take all of their assigned tickets, additional tickets will be available for pickup at the Registrar’s Office starting at 10 a.m. May 4, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

At the 10 a.m. ceremony, Delta State will also continue its tradition of recognizing greatness by conferring an honorary doctoral degree to legendary Delta-influenced soul and gospel singer, and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples.

Delta State confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally, or other areas of society. Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

Keynoting both ceremonies is Dr. Glen Jones, president of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Jones also serves as the committee chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council. When Jones was introduced as Henderson State’s president in March 2012, he became the first African-American to serve as president or chancellor of a non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities institution in the history of Arkansas higher education.

Delta State President William N. LaForge will provide introductions at the ceremony, while presentations of candidates and degrees will be led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams.

Follow all news at Delta State University at http://www.deltastate.edu.

Mississippi Summer Arts Institute camps filling up quickly

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area | No Comments

The arts education department at the Bologna Performing Arts Center is gearing up for the 2018 Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute camps (MSAI). Now in its 21st summer of operation, MSAI has impacted the lives of countless emerging artists by providing one-of-a-kind opportunities for campers to gain exposure in multiple artistic disciplines. Two camps will be offered this summer for children ages 5-18.

CORE Arts Camp is a two-week residential intensive camp held on campus at Delta State University. Students create their own class schedule in a five-period-per-day format, attending hour-long courses in the performing, visual, digital and literary arts.

This year’s camp is scheduled for June 3-16, and limited residential spots remain. Non-residential options with lower fees are available for local students who wish to attend daily classes and activities, but who do not wish to stay in the dorms. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate artistic merit and significant financial need on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on scholarships, contact the arts education office at 662-846-4844.

CORE Arts classes are taught by leading artistic faculty from the state of Mississippi as well as artistic professionals from around the nation. Funding from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area will help to bring the poet laureate of the state, Beth Ann Fennelly, onto Delta State’s campus to lead the literary arts courses at CORE Arts this year, as well as Dr. Alphonso Sanders, chair of the fine arts program and director of the B.B. King Studio at Mississippi Valley State University. Sanders will lead a history of blues and instrumentation course while at camp. Other classes scheduled for CORE Arts camp include ballet, mixed media, paper sculpture, comic-book drawing, musical theatre and more.

Space is still available for young artists ages 5-11 to attend PLUS Camp from July 16-21, a high-energy, performance-oriented day camp. Campers learn a choreographed medley of songs and attend other classes throughout the day, including storytelling, mixed media textiles, ceramics and music. A final performance on July 21 showcases the hard work and dedication of PLUS Campers.

Interested campers can download hard-copy applications or pick them up from the BPAC, or fill out an online application at bolognapac.com/education. For more information, stop by the BPAC or call Cade Holder, arts education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.

The 2018 Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute is sponsored in part by the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, the American Legion Delta Post 1776, the Mississippi Arts Commission, Entergy, AT&T, the King’s Daughters and Sons Circle Number Two, the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, Hey Joe’s, Dominos Pizza, the Crosstie Arts Council and the EPHIC Women’s Club.

Mavis Staples to receive honorary doctoral degree

By | Academics, Community, President | No Comments

Delta State University will continue its tradition of recognizing greatness by conferring an honorary doctoral degree at spring commencement ceremonies May 5.

Delta State confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally, or other areas of society. Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

Receiving the honor will be the legendary Delta-influenced soul and gospel singer, and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples.

Staples is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Kennedy Center Honoree, and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient.

“We are honored to welcome Mavis Staples back to Delta State, and to present this musical legend who has ties to the Delta, with an honorary degree,” said Delta State University President William N. LaForge.

With her first recording at age 13 in 1954, the musical world has continued to learn from Staples. She has worked with and schooled countless musical legends. And each time she takes the stage, she performs with timeless talent. Beyond gospel and soul, her musical influence has had an impact on folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock and even hip-hop.

Mavis’s stardom began with the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s with her father, Pops, and her brother and sisters as The Staple Singers. The Staple Singers, inspired by Pops’ close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr., became the spiritual and musical voices of the civil rights movement. Few musicians can rival Staple’s impact in American music history, along with her family’s impact on the civil rights era.

Mavis, who was born in Chicago, has ties to the Mississippi Delta thanks to Pops’ roots. Pops was born and raised near Dockery Farms in Sunflower County, learning to play his guitar at Charley Patton’s feet, picking up technique and musicianship from the older and popular bluesman.

These Delta Blues influences were passed down to Mavis and her siblings, shaping their musical careers forever.

Mavis would go on to top the radio charts during the Stax era with hits like “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.” She served as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince at the peak of their careers, and later formed collaborations with Van Morrison, Billy Preston, Zac Brown, Ry Cooder, Chuck D. and Willie Nelson.

Staples last performed at Delta State’s Bologna Performing Arts Center in 2016 alongside the Blind Boys of Alabama.

To follow all Delta State news, visit www.deltastate.edu.

Bolivar County Crawfish Boil scheduled for May 3

By | Alumni, Community, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Delta State University Bolivar County Alumni Chapter will host its annual Bolivar County Crawfish Boil on May 3 starting at 5:30 p.m. on the lawn at Walter Sillers Coliseum.

