Delta State to present College of Business Lecture Series, Greenville native, US Ambassador to keynote

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Ambassador Michael L. Retzer is shown with two children of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is an archipelago of islands located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast. The islands are a part of Tanzania.

Delta State University’s College of Business will present its annual lecture series"Celebrating Academic Excellence" on Thursday, Oct. 11 from 10:30-noon inside Jobe Hall Auditorium on campus.

The Honorable Michael L. Retzer, United States Ambassador to Tanzania, will be the keynote speaker for the event. 
Ambassador Retzer was sworn in by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as United States Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania in 2005, and presented his credentials to President Benjamin Mkapa in Dar Es Salaam on Sept. 1, 2005.

Ambassador Retzer’s career reflects considerable experience in several fields. He has served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. He developed a thriving restaurant chain in 20 locations in Mississippi and Arkansas, which employs over 1,100 people, and he has also served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Planters Bank of Mississippi.

Ambassador Retzer has enjoyed an active political career. Since 1978, he has been elected multiple times as Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party. In 2004, he was elected Treasurer of the Republican National Convention in New York City. He was elected Republican National Committeeman for Mississippi in 2001 and Treasurer of the National Republican Party in 2002.

In his hometown of Greenville, Miss., Ambassador Retzer has contributed to community growth by serving in several civic organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Industrial Foundation, and the South Delta Planning Council. He was a founding member of Delta Wildlife Foundation and the Mississippi Wildlife Foundation. He has also served as a trustee of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Retzer received his bachelor’s degree from the Honors College at the University of Oregon with a major in Finance and Marketing.

The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, please call the College of Business at (662) 846-4200.

Delta State’s Biological and Physical Sciences ready for Elliott-Nowell-White Science Symposium

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Delta State members of the Elliott-Nowell-White Science Symposium Committee prepare for the upcoming annual event. Members of the committee include (from left) Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Chuck Smithhart; Interim chair of Biological and Physical Sciences and Associate Professor of Biology Barry G. Campbell; Secretary of Division of Biological and Physical Sciences Barbara Knight; Professor of Biology John Tiftickjian; and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Rie Somlai.

The 16th Annual Elliott-Nowell-White Science Symposium is scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 11, and the morning of Friday, Oct. 12. The event will start at 2 p.m. with an “Armchair Session” in Room 205 of Caylor Hall on campus, where Richard S. Myers Jr. will conduct the meeting. The Johnny Ouzts Memorial Lectures will begin at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, in Jobe Auditorium.
The Roy Lee Wiley Lectures will start at 9:15 a.m. Friday morning in Room 205 of Caylor Hall with guest lecturers scheduled to speak about their respective areas of expertise.

Delta State sophomore creates design for Chamber’s Octoberfest

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Delta State sophomore Caleb Sexton shows off his t-shirt design for Octoberfest. The design features a colorful pig with Chinese influence, derived from the Chinese calendar which heralds 2007 as “The Year of the Pig.” 

Delta State University sophomore Caleb Sexton shows off the design he created for the upcoming Octoberfest events.

His concept will be transferred to commemorative t-shirts and aprons, both of which will be on sale at the two-day event. Scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12 – Saturday, Oct. 13 in downtown Cleveland, the 25th Annual Octoberfest Arts & Crafts Show is being sponsored by Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce.

A work-study student in the Office of University Relations, Sexton is a graphic design/photography double major. Of his original concept, the Tuscaloosa, Ala., native offered, “I was excited to have the opportunity to work with Chamber on another of its design. I am especially proud of this design.”
For more information on the downtown festival featuring live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, concessions and a barbecue contest, please call (662) 843-2712.

Delta State to dedicate sculpture garden on campus, Sunday, Oct. 7

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Delta State University is set to dedicate The Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden outside the Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) on campus, Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.
The sculpture garden is the third phase of a project begun by Pam Matthews, a painter and wife of former Delta State President Dr. David Potter, in 2000.
“It was her dream that there might one day be a sculpture garden in front of the BPAC, and that idea surfaced in 2000,” explained Nan Sanders, who has been the facilitator of Mathews’ vision for the garden project for the Sanders’ family.
In 2000, the University held a national sculpture contest; seven pieces were entered in it and displayed in front of the BPAC for 18 months. At the end of the display period, a committee of five to seven independent artists voted on the winner, which was purchased by the University.

