Alumni Association welcomes back Delta State “Ole” grads

By | Alumni | No Comments

The Delta State University Alumni Association will host the 16th annual “Ole” Grad Reunion August 5-6 on the campus of Delta State University.

This year’s event will provide an active schedule, which will feature Delta State Night with guests from campus, a tour of the “Boo” Ferriss Museum, a tour of the Capps Archives & Museum, and a tour of GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi.

Each year, alumni come from all over the state to attend the reunion. “Ole” grads are alumni of Delta State University who are in the Golden Circle, a prestigious group of graduates who have been alumni for 50 years or more.

“Several ‘Ole’ Delta State grads met at Homecoming in 2000 at the Country Platter in Cleveland and the ‘Ole’ Grad Reunion was born,” said Wayne Lee ’57. “Meeting ‘Ole’ Delta State graduates and friends each year at our reunion keeps the die-hard supporters in touch with each other and creates a special bond that cements a relationship beyond description. The Delta State grads attending our annual reunions dearly love Delta State University for many reasons – not the least being Delta State gave each ‘Ole’ grad a feeling of belonging to a special group and a real and competitive chance in life. We urge all ‘Ole’ Delta State graduates, far and wide, to make plans to attend the 16th annual ‘Ole’ Grad Reunion on the campus of Delta State University.”

The event begins Friday with registration at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni-Foundation House from 5-5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. A silent auction will be open from 5-9 p.m. on Friday and 8 am. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The cost per person is $25 per night. Proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Anniversary Scholarship. To view the invitation and full schedule of events, visit the website

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 24) and Homecoming (Oct. 15).

Concert lineup announced for Levitt AMP CLEVELAND Music Series

By | Community, Delta Music Institute | No Comments

The countdown to an unforgettable season of free concerts under the stars is underway. Today, the Levitt AMP CLEVELAND Music Series announced its impressive lineup of artists who will perform weekly on the Green Space in downtown Cleveland from Aug. 31 through Nov. 3.

Sponsored in part by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private family foundation that empowers communities to transform public spaces into thriving destinations through the power of free, live music, the Levitt AMP CLEVELAND Music Series will present 10 free, family-friendly concerts. The series will feature a diverse lineup of high caliber talent spanning genres such as soul, Celtic, jazz, country, pop, Americana and more.

Kicking off the series at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 is Southern Komfort Brass Band. Since the band formed in 2010, Jacksonians have fallen in love with Southern Komfort’s clever takes on cover songs at their performances at festivals, parades, and many of the best venues around the city. While the nine-piece band plays plenty of classic jazz favorites and original tunes, Southern Komfort is also known for applying its signature New Orleans sound to tracks from other genres, such as Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” James Brown’s “ I Feel Good” and Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dream.”

Also scheduled to perform is Taylor Henry on Sept.8. Henry has dedicated his life to using his voice to express his story and emotions in a way that will resonate with people everywhere. He has shared the stage with Blake Shelton, Bo Bice and The Charlie Daniels Band. Future Thieves takes the stage Sept. 22. Future Thieves has been around for two years, yet in that brief time, they have stirred up plenty of attention from fans through Music City and from onstage performances at Bonnaroo and Summerfest. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band follows on Sept. 27. Bands have been covering Beatles tunes for decades, but none like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band. Imagine the music of the Fab Four shaken up with infusions of bluegrass and jazz and topped off with a classical twist. The result: a satisfying musical cocktail. Street Corner Symphony will highlight the Oct. 13 show. Street Corner Symphony is an a cappella group based out of Nashville, Tennessee. They became internationally known in 2010 after becoming runners up on Season 2 of NBC’s all vocal competition, “The Sing-Off.”

Rounding out the schedule are Celtic performers Chambless & Muse on Sept. 13, GRAMMY-nominated Cedric Burnside Project on Oct.3, folk and Americana singer-songwriter Kate Campbell on Oct. 18, salsa big band Latinismo! on Oct. 27, and series favorite Blackwater Trio closing out the 2016 series on Nov. 3.

The public is invited to bring their own picnics, blankets and lawn chairs to the concerts, which will have an open lawn setting. Each night, there will be a local vendor set up to sale food and drinks. The serieswill be located on the green space of the downtown walking trail between Court Street and College Street.

Visit for a full schedule of concerts, directions and information on parking and wheelchair accessibility.

