Fireside Chat – May 7, 2018 – Spring Commencement

By | President | No Comments

Joining President LaForge are graduates Michael Hargrove and Abbigail Myers.

Commencement is one of the greatest events on campus each year, as it represents the culmination of our students’ tremendous dedication and hard work over the years. This spring, Delta State awarded degrees to more than 400 students. The university also awarded an honorary degree to Ms. Mavis Staples, the renowned R&B and gospel singer, actress, and civil rights activist.

In other news on campus, it is time again for Delta State’s summer camps, and there is a wide variety of opportunities ranging from athletics to music to art. For more information and to register, visit Also, summer school classes begin Tuesday, May 29, and there’s still time to register. To see a full list of summer courses offered, visit

To keep up with all of our news, events and activities, please visit our website at

Arrowsmith receives $8,000 rural counselor scholarship

By | Academics, College of Education and Human Sciences, Students | No Comments

The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc., recently awarded an $8,000 2018 NBCC Foundation rural scholarship to Charlotte Arrowsmith, a graduate student in the counseling program at Delta State University.

The scholarship is awarded to counseling students who are from rural communities and commit to practicing in rural areas upon graduation.

The mission of the NBCC is to leverage the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change. The foundation created the scholarship in 2009 to improve access to counseling services in rural communities, which suffer disproportionately from a lack of mental health care. More than 75 students from across the country applied for the six 2018 rural scholarships.

Arrowsmith, of Greenwood, Mississippi, will receive $8,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to the underserved. The funding will allow her to continue her counselor education and receive professional development that will help her establish a strong professional counselor identity. It will also allow her to continue her counseling social innovation, in which she is working on destigmatizing mental health in the Mississippi Delta. She hopes to be an advocate in the counseling profession for underserved populations.

“I am very excited and grateful to receive the scholarship,” said Arrowsmith. “It will assist me in furthering the mental health project I am currently working on as a part of the DSU TFA Graduate Fellows program. Additionally, I have received the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to the upcoming NBCC counseling symposium, where I will network with other scholars and professionals in the counseling field.”

Upon graduation, Arrowsmith intends to work on bettering access to mental health services for youth in the Mississippi Delta. She believes a person’s zip code should not prevent them from access to mental health care. Arrowsmith hopes to specialize in helping those traditionally considered difficult to treat, including those who are indigent, have multiple disorders, or are involved with the criminal justice system.

She is also a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

NBCC also awarded six $8,000 military scholarships to increase the number of counselors serving fellow military personnel, veterans and their families.

For more information, or to make a gift in support of scholars like these, visit

The NBCC Foundation is based in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is the nation’s premier professional certification board devoted to credentialing counselors who meet standards for the general and specialty practices of professional counseling. Currently, there are more than 64,000 board-certified counselors in the U.S. and more than 50 countries.

Learn more about Delta State’s Division of Counselor Education and Psychology at

Delta State to celebrate Commencement May 5

By | Academics, commencement, Community, Students | No Comments

Delta State University will celebrate 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 5 inside the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of 493 graduates.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will honor graduates receiving doctorates, education specialists, masters degrees, College of Business and Aviation undergraduate degrees, and School of Nursing undergraduate degrees.

The 2 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduates receiving undergraduate degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Each graduate will receive four tickets to administer to family and friends. Ticket pickup will be at the Registrar’s Office May 2-4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If students choose to not take all of their assigned tickets, additional tickets will be available for pickup at the Registrar’s Office starting at 10 a.m. May 4, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

At the 10 a.m. ceremony, Delta State will also continue its tradition of recognizing greatness by conferring an honorary doctoral degree to legendary Delta-influenced soul and gospel singer, and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples.

Delta State confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally, or other areas of society. Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

Keynoting both ceremonies is Dr. Glen Jones, president of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Jones also serves as the committee chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council. When Jones was introduced as Henderson State’s president in March 2012, he became the first African-American to serve as president or chancellor of a non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities institution in the history of Arkansas higher education.

Delta State President William N. LaForge will provide introductions at the ceremony, while presentations of candidates and degrees will be led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams.

Follow all news at Delta State University at

Mississippi Summer Arts Institute camps filling up quickly

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area | No Comments

The arts education department at the Bologna Performing Arts Center is gearing up for the 2018 Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute camps (MSAI). Now in its 21st summer of operation, MSAI has impacted the lives of countless emerging artists by providing one-of-a-kind opportunities for campers to gain exposure in multiple artistic disciplines. Two camps will be offered this summer for children ages 5-18.

CORE Arts Camp is a two-week residential intensive camp held on campus at Delta State University. Students create their own class schedule in a five-period-per-day format, attending hour-long courses in the performing, visual, digital and literary arts.

This year’s camp is scheduled for June 3-16, and limited residential spots remain. Non-residential options with lower fees are available for local students who wish to attend daily classes and activities, but who do not wish to stay in the dorms. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate artistic merit and significant financial need on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on scholarships, contact the arts education office at 662-846-4844.