The Delta State University National Alumni Association, along with the Bolivar County Alumni Chapter officers, hosts the event each spring for local alumni to congregate and raise funds for the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Tickets for crawfish are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. BBQ tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Free Domino’s pizza will be available to children 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Tickets can be purchased at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni-Foundation House, online at https://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/bolivarcountycrawfishboil, or at the door.

The annual affair features live entertainment, a kids zone area, exceptional food and a silent auction to raise money for the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship fund. The scholarship is given to students who attend Delta State as freshmen and are Bolivar County residents.

The scholarship was established in 2011 and was named for past assistant director of Alumni Affairs, Liza Vaughn, who lost her battle with cancer in April of 2012. To donate to the scholarship, visit https://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/lizavaughnmemorialscholarshipfund.

“This event is always filled with great food, entertainment and our amazing alumni from Bolivar county,” said Amanda Robinson, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. “This would not be possible without help from our many volunteers and sponsors. Our main goal with this event is to raise scholarship funding to support the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship fund. We are looking forward to another great event here in Bolivar County.”

This year’s sponsors include: Advance Physical Therapy, Anytime Fitness/Studio S, Backdraft Inc., Boyle Lumber, Cleveland Rentall Outdoors, Cleveland State Bank, Crustaceans Crawfish, Delta Radio, Denton’s Dairy, DSU University Advancement of External Relations, Eley Barkley, P.A., Guaranty Bank, Joe Reed and Company Inc., McNeer Mini Storage, Mid South Water, LLC, Mississippi Grounds, Monsanto, Needle Specialty Products, Peters Pottery, Planters Bank, Right at Home/ Delta Maids, Robinson Electric, Rogers Entomological Services, Inc., South Street Pharmacy, The Bolivar Commercial, The Childrens Dental Clinic, The Image Specialist, and Williams Equipment & Supply Company.

The 2018 Bolivar County officers are: Gary Crews, president; Shane Howell, vice president; and Tricia Killebrew, secretary/treasurer.

Follow all event details on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/801403353377275.

To stay up to date with Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media outlets: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn Group (Delta State University National Alumni Association), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the dates for the 33rd Annual Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 22) and Homecoming (Nov. 10).

Go Green Weekend returns April 27-29

By | Admissions, Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University is gearing up for its fifth annual Go Green Weekend on campus April 27-29.

Each spring, students, faculty, staff, alumni and Delta State supporters gather for a full schedule of live entertainment, tailgating, sporting events and a Spring Preview Day on April 27 from the Office of Admissions.

The family-friendly affair is a way for the Delta State community to celebrate all things green and white. The schedule of events is coordinated by a number of Delta State departments.

View the full schedule at www.deltastate.edu/gogreenweekend.

Spring Preview Day continues to grow each Go Green Weekend, as potential students have the opportunity to hear from campus leaders, meet faculty and staff to learn about campus departments, interact with current students and student organizations, enjoy campus tours, and be a first-hand fan at Delta State athletic events. This year’s preview day begins April 27 at 9:30 a.m. in the H.L. Nowell Student Union.

Junior and seniors are asked to register for Spring Preview Day at http://www.deltastate.edu/admissions/go-green-weekend.

“Spring Preview Day is an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors who are still trying to decide where to attend college,” said Rebekah Arant, Admissions recruiter. “It’s also an opportunity to meet with academic departments and student groups to see what being a Statesmen is all about. Students will have the opportunity to hear from campus leaders, enjoy a campus tour, and interact with current students.”

High school students participating in Spring Preview Day will also receive free tickets for themselves and up to two guests to attend the baseball and softball games on April 28.

The Alumni Office also encourages Delta State alumni, current students and community supporters to come out and support Delta State on the baseball and softball fields. The office will support tailgating festivities outside Harvey Stadium at 1 p.m. on April 28.

“Go Green Weekend is a great opportunity for alumni to see the new and exciting things happening on campus, visit with faculty, staff and other alumni, while enjoying some wonderful Delta State University sporting events,” said Amanda Robinson, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. “The Alumni Association office looks forward to seeing all of our alumni return to campus for Go Green Weekend.”

The Lady Statesmen softball team hosts a doubleheader against Mississippi College on April 28. Games begin at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. They close the series April 29 with a 1 p.m. showdown.

The Statesmen baseball team also hosts Mississippi College for a doubleheader, with games starting at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The men close their series April 29 with a 2 p.m. game.

The Office of Student Affairs, Student Government Association, and Delta Music Institute will also get in on the fun with a few events.

Weather permitting on April 27, the SGA and DMI will host a joint party on the quad. Starting at 6 p.m., DMI students will perform on stage and the SGA Student Crawfish Boil will kick off. At 6:45 p.m., a pep rally will take place for the softball and baseball teams. At 7 p.m., the DMI’s 2018 feature artist, Mic Hargrove, will be performing on stage for an EP release party.

“This event is a culmination of a great year for Student Government Association,” said Layla Young, SGA chief of staff and event coordinator. “We are looking forward to a fun-filled night of good food and good music that showcases the quality of talent here at DSU with our family and friends.

On April 28, Greek Life will host the annual Multicultural Step Show at 8 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. This year’s show is a partnership with Make-A-Wish Mississippi. Admission is $5 and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish.

Also on April 28, Athletics will host a special recognition at 9 a.m. at the Derrall Foreman Golf Course to honor former Delta State golf coach Derrall Forman.

Go Green Weekend activities are open to the public, but tickets are required for entry into the baseball and softball games. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, potential students and Delta State supporters are encouraged to tailgate prior the games.