Honors Program to launch visiting lecture series

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Delta State University’s Honors Program will host its inaugural Honors Forum Visiting Lecture Series event Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. featuring author Ann Fisher-Wirth and photographer Maude Schuyler Clay.

The new university-wide series will focus on cultural, social and academic issues of the university and community.

“Mississippi: An Evening with Ann Fisher-Worth and Maude Schuyler Clay” will take place in Jobe Auditorium and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the event.

Wirth and Clay will be presenting on their newly-released collaboration, “Mississippi,” a collection of 47 poems and 47 color photographs that explore the history, culture and ecology of the state.

“The Honors Program is delighted to welcome poet Ann Fisher-Wirth and photographer Maude Schuyler Clay for our first Honors Forum event, an evening discussion of their important work,” said Mike Smith, Honors Program director and associate professor of English at Delta State. “The Honors Forum seeks to bring to campus important voices of our city, region, nation and world, fostering a culture of openness and engagement, and creating opportunities for dialogue between our students and the communities we call home. All events, of course, are free and open to the public.”

As described by the authors, the state of Mississippi suffers from severe environmental degradation that cannot be separated from its history of poverty and racial oppression. Yet, the state also possesses great natural beauty and a rich and complex culture, one interwoven from the many voices that have made up its identity.

“Mississippi” explores both this degradation and this beauty. The poems are explorations of voice in its Mississippi plenitude and variety, honoring the voices, no matter whose they are, whether white or African American, and exploring the rich orality of Mississippi culture. With one exception, the beautiful, haunting photographs do not depict people, but, rather, swamps, fields, trees, lakes, empty chairs and dilapidated buildings. They work with the poems to offer the spirit of place.

Learn more about the book at http://wingspress.com/book.cfm?book_ID=230.

For additional information on DSU Honors Program initiatives, or the inaugural Honors Forum Visiting Lecture Series, contact Smith at mcsmith@deltastate.edu.

Delta State expresses grave concern for concealed carry bill

By | Academics, Community, IHL, President | No Comments

Delta State University and institutions across Mississippi are expressing concern today after House Bill 1083, also called the “weapons bill,” was passed by the Mississippi House of Representatives by a wide margin of 80-29.

The bill proposes legally permitting concealed carry weapons onto all areas of college campuses, including classrooms, offices, residence halls and athletic venues.

In a statement released by Dr. Glenn F. Boyce, IHL commissioner, he stressed that the new legislation prohibits the IHL from establishing any policies, thus giving it no authority to regulate weapons in sensitive areas.

“The safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors on our university campuses is a top priority for the Board of Trustees and University leaders,” Boyce stated. “HB 1083 compromises our ability to protect and ensure the safety of those on our campuses because it nullifies and prohibits any policies and/or authority to designate sensitive areas of campus where weapons should not be allowed.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge said the bill poses a significant threat to Mississippi campuses.

“A university is no place for guns — period,” said LaForge. “And that goes doubly for residence halls, classroom buildings and athletic facilities. To enable the legal carrying of guns on a university campus in today’s society is misdirected and unwise.”

Ronnie Mayers, director of athletics at Delta State, echoed LaForge’s concerns.

“Athletic events are often highly emotional events and there is always potential for something to go horribly wrong,” said Mayers. “Guns should not be allowed at any athletic events.”

Jeffrey Johns, chief of police at Delta State, also warned of the hazards associated with the bill.

“I echo the concerns of President LaForge and Commissioner Boyce about expanding concealed carry on educational property,” said Johns. “While a supporter of Second Amendment rights, I do not think that more concealed carry in sporting events or educational buildings, which is currently prohibited, provides any value or enhancement to safety. Spectator sport security has become a highly-specialized process, and fans can become emotionally charged at the events.”

Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum was among institutional leaders to also voice his concern with the bill on Wednesday by issuing a press release.

“We have a fundamental responsibility to protect our students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus,” Keenum said in the statement. “In recent years (the College Board) adopted policies to allow concealed weapons into ‘public’ venues on campus, but has not allowed firearms into areas determined ‘non-public’ such as classrooms and residence halls. We have great concerns about the prospect of a broad expansion of the existing IHL policies regarding firearms being brought onto campus because of the increased risk it would pose for every member of our campus community.”

HB 1083 was authored by Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton.

Follow all updates at www.deltastate.edu

Thacker Mountain Radio returns to DMI

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute | No Comments

The Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University will host the award-winning Thacker Mountain Radio Show March 3 at 3 p.m. in Studio A on the campus of Delta State.

