Delta Music Institute to offer summer camp for aspiring musicians, application deadline June 1

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The Delta Music Institute on the campus of Delta State University will be hosting its first DMI Summer Camp from July 15-21 on the DSU campus in Cleveland, Miss. The camp is the newest addition to the Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute program.

The DMI Summer Camp is a six-day interactive experience for high school students ages 15-18 to explore three music career tracks that will be integrated together, culminating in a recording and showcase performance. College faculty, music industry professionals and specialists will provide hands-on instruction grounded in both academic and real-world applications. The curriculum will cover the creative process and technical aspects of songwriting, performing and recording.
DMI Director Tricia Walker wants to encourage students in their creativity. “Growing up in a small Mississippi town, I had the support of my community and my teachers in following my dreams, which were musical in nature. Those dreams took me to a major music center where I spent over 25 years as a singer/songwriter, musician, publisher, and producer; and because of music, I’ve had the opportunity to travel places all over the world. Through the DMI Summer Camp, we want to help equip and encourage young musicians and performers to follow their dreams.”
Some of the topics covered in the camp will be studio recording techniques, MIDI, music theory, songwriting, and performance. Daily instruction will be held in the Delta Music Institute which houses the DMI recording studio, featuring Mississippi’s only Digi Design ICON console, and the DMI Pro Tools lab, which includes 15 digital audio workstations with Digi 002 Factory interfaces. Final performances will be held in the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus.
An application form with guidelines for submitting audition materials may be downloaded from the DMI website at The deadline for submitting materials for this year’s camp is Friday, June 1. For more information, please call the DMI office at (662) 846-4579.
The Delta Music Institute is a first step towards a broad program in Media Arts Production. It began with a generous donation by Fred Carl of the Viking Range Company in 2003. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, business, and creative areas of the music industry.

Delta State alums Rogers, Thrash to be awarded honorary degrees at University’s May commencement

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Patricia Thrash

James Rogers

Delta State University will be celebrating its 80th Spring Commencement, Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. inside Walter Sillers Coliseum on campus. As part of the exercises, the University will be awarding honorary degrees to two leaders in the field of higher education – Dr. James (Jim) T. Rogers and Dr. Patricia (Patsy) A. Thrash.

Both Delta State graduates, Rogers and Thrash will be receiving the fourth-
and fifth-ever honorary degrees presented by Delta State. Each will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, for which they were unanimously approved by the Institutions of Higher Learning’s Board of Trustees.

The pair has dedicated nearly their entire lives to the advancement of higher education, having served a combined 96 years. Until their retirements, they sat atop two of the nation’s six accrediting agencies in higher education.

“It is amazing that one institution produced two of the most important higher education leaders in the nation,” said Dr. John M. Hilpert, Delta State University President. “Regional accreditation is the critical certification of quality that a university must achieve. At one time, these two Delta State graduates led regional associations that accredit institutions in 30 of the 50 states.

“We are proud of these two successful alumni and thrilled that we can honor them at our Spring Commencement. Furthermore, we are proud of the history of quality education at Delta State University,” he concluded.

A 1955 graduate of Delta State, Rogers earned his bachelor’s degree from Delta State in biology. Following five years of service to the United States Navy, he continued his education at New Orleans Seminary and Florida State University. Rogers served as Dean of Students at Pensacola Junior College before accepting a similar position with Armstrong State College
in Georgia.

In 1970, he advanced to the rank of President at Brenau College in Gainesville, Ga., where he oversaw the complete modernization of the 100-year-old institution in all facets of its operation, including curriculum, faculty, admissions, learning resources, student services and development. He would remain in that position for 15 years. 

The final stop in his distinguished career was as Executive Director for the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – a post he would hold until his retirement in June, 2006. During his tenure, Rogers engineered the implementation of standards on institutional effectiveness adopted in the late 1980s for higher education institutions in the 11 states of the southeastern region and worked with the membership and the Commission’s leadership and staff to institute comprehensive changes in accreditation standards, placing a renewed and in depth emphasis on student learning.

Upon his retirement John T. Casteen, III, president of the University of Virginia, offered, “Dr. Rogers’ retirement will bring to an end one of the most significant careers of our era in higher education. He has brought integrity, fairness, and a profound dedication to quality to the process of improving our colleges and universities.”

Quite similarly, Thrash graduated with honors from Delta State in 1950 with a degree in English. A  Boyle native, she also has a master’s and doctorate degree from Northwestern University and a certificate from Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management. Her academic fields are English, Counseling, and Higher Education.

