Delta State Alumni Hall of Fame winners announced

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Each one is special. Each one a proud Statesmen. Each one now a Delta State Alumni Hall of Fame inductee.

Each year the Delta State Alumni Foundation honors alumni and friends who have achieved a professional distinction and made significant community service contributions to the local, national and/or international level and who have brought honor and distinction to Delta State University. This year, retired Arkansas Sen. Percy Malone, Becky Nowell (’81), Dr. William Morehead (’84) and Richard Fulwood (’72) will be inducted into the Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame.

Sen. Percy Malone grew up in Rosedale and worked his way through pharmacy school at Ole Miss after attending Delta State in 1960. From there he became a pharmacist, a pharmacy owner, an Arkansas Representative and later state Senator all while building from the foundation that began on campus in Cleveland. Malone has also been named the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2017.

Becky Nowell
Becky Nowell –with more than three decades working in quality assurance/management with Baxter Healthcare Corporation – this Delta State alumnus retired in 2014. Along with her day job came plenty of opportunity to give back to the city of Cleveland, Bolivar County, Delta State and her church. But it all began with the opportunities she was afforded while a student at Delta State.

“One of the best decisions I have ever made in my life was going to Delta State University,” Nowell said. “I received a great education, and I learned a lot through the involvement in campus on how to manage people. And I learned a lot about real life.”

Her experience at Delta State – sorority membership and other campus organizations – “is where I learned a lot, and it prepared me for the real world,” the Clarksdale native said. “I came to Delta State in 1977 and a week after graduation started working at Baxter and never left Cleveland. I’ve had opportunities to relocate within Baxter, but I never wanted to leave Cleveland and the Delta State community. The school is a great asset and helps make Cleveland what it is.”

As a member of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce since 1989, Nowell has served on the board as chairman, also serving as Delta State activities chairman and on Leadership Bolivar County. Her dedicated service garnered the President’s Award in 1992 and the Chamber Award in 2017.

She also served on the Team Cleveland (Cleveland Main Street) Board of Directors, as well as a member of the Cleveland Music Foundation as a member of the board of directors, president and co-chair of the Red Carpet Guild Society. She serves as a member of the Cleveland-Bolivar County United Way fund distribution committee and has been a member of the Crosstie Arts Council board of directors. As a member of the First United Methodist Church since 1997, she has spent time serving as a member of the trustees committee, administrative board, finance committee and the staff-parish relations chairman.

Nowell has also found time to volunteer with the Sunny Seniors Alzheimer’s Respite Program, the Delta Arts Alliance, Friends of Bolivar County Library, Friends of the Delta Music Institute, Cleveland School District Mentoring Program and Delta Home and Garden Club. Her Delta State volunteer service extends through the Kappa Delta Alumnae Association, Bologna Performing Arts Center annual member, Statesmen Club and as a Delta State Alumni Association life member. She is married to Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell and has two children, Meg Nowell Harris and Hunter Nowell, and four grandchildren.

William Morehead

Dr. William Morehead served at Delta State from the fall of 2000 until he retired in June of 2011 and was honored with the S.E. Kossman Outstanding Faculty Award. He was also honored with the title of chair and associate professor of accountancy emeritus.

During his tenure at Delta State, he filled several roles including vice president for finance and administration, interim dean of the College of Business, chair of accountancy, computer information systems and finance, and associate professor of accountancy. He earned his undergraduate degree at Delta State and while there met his wife, Audrey Mitchell Morehead.

“Now that I’m at Mississippi College – but I go way back to when the Delta State and MC rival was a big deal. Now I get a lot of ribbing. I still have my Delta State tags, and I bleed green,” Morehead said. “My wife and I met at Delta State, and we have a lot of great friends there. Delta State has a huge place in our hearts because that’s where we started life.”

Morehead credits several professors with putting him on the path for success.

“John Yerko, Tony Wilson, Kent Evans and John Quon,” he said. “Particularly, John Yerko whom I patterned a lot of things after. I will never ever forget having the opportunities that Delta State has afforded me and set me in the right path.”

The Greenville native also has a master’s degree from Millsaps College and a doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi. Before coming to Delta State, Morehead worked for the Mississippi Department of Mental Health for 10 years as the CFO of two state hospital facilities. He also worked with the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration and the Mississippi state auditor’s office.

Richard Fulwood invested about $3,800 in his education at Delta State from 1968 to 1972.

“I still tell people that was the best investment,” Fulwood said.

Since graduating, Fulwood has spent more than 30 years in business and has helped get some of America’s best known retail companies off the ground.

“That base education pretty much set the foundation for my success. I didn’t set out to become a career retailer, but I was drawn into it by a couple of friends I met while in college at Delta State who started a business,” he said.

