LaForge appoints Fosheim to Cleveland Music Foundation

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, GRAMMY, President | No Comments

Dr. Karen Fosheim, chair of Delta State University’s Department of Music, was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Cleveland Music Foundation.

The CMF, a non-profit organization developed in 2011, owns and operates GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi housed on Delta State’s campus.

Fosheim will serve on the board in an ex officio role.

“I am honored and delighted to be appointed to the Cleveland Music Foundation board,” said Fosheim. “The Cleveland Music Foundation and the DSU Department of Music share a similar mission and vision, and I look forward to being a part of the discussion as we work to enhance the educational and cultural opportunities for the people of the Delta — and to create a positive face of Mississippi for the world at large.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge, who also serves on the board in an ex officio role, said he was thrilled to appoint Fosheim to the position.

“I’m very pleased that Dr. Fosheim has agreed to serve as one of my ex officio appointees to the Cleveland Music Foundation Board of Directors,” said LaForge. “She is an ideal representative of the university from her position of chair of our outstanding music department. I know she will bring great expertise and perspectives to board deliberations.”

LaForge will continue to serve in the other university ex officio slot on the board. Additionally, Tricia Walker, director of Delta State’s Delta Music Institute, rounds out Delta State’s representation on the board as a full voting member.

Emily Havens, executive director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, said she’s looking forward to having Fosheim on board.

“We are excited that President LaForge has selected Dr. Karen Fosheim as the university’s appointee to serve as an ex officio member to the Cleveland Music Foundation,” said Havens. “I look forward to working with Karen and expanding and strengthening the educational opportunities with DSU.”

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LaForge volunteers for afternoon at St. Gabriel Mercy Center

By | Community, President, volunteering | No Comments

Delta State University President William N. LaForge recently put on his volunteer cap to assist efforts at the St. Gabriel Mercy Center in Mound Bayou.

LaForge visited St. Gabriel’s to help move boxes of clothing and books, along with other tasks, during his afternoon of volunteerism.

The center is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to working with organizations, programs and schools in the community, with a focus of equipping and developing self-supporting, productive and successful individuals for the world.

Delta State has partnered with St. Gabriel on a number of volunteer campaigns through the years.

“It was a pleasure to spend some volunteer time with the good folks at St. Gabriel Mercy Center,” said LaForge “They do an incredible amount of good for the people of Mound Bayou and the surrounding community. I encourage others to volunteer their time, talents and treasure as well.”

Sister Monica Mary DeQuardo, executive director at St. Gabriel, was thrilled to have the president lend a helping hand.

“Accolades to President William LaForge for his generosity and support in volunteering his services and for his financial assistance to St. Gabriel Mercy Center,” said DeQuardo. “President LaForge believes in, is present to, and acts on his values, his responsibility, and what is important to the civic communities of Bolivar County, and to Delta State University, his primary focus — along with his family. Thank you, President LaForge.”

Learn more about St. Gabriel’s ongoing humanitarian efforts at

Admissions hosting freshmen and transfer events

By | Academics, Admissions, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s Office of Admissions will be hosting several events in the spring for prospective freshmen and transfer students.

Statesmen Scholarship Day will be held Jan. 26, 2018. At the event, 10 full-ride scholarships will be awarded, in addition to other academic scholarships. Eligible applicants will receive an invitation about their participation in Statesmen Scholarship Day.

Throughout February, each college/school at Delta State will be showcased during an academic day. Admitted students will be invited to take part in an academic preview of their specified department. They will have the opportunity to eat lunch on campus, speak with professors, meet future classmates and participate in hands-on activities. The academic day schedule is as follows: College of Business and Aviation, Feb. 12; Robert E. Smith School of Nursing, Feb. 19; College of Education and Human Sciences, Feb. 23; and College Art and Sciences, Feb. 26.

Transfer students who are members of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa will be welcomed to Delta State’s campus on April 13 for Early Registration Day. The event provides the opportunity for this group of incoming students to reserve their spots in fall courses.

The fifth annual Go Green Weekend, including Spring Preview Day, is scheduled for April 27-29. The visit day will be held on Friday, April 27 and is geared toward potential students who are high school juniors. Participants are provided the opportunity to see campus, preview academic programs, engage with currents students, attend sporting events and more.

The Student to Statesmen tour featuring President William N. LaForge will continue this spring. LaForge and the Admissions representatives visit with high schools to meet and speak with students about the higher education opportunities. This semester, LaForge has made nearly 20 high school visits.

Campus visits are offered throughout each semester for those looking to gain a better understanding of Delta State. For the spring, campus tours will be available beginning mid-January. This past fall, over 200 individual students and 15 groups were hosted on campus for tours. Tours are provided by the admissions recruiters and representatives serving in the Delta Diplomat student organization.

“The recruiting staff partners with academic departments, student service offices, the Alumni Association and other university departments to host these events for prospective students,” said Caitlyn Thompson, director of recruiting. “This past fall, a record number of over 400 guests were hosted for DSU Day, beating the previous year’s record number.”

