Pig Pickin’ schedule announced

By | Alumni, Athletics, Community, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association recently unveiled the schedule of events for the 30th annual Pig Pickin.’ Also introduced was, a brand new website that is a one-stop shop for all things Pig Pickin’.

Alumni and friends can purchase BBQ tickets, sign up for the cooking competition, and sponsor the event all through the new site.

The schedule is full of activities for Delta State alumni and friends of any age. Activities kick off Sept. 18 with a Delta State Softball Intrasquad scrimmage at University Field at 4 p.m., followed by the annual Polk’s Sponsors’ Dinner at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni-Foundation House at 6 p.m.

Delta State alumna and Chopped Grill Master Leslie Roark Scott will do a live cooking demonstration at the sponsor’s dinner. Scott competed on the Food Network show “Chopped Grill Masters,” where she made it to the final episode before being defeated when the group had to prepare rattlesnake. Scott will reenact her rattlesnake performance for the Pig Pickin’ sponsors.

At 8 p.m., the Alumni Association will host a Young Alumni Tailgate Party with live entertainment featuring Patti and the Mayonnaise in Statesmen Park. The cooking teams will begin their quest for the Grand Champion prize Friday night leading into Saturday.

Saturday’s events begin with the 24th annual Delta State Triathlon at 8 a.m. at the Aquatics Center. Starting at 11 a.m., Phi Mu will host a Bunko Tournament for Children’s Miracle Network in the Jacob Conference Center of Ewing Hall. Also at 11 a.m., the Statesmen baseball team will play a squad game at Ferriss Field. DSU Day for high school students is from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. To sign up or for more information, visit or call 662-846-4020.

The first 250 attendees to register at the Alumni Association tent on Saturday will receive a free Pig Pickin’ souvenir cup. Statesmen Park will open at noon with a live radio broadcast on Q102. Activities at the park begin at 1 p.m. with the Kids Zone, tailgating and live entertainment provided by the DMI student bands Ol’ Skool Revue and Delta RoX. There will also be a Legacy Tent for members of the Delta State Alumni Association Legacy Program, and the Statesman and Okra mascots will be on site for pictures from 1-2 p.m.

At 2 p.m., the Alumni Association is teaming up with DSU Intramurals for a Cornhole Tournament. Teams consisting of two people can enter for $10 per team. Teams can sign up at by Sept. 17. All proceeds raised will benefit DSU Intramurals.

The Pig Pickin’ BBQ serving lines are open from 3-5 p.m. The Delta State pep rally, featuring cheerleaders, the football team and the marching band begins at 3 p.m. At 5 p.m., the BBQ competition winners will be announced. The football game between Delta State and Kentucky Wesleyan College kicks off at 6 p.m. Other special reunions include the Delta State Swimming and Diving Alumni Reunion.

BBQ tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the Alumni House or Patrons who pre-purchase tickets by Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. will be entered in a drawing to win a Yeti cooler.

Pig Pickin’ is made possible each year through generous sponsorships. This year’s sponsors include: National Alumni Association Corporate Sponsors: Patrick Davis State Farm, Air Evac Lifeteam, Bolivar Medical Center, Hey Joe’s, and Celia Manley ERA Real Estate; Title/Entertainment Sponsor: Polk’s Meat Products; Founders Level Sponsors: Baskin Robbins, Cleveland Trophy, Delta State University, Delta State Foundation, Delta Regional Foundation, Delta State Athletics, Exxon, Exxon – Lipscomb Oil Company, The Filling Station, Jammin’ 104 FM, Kix 92.1, Majic 107.5, Power 106.5, Q102, Radio Cleveland, Inc., Shell, WCLD, 96.5 WKDJ; Statesmen Level: Guaranty Bank, Pafford Medical Services, Isle of Capri Casino – Lula; Okra Level: Aramark, Baxter Healthcare, Eley Barkley, Lampard Wholesale Meats, Meador & Crump, Needle Specialty, Nehi Bottling Company, Sonic; Green Level: Advanced Mosquito Control, Automark, Delta OB/GYN, Denton’s Dairy Products, The Image Specialist, North Central MS Electric Power Association, Robinson Electric Company, Renasant Bank, Sayle Sandifer & Associates, Shelby Nursing Rehab, Vowell’s Marketplace; White Level: Abraham’s, Backdraft, Bolivar Tire & Alignment, Byrd Service Station, Cleveland State Bank, Ellis & Hirsbert CPA, PLLC; H Squared Boutique, Planters Bank, Panola Paper Company, and Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility.

The official hashtag for Pig Pickin’ is #DSUPigPickin. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. Join the Facebook event at Statesmen Graduates: 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).