CORE Arts classes are taught by leading artistic faculty from the state of Mississippi as well as artistic professionals from around the nation. Funding from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area will help to bring the poet laureate of the state, Beth Ann Fennelly, onto Delta State’s campus to lead the literary arts courses at CORE Arts this year, as well as Dr. Alphonso Sanders, chair of the fine arts program and director of the B.B. King Studio at Mississippi Valley State University. Sanders will lead a history of blues and instrumentation course while at camp. Other classes scheduled for CORE Arts camp include ballet, mixed media, paper sculpture, comic-book drawing, musical theatre and more.

Space is still available for young artists ages 5-11 to attend PLUS Camp from July 16-21, a high-energy, performance-oriented day camp. Campers learn a choreographed medley of songs and attend other classes throughout the day, including storytelling, mixed media textiles, ceramics and music. A final performance on July 21 showcases the hard work and dedication of PLUS Campers.

Interested campers can download hard-copy applications or pick them up from the BPAC, or fill out an online application at For more information, stop by the BPAC or call Cade Holder, arts education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.

The 2018 Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute is sponsored in part by the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, the American Legion Delta Post 1776, the Mississippi Arts Commission, Entergy, AT&T, the King’s Daughters and Sons Circle Number Two, the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, Hey Joe’s, Dominos Pizza, the Crosstie Arts Council and the EPHIC Women’s Club.

National Park Service considers Mississippi Civil Rights sites for park designation, seeks public input

By | Delta Center, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, National Parks Service | No Comments

ATLANTA – The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced it has begun to examine key civil rights sites in Mississippi for possible designation as a national park area and invites the public to weigh-in at the start of the project that could run two years.

“Rigorous research and public opinion help our nation’s leaders determine whether a resource of national significance should be added to the National Park System,” said Ben West, southeast regional chief for planning and compliance with the National Park Service. “The public’s voice is critical to this process. We welcome widespread participation as the National Park Service considers Mississippi-based civil rights sites and stories that helped shape our nation’s history.”


In 2017, the U.S. Congress passed a law directing NPS to conduct a special resource study of Mississippi’s nationally significant civil rights sites, such as:

The home in Jackson where civil rights activist Medgar Evers resided with his wife and was killed in 1963.
Sites in the Mississippi Delta related to the lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till on August 28, 1955, including Bryant’s store and Tallahatchie County Courthouse.
The Old Neshoba County jail in Philadelphia, Miss., where civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were held for a speeding violation prior to being released and murdered by a mob for registering black voters in 1964. The Reverends Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy Sr. included the jail in a heralded voter registration march two years later.
The Biloxi office of Dr. Gilbert Mason Sr. who was a principal organizer of “wade-ins” beginning in 1959 to desegregate Biloxi’s public beaches. He also helped organize voter registration drives and led other civil rights initiatives for 33 years.

Other related sites in the state not specifically listed in the legislation may be identified and added to the list of potential study locations.

The purpose of this special resource study is to gather information about the sites through historical research and public input and evaluate the sites’ potential for inclusion into the NPS system. The findings – which are reported to Congress through the U.S. Secretary of the Interior – will center on the sites’ national significance, suitability, feasibility and need for direct NPS management. Special resource studies can take place over a two-year period, depending on the findings.

The NPS is providing multiple opportunities for public comment and participation during the initial phase of the special resource study to better assess public interest and support.

NPS will hold six Open House forums across Mississippi from May 7 to 10.
The NPS study team will explain the special resource study process at the forums, answer questions and gather important information and ideas from the public concerning the study. All Open House forums are free and open to the public.

Open Houses are scheduled for:

Monday, May 7, 2018, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Delta Center for Culture and Learning / Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area
Delta State University
Jacob Conference Center, Ewing Hall
Highway 8 West
Cleveland, Mississippi 38733

Monday, May 7, 2018, 5 – 7 p.m.
Tallahatchie County Courthouse and Emmett Till Interpretive Center
120 North Court Street
Sumner, Mississippi 38957

Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Two Mississippi Museums Auditorium
222 North Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201

Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 5 – 7 p.m.
Medgar Evers Library
4215 Medgar Evers Blvd
Jackson, Mississippi 39213

Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 5 – 7 p.m.
The Depot
256 West Beacon Street
Philadelphia, Mississippi 39350

Thursday, May 10, 2018, 5 – 7 p.m.
Biloxi Visitor Center
1050 Beach Boulevard
Biloxi, Mississippi 39201

Written comments are requested by June 1, 2018 and may be submitted during the Open House forums, online at or through postal mail to:

Mississippi Civil Rights Sites Special Resource Study
Attn: Justin Henderson
National Park Service- Denver Service Center
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
Lakewood, CO 80228

For further information, contact NPS project manager Justin Henderson at 303-969-2540 or Ben West at 404-507-5700.


Many historians identify the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till and the exoneration of his killers as one of the defining moments of the modern civil rights movement in America. This period culminated in Mississippi with the 1964 Freedom Summer project to register African American voters and seat Freedom Party delegates at the Democratic National Convention. That year was also marked by the murders of Mississippi Freedom Summer volunteers Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner. During the decade in between, the struggle for civil rights and equality in deeply segregated Mississippi was shaped by people who risked their lives and faced adversity in their quest for freedom.

The Mississippi Civil Rights Sites Special Resource Study explores the most significant people and places representing civil rights history in Mississippi. Information about these sites, the special resource study process, project status updates and more are available at