Delta State University announces B.F. Smith Scholars

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The B.F. Smith Scholars Program focuses on increasing the presence of community and economic development professionals in the Mississippi Delta region. It consists of graduate assistantships for students and support for faculty and students pursuing special coursework, seminars, lectures, travel, research in the field of business development and internships related to economic development and public service.


The two Delta State University students selected are: Paul Barnhard (second from left), of Clarksdale, who will be working with Robert Ingram, Executive Director of the Greenwood-Leflore Industrial Board, and Veronika Federoutchenko (fourth from left), of Chelyabinsk, Russia, who will be interning with the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies and the Mississippi Delta Technology Council.


Pictured are (from left): Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Senior Administrator Special Projects, Delta State University; Barnhard, Dr. John M. Hilpert, President, Delta State University; Federoutchenko, and Mr. Chip Morgan, Executive Vice President, Delta Council.


The B.F. Smith scholars were announced during the Second Annual Community Recognition Luncheon held recently in the State Room of the H.L. Nowell Union on the Delta State campus. The luncheon was recognized an official “Year of Cleveland” event.



Representative Norquist meets with Delta State Cabinet

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Representative David Norquist (third from left) met with the members of the Delta State University Cabinet during a luncheon planned for the occasion. Pictured are (from left): Dr. Debbie Allen, Faculty Senate Chair; Billy Morehead, Vice President for Finance; Norquist; and Dr. John M. Hilpert, President of Delta State. A Delta State alumnus, Norquist was recently elected to replace Representative Charlie Capps as the representative of the 28th House District.



Varner to present keynote address at Delta State’s fall commencement

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Delta State University’s 2005 Fall Commencement services will be held Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. inside Walter Sillers Coliseum on the DSU campus, with Dr. Lynn Varner to deliver the keynote address.


Varner currently holds the post as director and chair of the newly formed Center for Rural School Leadership and Research at Delta State. She received a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Mississippi and has earned master’s degrees in Counseling and in Educational Administration from Delta State University and a bachelor’s degree from Roanoke (Va.) College.

Prior to her time at
Delta State, Varner was an elementary school teacher, guidance counselor, and principal. An active scholar, she has presented at international, national, regional, and local conferences in her research areas of interest, which include year-round education, computer-managed instruction, technology, and accommodating learning disabilities. Now in her sixth year of service at Delta State, Varner received the 2004-2005 College of Education’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, Service, and Research and the 2005 Kossman Award, the highest distinction a faculty member can be accorded at the University.


Equally active in the Cleveland community, Varner serves on several boards and in leadership positions with her church, Calvary Episcopal. She and her husband, Bryan, have two daughters, Lane and Sarah, and reside in Cleveland


“When I first moved to Cleveland, it became immediately obvious that Delta State played an integral part in the success of this community and the lives of all who live here,” Varner offered.  “I’ve been so fortunate to be involved with Delta State as a volunteer, graduate student, graduate assistant, assistant professor, and as a director/chair. We have a very special place here because of our supportive, family-like atmosphere. I’m extremely honored to give this commencement address.”


With a working title, “The Four Agreements of Life,” Varner will explore Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements during her keynote address. Ruiz has written several books and millions of people have used his code of conduct to transform their ordinary lives into ones filled with freedom, true happiness and love.


Delta State is expected to graduate approximately 360 graduates during its fall commencement exercise. Due to limited seating, graduates have been issued tickets for family members and friends.

For more information on Delta State’s upcoming fall graduation, please contact University Relations at (662) 846-4675.


Delta State awards Capps with honorary degree at fall commencement

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Delta State awards Capps with honorary degree at fall commencement

Delta State University awarded an honorary degree to Charles W. (Charlie) Capps at its 79th Fall Commencement this morning inside Walter Sillers Coliseum on the campus.

A native of Cleveland, Capps served 33 consecutive years in the Legislature, as the District 28 Representative in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Known and respected as an able and dedicated legislator who effectively represented the citizens of his District and State, Capps was affectionately called “Mr. Chairman” for his many years serving as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and as Chairman of the House Constitution Committee.

 “Delta State University had no greater friend in the House of Representatives than Charlie Capps,” noted Delta State University President, Dr. John M. Hilpert. “A true statesman, Mr. Capps always put the best interests of this university and the Mississippi Delta at the top of his list of priorities. We are privileged to honor this important Mississippian today.”

Delta State University confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally, or other areas of society. Expected areas of achievement included, but were not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments, or exceptional philanthropic support. Capps was conferred the degree, Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, with all traditional rights, privileges, and responsibilities.  Dr. Kent Wyatt, President Emeritus of Delta State University and a long-time friend of Capps, assisted with the hooding.

Of his degree, the newly conferred Dr. Capps, offered, “I am highly appreciative and highly honored for this recognition. It is a true honor.”

In addition to serving in the Legislature, Capps held top leadership positions in several community and civic organizations including the Cleveland-Bolivar County Farm Bureau, United Way and Delta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is past president of the Delta Council, a non-profit economic development organization serving the 18 Delta counties. Capps has also served as President of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce and received the Chamber’s prestigious Kossman Award.

Capps was married to the late Allen Hobbs for 55 years. Together, they have three children – Alinda Sledge of Cleveland, Margaret Allen of Greenwood, and Charlie Capps III of Cleveland – and eight grandchildren.

Capps joins Dr. Elbert R. Hilliard as the only two in the history of Delta State University to receive honorary degrees.