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.


Bolivar County Alumni Crawfish Boil a success

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

The Delta State University Alumni Association held its annual Bolivar County Alumni Crawfish Boil April 27 in front of Walter Sillers Coliseum.

“This year’s crawfish boil was a smashing success. The Alumni Association staff did a fabulous job, and everyone readily got into the spirit of the event,” said Delta State President William N. LaForge. “The great entertainment, food and large attendance by loyal alumni and friends of Delta State combined with a perfect location and ideal weather to make a fun event for all.”

This year’s event featured crawfish, BBQ and free pizza for children 12 and under thanks to Domino’s. Entertainment for the night was provided by Southern Halo, CE All Stars and Fusion Gymnastics.

LaForge, head football coach Todd Cooley and Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs, spoke to the crowd of over 400. Bolivar County chapter president Will Bradham presented Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Wayne Blansett with a service award in honor of his upcoming retirement. Kappa Delta Sorority also recognized Elsie Lynn Ervin, who is retiring this June.

The chapter also held a silent auction with all proceeds going to the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was named for former assistant alumni director Liza Vaughn ’95 who passed away in April of 2012. It was established for incoming Delta State students from Bolivar County.

The event would not have been possible without the help of the volunteers and sponsors. This year’s Bolivar County officers are Will Bradham, president; Gary Crews, vice president; and Rob Shipp, secretary/treasurer. The Student Alumni Association also helped serve food and RC products, worked registration and monitored the kids area.

Prior to the event, the Alumni Association held a contest on social media for the chance to win a Yeti Hopper from Planters Equipment. Over 400 people pre-purchased tickets or liked and shared a status on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page, Statesmen Graduates, for a chance to win.

This year’s event sponsors were: National Alumni Association Corporate Sponsors: Air Evac Lifeteam, Bolivar Medical Center, Patrick Davis State Farm, Polk’s Meats; Okra Level: Bradham Enterprises, Domino’s , Needle Specialty, Nehi Bottling Co., The Image Specialist, Delta State Foundation; Green Level: Eddie S. Wilson, Kossman’s Inc., McNeer Mini Storage, OK Auto Sales and Lawn Equipment, The Cleveland Current, Planters Bank, Renasant Bank, Vowell’s Market Place; White Level: Backdraft, Bolivar Commercial, Byrd Service Station, Cleveland State Bank, Denton’s Dairy, Griffith Real Estate, H Squared Boutique, Meador & Crump, Mississippi Grounds, Partnership Properties, Security Services Inc. and Shelby Air Services.

To make a donation to the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship, visit or call 662-846-4660.

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 next year’s Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 19, 2015) and Homecoming (Nov. 7, 2015).

DSU Foundation honors Coach “Boo” Ferriss with MSU donation

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The Delta State University Foundation has made a $10,000 donation to the Mississippi State University Dudy Noble Stadium project in honor of MSU baseball great and former longtime DSU head baseball coach David M. “Boo” Ferriss.

The Shaw, Miss., native is a member of the Mississippi State University Sports Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. Ferriss, 93, played at State in 1941 and 1942 and holds the distinction of being the first player to attend Mississippi State on a baseball scholarship.

“Boo Ferriss is one of our state’s most beloved sports figures,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “He will forever be both a Bulldog and a Statesman, and because of his association with the great baseball programs at our two institutions, it is most appropriate that we join with Delta State in honoring Coach Ferriss in this manner. We are grateful to the Delta State University family for this most generous gift.”

Delta State President William N. LaForge noted the significance of this donation.

“This contribution, from one institution’s foundation to another, is significant because it’s yet another way for all of us to pay great tribute to this outstanding man — particularly because it’s Boo Ferriss’s alma mater where he also played,” said LaForge.

“This gift is a win-win — meaning the Delta State community can once again hold up our hero and legend Coach Boo Ferriss, while supporting a very worthwhile endeavor at the school where he first made his name,” LaForge added. “It also serves to honor him and provides donor satisfaction to the contributors for this project, all of which are private dollars. No institutional funds are being used for this project.”

LaForge presented the gift to Keenum on Thursday prior to the meeting of the Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning in Jackson.

After his playing days, Ferriss entered the coaching profession and is credited with building the legendary baseball program at Delta State. In his 26 seasons at Delta State, Ferriss’s teams won 639 games and lost only 387. He led the way to four Gulf South Conference championships, three National Collegiate Athletic Association regional titles, and placed second once and third twice in the College World Series.

Ferriss served as the first executive director of the Delta State Foundation until he retired from the institution in 1988. Keith Fulcher, executive director of the DSU Foundation, has worked closely with Ferriss throughout the years.

“The Delta State University Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to honor Coach Ferriss through this gift, especially since he was named the first director of the Foundation in 1967. The successes we’ve enjoyed in private support are due to his years of building lifelong relationships with our alumni and donors. No one has done it better than Coach Ferriss,” said Fulcher.

Coach Ferriss has left a lasting impact on the current president of the Delta State Foundation James T. Harvey and many others.

“As President of the Delta State University Foundation Board of Directors and a former player for Coach Dave ‘Boo’ Ferriss, I am pleased to honor him with this gift of $10,000 to his alma mater, Mississippi State University,” said Harvey. “Coach Ferriss’s legacy and impact in the baseball world transcends universities and reaches across the United States. My hope is that the gift will help the next generation of baseball players and fans to emulate the love of the game that Coach Ferriss has imparted to so many of us.”

MSU, Mississippi’s flagship research university, is online at,,,, and Invest in the MSU Foundation at

Delta State University, a regional university of national distinction, is online at, and Support Delta State through the DSU Foundation online at, and use the hashtag #booferriss on all related media.