Before joining the Commission staff, Thrash served with distinction as a faculty member and administrator at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, for 19 years. As Dean of Women for 10 years, she was a leader in the student personnel profession, contributing to professional journals and serving as President of the National Association for Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors.

In 1972, she joined the staff of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, one of the oldest of the regional accrediting associations; and the largest, serving more than 950 institutions in a 19-state region that includes Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. She was named Executive Director of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education in 1988, the first woman to head a regional accrediting agency.

As Executive Director she provided staff leadership for the Commission in formulating and carrying out policy for the evaluation and accreditation of more than 950 institutions in the 19-state North Central region and in developing programs and publications to encourage institutional improvement. During her tenure, the Commission was deeply involved in the evaluation of non-traditional institutions, the emergence of assessment of educational effectiveness as a critical component of the evaluation process, and an emphasis on both access and excellence in higher education. The Commission increased the involvement of all member institutions in the self-study, evaluation and accreditation process and expanded the number of women and minorities in its Consultant-Evaluator Corps.

When she retired on January 1, 1997, after 24 years of service, Thrash was named Executive Director Emeritus of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education and recognized as an honorary member of the North Central Association. Vincennes University in Indiana, Drake University in Iowa and Adrian College in Michigan awarded her honorary degrees in 1997 and 1998. She is listed in Who’s Who in America.

All the while, Thrash continued to support Delta State University, crediting her undergraduate experience as a major force in her personal and professional development. She was named an outstanding alumnus in 1970, commencement speaker in 1991 and gave the Academic Honors Day address in 2002. She served as a member of the Delta State University Foundation Board of Directors from 2001-03. In 1997, she endowed the Weaver Betts Cotton Scholarship in memory of her mother. The scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding junior or senior woman majoring in English.

State is expected to graduate over 500 students, as part of its 80th commencement exercise.

Every graduate will be issued six tickets for family and friends, and tickets are required for entry. Any audience overflow will be accommodated in the Jacobs Conference Center in Ewing Hall on campus, where family and friends will be able to view the ceremony on a projection screen.

For more information, please contact University Relations at (662) 846-4675

Delta State enjoys productive academic day; Reward grows to $6,000

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Delta State University enjoyed a productive academic day Thursday, April 26, in its first full-day of business since a series of bomb threats closed campus Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.

The Delta State University Police Department, in conjunction and cooperation with local law enforcement, continue to pursue numerous leads related to Tuesday’s bomb threat and to a related crank phone call received by a University police dispatcher this morning. No arrests have been made at this time.
“I appreciate the resilience of our faculty, staff and students. This is an exciting time on campuswith the approach of graduation, and nothing should overshadow the hard work of our students,” Dr. John M. Hilpert, Delta State President expressed. “We are working to apprehend the person or persons responsible for this crime. We thank all law enforcement agencies who are assisting in the effort.”
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible has grown to $6,000, as the Cleveland-Bolivar County Crimestoppers Board has added $1,000. The Delta State University Foundation initially put up $5,000.
“We are grateful for the cooperative spirit the community has shown during this time, and we thank the Cleveland-Bolivar County Crimestoppers Board for its generous support,” Hilpert added
If you have any information on the person(s) involved, please contact the Delta State police department at 846-4155 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

CIS department to feature new offerings this fall at Delta State

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The Computer Information Systems (CIS) department at Delta State University will be offering two new courses this upcoming fall semester.

The latest course offering, “Principles of Information Security and Assurance (CIS 375)” will focus on an overview of computer information security including external and internal attacks upon data, physical security of the data, software security of the data and information security policy.  The course is scheduled to meet on Thursday nights from 6 – 9 p.m. in Room 105 of Broom Hall on campus.
The second course entitled, “E-Commerce Application Development (CIS 475)” will focus on advanced development of database driven websites for e-commerce including the application of scripting languages, cascading style sheets, online payment processing, security procedures, accessibility design and ethics.  This course will meet on Wednesday nights from 6 – 9 p.m. in Room 203 of Broom Hall on campus.
“Our hope is these evening offerings can better accommodate non-traditional students, or those who may just have an interest in the area and work during the day,” Dr. Darry Hardy, Coordinator of the CIS program at Delta State, explained. “These courses really are cutting-edge and in-tune with market trends.”
Those seeking additional information, can contact Hardy at (662) 846-4425 or (662) 846-4411. Enrollment is limited due to computer space, so please consider registering immediately.

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.