Frank Sibley '71 has been elected chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

Alumnus elected chairman of Mississippi Bankers Association

By | Alumni, Community | No Comments

Frank Sibley ’71, president and CEO of Citizens Bank & Trust Bancshares in Marks, Mississippi, has been elected chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

Sibley graduated from Delta State with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. He also completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University and the Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma.

The MBA is a 127-year-old trade association representing all banks and savings institutions operating in Mississippi. MBA members hold over 95 percent of all bank deposits in the state.  

As MBA chairman, he will chair the association’s board of directors and executive committee.

Sibley has been an officer with Citizens Bank & Trust for 32 years. He joined the company in 1984 after working for Peoples Bank of Indianola for 12 years.

His involvement in the MBA includes service as vice chairman and treasurer, as well as a three-year term on the MBA board of directors. Additionally, he served as chairman of the board of the MBA Education Foundation, and served on the MBA Insurance Committee, Executive Committee and Legislative Committee.

Active in his community, Sibley is president of Wellsgate Homeowners Association in Oxford. He is also a past president of the Wilson Lake Country Club, Delta State University Foundation Board, Marks Rotary Club and Indianola Lions Club. He is a member of Marks Presbyterian Church where he serves as an Elder.

Sibley and his wife, Kay ’73, have two children. Their son, Taylor, is president and chief operating officer of the Marks office of CB&T. Their daughter, Dr. Gina Russell, is an audiologist at Magnolia Speech School in Clinton. 

First Lady Nancy LaForge will serve as vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.

Mrs. LaForge elected VP of MIAL

By | Community, President | No Comments

Delta State University First Lady Nancy LaForge was recently elected to the role of vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL).

Now in its 37th year, MIAL celebrates Mississippi’s artists, musicians and writers.

LaForge, who previously served as a MIAL board member, will serve one year as VP and then as president.

“I am humbled to be elected vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and grateful for the opportunity to serve an organization so dedicated to promoting the arts,” said LaForge. “MIAL sponsors the only juried arts and literature competition and awards ceremony in the state of Mississippi.”

“As vice president, I will oversee the category chairmen responsible for receiving and organizing all nominations for awards,” added LaForge. “I am thrilled to be working with an outstanding group of people in the MIAL, and I am dedicated to supporting the artists, musicians and writers who share our wonderful Mississippi connection.”

JoAnne Prichard Morris of Jackson will serve as president this year, and LaForge will begin her service as president in 2017.

In 1978, MIAL was dreamed up by a few discerning individuals, including former Governor William Winter, Dr. Aubrey Lucas (former president of Delta State), Dr. Cora Norman, Dr. Noel Polk, and Keith McLean of Cleveland. These founding members believed that among Mississippi’s greatest riches are its artists, writers, and musicians, who must be supported, nurtured and recognized.

MIAL strives to recognize outstanding achievement in seven categories: fiction, non-fiction, visual arts, musical composition (concert), musical composition (popular), photography and poetry.

Each year, MIAL hosts an awards gala to recognize and honor the artistic achievements of living Mississippians. The ceremony, which is hosted in different cities across the state, will take place at Delta State in June of 2017.

Learn more about MIAL at http://www.ms-arts-letters.org.

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Delta State among best for private scholarships

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LendEDU, an online resource for information on student loans, recently ranked Delta State University among the Top 150 universities in the nation for providing private scholarships.

Utilizing data licensed from Peterson’s (https://www.petersons.com), LendEDU calculated the average amount of non-need based private scholarship funding per student at 1,000 colleges and universities. Delta State came in at No. 131 on the list.

“Clearly, the top ranked schools are doing a great job encouraging their students to seek additional sources of scholarship funding,” said LendEDU, in a press release. “We think the results of our study are interesting, relevant and eye opening. Before you apply for a student loan, you should look for scholarships and grants to help cover your cost of attendance. Scholarships are a great way to finance your education. Unlike student loans, scholarships do not need to be paid back. And, according to College Board, there is $122 billion in scholarship funding awarded to students each year.”

LendEDU’s study found that on average, the students winning the most private scholarships are coming from small to mid-sized schools.

Founded in 2014, LendEDU was created to help student loan borrowers find transparency without damaging their credit.

For more information on the survey, visit https://lendedu.com/blog/june-private-scholarships-study.

 

 

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi will host Wes Sheffield and the Slowburners (left) and Kingfish June 29 at 7:30 p.m. Photos by Todd Wolfson and Rory Doyle.

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi announces “Celebration of Pride & Joy: The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan”

By | Community, GRAMMY | No Comments

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi will host a concert June 29 at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the opening of its second special exhibit, “Pride & Joy: The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan.”

Taking place on the museum’s front lawn, the concert will be headlined by Wes Sheffield and the Slowburners, along with 17-year-old blues guitar phenom Christone “Kingfish” Ingram from Clarksdale.

Tickets to the show are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling the museum box office at 662-441-0100, or in person at 800 W. Sunflower Rd. in Cleveland. Food and drinks will be available for purchase on the museum grounds.