Groups of dual credit students have also visited campus to experience life as a Statesmen student. To accompany on campus events, a myriad of off-campus activities take place throughout the year, including college fairs, private visits, alumni meetings, counselor visits and more.

For more information on any Office of Admissions events, or to schedule a tour, visit or contact 662-846-4020 or

Ferriss honored with state resolution

By | Athletics, Community, Faculty/Staff, President | No Comments
Senator Buck Clarke presented the official resolution in honor of Coach David “Boo” Ferriss to his wife, Miriam Ferriss, on Nov. 13.


Delta State University’s baseball legend Coach David “Boo” Ferriss was recently honored by the Mississippi legislature through an official senate resolution.

On Nov. 13, Senator Buck Clarke and Delta State President William N. LaForge presented the resolution to his wife, Miriam Ferriss.

“This was a really special moment, and I am very humbled by the resolution,” said Miriam. “I appreciate Sen. Clarke and President LaForge taking the time to honor him in this way.”

Boo was a Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer and legendary coach of the Delta State Statesmen. He retired from Delta State after the 1988 season, but he spent the rest of his life as a Statesmen supporter before he passed away in November of 2016.

Ferriss was so revered in the state, that some called him the “Dean of Mississippi Baseball.”

“As much as he loved playing in the MLB, he was even happier coaching,” added Miriam. “That’s where his heart was. He loved the players he coached, and they loved him back. It was his greatest joy. He lived his dream, and I supported him in everything he wanted to do.”

Sen. Clarke said Boo was more than deserving of the recognition.

“One of the legislature’s ways of honoring those who have contributed so much to our state is by passing a resolution, which is much like a bill, that tells of their life and what sets them apart,” said Clarke. “This resolution is then entered into the Senate journal and thus is a permanent record for all time.”

“Personally delivering the resolution to Mrs. Ferriss was a special treat for me,” added Clarke. “Resolutions are usually handed to someone in the Capitol, maybe in a ceremony, and the legislature is then done with it. Mrs. Ferriss is such a gracious person, and it was an honor for President LaForge and me to visit her in her home. Coach Ferriss was truly a remarkable person, and a legendary Mississippian. If you ever met him, you would never forget him — just as he never forgot you.”

LaForge said he was honored to present the resolution directly to Miriam.

“In his resolution, passed by the state legislature, Sen. Buck Clarke captured the spirit of Coach Ferriss’s life and character,” said LaForge. “It is a very fitting tribute to a great man, and one of Delta State’s legends. What a pleasure it was to be there with Sen. Clarke when he delivered the resolution to Mrs. Ferriss.”

Learn more about Boo’s unparalleled career at

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Delta Center represents NEH “Most Southern” at national social studies conference

By | Community, Delta Center, Emmett Till, Uncategorized | No Comments
Delta Center staff members, Dr. Rolando Herts (far left), and Lee Aylward (far right), gather with NEH “Most Southern” alums in front of Delta State’s Emmett Till traveling exhibit in San Francisco, California.


The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State recently attended the 97th annual Conference of the National Council for the Social Studies. The conference took place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.

Delta Center staff members Dr. Rolando Herts and Lee Aylward promoted “The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, Culture, and History of the Mississippi Delta” Institute funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Herts and Aylward are co-directors for the “Most Southern” Institute, which will be offered to K-12 educators from throughout the country at Delta State University.

The Delta Center teamed with “Most Southern” alumni Mary Heidi Imhof and Kelly Scanlon from Fairbanks, Alaska. Together, they presented on the educational significance of the “Most Southern” institute to K-12 educators, their students and their school communities.

Several other “Most Southern” alumni attended the conference, including educators from New Jersey, Massachusetts and California.

“The Delta Center’s mission is to promote the Mississippi Delta’s culture and history and its significance to the world,” said Herts. “We are pleased NEH has continued to help us fulfill this mission by supporting presentations of the ‘Most Southern’ institute at important educational conferences like the National Council for the Social Studies.”

In addition to a presentation session, The Delta Center displayed Delta State’s renowned Emmett Till traveling exhibit in the main lobby of the Moscone Center.

“The Emmett Till exhibit was a major draw for thousands of educators who attended the conference,” said Aylward. “Teachers from all over the country were reading the panels and taking pictures of them. This event provided excellent visibility for the ‘Most Southern’ institute and for the Mississippi Delta.”

Summer 2018 will be the ninth year that The Delta Center has offered “Most Southern.” Applications are being accepted now through March 1, 2018. The program has produced over 500 alumni nationwide who comprise a network of educational and cultural ambassadors for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. Applications for the “Most Southern” Institute are being accepted now through March 1, 2018.

For more information, visit

For educators who would like to display the Emmett Till traveling exhibit, contact Delta State University Archives & Museum at 662-846-4780, or visit

The mission of The Delta Center at Delta State is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshops. For more information, visit