The event marks the tenth year for the Thacker in the Delta event, which serves as a fundraising event in support of DMI programming and the Duff Dorrough Memorial Scholarship fund.

This year’s featured author will be legendary record producer and musician Norbert Putnam, who will be reading from his recent release, “Music Lessons Vol. 1: A Musical Memoir.”

Putnam grew up near Florence, Alabama and was part of the Muscle Shoals musicians brought to Nashville to play for Elvis Presley in 1965. Putnam worked there as a bass player on recording sessions with Presley, Roy Orbison, Al Hirt, Henry Mancini, Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, J.J. Cale, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Card, Ian & Sylvia and Bobby Goldsboro.

As a producer, Putnam was responsible for copious work on Nashville’s non-country music output from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. His credits include major works that established the popularity of performers such as Jimmy Buffett, Joan Baez, Dan Fogelberg, John Hiatt, the Flying Burrito Brothers and the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Putnam was instrumental in the wave of modernization of many recording studios in Nashville, and laid the groundwork for the city’s growth and widening its appeal to pop/rock artist and virtually all other styles of music. Putnam drew the unique plans for the recording studios at the DMI at Delta State, and he is still an active touring musician, record producer and author. He resides in Florence, Alabama with his wife Sheryl. His most recent book was published in early 2017.

Also featured at the event will be Tom Kimmel. Kimmel’s compositions have been recorded by a host of major artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Art Garfunkel and Randy Travis. They’ve been featured in films from “Twins” to “Serendipity” and Runaway Bride, and in television shows from “Captain Kangaroo” and “Touched By An Angel” to “Dawson’s Creek.” He has released seven solo albums, published a book of poems and led songwriting workshops and classes around the country and in Europe. A New Folk winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Kimmel performs solo, as well as performing with his different trios, The Sherpas (with Tom Prasada-Rao and Michael Lille), The Waymores  (with Don Henry and Sally Barris), and The New Agrarians  (with Kate Campbell and Pierce Pettis).

In addition to the featured guests, DeltaRoX from the DMI and Tricia Walker will also perform. Thacker Mountain Radio is hosted by Jim Dees and features the show’s talented house band, The Yalobushwhackers.

Thacker in the Delta is open to the public at no charge, but gifts and donations to the Friends of DMI fund are encouraged. For online giving, please visit www.deltastategiving.org and enter Delta Music Institute in the search field.

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelors in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For more information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

2018 Statesmen Scholars recognized

By | Admissions, Community, President, Students | No Comments
Delta State President William N. LaForge joined the new class of Statesmen Scholars at the culmination of Statesmen Scholarship Day on Jan. 29.

Delta State University’s Office of Admissions recently announced the distinguished class of 2018 Statesmen Scholars after hosting the second annual Statesmen Scholarship Day Jan. 29 on campus.

Students across the Mississippi and the region were selected to attend this prestigious event based on ACT scores, high school GPA, academic leadership and service demonstration.

Securing one of the four-year “full ride” scholarships is no easy task, as over 100 invitations were sent to prospective DSU students, and the competition was at a high level for a high reward.

Ten worthy students were selected for the Statesmen Scholarship, which covers tuition, room and board, fees, and up to $300 for books.

Participants faced two sets of interviews, one focusing on student life and one focusing on academics. Adding excitement to the event, recipients of the scholarships were announced at a reception at the end of the day.

Admissions recruiter, Rebekah Arant, said this was a unique opportunity for future Delta State Students.

“It’s not hard to recruit high achieving students when they have a chance at a full ride scholarship,” said Arant. “We are thrilled with this year class of scholars, and we’re very excited to welcome them to the Delta State family.”

This year’s scholars are:

For more information on scholarships or the application process at Delta State, visit www.deltastate.edu/admissions, or contact 662-846-4020.

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Spring Movie Series returning to BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, Uncategorized | No Comments

Returning for its sixth year, the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State will show new releases of major motion pictures on its big screen in the Delta & Pine Land Theatre. All tickets are $5 for general admission seating and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office by phone at 662-846-4626 or online www.bolognapac.com.

All three films are rated PG and will be shown on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Popcorn and candy concessions will be available for purchase to enhance the movie experience.

The series begins Feb. 13 with the film “Wonder.” Based on the New York Times bestseller, “Wonder” tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates and the larger community all struggle to find their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Disney Pixar’s film “Coco” will be shown March 13. Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

On May 1, “Peter Rabbit” makes the jump from beloved storybook character to the big screen in this irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. James Corden voices the character of Peter. Peter Rabbit’s feud with Mr. McGregor reaches new heights as both compete for the affections of a kind animal lover who lives next door.