Delta State Alumni-Foundation launches e-newsletter

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In an effort to better connect with its alumni, the Delta State University Alumni-Foundation, in partnership with the Office of University Relations, proudly announces the debut of eStatesmen Alumni, an electronically delivered monthly newsletter. Armed with the mission of timely communication, eStatesmen Alumni will provide Delta State alumni current and noteworthy happenings at the University in an easily accessible, manageable and interactive format.

eStatesmen Alumni will feature breaking headlines, upcoming events, updates from DSU alumni across the country, class notes and spotlight features on current students, faculty and staff. “We are just so excited about the launch of eStatesmen Alumni,” Delta State alumni director Vicki Fioranelli offered. “We felt there was a strong need to keep our alumni better informed and better connected to their alma mater. We are confident eStatesmen Alumni will help in meeting those desires.”

eStatesmen Alumni will supplement Delta State Magazine, which is slated for a March 2006 release date. At top right Dave “Boo” Ferriss, retired Delta State University foundation director and former Statesmen head baseball coach; Fioranelli; and Hugh Ellis Walker, retired DSU alumni/foundation director; review the fall issue of Delta State Magazine.

The alumni magazine is distributed twice annually to 21,000 Delta State alumni and friends. The full-color collaboration reports on achievements in academics, athletics, alumni affairs and fundraising, while also featuring current students, faculty, staff and alumni. According to Fioranelli, “There is such a common misnomer that to be an alumnus, you must have graduated from the Delta State. That is simply not true. An alumnus is any former student who carried at least one full course load at the University and is considered a non-degreed alum. We want our alumni to always feel connected, as well as friends and donors.”

Alumni are encouraged to contact the alumni office if they are not receiving their magazine or if they would like to begin receiving a copy of the eStatesmen Alumni. To report updated contact information, please call (662) 846-4660; email; or send address changes and updates to Delta State Alumni, Box 3104, Cleveland, MS 38733.



Delta State to offer innovative college class to high school seniors

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Through the collaborating efforts of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University and the Cleveland School District, the Cleveland Youth Council (CYC) is sponsoring a course at DSU for high school seniors, as well as college students. 

The “dual enrollment” course, “Rural and Regional Studies:  Delta Civil Rights Heritage” will award three college credits.  Under the instruction of Dr. Susan Glisson, Director of The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at Ole Miss, the civil rights course will examine the “grassroots, bottom-up organizing that characterized the movement in the Delta. 

“It will focus specifically on the role of young people and women in the movement and help place that work in the larger context of the freedom struggle,” Glisson explained.

Tuition and fees will be paid for the high school students participating in the class through the Cleveland Youth Council’s support from the Kellogg Foundation. Through the efforts of CYC member Jessica Robinson (Cleveland East Side High School) and Coordinator Tomeka Harbin, seven seniors were recruited for the class with an additional four college students enrolled. 

The class will be held on Wednesday afternoons from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. and will serve as a model for other classes designed as dual enrollment opportunities.

The Cleveland Youth Council is funded by the Kellogg Foundation, and housed in the DSU Delta Center for Culture and Learning.  Principle partners in the effort are the Cleveland School District, Bolivar Community Action Agency, and Cleveland/Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce. 

For more information on the course, please contact the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at (662) 843-4311.




Delta State mourns loss of veteran professor

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The collective Delta State University community is mourning the loss of Dr. Walter Valentine (Val) Hinton III this morning, as the professor of finance passed yesterday afternoon at his Cleveland residence.

Hinton, 63, had over 24 years of cumulative service to Delta State, serving as an assistant professor of finance seven years (1974-1981) before returning to the University in 1989, where he remained until his untimely passing.

“Val was always committed to his students. We can absolutely say teaching was his life,” Dr. Billy C. Moore, Dean of the College of Business and fellow professor of finance at Delta State, offered. “He was truly committed to this University and we are extremely saddened by his passing.”


A native of Louisville, Ky., he graduated from Seneca High School in 1961 before pursuing his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Florida State University. He completed his MBA from Louisiana State University in 1971, his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas and soon after returned to FSU to finish work on his postdoctoral studies in 1982.


In addition to DSU, Hinton had teaching stints at Jackson State University (1981-1983) and Tennessee Tech University (1983-1989). He was also a retired airman, having served with the United States Air Force four years (1965-1969). Before his honorable discharge, Hinton held the rank of Captain.


Dr. Hinton was an excellent teacher whose dedication to his students was evident in his many years of service at Delta State,” remembered Dr. Cooper Johnson, Delta State Chair of the Division of Management, Marketing and Business Administration. “Throughout his tenure, he was held in high regard by his students, fellow faculty, and administrators”.


An avid and staunch supporter of Delta State athletics, Hinton rarely missed an event. He, himself, lettered for the Seminoles in basketball. His support, however, was not limited to athletics, as Hinton could always be counted on to champion the many Renaissance outings, as well as the Miss Delta State pageants.


He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Cleveland, and is survived by his son, Greg; two sisters and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.


Visitation will be Wednesday, Jan. 25, 6 p.m. – 8p.m. at Ray’s Funeral Home in Cleveland. There will be a funeral service at First Baptist Church, Thursday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. before his body is returned to his native Kentucky for burial.