From an 18-store men’s wear chain based out of Nashville, the trio sold the business, and Fulwood went on board with Limited brands at their inception.

“We developed many of the brands you know today,” he said. “I look back at the various classes I took – whether it was a speech class or a methodology class in the political science arena or a business law class – they all have benefited me throughout my business career and have given me a better-than-average foundation to conduct myself in business.”

He applied much of what he learned when joining the Limited brands team. But his thought back in 1972 was to “go out and work for six months and come back and get my master’s degree. But I started working and never went back to school.”

He also noted his professors instilled foundational skills such as writing where instructors “were pretty influential in shaping my world view.”

Current Delta State President William N. LaForge’s father was head of the history department during Fulwood’s time in Cleveland. The way the elder LaForge tended to his teaching business left a definite impression on Fulwood.

“I used him as a role model throughout my business career because he was such an effective instructor,” he said. “Outlining a course, teaching his points, ending his classes exactly as the bell rang – he made his last word in the last sentence of the class that day, and that so impressed me to this day that when I talk to a large group of managers and executives, I make certain that I’m on target, on point and very succinct. That goes a long way in a business career.”

The Benoit native became a sales and branding expert with more than 30 years in business and founded two small businesses in addition to holding senior management positions with some of America’s best-known retailers. Fulwood was a key member of the team that developed the founding processes for Victoria’s Secret, Limited Stores, Express Stores, New York and Company, Justice, Bath & Body Works as well as Footlocker. He now is turning that expertise toward his own company, the Viktoria Richards Chocolates, a business he runs with his family.

“Many times in my business career I think back to the things I learned from a liberal arts education that Delta State provided – probably one of the best liberal arts education anyone could ever have. I started my business career as an educator and the after effect of that is there are business people across the United States that I was instrumental in teaching them how to become successful business people. It all comes from the teaching approach I learned at the school.”

Each one is special. Each one a proud Statesmen. Each one now a Delta State Alumni Hall of Fame inductee.

The award recipients will be recognized during Homecoming festivities on Nov. 10 at the Alumni Awards Gala at 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Country Club. The event is open to the public.

The official hashtag for the 2017 Homecoming is #DSUHC17. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. To purchase tickets to the Alumni Awards Gala, contact the association at 662-846-4660 or

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).







Delta State honored as 2018 Military Friendly® School

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In advance of Veterans Day, Delta State University is honored to announce it has earned 2018 Military Friendly® School designation.

The Military Friendly rating program was started in 2003 as an advocacy vehicle to encourage civilian organizations to invest in programs to recruit, retain and advance veterans as employees, entrepreneurs and students.

The list of Military Friendly Schools and Military Friendly Schools ratings are assessed through the evaluation of both public data about the institutions and proprietary data gathered through the free Military Friendly Schools survey. The annual, data-driven survey assessment is offered at no cost to more than 8,800 institutions nationwide.

Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Delta State, said the institution has always made the effort to assist active military members and veterans.

“There are specific standards Delta State must meet to maintain our designation as a Military Friendly School,” said McAdams. “Each year, we report on our activities and types of support for our veterans. We are very committed to supporting active military and veterans. Veterans made the effort and sacrifice to serve our country, and Delta State honors their service by supporting them in their efforts to obtain a degree.”

To verify as a Military Friendly school, the university must provide three of more of the following federal programs:

  • Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill)
  • Official commitment to the Eight Keys to Veterans’ Success
  • VA’s Principles of Excellence
  • Federal Financial Aid Shopping Sheet
  • Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Funding
  • DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Tuition Assistance
  • Veteran Success on Campus (VSOC) Program
  • Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Network

“Delta State University is very proud of this designation, and we want veterans to know that they are welcome and supported here,” added McAdams.

Learn more about the rankings at

Alumni Association announces 2017 awards

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Each year the Delta State National Alumni Association announces their alumni award recipients.

These men and women will be honored during special events during the 85th Delta State Homecoming weekend – Nov. 10-11. The Alumni Association will recognize the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, the Hall of Fame Inductees and the Alumni Service Awards.

The Outstanding Alumnus of the Year is retired Arkansas Senator Percy Malone.

Percy Malone

This award is presented to a graduate who had made significant contributions to human or institutional programs in which a situation, an institution or a movement has been materially changed for the better due to that individual’s personal participation. Malone, originally from Rosedale, makes his home in Arkansas but began his academic career at Delta State before moving on to Ole Miss where he earned his pharmacy degree. He then began his journey into the pharmacy business world by way of Mississippi, Texas, and eventually Arkansas, where he became an owner of multiple stores. He then joined the Arkansas legislature as a representative before becoming a state senator. Along the way he helped a young Bill Clinton in his political endeavors as well.

