Delta State alum returns for talk on white-water adventures

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 Delta State alumnus, Land Heflin in action on the Rio San Pedro, Patagonia, Chile in South America. He will return to campus Tuesday, Oct. 23 to chronicle his wild white-water adventures. (Photo Credit: Dunbar Hardy).

Having just returned from leading 30 Delta State University students on a white-water adventure down the Chattooga River, alumnus Land Heflin will present an exciting multi-media travelogue this Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. inside the Henry J. Jacob Conference Center (Ewing Hall) on campus.

Sponsored by the College of Education and Graduate and Continuing Studies, Heflin’s presentation will chronicle his many breathtaking, heart-stopping global adventures conducted by his Montana and Oregon-based kayaking/outdoor adventure company,Team Tarkio (

Born, raised and educated in Cleveland, Heflin graduated from Delta State in 1995, and today serves as adjunct instructor in Recreation. Throughout his life – from toddler to graduation – Heflin shadowed his father, Dave and Dr. Henry Outlaw, both former professors at Delta State, during hundreds of white-water, camping and snow skiing trips with students in Recreation courses, fondly called the Outback Kayak Club.

Heflin’s chosen vocation began with summer seasons serving as a raft guide and kayaking instructor for the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. He later joined Ultimate Descents in Nepal as a guide, before being promoted to trip director. He eventually came on staff at Team Tarkio. 
When Team Tarkio founder, Brenan Guth passed away in 2000, Heflin continued Guth’s dream with another friend, Dunbar Hardy. Their local clinics, instructional classes and river tours utilize western trips with global expeditions in areas like Canada, New Zealand, South America, Nepal, China, Africa and Bhutan. 
The event is free and open to the public. For more information on Heflin’s upcoming talk, please contact the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at (662) 846-4555.

‘Cleveland’s Historic Neighborhoods: An Exhibit’ opens at Delta State’s Capps Archives and Museum

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Delta State Archivist Emily Weaver (at left) looks over photos of historic homes located in Cleveland with Dr. Martha Swain, adjunct professor of history at Mississippi State University.

Swain presented “The Political and Social Context of the Bungalow Home: 1890-1990” at the opening reception of the exhibit. Swain’s writing has won her the Eudora Welty Award from the Mississippi University for Women. She co-authored, with Dorothy Shawhan,”Lucy Somerville Howorth: New Deal Lawyer, Politician, and Feminist from the South.”

The exhibit is located on the second floor of the Charles W. Capps Jr. Archives and Museum at Delta State. The exhibit is financially assisted by the Mississippi Humanities Council and the National Endowment of the Humanities.
Free and open to the public, the exhibit is set to run through Tuesday, Dec. 18. Museum hours are Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m.- noon and 1-5 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m.- noon and 1-4 p.m.For more information, please call at (662) 846-4780.

University choirs to join forces with Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in concert at Delta State

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William Grant Still 

 Crafton Beck

The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will join forces with choirs from Delta State University, The University of Mississippi and Rust College to present “William Grant Still – Celebrating an American Master Composer” on Monday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 pm inside the Delta and Pine Land Theatre of the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus.

The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and choirs under the direction of Crafton Beck, Music Director and Conductor, will perform beautiful choral-orchestral music by internationally known composer and Mississippi native William Grant Still (1895-1978), showcasing the broad range of Still’s inspiring compositions, from his symphonic works to his arrangements of spirituals.
Still was born in Woodville, Mississippi to musician parents and has long been known as one of America’s foremost composers. He worked with such greats as W.C. Handy, Artie Shaw and Sophie Tucker. He wrote over 150 compositions including operas, ballets, symphonies, chamber works and arrangements of choral and solo vocal works.
Monday’s concert is also sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) through their American Masterpieces Initiative. This initiative was created to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy. Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts. Additional funding for the concerts comes from a grant from The Phil Hardin Foundation.
“It is a privilege for the Mississippi Arts Commission to honor the outstanding achievements of this musical genius from Mississippi,” said Malcolm White, MAC Executive Director. “It is our hope that everyone in attendance will come away with an appreciation of the accomplishments of this great man and that this celebration of music will both inspire and enrich the lives of all those we serve.”
This event is free for children 18 years and under and $10 for all others. This event will require reserved seating; therefore, all individuals must have a ticket to attend the concert. To purchase your tickets or to request free tickets for children (18 and under), please contact the BPAC Box Office at (662) 846-4626; office hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Delta State welcomes Pulitzer Prize Winner Trethewey to campus

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 Pulitzer Prize Winner, Natasha Trethewey visited Delta State University’s campus Wednesday. She will receive an honorary degree from the institution later this December.

Delta State University welcomed Natasha Trethewey, the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Poetry, to it campus today, while also announcing its intent to honor the Mississippi native with an honorary degree at the University’s winter commencement ceremony, Saturday, Dec. 8.

“Ms. Trethewey is an accomplished poet who has achieved international recognition. Her Mississippi heritage makes all of us proud. We’re pleased that she will accept an honorary doctoral degree from Delta State at our December commencement,” Delta State President, Dr. John M. Hilpert offered in a press conference held earlier this morning on campus. “Her success is a wonderful story for our students and graduates to hear.”

While on the Cleveland campus, Trethewey presented a reading from her collection of works. She also while met with faculty, staff and students and signed copies of her books. The visit marked her first appearance on an institution of higher learning’s campus in her native state since winning the Pulitzer Prize.

Her most recent collection of poems, “Native Guard,” (Houghton Mifflin 2006) earned her the prestigious Pulitzer, as well as the 2007 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize.
“Today has been a wonderful day – to be welcomed back as a native daughter, it is a dream come true,” Trethewey explained.
Of the honorary degree she will receive in December from Delta State, she added, “It is an absolute honor, and I am so happy it is Delta State University that is doing this. I am very appreciative and look forward to returning to campus later this semester.”
This will be the first honorary degree of her career.

has a bachelor’s in English from the University of Georgia, a master’s in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University and a master’s degree in poetry from the University of Massachusetts. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
She has taught at Auburn University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Duke University where she was the 2005-2006 Lehman Brady Joint Chair Professor of Documentary and American Studies. Trethewey is currently the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair of Poetry at Emory University in Atlanta.
Her first poetry collection, “Domestic Work” (Graywolf Press, 2000), won the inaugural 1999 Cave Canem poetry prize (selected by Rita Dove), a 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry.
Her follow-up collection, “Bellocq’s Ophelia” (Graywolf, 2002) received the 2003 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize, was a finalist for both the Academy of American Poets’ James Laughlin and Lenore Marshall prizes and was named a 2003 Notable Book by the American Library Association.

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.