Tony Garcia, the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Alumni Association seeks nominations

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The Delta State University Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the 2015 Alumni Service Awards, Alumni Hall of Fame and Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. The deadline for nominations is May 29. The award recipients will be recognized at the Annual Alumni Awards Gala Friday, Nov. 6, during Homecoming weekend.

“The Annual Alumni Awards Gala is a creation of the National Alumni Association Board of Directors,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. “The awards banquet gives us the opportunity to showcase our alums who have shown exceptional leadership on the local, state, national, and international level.”

The Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award was established to give recognition to an alumnus of Delta State University who has made some significant contributions to human or institutional programs in which a situation, an institution or a movement has been materially changed for the better because of that individual’s personal participation.

Induction into the Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the Alumni Association. Established in 2007, the Alumni Hall of Fame is extended to alumni and friends who have achieved professional distinction and made significant community service contributions at the local, national and/or international level and who have thus brought honor and distinction to Delta State University.

The Gladys Castle “Friend of Delta State” Service Award was named for Ms. Gladys Castle, a 46 year employee of Delta State who served as the first alumni secretary, and is presented to recognize outstanding service and contributions to Delta State University by a non-alumnus.

The Kent Wyatt “Young Alumnus” Service Award is named for Dr. Forest Kent Wyatt, president emeritus of 24 years, and recognizes outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by a young alumnus 36 years of age or younger.

The Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award is named for Hugh Ellis Walker, a 24 year director of the Delta State University Alumni/Foundation, and recognizes outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by an alumnus.

The Legacy Award is presented to someone who has made an institutional change upon the university. The Alumni Chapter of the Year is presented to an alumni chapter that is dedicated to raising scholarship dollars for Delta State students in their area.

The Dr. Henry Outlaw Faculty and Staff Service Award was established in 2014 as a way to recognize former Delta State faculty or staff members who have made a significant influence in the life of the university and/or the National Alumni Association.

To nominate a person or a group for an Alumni Award and to view past recipients, visit Nomination forms can be submitted online or mailed to DSU Box 3104 Cleveland, MS 38733.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).Save the date for next year’s Pig Pickin’ (September 19, 2015) and Homecoming (November 7, 2015).

This year's Senior Thesis Exhibition from the Department of Art features 15 graduating seniors and opens May 9 at the Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery.

Art seniors present exhibit

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Delta State University’s Department of Art will showcase the work of graduating seniors in an exhibition opening at the Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery on May 9. 

The Senior Thesis Exhibition will feature the work of 15 students majoring in crafts, painting, photography, sculpture and video. New this year is a gallery dedicated to graduating graphic design majors.

This year’s graduates include: Joe Accomando, James Buchanan, Rachel Byrd, Cherie Clark, Vincent Hayes, Katie Holbrook, Celia McHardy, Bianca Nolden, DJ Parrish, Alex Pollan, Luke Powell, Kristen Price, Helen Staten, Meredith Wilkes and Briana Williams.

A public reception will be held on Commencement Day, May 9 from 2-4 p.m. Part of the opening reception is the world premiere of three short films by graduating senior Joe Accomando. The screening will take place in 151 Holcomb Norwood, next door to the Fielding Wright Art Center.

The Senior Thesis Exhibition will be viewable until June 24. Gallery hours for the interim period and during the summer are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, contact the Department of Art at 662-846-4720.

The BPAC will continue its summer movie series with screenings of "Paddington," "McFarland USA," "Cinderella" and "Monkey Kingdom."

BPAC to show films again this summer

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For the third year in a row, the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University plans to screen major motion pictures on its big screen in the Delta & Pine Land Theatre.

All tickets are $5 for general admission seating. Popcorn and other movie-style concessions will be available to complement the movie experience.

The first film of the summer will be “Paddington” (PG) June 2 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The film is based on the popular children’s book character Paddington Bear.

On June 9, “McFarland USA,” starring Kevin Costner, will be shown at 7 p.m. This Disney drama and sports film is based on the true story of a 1987 cross-country team in McFarland, Calif. and is rated PG.

