Delta State to reopen campus Thursday at 8 a.m.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Delta State University will be reopen its campus beginning tomorrow, April 26 at 8 a.m. Following a complete sweep of the campus overnight by law enforcement officers with trained dogs, the Delta State Police Department announced they found no suspicious devices anywhere on campus. The DSU Police were aided in their search by external law enforcement agencies trained in bomb detection.
“We will continue to perform targeted sweeps of buildings and there will be a police presence on campus tomorrow. We have given safety the highest priority,” Dr. John M. Hilpert, President, stated.
“We are fully committed to finding and prosecuting the individual or individuals responsible for this crime. This was a threat against our institution and we do not take that lightly,” Hilpert added.
To that end, Delta State University Foundation is offering a $5000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible. Anyone with information can call the Delta State Police Department at (662) 846-4155 or the Cleveland Crimestoppers number at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
The Delta State campus shut down Tuesday afternoon following series of bomb threats found in Kent Wyatt Hall, Roberts-LaForge Library, H.L. Nowell Union and James Ewing Hall. Police collected close to a dozen computer-generated threats posted in the four buildings and also received one call from an unidentified person reiterating the same printed threat.
The threat called for an immediate evacuation of campus, stating a bomb would go off Wednesday and Thursday.
The Delta State University Police Department, in conjunction and cooperation with local law enforcement, are currently pursuing numerous leads. No arrests have been made at this time.
The Delta State cafeteria is open to those students still on campus, and faculty and staff wishing to gain access to their respective offices/academic buildings may do so today by setting up an appointment with the Delta State Police Department. Escorted entry will be allowed between 3-5 p.m. today.
Additional information will continue to be posted to the Delta State website at, as well as the University information line at (662) 846-INFO (4636).     
More details will be released through the Office of University Relations as they become available.

Delta State honors long time employees

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 Faculty and staff with 30 years of service to Delta State University were honored at a service awards program held today in the State Room of the H.L. Nowell Union on campus.

Honorees include (from left): Paul L. Lindsey, Director of the Physical Plant; Jerry Taylor, Perkins Loan Representative; James Joseph Tomek, Professor of French.

Faculty and staff with 25 years of service to Delta State University were honored at a service awards program held today in the State Room of the H.L. Nowell Union on campus.

Honorees include (from left): Elise Dreaden Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Marketing; Deleslyn F. Dakin, Administrative Secretary, Dean of Education; Milton Russell Wilder, Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Ronald Gene Koehler, Professor of Art; Yvonne-Marie Bryan Tomek, Instructor of English; and Margie S. Millican, Purchasing Coordinator.

Faculty and staff with 20 years of service to Delta State University were honored at a service awards program held today in the State Room of the H.L. Nowell Union on campus.

Honorees include (from left): Mary Jane Ervin, Senior Secretary Housing; Linda G. Douglas, Senior Secretary Social Sciences; Vicki Fioranelli, Director of Alumni; Ann Margaret Mullins, Director of Student Financial Services; Mary Lucille McCool, Senior Secretary Social Work; and Malcolm Keith McEwen, Director of the Center for Science and Environmental Education and Professor of Science. Not pictured: Nealy Robinson, Manager of Campus Laundry.

Nine set to retire on July 1 at Delta State University

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 Front row, from left: Sherry Bailey, Evening Shift Supervisor, DSU Student Health Center; Dr. Stella B. Wear, Professor of Mathematics; Kay C. Ware, Payroll Administrator; ; Vicki Fioranelli, Director of Alumni; (back row, from left) Dr. Darvin E. (Duke) Barnes, Chair and Professor of the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Albert C. Prewitt, Assistant Director of the Physical Plant; Paul L. Lindsey, Director of the Physical Plant; and Dr. John G. Thornell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will retire at the close of the 2007 academic year. Not pictured: Dr. Edward R. Bahr, Professor of Music.


In a reception held this afternoon inside the State Room of the H.L Nowell Union today, Delta State University recognized nine employees with over 193 years of combined service. 

