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Roger Wicker

Salute to Delta Honor Graduates held in conjunction with Delta Council Day

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The 14th annual Salute to Delta Honor Graduates will be held in conjunction with Delta Council Day on June 9. Senator Roger Wicker (left), the keynote speaker for the event, will be joined by co-host Archie Tucker, senior executive with the Department of Agriculture.

Delta Council will hold its 14th Salute to Delta Honor Graduates Event during the 82nd annual meeting of the regional organization at Delta State University on June 9.

The Honor Graduate event is slated for 9 a.m. in a tent on the parking lot outside the east entrance of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker will be the keynote speaker for the event, and United States Department of Agriculture senior executive Archie Tucker will serve as co-host for the event.

“We are pleased that two exceptional Mississippi leaders — Senator Wicker and Mr. Tucker — will be there to underscore the importance of continuing their educational and professional pursuits to these top young men and women of the Delta,” said Cass Pennington of Indianola, Delta Council Educational Policy chairman. “The Delta Honor Graduate event is designed to raise the level of awareness of parents, teachers and our local communities of the importance of bringing these bright young minds back to the Delta after they have completed their formal and advanced education.”

Wicker, a native of Pontotoc and resident of Tupelo, has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007. Wicker serves as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he chairs the Subcommittee on Seapower. He is a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, serving as chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet; Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Rules Committee.  Wicker is also a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Congressional Board of Visitors.

Co-hosting the event will be Archie Tucker of Greenville, who is the deputy administrator of USDA’s largest Agricultural Research Service regional location in the country. Tucker’s extensive professional and civic activities have led to personal recognition including the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005 and the Herbert White Preeminence Award for Achievement in Excellence from Mississippi Valley State University, a resolution from the Mississippi House of Representatives and Parent of the Year for the 1999-2000 school year from the Mississippi State Board of Education. Additionally, Tucker is a member of several organizations including the Advisory Board of the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Executive Board of Alcorn State University and the National Alumni Association for MVSU.

The Honor Graduate Event is designed to bestow special honor upon two exemplary students from each of the high schools throughout the Mississippi Delta Region, including public, parochial and private schools. Students are selected by school administrators based on grade point average, extracurricular activities and community service.

In addition, a $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to the top Delta Honor Graduate as selected by higher education officials in the Delta, to help defray tuition and expenses as the student’s college of choice sees fit. The top Delta Honor Graduate will be recognized on stage at the Delta Council annual meeting during the Business Session, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Wicker will also be on hand to introduce the keynote speaker for the 82nd Annual Meeting, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

Sponsors for the meeting: BankPlus, Catfish Farmers of Mississippi, Cotton, Inc., Sanders, Mississippi Corn Promotion Board, Mississippi Rice Promotion Board, Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, and Southern Ag Credit/Mississippi Land Bank.

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Spring graduates receive degrees – Fireside Chat

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Joining President LaForge are three students who graduated this past Saturday.

This spring, Delta State awarded degrees to more than 430 students. The university also awarded honorary degrees to Lucy and Paul Janoush. Lucy, who was named Delta State’s Alumnus of the Year in 2015, has been a dedicated supporter of the university and was instrumental in the completion of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. Paul, also an alumnus, has not only supported Delta State, but has been deeply involved in youth and scouting activities in the Bolivar County community.

In other news on campus, it is time again for Delta State’s summer camps, and there are a wide variety of opportunities ranging from athletics to music to art. For more information and to register, visit www.deltastate.edu/summercamps. And, summer school classes begin May 30, and it’s not too late to register. To see a full list of courses available, visit www.deltastate.edu/summerschool.

 

 

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GRAMMY Museum® to celebrate Blues legend John Lee Hooker

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The GRAMMY Museum®, in conjunction with the John Lee Hooker Estate, Craft Recordings and the Catalog Division of Concord Music Group, will celebrate the centennial of the legendary GRAMMY®-winning bluesman with the opening of a new exhibit titled “John Lee Hooker: King of the Boogie,” on Aug. 22 at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in Cleveland, Mississippi, Hooker’s home state.

The exhibit will open on what would have been the late blues icon’s 100th birthday and will celebrate Hooker’s lasting legacy through rare recordings, photos and one-of-a-kind artifacts.

The exhibit is part of a year-long celebration of Hooker’s musical legacy that features special releases from Craft Recordings, a conference at Delta State University and special exhibits at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and the Memphis-based Blues Foundation. The exhibit’s official media partners are Oxford American and Living Blues.

“John Lee Hooker was truly a seminal blues artist. Many of his songs are part of America’s blues music treasury,” saidBob Santelli, blues historian and founding executive director of the GRAMMY Museum. “In addition to impacting blues history, Hooker’s music influenced great rock bands like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Yardbirds and ZZ Top. We’re thrilled to honor the King of the Boogie’s legacy and tell the story of his incredible career in his own home state.”

