Ownby, Westmoreland and Jones to discuss “The Mississippi Encyclopedia”

By | Academics, Archives, Community, Faculty/Staff, QEP | No Comments

The DSU Quality Enhancement Plan, the Division of Social Sciences and History, and the DSU Archives Department will present a public presentation on “The Mississippi Encyclopedia” on Aug. 31 at noon in the seminar room of the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives & Museum.

The presentation will provide a concise compilation of people, places and events from prehistoric times through today.

Featured speakers include: Dr. Ted Ownby, professor of history and southern studies at the University of Mississippi and director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture; Dr. Chuck Westmoreland, associate professor of history at Delta State; and Emily Jones, Delta State archivist.

The trio will discuss Ownby’s most recent publication, “The Mississippi Encyclopedia,” a large collaboration that includes over 1,600 entries, 1,451 pages, and features more than 700 scholars who wrote entries on every state county, every governor and numerous musicians, writers, artists and activists.

The work is the first encyclopedia treatment of the state since 1907.

“I was excited when Dr. Ownby reached out to me in the spring about DSU hosting this event,” said Michelle Johansen, QEP coordinator. “Our campus and community will be amazed by the breadth of this book. I’m proud of the number of current and former DSU scholars who made valuable contributions to the encyclopedia.”

The volume will appeal to anyone wanting to know more about Mississippi and the people who call it home. It will be especially helpful to students, teachers and researching scholars.

The event will be followed by a book signing and reception.

McAnally to perform album release and benefit concert at BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

On Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m., the statewide non-profit organization Extra Table will host country music star Mac McAnally along with the Mississippi Bicentennial Orchestra and members of the Coral Reefer Band in a benefit concert at the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State.

Now, in his fifth benefit concert to help fight hunger, McAnally joins Extra Table to help get healthy food to the hungry across the Mississippi Delta. All profits from the show will be used to purchase healthy food for area feeding agencies.

Extra Table, founded by chef, author and restaurateur Robert St. John, is a non-profit organization committed to ending hunger in Mississippi by providing food pantries and soup kitchens with the nutritious food they need to feed Mississippi’s hungry.

Through a partnership with Sysco, the nation’s largest food distributor, Extra Table uses 100 percent of donations given for food to purchase healthy food bundles from Sysco, which are delivered free of charge on a monthly basis to 27 food pantries and soup kitchens that Extra Table is partnered with throughout the state.

In addition to the profits from the concert, McAnally is also announcing a special album release of biggest hits and favorite songs set to orchestration, with a portion of proceeds also benefitting Extra Table.

McAnally’s peers have voted him County Music Association Musician of the Year for an unprecedented eight years in a row. He’s a member of the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band. He has been releasing albums since he was 20, and he’s written several No. 1 hits, beginning with Alabama’s “Old Flame.”

Scheduled to release Aug. 25 on Mailboat Records, “Southbound” is the first of his 14 albums to present all original material in McAnally’s newly arranged orchestral context. The album features 16 tunes from his catalog, each one spotlighting members of Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s FestivalSouth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jay Dean, accompanying McAnally’s performances.

To purchase tickets to the Sept. 7 performance, visit or

Alumni to host Greenwood/Leflore County chapter meeting

By | Alumni, Community | No Comments
Pictured are the Leflore Alumni Event planning committee members (left to right): Danielle Morgan ’01, Forrest Hodge ’12, Rebecca Arant ’09, Miller Arant’ 03, and Alumni staff Melissa Love ’04 and Jeffrey Farris ’04.


The Delta State University Alumni Association will host the Greenwood/Leflore County chapter meeting at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta on Tuesday. Registration and a social will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m. Abe’s BBQ will provide catering for the event.

“The Alumni and Foundation Office is excited to bring guests from campus to Greenwood,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. “We look forward to visiting with our alumni, friends of the university and future Delta State students.”

Featured guests will include: President William N. LaForge; Todd Cooley, head football coach; Craig Roden, head women’s basketball coach; Matt Jones, senior associate athletic director of communications and marketing; Rebekah Arant, admissions recruiter; and the Delta State Alumni-Foundation staff.

The cost for the meeting is $10 per person. Prospective students are invited to attend as guests of the Alumni Association. To RSVP, contact the association at 662-846-4660 or visit

Supporters are asked to consider contributing to the Greenwood/Leflore County Alumni Scholarship Fund and the Delta State University Marketing Dollars Campaign. Donations can be made on the event page.

“This event always promises to be a great time,” said Miller Arant, president of the chapter. “Greenwood and Leflore County DSU alumni are proud of our university and take great pride in promoting current and future endeavors. In addition to the sendoff of our newest Statesmen, we are extremely excited about the opportunity to award scholarships.”

