Category

President

Young-Mauldin closes for major renovations

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

Members of the  President’s Cabinet and fellow staff members shared lunch at Delta State’s Young-Mauldin Dining Hall on Thursday, the final meal to be served at the cafeteria until major building renovations come to fruition.

According to Jeff Barkman, director of Facilities Management at Delta State, the $9.2 million in renovations will include an updated dining space, theater, snack bar and private dining room. The remodeling will also feature a new state-of-the-art kitchen.

The new temporary dining location will be the State Room in the H.L. Nowell Student Union. A temporary kitchen has also been constructed across the hall.

Jamie Rutledge, vice president for Finance and Administration at Delta State, said the anticipated start of construction is Sept. 1 and will continue for 18 months.

“The cafeteria will be totally renovated throughout the entire building,” said Rutledge. “All of the mechanical, plumbing and electrical will be completely replaced. Repairs will also include all new kitchen equipment, furniture and serving lines.”

Untitled-1Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president for Student Affairs, said the renovations would provide a major boost to the student dining experience.

“Student Affairs is excited about this project. This state-of-the-art facility will benefit both current and future students by improving the university’s service delivery, campus facility and food service offerings, and recruitment,” said Bennett. “The theater and private dining room will be very helpful for programming and will serve as a vital additional outlet for student engagement activities and projects. The updated dining space and expanded food service choices will afford our students more options for dining, which was the topic of several town hall forums that Student Affairs sponsored last spring.”

Ashley Griffin, president of the Student Government Association, said her peers are also looking forward to the upgrades.

“When we survey students at Delta State for things they feel will enhance their college experience, responses always includes Wi-Fi and their cafe experience,” said Griffin. “By remodeling the cafe with these accommodations, it will become a great place for eating, but also a place for students to socialize and relax in an on-campus area that’s not the dorm. The updates in the kitchen will hopefully give the cooks more food options to serve students. I feel this is a step towards fulfilling what students having been wanting for years.”

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

University to break ground on Statesmen Boulevard

By | Athletics, Community, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University cordially invites university supporters to the groundbreaking ceremony for Statesmen Boulevard on July 19 at 2 p.m. at the Dorgan Center on campus.

The Statesmen Boulevard project will create a new and improved gameday traffic entrance for the university’s athletic facilities north of Highway 8 and west of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Funding for this project was made possible in part by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration and the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Additionally, there will be a 20 percent local match from Delta State and the City of Cleveland.

Construction will also include improvement of streets around and in front of the football stadium, new sidewalks and street lighting installation, and the construction of new storm drainage piping and fencing.

Senator Thad Cochran played a major role in securing federal funding for the project.

“I am thrilled that the Statesmen Boulevard project is about to commence,” said Delta State President William N. LaForge. “We are finally seeing the fruition of a lot of hard work and planning, including a wonderful amount of support garnered by U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, who was able to steer federal money for this project. We are very grateful to the senator. The university also has skin in the game, as we have matched the federal funds with $500,000 that we’ve taken from our budget the last two years to contribute to the cost and support of this project.”

LaForge said that upon completion, the university will have a much improved routing system for sporting event traffic.

“This new routing will curtail the need to go through neighborhoods or cut through campus by the Coliseum, and provide a safer and more efficient transportation flow for all of our fans, alumni and students alike.”

MDOT pitched the Statesmen Boulevard project as a safety issue. By re-routing gameday traffic, students and fans walking and driving to the athletic venues will no longer have to maneuver in high volume traffic between parked cars alongside residences.

“This campus connector project will have a big impact on the Statesmen community,” said Dick Hall, transportation commissioner with MDOT. “It will significantly improve safety and efficiency for residents, students and visitors.”

Delta State Athletic Director Ronnie Mayers is also thrilled to break ground on a new project that will safely welcome fans to campus.

“We are excited to begin construction on Statesmen Boulevard as a new way to welcome fans to Delta State athletic events,” said Mayers. “Delta State is always thankful for its dedicated fans, and this project will provide them a grand entrance as they come to cheer on the Green and White.”

Jeff Barkman, director of Facilities Management at Delta State, said the project would be competed in the spring of 2018.

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

Hundley named interim executive director of Alumni-Foundation

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

Delta State University recently welcomed Patrick D. Hundley as the interim executive director of the Delta State University Alumni-Foundation.

Hundley took over after former director Keith Fulcher transitioned to the new position of special assistant to the president for donor relations.

He joins Delta State from the REGISTRY for College and University Presidents, an organization that provides experienced higher educational professionals on an interim basis. University and Foundation officials will conduct a search later in the year for a permanent executive director.

“I could not be more pleased with the welcome that I have received here,” said Hundley. “The entire staff of the Foundation and Alumni division has been wonderful, with each person reaching out to do all in his or her power to assist me. I hope to provide the kind of leadership during my short tenure here that will position this excellent staff to be even more successful in the future.

“Furthermore, President LaForge is totally committed to see that Delta State University reaches a next level of greatness, and I am finding that working with him is a real honor and privilege. Delta State and its development and alumni programs are in great hands. The future is very bright.”