Dr. Edward R. Bahr, Professor of Music; Sherry Bailey, Evening Shift Supervisor, DSU Student Health Center; Dr. Darvin E. (Duke) Barnes,Chair and Professor of the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Vicki Fioranelli, Director of Alumni; Paul L. Lindsey, Director of the Physical Plant; Albert C. Prewitt, Assistant Director of the Physical Plant; Dr. John G. Thornell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Kay C. Ware, Payroll Administrator;and Dr. Stella B. Wear, Professor of Mathematics, will retire at the close of the 2007 academic year.
A professor of low brass, Bahr has taught trombone, euphonium and tuba at Delta State for the past 24 years. In addition, he also directs the trombone ensemble, euphonium/tuba ensemble and the brass ensemble. He is a published author, as well as accomplished soloist. Of his two-decades plus career, Bahr offered, “I take great enjoyment in having so many of my low brass students progress toward becoming public and private school or college teachers, as well as professional performing musicians.”
Sherry Bailey has been employed at Delta State for more than 13 years as evening shift supervisor at the Delta State Student Health Center. Her retirement plans include spending more time with her mother plus she plans to visit more with her grandchildren. In years past, she was involved with the Nursing Association, and she plans to get involved once again.
A familiar face in the Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation at Delta State for the last 17 years, Duke Barnes came on staff as an associate professor in 1990. He has advanced through the ranks, earning full professor status in 1995. In 2000, he became chair of the department, while still maintaining some teaching duties. “Delta State University is awesome.  The professional opportunities that I have had here have been the highlights of my career,” Barnes explained. “The “family” environment among the faculty, staff, and students can not be found at many institutions. It has been a joy and a privilege to work here.”
A true advocate of the University, Vicki Fioranelli has dedicated 20 years of service to Delta State, including time as the director of career services to her current role as director of alumni services. “I dearly love my job and dearly love this University, I always will,” she explained. “But, it’s time to slow down and ‘smell the roses.’ I want to play with the grandkids, sit on the patio during the day and barbecue, and play in the garden. I’ve got photo albums to organize, closets to clean and volunteer work that needs to be done.”
Paul Lindsey has been proudly “serving my alma mater since 1972.” After his 1970 graduation and two years with the Army National Guard, he began work at Delta State as property officer. In 1981, he was promoted to transportation director and property control. He operated one of Delta State’s buses for many years, and in 2000, he became the assistant director of the physical plant. Later in 2002, he was elevated to director of the physical plant. Of his years of service to Delta State, Lindsey offered, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Director of the Physical Plant these last few years. It has been the pinnacle of my career and something that I had wanted to do since working here as a high school student in the late 1960s.”
For the past eight years, A. C. Prewitt as been employed at the Delta State physical plant, first as facilities engineer for the campus to his current position as assistant director. His retirement plans include adding a sun room to his house, and perhaps travel to Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Of his time served at Delta State, Prewitt offered “I have enjoyed working with Paul Lindsey, Billy Morehead, Greg Redlin, and all other staff, faculty, and administration at Delta State.”
The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2001, Dr. John Thornell has also served as interim president of the university in the spring and summer of 2003. Prior administrative appointments at Delta State include associate vice president, dean of graduate studies and research, and director of institutional research. His first faculty appointment was an assistant professorship at Delta State in 1975 after completing a Ph.D. at the University of Texas in 1974. Of his decision, Thornell expressed, “Delta State University has been a very important part of my life and my family’s life for the past 32 years, so it is with mixed emotions that I made this decision. I will be saddened to leave the colleagues I have grown so close with over the years, but am excited by the great opportunity that awaits me in North Carolina.” He accepted an offer to become the chief academic officer at North Carolina Wesleyan University.
Kay Ware, Payroll Administrator, University Accounting has dedicated more than 28 years of service to Delta State.  Prior to her current position, she has served as secretary to Dr. Kent Wyatt, Executive Assistant to the President, secretary in the Admissions Office and Institutional Representative, National Direct Loan in the Bursar’s Office. As far as her retirement plans, she would like to travel and spend time with her grandchildren. 
For Stella Wear, retirement is bittersweet, as the veteran professor confesses, “I have enjoyed my 31 years of teaching, especially the 11 at DSU. I hope to equally enjoy retirement. I have books to write; husband, children and grandchildren to enjoy; birds to see; flowers to plant; bridge to play; and much, much, more.”
She began her teaching career at Delta State in 1996 as an assistant professor of mathematics. In 1997, she moved to the rank of associate and later earned full professorship in 2001. She currently serves as chapter president for American Association of University Women.
A reception for all retirees followed the ceremony. Family and friends of the retirees were in attendance.

