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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.

Woodward to provide Colloquia address April 12

By | Community, President | No Comments

The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series continues this semester featuring Dr. LouAnn Woodward, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Woodward’s speech, titled “Health Care in Mississippi: What You Need to Know,” will begin at 6 p.m. on April 12 in the Jobe Auditorium on campus.WoodwardColloquia

Woodward, who completed her residency and board certification in emergency medicine at the UMMC, has served on the faculty for nearly 20 years. In addition to her role as vice chancellor, she also serves as a tenured professor of emergency medicine.

Woodward’s unique combination of experience as a professor, physician and seasoned administrator, has led to honors ranging from awards for teaching to recognition as one of Mississippi’s leading businesswomen.

Her personal and professional commitment to the medical center, and deep understanding of health care in Mississippi, have helped to keep UMMC at the forefront of health care, education and research — both in Mississippi and nationwide.

A native of Carrollton, Mississippi, Woodward earned her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Mississippi State University and doctor of medicine degree from UMMC.

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the Colloquia program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

LaForge said the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series is another commitment to bringing excellence to Delta State.

“The university colloquia program gives our institution a chance to hear from and engage with experts from a wide array of professions and interests,” said LaForge. “It especially allows our students and faculty to rub elbows with professionals and resources we sometimes have the rare opportunity to engage. Great universities have great programs, and this is one.”

Those unable to attend the event can view the live stream speech online through the university’s official LiveStream channel: https://livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity.

Learn more about the series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.

UPS CEO David Abney discusses International Business Symposium – Fireside Chat

By | President, Uncategorized | No Comments

Joining President LaForge is David Abney, CEO and Chairman of the Board for UPS.

Each year, Delta State alumnus David Abney and his wife Sherry generously donate their time and treasure to support and sponsor our annual International Business Symposium on campus. This marks the 12th year for the event, which was held this past week. It is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn from, and interact with, top business leaders, and we appreciate everyone who gives their time to make it such a successful event.

David is the CEO and Chairman of UPS. He started his career in 1974 as a part-time package loader at UPS while he was an undergraduate student at Delta State. He has lived the American dream of working his way up from the package loader all the way to the top seat in the company. David held various operational positions at UPS along the way, including president of UPS International, where he led the expansion of the company’s global logistics capabilities. He was named Delta State’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2007, and received an honorary doctorate from Delta State in May 2015. Dr. Abney has been an active ambassador for the university throughout his career, and he serves as role model for ways an alumnus can give back to his alma mater and provide today’s students with greater opportunities for success.

 

Highlight video from Winning the Race conference

By | Academics, Community, President, Winning the Race | No Comments

Delta State University hosted its fourth annual Winning the Race conference on March 28-29.

This year’s conference, “Winning the Race: Advancing Education in the Mississippi Delta,” was presented in partnership with the Casey Family Programs and the Mississippi Humanities Council and focused on identifying educational inequities and strengthening educational opportunities in the Mississippi Delta.

The inaugural program, spearheaded by Delta State President William N. LaForge in 2014, was designed as an innovative academic conference with a focus on engaging, promoting and rekindling conversations in hopes that Delta-area communities can move toward greater equity, forward thinking and reduced racial tensions.

In recognition of this work, the university received the 2014 Civil Rights and Social Justice Award accepted by LaForge at the fourth National Civil Rights Conference in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Highlight speakers for the 2017 conference included Dr. Ivory Toldson, president and CEO of the Quality Education for Minorities Network, and Dr. William C. Bell, a Delta State graduate and president and CEO of Casey Family Programs.

The soundtrack for the video is an original song written and produced by students in the Delta Music Institute at Delta State. Performing the song is Audrianna Johnson, the 2015-16 Fighting Okra Records artist. The song was written by Johnson, Travis Calvin, Eric Johnson, Justin Boatman and Jessica Wishard, and Calvin served as the producer. It was recorded in Studio C at the DMI building on campus.

Karen L. Cummins Endowed Scholarship established

By | Academics, Foundation, President, Students | No Comments
Billy Cummins (second from right), signed endowment agreements for the Karen L. Cummins Endowed Scholarship Fund in memory of his wife Thursday with Delta State Chief Development Officer Gary Bouse (l to r), President William N. LaForge and Keith Fulcher, executive director of Alumni-Foundation.

 

Delta State University welcomed Billy Cummins to campus Thursday to sign endowment agreements for the Karen L. Cummins Endowed Scholarship Fund in memory of his wife, Karen L. Cummins, a 1979 graduate of Delta State University who was a trustee of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and an exemplary employee of Atmos Energy Corporation.

The Delta State University Foundation, which will manage the fund, has received over $50,000 in generous donations from family members, Atmos Energy Corporation, friends and colleagues.

The purpose of the fund is to establish a scholarship for a student attending Delta State University.

Delta State President William N. LaForge said he was extremely grateful to the Cummins family.

“Billy Cummins’s generous gift to the Delta State University Foundation is significant for two reasons. First, it honors a very special person — his wife, Karen — who was a Delta State alumna and served on the IHL Board of Trustees. Secondly, the gift supports a major foundation scholarship fund that Delta State has established, with Billy’s guidance, that will honor Karen’s memory in perpetuity, while providing funds for deserving students to attend Delta State far into the future,” LaForge said.

“I am very grateful to Billy Cummins, his and Karen’s companies — Atmos and Entergy — and all donors who have contributed to this fund in Karen’s memory,” he added. “It is so fitting that we pay tribute to Karen Cummins in this meaningful way.”

The current level of the endowment will provide approximately $2,000 annually to a qualified recipient.

Potential recipients will exemplify the following guidelines:
-Recipient shall be the child of a current employee of the Atmos Energy Corporation or Entergy Corporation. First consideration will be given to children of employees of Atmos Energy.
-Recipient shall possess a high school grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
-Recipient shall maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher while attending Delta State.
-Recipient must meet all university scholarship guidelines to maintain the scholarship while enrolled at Delta State.
-Recipient must be in good standing with the university, will uphold the guiding principles and embody the core values of Delta State University.

The fund is open to additional contributions, which will enhance the value of the scholarship’s endowment. Contributions can be made by check made payable to the Delta State University Foundation, Box 3141, Cleveland, MS, 38733, or online at www.deltastategiving.org.

For more information, contact Gary Bouse, Delta State Chief Development Officer, at gbouse@deltastate.edu or 662-846-4704.