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Milton Kuykendall (l to r), President William N. LaForge and Worth Steen at the recent DeSoto County Alumni Event. Officers of the chapter include Emily Ballard, president; Billy Sears, vice president; and Janie Michelle Stafford, secretary-treasurer.

Alumni Association travels to DeSoto County

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

The Delta State University National Alumni Association recently traveled to Southaven for the annual DeSoto County Alumni Event, which was held at the BankPlus Training Center.

This year’s program featured President William N. LaForge; Emily Havens, executive director GRAMMY Museum Mississippi; and Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. Other faculty and staff in attendance were first lady Nancy LaForge; Ronnie Mayers, athletic director; Steve McClellan, chief financial officer; Keith Fulcher, executive director Alumni-Foundation; Ann Giger, director of Donor Relations; Jordan Thomas, assistant alumni director; Sarah Shepherd, senior alumni secretary; Gary Bouse, chief development officer; Stephanie Farris, director Child Development Center; and Dr. Clifton Wingard, professor of mathematics.

Over 200 alumni and friends attended the event.

Over $1,500 was raised through the silent auction. All proceeds benefit the DeSoto County Scholarship, which is given annually to incoming Delta State students from the area. This year’s recipients are Natalie Howarth and Kayla Savage, both of Hernando.

The chapter bestowed Milton Kuykendall, superintendent for DeSoto County Schools, with a service award for his dedication to both Delta State and DeSoto County. They also recognized Worth Steen for his dedication to the growth of the DeSoto County chapter.

Sponsors for the event included: Ryan T. England and Stephanie Morrison Strohm – State Farm Agents; BankPlus; BancorpSouth; Renasant Bank; Northcentral Electric Power Association; Sycamore Bank; Delta Law Firm, PLLC; First Security Bank; Cory Uselton; Grapevine Liquor & Wine; Williams, Pitts & Beard, PLLC; and A&B Distributors.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), 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.

Top from left: Celia Manley, Rhonda Strickland, Lisa Patterson Milling and Tara Dunn Davis. Bottom: Will Crump, John Stringer and Jeffrey Farris.

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 (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), 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.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will deliver the State of the University  address on Aug. 14 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Convocation scheduled for Aug. 14

By | Academics, Community, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

As the start of the new academic calendar is just around the corner, Delta State University President William N. LaForge will deliver a special 90th anniversary State of the University convocation address on Aug. 14 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The address will serve as a welcome to faculty, staff and the community at the start of Delta State’s 90th academic year. Leading the event with LaForge will be Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Russell Gainspoletti, president-elect of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, will provide a community welcome.

As is the tradition at each Delta State convocation address, new Student Government Association officers will be recognized and introduced, along with new faculty and staff.

LaForge will conclude the ceremony with his address, highlighting university achievements over the last year, along with goals and visions for Delta State’s future.

Tune into the address remotely through the live stream channel at ustream.tv/channel/delta-state-university.

Visit www.deltastate.edu to stay updated on university news and event coverage. Track the president’s efforts on his blog at http://president.deltastate.edu and Twitter via @presidentDSU.

Join the Delta State University Alumni Association in Southaven on Saturday for the annual DeSoto County Alumni Event held at the BankPlus Training Center beginning at 6 p.m.

Alumni Association to visit DeSoto County

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

The Delta State University Alumni Association is busy preparing to travel to Southaven for the annual DeSoto County Alumni Event this Saturday, Aug. 8. This year’s event will be held at the BankPlus Training Center and will begin at 6 p.m.

President William N. LaForge will treat guests to an update on campus, and Emily Havens, executive director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will speak to the crowd about the museum. Alumni-Foundation staff, as well as other Delta State faculty and staff, will also be in attendance.

Each year, the event has a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the DeSoto County Scholarships, which are awarded to incoming Delta State freshmen from the area. This year’s recipients are Natalie Howarth and Kayla Savage.

The chapter is also recognizing Milton Kuykendall, superintendent of DeSoto County Schools and a Delta State alumnus, for his dedication to Delta State and DeSoto County.

Sponsors for the event include: Ryan T. England and Stephanie Morrison Strohm – State Farm Agents; BankPlus; BancorpSouth; Renasant Bank; Northcentral Electric Power Association; Sycamore Bank; Delta Law Firm, PLLC; First Security Bank; Cory Uselton; Grapevine Liquor & Wine; Williams, Pitts & Beard, PLLC; and A&B Distributors.