“Wind Harp,” created by North Carolina artist Wayne Trapp, received the purchase award for the first competition.
In 2002, a second competition was held. This time, eight pieces were submitted and displayed, with Glenn Zweigart’s piece “Haiku Man” winning the purchase award.
However, in 2004, the project was put on hold after Matthews passed away. Five sculptures from the second competition were donated to the University in her memory.
“The sculpture garden went by the wayside for awhile after that,” Sanders recalled. “Eventually, I approached my mother-in-law Hazel Sanders, who generously offered a donation in seeing that it got done.”
Although it took several years and several variations of design, the sculpture garden will now include room for pieces acquired in earlier competitions, future competitions, and a memorial to Matthews.
The sculptures across campus provide Delta State with a unique, artistic influence, while also providing valuable, hands-on education for students studying sculpture.
“I can take the sculpture students out and we can see and talk about those actual pieces instead of looking at a photograph or slide,” explained Ron Koehler, professor of art at Delta State. “I can break it down and see exactly how they are constructed and the materials they use.”
The placement of the sculptures across the University fulfills another of Matthews’ desires—to have an art-covered campus.
“We are very proud to have been a part in seeing Pam’s dream fulfilled. We think this is unique and will have a very positive long-range impact on Delta State and the region. I am not aware of another University in the state where public art is given such emphasis,” Sander concluded. “We are honored to play our part and encourage others to join our efforts. It’s for everyone, and a wonderful tribute to the spirit and vision of our beloved friend, Pam.”
The dedication ceremony will begin at 1 p.m., with current Delta State President, Dr. John M. Hilpert; former Delta State President, Dr. David Potter; BPAC Executive Director, David Dallas; and Sanders, all, offering brief comments.
Following the ceremony, the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America will be in concert at 2 p.m.
Sponsored by “The Bolivar Commercial,” the concert is free and open to the public.

Delta State to name stadium after long-time coach Horace McCool

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Recognition – it comes in many shapes and sizes; a simple handshake, a pat on the back or your name in lights, but there are those rare occasions when something much more meaningful is required. 

On Saturday, Oct. 6, Delta State University will recognize Horace L. McCool, one of the greatest collegiate head coaches in Mississippi football history, with the ultimate pat on the back. In a ceremony to be held during the Statesmen’s contest versus Arkansas Tech, the stadium will officially be named in McCool’s honor at Travis E. Parker Field. Through a Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning resolution, the new name of Delta State’s football facility will be Travis E. Parker Field at Horace L. McCool Stadium as of Saturday, Oct. 6. 

“I am honored beyond words,” said McCool. “Delta State has always been such an important part of my life and for over 30 years I called it home. I want to thank the University, President Dr. John Hilpert, Jeremy McClain and all of the former assistant coaches and players who made this possible.”
For nearly 10 years, Delta State has looked for a proper way to honor the Delta coaching legend. Thanks to the hard work of the McCool Stadium Committee, a group comprised of former players led by Ned Mitchell and E.E. “Butch” Caston, the plan to name the stadium after coach McCool is finally complete. 
“Coach McCool plays a valuable role in the history and tradition of Statesmen football at Delta State University,” Jeremy McClain, Director of Athletics said. “We have looked for many years at a way to properly recognize the most successful coach in our program’s history, and thanks to the work of several former players, we have found it.”

On Oct. 6, Delta State will honor coach McCool, his family, former coaches and players with a ceremony at halftime of the Arkansas Tech game. 

Horace McCool served as the head coach of the Statesmen from 1961-1973.  Over the span of those 13 seasons, the Boyle native recorded 76 wins, 48 losses and three ties. From 1961 to 1966, McCool’s teams reeled off six-straight winning seasons and an outstanding 41-15 record. His 76 wins still stand as the all-time record for a head coach at Delta State, and he still holds the distinction of being the only coach in Statesman history to have six-consecutive winning seasons as a head coach.

McCool also proved to be an outstanding leader, directing the University’s athletic programs as Director of Athletics from 1967 to 1977.  During McCool’s tenure, the Statesmen and Lady Statesmen enjoyed unparalleled successes on the field and in the classroom. The Lady Statesmen basketball team marched to three-straight national championships under head coach Margaret Wade in the mid-70’s, and the Statesmen baseball program made two-trips to the NCAA College World Series just to name a few.

In 1971, McCool played as major role in Delta State’s joining the Gulf South Conference.  At that time, the GSC was a 10-member league with universities in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. Some 36 years later, Delta State Athletics stands as the measure of success in the 15-team, six-state league with nine national titles and 31 conference championships. 

After spending 25 years serving the Department of Athletics as a coach and administrator, McCool resigned as Director of Athletics in the spring of 1978. He went on to serve the University as Physical Plant Director for several more years.

McCool is a charter member of the Delta State Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1978, Delta State presented the long-time coach and administrator with the McHardy Service Award, and in 1997 the American Football Foundation presented McCool with the prestigious Johnny Vaught Lifetime Achievement Award.

McCool played two seasons for legendary Ole Miss coach Johnny Vaught from 1948-49 before transferring to Delta State.  He would receive his bachelor’s degree in Education from DSU in 1952. Two-years later, he received his master’s degree in Education from the University of Mississippi. He is married to the former Barbara Bole of Shaw. The couple has three children, one daughter Memorie Naron of Cleveland, and two sons, Mike McCool of Jacksonville, Fla., and Scott McCool of Houston, Texas. The McCool’s are also the proud grandparents of several grandchildren.