Delta State remembers victims of Virginia Tech tragedy with memorial observance

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Delta State University participated in a simultaneous memorial observance this morning, as hundreds gathered on the south end of the quadrangle to remember the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Delta State accepted Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine’s invitation to join the State of Virginia in its day of mourning with simultaneous observances at noon (EDT). Delta State’s program consisted of tolling of the hour at 11 a.m. and the playing of “Amazing Grace” by the carillon; as well as opening reflections by President Dr. John M. Hilpert. "This is a time when families come together. Now our national family should come together to reflect, pray, encourage, and support," President Hilpert offered.
Dr. Phyllis Bunn, Virginia Tech alumna and Delta State professor of office administration, reflected on her “Thoughts of Virginia Tech.” She remembered, "When I think about Virginia Tech, I think of the pageantry of Hoakie football, the smell of lilacs, and the picnics on Henderson Lawn."
Incoming Student Government President, Deborah Brick, a junior graphic design major of Oxford, read a letter on behalf of the Delta State University student body, addressed to the Virginia Tech student body. Following the ceremony, the letter will be mailed to VTU Student Government President.
Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Billy C. Moore offered a closing prayer, followed by the Delta Chorale’s performance of “Calling My Children Home."
Delta State’s memorial observance was one of many held across the nation.

Delta State names McClain director of athletics, effective July 1

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 Delta State University President Dr. John M. Hilpert congratulates Jeremy McClain, after McClain was named director of athletics today at a press conference held on campus.  Jeremy McClain addresses the audience after being named Delta State University’s director of athletics.  Delta State University President Dr. John M. Hilpert presents Jeremy McClain with “a key to the building,” after McClain was named director of athletics today at a press conference held on campus.

At a press conference held this afternoon inside the Chadwick-Dickson Field House, Delta State University announced the hiring of its next director of athletics. Jeremy McClain will assume the position, effective July 1.

Following a national search process, McClain was selected as the “recommended finalist” by the Delta State athletic director search committee, chaired by Dr. Rose Strahan. McClain then participated in two open meetings – one on campus with faculty, staff and students; and one at the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce with interested community members – in which, he introduced himself, presenting his resume and vision for the Delta State athletic department, before answering questions from those in attendance.
“Jeremy has shined consistently throughout this process. He has shown tremendous character, readiness and capability; and ultimately, he proved he was the right person for the job,” Delta State University President, Dr. John M. Hilpert offered. “I am confident he will lead the Delta State athletic department with diligence and drive. We look forward to enjoying continued successes under Jeremy’s leadership.”
Currently the director of development with the Delta State Foundation, McClain has been associated with athletics nearly his entire life. A standout two-sport athlete at Houlka High School, McClain turned heads with his prowess on the baseball diamond and earned a full scholarship to attend Delta State University.
An ace for the Statesmen pitching staff from 1996-1999, McClain still holds many of Delta State’s career pitching marks, including most appearances (69), most victories (45), most strikeouts (324) and most innings pitched (363.1). His perfect 15-0 season in 1999 earned the prolific hurler All-American, All-Region and All-Conference accolades, as well as team MVP honors.
The hard-throwing right-hander was drafted by the Boston Red Sox organization in May 1999 after he earned his bachelor’s of business administration. McClain pursued his dreams of playing professional baseball for the next five years, completing stints with the Red Sox (1999 – 2000), Jackson Diamondkats (2000 – 2001), Nashua Pride (2001), San Angelo Colts (2001) and Jackson Senators (2002 – 2003).
Although focused on making it to the next level, McClain remained realistic of his chances and completed work on his master’s degree in business administration at Delta State in 2002. Also during that time, he worked as an account executive with the Jackson Senators.
He contends, “If you can sell minor league baseball, you can sell anything. That experience was invaluable in so many ways, and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
From there, McClain hung up the spikes and became a marketing representative for Federated Insurance Company in Calhoun City, a firm he would stay with from Nov. 2003 – Nov. 2006. During his tenure, he operated the most profitable territory in a six-state region for two consecutive years, while also improving a two-year loss ratio from 20.4 percent to 3.3 percent.
This past fall, the opportunity to return to Delta State presented itself and McClain did not hesitate, accepting the offer to become the director of development for Delta State’s Foundation. In just under six months, he has raised a total of $165,000 in cash gifts and over $250,000 in pledges.
Of his newest position as director of athletics, McClain said, “I would like to thank Dr. Hilpert, Dr. Strahan and the search committee for their time and efforts during this process.  Giving of their time to serve on this committee is a prime example of the important role athletics plays on the Delta State campus.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family,” he continued. “A great foundation has been laid here at Delta State University, and it is my desire to continue to build upon that foundation.  We will graduate student-athletes and prepare them for their futures.  We will continue to be one of the most successful athletic programs in the nation, and we will continue to strive for growth. We will not slow down.”
McClain is married to the former Christie Cannon of Calhoun City. The couple has one son, Cannon (2) and are expecting a baby girl this summer.