“We are so excited about this celebration of our new exhibit,” said Emily Havens, executive director of the museum. “It will be a great evening of fun, food and terrific music by Wes and his band.” 

Curated by the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE, the exhibit opens June 30 and will offer visitors an in-depth look at the iconic career of legendary bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughan. Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie’s brother, serves as a guest curator of the exhibit.

About Wes Sheffield
Wes Sheffield is quickly becoming an emerging artist to watch in Mississippi. Raised in a small town tucked away in North Mississippi, Sheffield quickly developed an affinity for the soulful sounds for which the South has always been revered. He recorded his first album with help from Adam Grace, a native of Tupelo, Mississippi, and member of the six-piece roots rock/Americana band Truth & Salvage Co. After a hard month of work at Creative Workshop Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, Sheffield completed his debut album “Fever.” Encouraged by the legendary Muscle Shoals Swamper, producer, engineer and session guitarist Jimmy Johnson, Sheffield began serious work on his latest record. The new project is being produced by Johnson and Glenn Rosenstein, and recorded in part at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.

About Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Exposed to the rich gospel music emanating from his family’s church, combined with the blues he heard being played by musicians in his Delta neighborhood and at the Delta Blues Museum, Kingfish became a natural sponge of musical talent. Kingfish has shared the stage with Bob Margolin, Eric Gales, Rick Derringer, Guitar Shorty, Buddy Guy and many more. He has played festivals and venues all over the U. S., and has also performed in Washington, D.C. at the White House, right in front of First Lady Michelle Obama. This child prodigy’s soul is possessed with the feeling, passion and fire of the much older men who created the most important genre of American music — the blues.

For more information, visit grammymuseumms.org.

Dr. E.E. "Butch" Caston

University recognizes Caston’s career

By | College of Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University is paying tribute to one of its most dedicated retiring employees — Dr. E.E. “Butch” Caston.

Caston, a graduate of Delta State in 1966, retires Friday after serving as interim vice president for Student Affairs since July of 2015. He has come out of retirement multiple times to serve interim roles for the institution.

“I’m looking forward to returning to retirement,” said Caston. “I have a good feeling about our accomplishments this year.”

Caston first made his professional mark at the university by serving as dean of the College of Education from 1989-2002.

“The one thing that I found coming to Delta State initially as a student, was that it’s a close and accepting environment,” said Caston. “Many years later, returning as an employee, I found that quality still existed, and it still does today.”

Caston said he leaves Delta State with nothing but pride for the university that has been a part of his life for decades.

“I’m a product of the university. I came here as a student. Delta State held me up until I could grow up. I’ll always be grateful for that,” he said.

He returned to the university in 2013 at the request of President William N. LaForge to serve as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. His return in 2015 followed the retirement of Dr. Wayne Blansett, who served the university for 40 years.

“Butch Caston has evidenced outstanding service to Delta State by coming out of retirement twice, first in 2013 as provost, and in 2015 as vice president for Student Affairs,” said LaForge. “He was incredibly successful in both posts. The Delta State family, and I in particular, will be eternally grateful to him for his dedication and loyalty. He was on outstanding member of Delta State leadership for years. I deeply appreciate him for his commitment of time and effort to the university.

“I’ve joked with him already, but I wish him better luck in his next effort at retiring.”

President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt, who worked with Caston when he was dean, echoed LaForge’s praise.

“Delta State University was fortunate to attract Dr. Butch Caston back to his alma mater when he accepted administrative roles in the College of Education,” said Wyatt. “Through his leadership and innovative ideas, he helped make Delta State University the outstanding regional university it is today. Dr. Caston’s love for Delta State has been continuous and an inspiration to all. After retirement, he stepped forward in top administrative roles when his all alma mater needed him. Personally, I want to thank Butch for his loyalty and never failing friendship.”

Dr. Michelle Roberts, vice president for University Relations and Chief of Staff, said she will greatly miss Caston’s presence on campus.

“I have had the opportunity to watch Dr. Caston excel in many different areas at Delta State, and in every role, he has shined,” said Roberts. “But, in my view, his role as vice president of Student Affairs has been his crowning moment. He was a natural when it came to working with students. It’s like his personal family grew to include the thousands of Delta State students as his children.”

“Dr. Caston did not play the typical interim role,” added Roberts. “He did not view this position as simply keeping a seat warm. He rolled up his sleeves, and was determined to leave Delta State a better place than he found it. His love and passion for Delta State, our students, and this community are admirable, and the service he has provided our university has been extraordinary. Dr. Caston exemplifies the spirit of the Delta State family, and he is indeed a true Statesmen.”

Mikel Sykes, a senior at Delta State, has worked closely with Dr. Caston, most recently during Sykes’s two terms as Student Government Association president.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Dr. Caston the past couple of years, especially seeing how much he cares about the student experience,” said Sykes. “He’s been a leader I’ve looked up to during my time in the SGA. We all wish him the best in retirement.”

Taking over for Caston is Dr. Vernell Bennett. Bennett arrives at Delta State after previously serving in the same role at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. Her extensive experience at KSU enabled her to foster collaborations between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, faculty, staff, students, the administration and community.

Follow all Delta State University news at www.deltastate.edu.