Being inducted into the Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor to be bestowed on an individual by the Delta State University Alumni Association. The Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 2007 and 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 brought honor and distinction to Delta State. This year’s class is comprised of Percy Malone, Becky Nowell (’81), Dr. William Morehead (’84) and Richard Fulwood (’72).

Becky Nowell

Becky Nowell

William Morehead

Richard Fulwood

The Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award is given to an individual in recognition of their outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by an alumnus. This year’s winners are Kelly Hunter (’00) and Katherine Keller Batenhorst (’96).

Kelly Hunter

Hunter, an Austin, Texas resident, works for the Lowe Colorado River Authority as an internal auditor. She also serves as a board member of Delta State’s Alumni Board, representing the Black Alumni Constituents Group. She engages black alumni constituents with on and off campus events and works to increase the group’s presence during Homecoming. As the daughter of two Delta State alumni – Derek Hunter (Delta State Coaches Hall of Fame) and Anita Hunter (first black Most Beautiful Pageant runner up), she championed an initiative – the first ever Black Alumni Homecoming Gala during the 2016 Homecoming. During that event, three prestigious black alums of Delta State were honored for their outstanding achievements.

Katherine Batenhorst

Batenhorst currently resides in Florida and has been promoting Delta State at the St. Johns County Florida College Night for the past six years. She began her teaching career after getting her Bachelor’s of Elementary Education from Delta State and a Masters of Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Alabama. She first worked with special needs students at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. Batenhorst then completed a Gerontology Residency Training to work with adults. She has served as chair of the Community Hospice and Palliative Care Advisory Council for nine years and has served as president of the Rotary Club of St. Augustine and the Junior League of St. Augustine. The Delta State Hall of Fame swimmer and student Hall of Fame member was selected as the St. Johns County School District Learning Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2014 and shared the Angel of ARC of the St. Johns Award with her husband that same year. She currently works as a speech-language pathologist for an elementary school and is married to Todd Batenhorst.

For graduates who are 36-years old and younger, The Kent Wyatt Young Alumnus Service Award is given to recognize outstanding service and contributions to Delta State. This years’ winner is William Crump (’05).

William Crump

He earned his biology degree from Delta State and was active on campus as a member of the Kappa Alpha Order and served as government affairs director for the Student Government Association. He also interned in the office of U.S. Sen. Trent Lott in Washington D.C. before his senior year.

Upon graduation, he served five years as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and covered policy areas of health, labor, housing and urban development and veteran’s affairs. He also aided in drafting legislation that funded several capital improvement projects on the Delta State campus, including the soon-to-be-finished Statesmen Boulevard. In 2010, Crump completed his master’s of public health degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. He then worked at the Delta Regional Authority until 2012 when he was hired to be the executive administrator for the Mississippi Division of Medicaid. As a key advisor to the executive director, he directed the agency’s legislative affairs efforts and oversaw the Medicaid managed care program.

In 2016, Crump joined Ochsner Health System as director of public health policy for Mississippi and worked closely with the Mississippi’s Washington D.C. congressional delegation. He also completed his doctoral degree in health administration at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Crump has been active in the Delta State Alumni Association in Cleveland and Jackson, serving on the planning committee for Jackson alumni events and heading fundraising efforts. He is a regular competitor at Pig Pickin’ with his BBQ team, Deliverance Smokers. He and his wife Katy (’06), are both life alumni members and  reside in Brandon.

The Gladys Castle “Friend” of Delta State Service Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by a non-alumnus or institution. This year’s winner is Neal Anderson.

Neal Anderson

As the owner of the Cleveland area Domino’s franchise, he began his career as a delivery driver in Grenada, moved into the general manager position and then put his focus on becoming a franchise owner. He opened the Cleveland franchise in 2007 and was awarded the Rookie Franchise of the Year Award from Domino’s. He has spoken at many Domino’s corporate meetings sharing best practices and has become a staple in Cleveland, serving on the board with the Chamber of Commerce, Bell Academy Booster Club and often speaks in area schools on entrepreneurship. He has also enjoyed working with many Delta State organizations and has served as the official pizza of Delta State Athletics for the past seven years.

The Legacy Award – presented to an alumnus or Delta State affiliated organization that has made an institutional changing impact at the university – goes to Anne Wynn Weissinger (’15). The Greenville, Mississippi native and eighth generation Mississippian obtained her master’s of education in guidance and counseling from Delta State. In addition to her undergraduate degree from Tulane, she completed additional hours in school psychology to obtain her AA License in school psychometry and completed a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

Anne Wynn Weissinger

As a member of the Delta State Foundation Board, she was the first woman president of the Delta State Foundation Board.

Established in 2014, the Dr. Henry Outlaw Faculty/Staff Service Award honors and recognizes former Delta State faculty or staff members who have had a significant influence in the life of the university and/or the National Alumni Association. The award was established by the National Alumni Association Board of Directors and inspired by the Dedicated Statesmen Association. Nominees for the award may be anyone who was employed by Delta State and do not have to be a Delta State alumni. The award may also be given posthumously.