Hundley is a native of Jackson, Tennessee. He received a bachelor’s in English from Tennessee Wesleyan College, a master’s in English from Middle Tennessee State University, and an ABD in English from Oklahoma State University.

He has 35 years of experience in university advancement, including serving as assistant chancellor at University of Wisconsin Platteville, vice president at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and vice chancellor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“I am very pleased that Patrick Hundley has joined our alumni-foundation staff as a consultant, and I look forward to working with him during this transition period,” said President William N. LaForge. “He brings a wealth of skills and knowledge in the foundation, development, and alumni fields at several universities, including many very similar to Delta State in size and character.”

Short-term, Hundley’s primary focus is to raise more private funds for the betterment of the university. One goal, he said, was to raise the percentage of alumni who contribute from 7.8 percent to 15 percent.

“We must identify more potential donors among our alumni and friends, and we must get out and see these people, taking the message of Delta State’s importance in educating the best and the brightest for our region and our nation,” he said.

Additionally, as an interim director, Hundley said he hopes to have everything in place so that the next director can hit the ground running to raise funding for Delta State.

“Next year will be the first year when tuition income is greater than the funds provided by the state for the university,” said Hundley. “Therefore, private funds become more important as we keep this great University affordable for our students now and in the future. We especially need to raise more funds for scholarships and student projects. This will be one of the charges that I will give our staff as we move forward.”

Hundley has been married to his wife, Susan, for 42 years. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Follow all Delta State University news at www.deltastate.edu.

Fulcher named Special Assistant to the President for Donor Relations

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

Delta State University President William N. LaForge and DSU Foundation President Tim Harvey recently announced that Keith Fulcher, executive director of Delta State University Alumni and Foundation, is moving into a new role as Special Assistant to the President for Donor Relations.

In the position, Fulcher will provide strategic leadership in support of the president for fundraising efforts around institutional initiatives of the highest value and priority to Delta State.

Reporting to LaForge and serving as a member of the Advancement Senior Leadership Team, Fulcher will develop and execute coordinated strategies aimed at maximizing the engagement and philanthropic support of the university’s top prospective donors.

Fulcher has served in the executive director role for Alumni-Foundation since 2003.

“I am extremely pleased to continue my 21 years of service to Delta State University in this new role,” Fulcher said. “Private support is key to the future of the University. It is my goal to identify, cultivate, and invite Alumni and friends to consider Delta State as one of their top charitable causes to support. Taking philanthropic giving to unprecedented levels will ensure that the quality of instruction that Delta State is known for is maintained and enhanced for future generations.”

The news comes on the heels of Delta State announcing upcoming plans for a major private fundraising campaign. The campaign will allow Delta State to continue its efforts to boost student success and enrichment, academic excellence, and cultural and social heritage.

“As Delta State approaches the major endeavor of a fundraising campaign, we’re making every effort to organize ourselves for success,” said LaForge. “I am pleased to announce that Keith Fulcher will become the full-time Special Assistant to the President for Donor Relations. This move will allow Keith to focus on cultivation of donors and prospects, and to engage in the advancement of our capital campaign interests over the next several years. I am thrilled he has agreed to take on this new role, and I look forward to working with him.”

Harvey is also thrilled with Fulcher’s new responsibilities.

“This campaign will be one of the most significant initiatives in the 92-year history of Delta State, and having Keith focus all his energy and vast experience working directly with President LaForge on the campaign is critical in creating the results that will be crucial to Delta State for years to come.”

Fulcher received his Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education degree from Delta State in 1983 and a Master of Education in 1985, also from Delta State.

He will commence his new duties over the next few weeks during which time the management of the Alumni-Foundation office will transition to a visiting consultant, who will serve as Interim Executive Director through the end of the calendar year.  The consultant selected for the interim role is Patrick Hundley, and he joins Delta State from the REGISTRY for College and University Presidents, an organization that provides experienced higher educational professionals on a part-time basis.  Hundley will commence his duties next week.  University and Foundation officials will conduct a search later in the year for a permanent Executive Director.

To give to Delta State, visit deltastategiving.org.

Delta State to host Dancing with the DSU Stars

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

The Office of Student Affairs presents Dancing with the DSU Stars on April 22 at 7 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The show is modeled closely after the “Dancing with the Stars” television show.  Participating Delta State dancers will be partnered with a husband and wife professional team out of Memphis — Benji and Beth Smith of DanceSmiths Studio.

Participants include: Delta State President William N. LaForge; Michael Lipford, director of Student Development; Dr. Michelle Roberts, vice president for University Relations and chief of staff; Dr. Temika Simmons, assistant professor of psychology; Todd Cooley, head football coach; and Madison Nash, 2016 Delta State University Homecoming queen.

Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president for Student Affairs, said this will be a great event to improve town-gown relations.

“We are focused on improving student engagement and building collaborations across campus and within our community,” said Bennett. “This fun event will achieve both endeavors because it’s a wonderful opportunity for the campus and community to enjoy one another. It’s also a way for students to see another side of our faculty, staff and administrators.”

“Going forward, Student Affairs will offer at least one event annually that will be for both the campus and the community,” added Bennett. “We’re most grateful to our dancers for committing to this project, especially President LaForge.”

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.