On display at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi throughout the fall of 2017, the exhibit will feature:

  • Rare and never-before-heard recordings from Hooker
  • Instruments such as Hooker’s Gibson ES-335
  • Hooker’s “Best Traditional Blues Album GRAMMY for 1997’s Don’t Look Back,” which was co-produced by Van Morrison and Mike Kappus
  • Rare photos, performance outfits and more

The exhibit will travel to Los Angeles at GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE following its instillation in Mississippi.

“John Lee Hooker is gone but not forgotten. In collaboration with the GRAMMY Museum and our partners, the John Lee Hooker family is pleased and honored to be able to bring to the public the artifacts in this exhibit, donated not just by family but by his very dear friends and associates,” said Diane Roan-Hooker and Zakiya Hooker, daughters of the legendary blues artist. “This centennial is a celebration of John Lee Hooker’s amazing life and his love of the music that he shared with the world.”

To celebrate 100 years of Hooker’s music, Craft Recordings will issue a series of titles throughout 2017, culminating with a centennial CD box set, offering 100 career-spanning hits and rarities, plus previously unreleased material. Concord will also reissue several classic Hooker titles on 180-gram vinyl, as well as digitally, in hi-res and MFiT formats. To kick off the centennial celebrations, the label issued a 16-track collection of songs from the prime of Hooker’s career on its Vee-Jay imprint. “Whiskey & Wimmen: John Lee Hooker’s Finest” was released March 31 on vinyl and CD, offering classic tracks from the ’50s and ’60s, including “Boom Boom” and “Dimples.”

Other organizations celebrating the centennial include the Delta Blues Museum, which will host a special exhibit about Hooker featuring clothing, guitars, recordings and more, opening in July. The celebration will continue through August as the museum celebrates its annual “John Lee Hooker Month.” The Delta Blues Museum Band will perform Hooker’s songs when they open the 30th annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival on Aug. 11. The festival will run through Aug. 13. More information about celebratory activities at the Delta Blues Museum can be found at www.deltabluesmuseum.org.

Hooker’s 1996 album, “Real Folk Blues,” is being inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at a ceremony coordinated by The Blues Foundation on May 10 in Memphis. In addition, The Blues Foundation will be opening a new exhibit, “The Rosebud Agency and Mike Kappus: 45+ Years Sharing the Music,” which will include a special display of Hooker artifacts, curated by Mike Kappus, long-time manager for Hooker. The exhibit will open on May 10, in conjunction with the Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and will run through October 2017.

In addition, the fourth annual International Conference on the Blues at Delta State University is scheduled for Oct. 1-3. With an established record of attracting internationally renowned blues scholars and GRAMMY Award-winning talent, the upcoming conference promises to deliver an extra dose of educational and celebratory flair. In partnership with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, the conference will commemorate the John Lee Hooker Centennial this year. To stay abreast of developments with the conference, visit www.deltastate.edu/bluesconference/.

About John Lee Hooker:
With a prolific career that spanned over five decades, legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker remains a foundational figure in the development of modern music, having influenced countless artists around the globe with his simple, yet deeply effective style. Known to music fans around the world as the “King of the Boogie,” Hooker endures as one of the true superstars of the blues — the ultimate beholder of cool. His work is widely recognized for its impact on modern music — his simple, yet deeply effective songs transcend borders and languages around the globe.

Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi, on Aug. 22, 1917, to a sharecropping family, Hooker’s earliest musical influence came from his stepfather, William Moore, a blues musician who taught his young stepson to play guitar, and whom Hooker later credited for his unique style on the instrument. By the early ‘40s, Hooker had moved north to Detroit by way of Memphis and Cincinnati.

By day, he was a janitor in the auto factories, but by night, like many other transplants from the rural Delta, he entertained friends and neighbors by playing at house parties. “The Hook” gained fans around town from these shows, including local record store owner Elmer Barbee. Barbee was so impressed by the young musician that he introduced him to Bernard Besman, a producer, record distributor and the owner of Sensation Records.

By 1948, Hooker—now honing his style on an electric guitar, had recorded several songs for Besman, who, in turn, leased the tracks to nationally distributed Modern Records. Among these first recordings was “Boogie Chillun,” (soon after appearing as “Boogie Chillen”) which became a No.1 jukebox hit, selling over one million copies. This success was soon followed by a string of hits, including “I’m in the Mood,” “Crawling Kingsnake” and “Hobo Blues.” Over the next 15 years, Hooker signed to a new label, Vee-Jay Records, and maintained a prolific recording schedule, releasing over 100 songs on the imprint.

When the young bohemian artists of the ‘60s discovered Hooker, among other notable blues originators, he found his career taking on a new direction. With the folk movement in high gear, Hooker returned to his solo, acoustic roots, and was in strong demand to perform at colleges and folk festivals around the country. Across the Atlantic, emerging British bands were idolizing Hooker’s work. Artists like the Rolling Stones, the Animals and the Yardbirds introduced Hooker’s sound to new and eager audiences, whose admiration and influence helped build Hooker up to superstar status. By 1970, Hooker had relocated to California and was busy collaborating on several projects with rock acts. One such collaboration was with rock band Canned Heat, which resulted in 1971’s hit record “Hooker ‘n’ Heat.” The double LP became Hooker’s first charting album.