This year’s recipient is Dr. Everett Eugene Caston (’66).

Everett Eugene Caston

Caston has been called upon multiple times to “un-retire” and help Delta State by serving interim roles. He first served the university as dean of the College of Education from 1989 to 2002. He returned to the university in 2013 at the request of President William N. LaForge to serve as interim provost and vice president for the Office of Academic Affairs. His return in 2015 followed the retirement of Dr. Wayne Blansett, who served the university for 40 years. Caston’s “temporary interim job” list also includes serving as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Mississippi University for Women from 2011 to 2012.

The 2017 Distinguished Black Alumnus of the Year is presented annually to an alumnus or alumna distinguished in his or her chosen field. This year’s recipient is Tara Dunn (’10).

Tara Dunn

The former Homecoming queen now works at Northwest Community College as the dean of students after working at Hinds Community College. The Picayune, Mississippi native is a 2010 graduate of Delta State University and a Hall of Fame inductee. She holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from Mississippi College and is currently a doctoral candidate at Jackson State University, pursuing a degree in urban higher education.

Dunn is a member of St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church and the Upsilon Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She has been involved with state and regional housing organizations, as well as serving as a former member of the National Orientation Directors Association. She recently became a life member of the Delta State University Alumni Association, and looks forward to continuing her efforts of encouraging students to attend Delta State.

The Alumni Association has a variety of activities planned during Homecoming weekend, and this year’s featured reunion is the Class of 1967 – celebrating 50 years since graduating from Delta State College. The 1967 class will be inducted into the prestigious Golden Circle – a constituency group of the association which honors alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago.

The official hashtag for the 2017 Homecoming is #DSUHC17. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. To purchase tickets to the Alumni Awards Gala, contact the association at 662-846-4660 or

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).




RESSON ranked top nursing school in Mississippi

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In a new ranking from, Delta State University’s Robert E. Smith School of Nursing came in as the No. 1 nursing school in the state of Mississippi.

To view the rankings of Mississippi nursing schools, visit

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

“We are very excited to earn this No. 1 ranking among all the nursing schools in the state,” she said. “This recognition by an external source is vital, and it validates our commitment and efforts in providing a high quality education to students who enter our nursing programs.”

Bingham added that RESSON faculty and staff are work diligently to ensure Delta State nursing students are safe and competent health care providers upon graduation.

“We care about the success of our nursing students,” said Bingham. “Students are provided a variety of learning opportunities in the classroom, online, and in clinical experiences to facilitate knowledge and skill acquisition. We provide a high quality education at an affordable cost.” is a site dedicated to connecting nurses with the degree programs they’re looking for. For those pursuing an RN to BSN online, the site has a database full of ranked institutions. The organization strives to feature the best RN to BSN programs from across the country. Learn more at

Learn more about RESSON’s programming at

“B-The Underwater Bubble Show” to wow BPAC

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 Don’t miss “B-The Underwater Bubble Show” at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

Following your dreams and allowing your inner child to take over for a while is the premise of “B-The Underwater Bubble Show,” performing at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

Inspired by childhood classics like “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Peter Pan,” “B-The Underwater Bubble Show” is a modern day fairy tale with one major twist.

“Each classic tale represents a journey of a kid who grows up and learns something,” said co-creator and director Enrico Pezzoli. “We wanted a story about an adult character who discovers that he can still go back and enjoy life. We don’t always need to grow up. Sometimes we need to step backwards for a bit and restart.”

The story follows Mr. B, a creature of modern habits who always feels pressured by a thousand things to do in a world that seems to be moving too fast. The office worker discovers a little aquarium that appears like magic inside his briefcase and gradually becomes enchanted by the wondrous underwater world of Bubblelandia.

“Mr. B represents each of us,” Pezzoli notes. “His transformation is a journey which each of us could take.”

Taking cues from Cirque du Soleil, the visually spectacular show incorporates the latest in stage technology. Lasers, low-ground smoke, and flying foam simulate waves and the underwater atmosphere. A juggler in a huge plastic ball is the performer that immediately attracts Mr. B and the audience into Bubbleandia’s wondrous world, while dancers and acrobats serve as small colorful fish chasing Mr. B and each other inside the aquarium. The biggest attraction of the show is the spectacular use of soap bubbles in multiple artistic ways.

“The biggest challenge was to make everyone understand that the show is for everyone. Many people relate it to kids, but everyone loves bubbles. After performing in so many countries around the world, we have seen adults enjoying the show as much as kids, sometimes with even bigger reactions,” said Pezzoli.

Tickets to see the “B- The Underwater Bubble Show” are $15-$20, and discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale now at or at the BPAC Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.