For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660 or visit www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/desotocountyevent. To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), 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.

Radio station owner Elijah Mondy (left), father of Delta State web designer April Mondy, spent countless hours working with FCC consultant engineer Ed Czelada (right), to establish 88.1 WDSW-LP, the university's new FM radio station.

Donors make radio station a reality at Delta State 



By | Community, Delta Music Institute, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

Tune your FM radio dial to 88.1 WDSW-LP and you’ll hear a new sound coming from Delta State University.

Thanks to generous private donations of time, equipment and monies, the university has established a radio station, which is still in its developing stages. The low-power 250-watt station is designed to broadcast clearly on campus and around Cleveland, and is scheduled to be fully operational this fall.

Currently, the station is playing a temporary rotation of light country music that is being fed from a music database. The next step is to develop a plan for the station in terms of programming, goals, structure, budgeting, management and timeline.

President William N. LaForge said the university is thrilled to host the new station and is grateful for the private funding and support that brought the project to fruition.

“We were able to cobble together some in-kind and dollar contributions that made this possible,” said LaForge. “The Delta State University Foundation, along with friends and supporters, helped us get over the finish line. It’s all privately funded, and we hope to continue that going forward.”

Elijah Mondy, a radio station owner in Mississippi and Arkansas, contributed substantial time to make everything come together.

Mondy was motivated to sort through the groundwork thanks to his family’s ties to the university. His daughter, April, who received her undergraduate at Delta State in 2011 and master’s degree in 2013, is the university’s web designer. Mondy also has two sons enrolled at the institution. April and three of her siblings assisted their father with the setup.

“With my daughter working here and two sons attending, I have really taken a big liking to Delta State,” said Mondy. “It’s exciting that the school will now be able to directly communicate with the campus, community and alumni. This will be an asset for Delta State and be a great way to communicate locally and to the world.”

Mondy used his expertise and years of experience in the radio industry to provide initial assessing of the studio space and determine what equipment would be needed. He also brought in his radio colleague, Ed Czelada, an FCC consultant engineer, to help spearhead the technical setup of equipment, wiring and the radio tower. Czelada, who owns over 20 radio stations in Michigan, drove down to Mississippi and spent several days on campus.

Mondy added that he hopes the station will eventually be livestreamed through the Internet so that the world, literally, can learn about Delta State happenings.

Alumnus J. Boyd Ingram ’64 (right) and his wife Carol joined President William N. Laforge when Ingram announced he would donate and purchase equipment to help make the station a reality.

Alumnus J. Boyd Ingram ’64 (right) and his wife Carol, joined President William N. Laforge when Ingram announced he would donate and purchase equipment to help make the station a reality.

Other prime donors include alumnus J. Boyd Ingram ’64 and his wife Carol. Ingram recently sold the station he owned and operated in Batesville, Miss. The Ingrams donated and purchased equipment, which helped to make the station a reality. Ingram also helped with some of the initial equipment assembly.

“The Ingrams are very much to be credited for helping us get this show on the road,” said LaForge. “We also owe a great debt of gratitude to the Mondy family for assisting with the setup.”

Among others making contributions were radio station owner Larry Fuss, and alumnus Lee Baker ’89 and his wife Susie of Morse Communications.

While station programming has not been finalized, LaForge said it will provide a number of distinctive opportunities on campus. The Office of Communications and Marketing will be able to utilize the air space, as well as Delta State’s unique Delta Music Institute program.

Other areas that may be incorporated include news, weather, university calendar and information, athletics, live music and performance, and potentially music recitals occurring on campus.

A lot of this will be discussed and planned through a committee,” said LaForge. “In time, we will lay out an underwriting fundraising plan to support the station long term. The concept certainly supports things we’re doing at Delta State, like being the academic center of the blues.

“The station gives us a little pizzazz as a university and a community. Now we’ll have new opportunities to keep our constituencies apprised of events and activities. It will also give some of our students a chance to participate in the broadcast end of it. This will certainly be a nice addition to Delta State’s focus on music and culture.”

Follow all upcoming station updates at www.deltastate.edu.