The mission of the Museum of the Mississippi Delta (formerly Cottonlandia Museum) is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit tangible artifacts which enable the museum to educate the public about the art, history and natural history of the Mississippi Delta. The collection consists of historical items related to agriculture with particular emphasis on the cotton industry; military history emphasizing the Civil War; a regional art collection; the largest collection of Spanish Colonial trade beads in the Southeast; and an extensive collection of Pre-Columbian pottery.

The museum is currently hosting a vibrant exhibit featuring all new artwork by two Greenwood artists, Angie Crick Cole and Shawn Hodges. “Local Color” will include 20 pieces by Hodges and 28 by Cole. The artwork will range in sizes and will also be available to purchase. For more information, visit the museum’s website at

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Pig Pickin’ (Oct. 7) and Homecoming (Nov. 11).

LaForge hosts fourth annual Mayors’ Summit

By | Community, President | No Comments
President William N. LaForge (left) recently welcomed local mayors, including Cleveland mayor Billy Nowell, to Delta State’s fourth annual Delta Mayors Summit.

Mayors from across the Mississippi Delta gathered at Delta State University recently for the fourth annual Delta Mayors’ Summit hosted by President William N. LaForge.

The university invited local mayors to engage in discussion about campus and community activities, and to continue forging collaborations and partnerships in the Delta.

This year’s meeting focused on overall campus updates, a summary of university initiatives, an introduction of a new government leadership institute, as well as updates from a number of campus leaders.

Mayors in attendance also had the opportunity to discuss common challenges and successful initiatives in their respective communities.

LaForge was pleased to build on the success of previous summits, a conference he instituted after becoming president in 2013.

“This is a great opportunity for Delta State to showcase its programs, its successes and its offerings to the elected leadership of the Delta,” said LaForge. “It’s also an opportunity for us to hear from them and find out what they need in the way of workforce and programming. It’s extremely important for us to build these relationships because we must all work together for the improvement of the Delta region, and we also want these cities and towns to send us their students.

“We also offer a number of outreach programs in which local municipalities can participate, such as our race relations conference, the blues conference and our annual international business conference. And today, we’re announcing a program designed to provide professional development opportunities for local elected officials.”

The new program, called Local Government Leadership Institute, will assist Delta communities in addressing governance challenges by providing local officials with the information and tools needed to run their municipalities effectively and efficiently.

The program is a partnership with The John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development at Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Municipal League. It is being offered with financial support from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and Casey Family Programs.

Billy Nowell, mayor of Cleveland,  is thrilled with the summit’s growth each year and with Delta State’s outreach efforts.

“It’s very important we continue this town-gown relationship,” said Nowell. “We really appreciate President LaForge planning this event. It really reminds all the mayors in the Delta that the university is here for them as well as all the students. President LaForge has shown that time and time again.”

Eulah L. Peterson, the recently elected mayor of Mound Bayou, enjoyed networking with university staff and fellow Delta mayors.

“As a new mayor, I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to be here at the summit and to learn about the things we’ll be working on jointly with the university,” said Peterson. “It’s also good to hear what other common concerns the other mayors have. This is a very positive opportunity to share and work together.”

Follow all Delta State University news at

Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program completes third year

By | College of Business and Aviation, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The third annual Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program recently wrapped up programming at Delta State University.

The program, in partnership with the Indianola Promise Community, is sponsored by Delta State University’s College of Business and Aviation. Targeting male students ages 15-19, the camp provides instruction in business vocabulary and practical work experience to enhance entrepreneurial skills and develop work ethics.

The IPC is funded by the Delta Health Alliance.

This year’s schedule culminated with a tour of the Delta Music Institute at Delta State and GRAMMY Museum Mississippi on July 24.

“This program is designed to enlighten 40 young men about entrepreneurship and the characteristics required to be an entrepreneur,” said Dr. Glendscene Williams, associate professor at Delta State.

Students from the Sunflower County School District are groomed to view their community with aspiration for starting their own successful small businesses.

“Our goal is to enhance their vocabulary when it comes to entrepreneurship and their financial literacy,” added Williams. “To do this, they participate in debates on economic conditions and other business topics related to their community and participate in a business plan competition.”

Local businesses in Indianola give each of these students the opportunity to watch the day-to-day operations of a small business after they complete the business plan competition.

“This program serves as a streamline of a win-win relationship for the participants and the community,” said Williams. “I see it as an opportunity for a community to invest in their own professionals and future business leaders, whereby the participants start at an early age to become aware of the community in which they live and the opportunity to be a major contributor to its economic growth.”

Learn more about the program at, or contact Williams at