Alumni Association travels to DeSoto County

By | Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, President | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association recently traveled to Southaven for the annual DeSoto County Alumni Event, which was held at the BankPlus Training Center.

This year’s program featured President William N. LaForge; Emily Havens, executive director GRAMMY Museum Mississippi; and Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. Other faculty and staff in attendance were first lady Nancy LaForge; Ronnie Mayers, athletic director; Steve McClellan, chief financial officer; Keith Fulcher, executive director Alumni-Foundation; Ann Giger, director of Donor Relations; Jordan Thomas, assistant alumni director; Sarah Shepherd, senior alumni secretary; Gary Bouse, chief development officer; Stephanie Farris, director Child Development Center; and Dr. Clifton Wingard, professor of mathematics.

Over 200 alumni and friends attended the event.

Over $1,500 was raised through the silent auction. All proceeds benefit the DeSoto County Scholarship, which is given annually to incoming Delta State students from the area. This year’s recipients are Natalie Howarth and Kayla Savage, both of Hernando.

The chapter bestowed Milton Kuykendall, superintendent for DeSoto County Schools, with a service award for his dedication to both Delta State and DeSoto County. They also recognized Worth Steen for his dedication to the growth of the DeSoto County chapter.

Sponsors for the event included: Ryan T. England and Stephanie Morrison Strohm – State Farm Agents; BankPlus; BancorpSouth; Renasant Bank; Northcentral Electric Power Association; Sycamore Bank; Delta Law Firm, PLLC; First Security Bank; Cory Uselton; Grapevine Liquor & Wine; Williams, Pitts & Beard, PLLC; and A&B Distributors.

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 dates for Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 19) and Homecoming (Nov. 7). Thank you to our National Alumni Association Corporate Sponsors: Air Evac Lifeteam, Bolivar Medical Center, Patrick Davis State Farm, and Polk’s Meats.

Jackson Alumni Association holds successful meeting

By | Alumni, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, President | No Comments

With over 200 alumni and friends in attendance, the Delta State University National Alumni Association hosted another successful event in Jackson last week.

The annual Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event was held at the Jackson Yacht Club and featured President William N. LaForge; Matt Jones, senior associate athletics director for external relations; and Jeffrey Farrism director of Alumni Affairs.

Other faculty and staff members in attendance included first lady Nancy LaForge, admissions recruiters Harrison Wood and John Mauney, head women’s basketball coach Craig Roden, executive director of Alumni-Foundation Keith Fulcher, director of Donor Relations Ann Giger, director of the Child Development Center Stephanie Farris, and assistant alumni director Jordan Thomas.

Each year, the chapter has a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Jackson Area Scholarship, which is awarded annually to incoming Delta State students from the area. This year’s recipients are: Hampton Strickland of Madison, Geoffrey Arnold of Brandon and John Kaiser of Madison.

A new aspect to this year’s meeting was the live auction. The chapter auctioned off a tailgating package which included a Yeti cooler with a custom DSU logo, a picnic table in The Levee for Pig Pickin’ Weekend, which includes 10 football passes, four parking passes and a catering package. The auction raised over $1,600 this year.

The event would not have been possible without the support of sponsors: Polles Properties, BKD CPAs & Advisors, BankPlus, AvantGarde Strategies, IRR, Celia Manley Real Estate, MTM, Capitol Resources, Casey Myrick-Edward Jones, Magnolia Health and Sleeplinks-CPAP Works.

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 dates for Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 19) and Homecoming (Nov. 7). Thank you to our National Alumni Association Corporate Sponsors: Air Evac Lifeteam, Bolivar Medical Center, Patrick Davis State Farm, and Polk’s Meats.

Alumni Association to visit Jackson

By | Alumni, Foundation | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association will be traveling to Jackson for the annual Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event July 30 at the Jackson Yacht Club.

The event begins with a social at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. featuring Delta State President William  N. LaForge, Assistant Athletics Director Matt Jones,  Alumni-Foundation staff, and other guests from campus. Entertainment will be provided by the Double Shot Band.

The silent auction is always a signature component of the Jackson alumni event. All proceeds raised from the auction benefit the Greater Jackson Area Scholarship, which is awarded to incoming freshmen from the area attending Delta State.

The Alumni Association is still accepting sponsorships for this event. Businesses or individuals can sponsor at $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 levels. Sponsors for this year’s event are: Polles Properties; BKD; BankPlus; AvantGarde Strategies, LLC; Integra Realtoy Resources, Inc.; Celia Manley Real Estate; Casey Myrick – Edward Jones; and Sleeplinks.

To purchase tickets, donate to the fund or secure a sponsorship, visit You can also join the Facebook group at Statesmen Graduates, Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event (

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).

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 For more information, contact The Delta State University Foundation 662-846-4704.