Delta State calling all collectors

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Avid collectors, Delta State University President Dr. John M. Hilpert and his wife, Pat, will be donating personal collections to the upcoming Archives exhibit, “Cleveland Collects.” Above, First Lady Hilpert displays a quilt from her own collection. The couple will be displaying their collections of Boy Scout badges and antique American political buttons during the exhibit, which will open, Thursday, Jan. 26.

The Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum, on the campus of Delta State University, is making an official call to all collectors to participate in its upcoming exhibit, “Cleveland Collects.”

For the past eight years, the Delta State University Archives has been sharing its collections with the Delta and surrounding communities. Today, the DSU Archives and Museum is asking community members to share their personal collections with Delta State and Cleveland.

“As part of the ‘Year of Cleveland’ celebration, we were really looking for a way to involve the community,” University Archivist Emily Weaver noted. “We wanted it to be fun and something the community would want to get involved in. I truly believe ‘Cleveland Collects’ will do that and we’re very excited about the exhibit.”

“Cleveland Collects” is set to open Thursday, Jan. 26 with a reception planned inside the Simmons Room at 6:30 p.m. Entries for the exhibit must be received by Jan. 20.

“We’ve already had several community members inquire about the exhibit,” Weaver continued. “Our President and First Lady (Dr. John M. and Pat Hilpert) have already committed several of their collections to the exhibit, as well as Mrs. Vicki (Fioranelli, Director of Alumni Affairs.) She will be displaying her collection of teapots.”

The Hilperts have several collections, ranging from antique American presidential campaign buttons to a collection of Boy Scout badges.

Participants are encouraged to donate early, as the exhibit will be first-come, first-serve. Each collection will be issued a climate-controlled case for display, with full safety guaranteed. Collectors are asked to submit a description of their collection. The Archives and Museum staff will be responsible for printing labels and identifiers. All collections will be returned in full at the close of the exhibit.

Scheduled to run Jan. 26 – March 13, Delta State will host a second exhibit reception, Thursday, Feb. 9 in the Simmons Room at 6:30 p.m. to announce to the winner of “The Viewer’s Choice” award. Visitors to The Capps Archives and Museum, between Jan. 26 – Feb. 8, will be asked to vote on their choice of the most original display.

For more information on “Cleveland Collects,” please contact University Archivist Emily Weaver at (662) 846-4781.




Delta State’s Dallas to reprise one-man show

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David Dallas’s one-man play, “A Gentleman from Mississippi,” will be presented on Friday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m., in Jobe Auditorium on the Delta State University campus.   Dallas is both performer and writer of the play about the life of Senator John C. Stennis.

A Gentleman from Mississippi has been produced throughout the country, including Philadelphia, New York City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Seattle, and a number of venues in Mississippi.  To celebrate the 100th birthday of Senator Stennis, Dallas performed the play on the USS John C. Stennis nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on August 3, 2001.

As a graduate student in public policy at Mississippi State University, Dallas had a job as caretaker for Senator Stennis, who had retired after forty-two years in the U.S. Senate.  During this time, Dallas kept a journal and later used what he had learned in writing the play.

Three characters come to life in the play: Senator Stennis in his prime in the 1950’s and 1960’s; Senator Stennis as an old man bound to his wheelchair; and Dallas as his round-the-clock caretaker and as narrator.

A review in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says, “Dallas is an adept storyteller telling stories about a storyteller telling stories.  And both—storytellers and stories—are wonderful.  The actor’s performance is charismatic, articulate and marked by a terrific sense of humor.”

Stennis comes across as a complex man who was the first Democratic senator to come out against the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who made a speech about the dangers of getting involved in a conflict in Indochina, and who opposed school desegregation.

Dallas currently serves as Executive Director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center and teaches an acting class in Delta State’s Division of Languages and Literature.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Division of Languages and Literature at (662) 846-4670.




Delta State President Emeritus earns NCAA honor

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Delta State University President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt was recently honored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association with an Award of Merit for his 14 years of association with  the NCAA.


Wyatt, who served 25 years at the helm of the university, was recognized this past fall in Indianapolis at a banquet. His service to the NCAA included serving on the Executive Director Search Committee in 1993, pre-federation President’s Commission (1992-1996), Amateurism Project Team and the Gender Equity Committee. His leadership extended to the chairman position on the Student Advisory Committee, Athletics Certification Study Committee and the Division II Project Team Eligibility effort.


Of the distinction, Wyatt offered, “I was highly honored to be recognized by the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association. They are a significant leadership group in the NCAA. To be recognized after being retired for six years came as a surprise, and it was very much appreciated.”


Initiated in 1992 to promote its member conferences and institutions, the Division II Conference Commissioners Association has made its mark in providing a united front for NCAA Division II athletics programs. The DII CAA continues to create lines of communication and opportunities for its 22 member conferences.


Wyatt’s reception marks the eighth time in history the award has been presented.