Throughout the late ‘70s and ‘80s, Hooker toured the United States and Europe steadily. His appearance in the legendary “Blues Brothers” movie resulted in a heightened profile once again. Then, at age 72, Hooker released the biggest album of his career, “The Healer.” The GRAMMY Award-winning 1989 LP featured contemporary artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Los Lobos and George Thorogood. “The Healer” was released to critical acclaim and sold over 1 million copies.

In the 1990s Hooker released five studio albums, including “Mr. Lucky,” which once again teamed Hooker with an array of artists; “Boom Boom,” which aimed to introduce new fans to his classic material; the GRAMMY-winning “Chill Out;” and a collaboration with Van Morrison, “Don’t Look Back,” which also garnered two GRAMMYs. Throughout the decade, Hooker’s great body of work and contributions to modern music were being recognized not only by his peers, but also by a younger generation. He became a familiar face in popular culture, with appearances on “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night with David Letterman.”

In 1990, a massive tribute concert took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden, featuring Hooker and an all-star lineup of guest artists. One year later, Hooker was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1997 he was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, shortly before his death, Hooker was recognized with a Recording Academy® Lifetime Achievement Award, and just one week before his passing, ever true to form, the bluesman spent his final Saturday night playing a now-legendary show to a packed house at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, California.

The Hook continues to live on. His music can regularly be heard in TV shows, commercials and films, and many of his tracks have also found a second life sampled in new songs — by the likes of R&B star Brandy, hip-hop legend Chuck D and French electronic musician St Germain, among many others. Most recently, in 2016 his iconic recording, the 1962 Vee-Jay Records single “Boom Boom,” was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame.

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RESSON ranks No. 1 nationally for online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree

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Delta State University’s Robert E. Smith School of Nursing has been identified as the No. 1 value nursing school for an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in a recent ranking from http://www.collegevaluesonline.com.

Editors of the ranking noted that RESSON provides the best value in the nation.

Dr. Vicki Bingham, dean of RESSON, was thrilled with the top ranking.

“This ranking from an external source validates to others our desire and ability to provide students with a quality nursing education from an online platform,” said Bingham. “The Robert E. Smith School of Nursing is very honored and excited with all of our rankings to know that we continue to provide the best choice and value for nursing education.”

To view the Top 50 list, visit http://www.collegevaluesonline.com/rankings/graduate/online-doctor-nursing-practice-online-dnp.

College Values Online’s mission is to provide assistance in selecting the best college for each individual situation by offering rankings of schools and various degree programs, in addition to information on numerous career options from a value perspective.

Learn more about RESSON’s programming at http://www.deltastate.edu/school-of-nursing.

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Miller honored for work with Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum

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Pictured (left to right): Gilroy Chow, MDCHM president; Lisa Miller; and Cindi Lofton, MDCHM project coordinator.

Lisa Miller ’03, director of the Martin and Sue King Railroad Museum in Cleveland, was recently awarded a distinctive plaque of appreciation for her outstanding work with the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum housed at the Charles W. Capps Jr. Archives and Museum at Delta State University.

Gilroy Chow, MDCHM president, presented the award to Miller at a recent board meeting.

The city of Cleveland and Delta State University work in partnership with MDCHM, with Miller serving as ex-officio in her work with the museum.

Miller’s creative talent and support have been significant in the development and success of the museum since it opened in 2011. Among many, one major contribution of Miller’s was designing the museum brochures, which uniquely depict Chinese culture. The brochures project was supported by a grant from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area.

Emily Jones, university archivist and curator of the museum, said Miller is extremely worthy of the recognition.

“Passionate about preserving and sharing our local Delta history, Lisa Miller was one of the first volunteers to help create the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum,” said Jones. “Through her generosity and careful planning, we were able to host our first book launch at the Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum. The book, ‘Journey Stories from the Cleveland Chinese Mission School,’ by co-authors Paul Wong and Doris Ling Lee, has been an amazingly successful fundraiser for the MDCHM programs and projects, and we are proud that we can now offer our newest publication, ‘The MS Chinese Veterans of World War II: A Delta Tribute,’ by Gwendolyn Gong, John H. Powers and Devereux Gong Powers.”

“Her creativity is evident in the museum space on the third floor of the Capps building, and she has consistently encouraged and supported the museum as if it were her primary responsibility,” added Jones. “Over the past seven years, Lisa has attended board meetings as an ex-officio member representing the city of Cleveland, offered guidance for large and small projects, and stepped in to volunteer whenever she is needed — all while directing the Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum for Cleveland. She is a constant encouragement for me and I could not ask for a better partner to help collect and preserve our local history.”

The Chinese Museum is located on the third floor of the Capps building and is free and open to the public. Guided tours are available for groups of all ages. For more information, contact Jones at ejones@deltastate.edu or Cindi Q. Lofton at clofton@deltastate.edu or call 662-846-4780.

For information about the Martin and Sue King Railroad Museum, contact Miller at trainmuseum@cableone.net or 662-843-3377.