On June 23, the 2015 release of Walt Disney’s “Cinderella,” starring Lily James, will be screened at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The recent release is a re-imagination of the classic tale and is rated PG.

Finally, on July 7, the BPAC will feature Disneynature’s “Monkey Kingdom” at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. This G-rated nature documentary follows the story of a family of monkeys in the jungles of Sri Lanka and is narrated by Tina Fey.

“We are so grateful for the support of the Delta community that enables us to keep showing films at the Bologna Performing Arts Center,” said BPAC Executive Director Laura Howell. “This summer, we are excited to introduce a few morning matinee show times to better accommodate our patrons.”

For more information and to see film trailers, visit, or call the ticket office at 662-846-4626.

The Delta State University chapter of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society 2015 inductees include (front, left to right): Bhumi Desai (Greenville), Laura Fulton (Bridgeton, Mo.), Hope Rainey (Duck Hill), Nicole Cook (Olive Branch), Kristina Hong (Indianola), Kathleen Logeston (Starkville), Emily Grossi (Marks). Back Row (l to r): Haley McDonald (Merigold), Skylar Kuehn (Olive Branch), Kailey Mathis (Madison), Cody Upchurch (Grenada), Dana Rico (Pope), Tyler Daniels (Hattiesburg), Taylor Jones (Hernando), Laura Kate Fortner (Marks), Tori McDonald (Canton) and Katherine Jackson (Cleveland). Not Pictured: Caitlin Ivey (Madison), Katye Mangialardi (Olive Branch) and Callie Masterson (Batesville).

Phi Eta Sigma inducts new members

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The Delta State University chapter of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society recently inducted a class of 20 new members. The induction ceremony was held in the Lena Roberts Sillers Chapel April 23.

Founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois, Phi Eta Sigma is the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines. Since its founding, over 1 million scholars have been inducted into Phi Eta Sigma. There are 378 PES chapters across the United States. Each year, approximately $300,000 in scholarship money is awarded by the national organization.

This year’s initiates include: Bhumi Desai, Laura Fulton, Hope Rainey, Nicole Cook, Kristina Hong, Kathleen Logeston, Emily Grossi, Haley McDonald, Skylar Kuehn, Kailey Mathis, Cody Upchurch, Dana Rico, Tyler Daniels, Taylor Jones, Laura Kate Fortner, Tori McDonald, Katherine Jackson, Caitlin Ivey, Katye Mangialardi and Callie Masterson.

To be eligible for induction, freshmen must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, a normal academic load acceptable toward a bachelor’s degree and be ranked in the top 20 percent of their class.

The induction ceremony was attended by family and friends of the inductees. Dr. Charles Westmoreland Jr. officiated the ceremony and was assisted by Amber Marchetta, who provided invaluable support in planning the ceremony.

The GIT program provides education and practice of GIS, advanced geospatial analysis, remote sensing, digital image processing and information extraction, photogrammetry, computer programing, and scientific knowledge and technologies.

GIT Center calls for volunteers

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The Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State is seeking volunteers to assist with map-making throughout the week in response to the earthquakes in Nepal. Director of the Center Talbot Brooks and staff are leading the emergency response efforts on campus.

“The earthquakes in Nepal have left vast tracts completely devastated and thousands dead. The U.S. is sending urban search and rescue teams and other resources to help,” said Brooks.

Program Manager Chris Smith and Project Manager Ryan Poe with the Center will be managing volunteers in lab.

“We are going to try to do our part and are looking for volunteers to help create maps for the international response community,” said Smith. “We are opening our lab for these purposes for the remainder of the week.”

GIS experience is not required. A short training session on the basic skills needed will be provided. Food and drink will also be provided for volunteers.

To volunteer, please contact Ryan Poe at, (662) 588-9785 or Chris Smith at, (662) 588-3449.

For more information on the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies, please visit the site or contact 662-588-8649.