Delta State graduate presents at International Leadership Conference

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Myrtis Tabb (front left), Christy Montesi and John Green (back l. to r.) assist Donielle Lovell (front right), as the Delta University graduate prepared to leave for her presentation to the International Leadership Association in Amsterdam.

Donielle M. Lovell, a Delta State University graduate, recently presented at the annual meeting of the International Leadership Association (ILA) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  She shared findings from evaluation research that was conducted on the Delta Emerging Leaders program, a regional leadership program operating in the 18-county Mississippi Delta. 

Her paper, entitled “Leadership Development, Social Networks and Community Involvement:  An Evaluation of a Mississippi Delta Leadership Program,” explored the community involvement and relationships created among the Delta Emerging Leaders participants. 

“I was very excited and honored to have the opportunity to share this program and work with an international audience,” Lovell offered.  “This conference gave me the opportunity to learn from those who are on the cutting edge of leadership research.  I have not only brought this knowledge back for my current work, but also for the work being conducted in the Mississippi Delta.”     

Lovell’s research highlights the community work of the committed Delta Emerging Leaders’ participants who cited the importance of the program in providing information to improve their ability to serve the region.  Informed by leadership theory and research, the program began in 1997 to develop and enhance the skills of current and future leaders of the region.  The two-year curriculum brings diverse people together to work across traditional boundaries and barriers to pursue innovative, creative, persistent and strong partnerships across sectors.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with a leadership program in the Mississippi Delta that has received international recognition,” stated Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Senior Administrator of Special Projects at DSU.  “Donielle was an outstanding graduate student, and she will continue to be part of the evaluation team of the leadership work done at Delta State University.”

The Delta Emerging Leaders program is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  This research was conducted at Delta State University in partnership with Tabb; Dr. John Green, assistant professor and Director of the Institute for Community-Based Research and Christy Montesi, Program Leader of the Delta Emerging Leaders program.

According to Green, “Donielle’s work demonstrates the type of research we want our graduate students in the Community Development program to pursue.  She has taken a real world issue, applied analytic rigor and provided program administrators, participants and funders with useful information.  It was a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

The International Leadership Association is committed to creating a global leadership network for those who practice, study and teach leadership.  ILA seeks to strengthen the connection between scholars of leadership and community leaders and serves as a forum for people across the world to share ideas and research. 

Lovell is currently a Ph.D. student in the Rural Sociology program at the University of Missouri—Columbia.  She is continuing her research in community leadership while at UMC.

The daughter of Doreen Scott Kennedy of Grenada, Lovell graduated from Grenada High School in 1997 before receiving a B.S. in Social Science Education and a M.S. in Community Development from Delta State University in 2001 and 2004, respectively.

For more information on the Mid-South Delta Leaders program at Delta State University, please contact (662) 846-4336 or visit



Delta State makes call for participants in MS Walk

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Delta State University, through its Center for Community and Economic Development, and in cooperation with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is sponsoring the 2006 TEVA Neuroscience MS Walk, Saturday, April 1 at 10 a.m.

With a laudable goal of 500 walkers, Delta State, in cooperation with the MS Planning Committee, has begun a strong recruitment push for participants. Already, 15 teams have committed to the event. Delta State’s Administrative Staff Council has also agreed to sponsor a team in the event, with University Archivist, Emily E. Weaver serving as team captain.

Having been designated an official “Year of Cleveland” event; this year’s route will incorporate both parts of the Cleveland community and Delta State campus, celebrating that over eight-decade long relationship between the town and the University.

Slated to begin in the grassy area along the Library Depot, the route will cover approximately 3.5 miles. Walkers will walk down the Crossties trail from the Depot towards College/Lee Street and then back towards Court Street.  At Court Street, they will leave the trail and walk down Court St. to the Roberts-LaForge Library on the Delta State campus.  The route will wind through Delta State’s campus, exiting past the President’s home. Walkers will the proceed a short distance down Fifth Ave. to College St., continuing down College past Fireman’s Park back to the end of the Crossties Walking Trail, returning to the Library Depot for the finish line. 

“The early support from the community and the University has been overwhelming and exciting,” offered Deborah Moore, Director of Delta State’s CCED and co-chair of the walk. “We must keep that going, now. We’re determined to make this the most successful walk Cleveland has hosted.”

Now in its third year, Cleveland’s MS Walk has raised over $10,000 to benefit multiple sclerosis research and local client programs, as over 80% of the funds raised during the event stay specifically in the state of Mississippi. 

The MS Walk was founded as a means of reaffirming the Society’s commitment to the 400,000 Americans who have MS and assist them in taking a pro-active role in the fight to end the devastating effects of MS while educating the public to its challenges.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms vary dramatically from person to person and in the same person over time. They may be mild such as numbness or tingling in the limbs or severe such as loss of vision or paralysis.

Someone is newly diagnosed with MS virtually each hour, most are between the ages of 20 and 50. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but, spearheaded by the work of the Society; advances in research and treatment are giving hope to those affected by the disease.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, founded in l946, supports more MS-related research, provides more services for people with MS, offers more professional education programs and furthers more MS advocacy efforts than any other MS organization in the world. Through its home office and 50-state network of chapters, the Society serves more than a million people each year.

“We are rallying for a good cause, as over 3,000 fellow Mississippians are afflicted with MS,” Moore continued. “We’re asking for everyone’s support, as no effort is too small.”

For more information on the Walk, please contact Delta State’s Center for Community and Economic Development at (662) 846-4842.