In January, Cleveland was named one of 15 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to win a Levitt AMP Grant Award of $25K in matching funds to present the free concert series. Delta State University submitted the Levitt AMP proposal and is presenting the concert series. In an effort to inspire and engage communities across the country around the power of creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation invited the public to choose the Top 25 Finalists through online voting. Learn more about the winners and the 150 free Levitt AMP concerts across America at

Ballard honored as Employee of the Month

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Cheryl Ballard, administrative secretary for the Office of the Provost, as the July 2016 Employee of the Month.

Ballard, a Cleveland native, has been working in the Provost’s Office for 17 years and has served as administrative secretary for 14 years.

“I’m very appreciative to be honored as Employee of the Month,” said Ballard. “I don’t think I deserve it, but I appreciate it.”

Ballard is also a recent graduate of Delta State after obtaining a degree in management in May of 2016.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her new grandson, who is 13 months old.

Each Employee of the Month winner receives a plaque, monetary award, an engraved insulated coffee mug, a free parking decal courtesy of the Campus Police Department, a box of treats from The Sweetery, a parking spot of their choice, marquee announcement and website recognition.

For an archived list of previous winners, visit

Delta State’s Staff Council serves as a liaison between the administration and the staff to provide a formal process for staff to discuss issues involving university policies and procedures and to forward ideas, recommendations and opinions to the president.

Alumni to host Greenwood/Leflore County Chapter meeting

By | Alumni | No Comments

The Delta State University Alumni Association will host the Greenwood/Leflore County Chapter meeting at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta on Tuesday. Registration and a social will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m. Abe’s BBQ will provide catering for the event.

“The Alumni and Foundation staff looks forward to visiting our Leflore County alums,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. “We hope to ignite the Delta State family in the area so they will make plans to visit campus this fall.”

Featured guests from campus will include: Todd Cooley, head football coach; Matt Jones, senior associate athletic director of communications and marketing; Emily Jones, university archivist; Rebekah Arant, admissions recruiter; and the Delta State Alumni-Foundation staff.

The cost for the meeting is $10 per person. Prospective students are invited to attend as guests of the Alumni Association. To RSVP, contact the association at 662-846-4660 or visit Supporters are asked to consider contributing to the Greenwood/Leflore County Alumni Scholarship Fund and the Delta State University Marketing Dollars Campaign. Donations can be made on the event page.

The mission of the Museum of the Mississippi Delta (formerly Cottonlandia Museum) is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit tangible artifacts which enable the museum to educate the public about the art, history and natural history of the Mississippi Delta. The collection consists of historical items related to agriculture with particular emphasis on the cotton industry; military history emphasizing the Civil War; a regional art collection; the largest collection of Spanish Colonial trade beads in the Southeast; and an extensive collection of Pre-Columbian pottery.

The museum is home to the remains of a 12,000-year-old mastodon skeleton and skeletal remains of various land and aquatic mammals dating back 53,000 million years. For more information, visit the museum’s website at

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 24) and Homecoming (Oct. 15).


Delta State to host Smithsonian’s Hometown Teams exhibit

By | Athletics | No Comments

Among the four commonly recognized seasons of the year, most in the Delta would agree that sports have their own seasons as well. Major decisions are made after consulting football, baseball and basketball schedules. Right behind family devotion is our appreciation and dedication to sports, especially here at Delta State University. Whether we’re competing in organized leagues, in high school athletics, or on a larger stage, sports play a role in our every day lives.

“We’re very excited to be able to host the Smithsonian Institute’s ‘Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America’ at Delta State,” said Emily Jones, university archivist. “Sports play a large role in our cultural landscape and this exhibit focuses on the direct connections they play within our communities.”

After a competitive application process, the Delta State University Archives & Museum won a bid to host the newest Smithsonian traveling exhibit. Administered through a partnership with the Mississippi Humanities Council, the exhibit has already toured at four locations in the state. On Sept. 29, the public is invited to tour the exhibit in conjunction with the Heritage Bell Classic against in-state rival, Mississippi College.

On display inside the Chadwick-Dickson Field House, the exhibit will run through Nov. 11, 2016. To schedule a tour for your school or organization, contact University Archives at 662-846-4781.

Delta Regional Foundation, a non-profit organization founded to enhance educational opportunities in Mississippi, is sponsoring the exhibit programming on display in the Capps Archives & Museum building, “Play Ball: A History of Sports in the Delta.” DRF board president Charlie McGuffee is a former member of the Statesmen baseball team and native of Drew, where he was a multi-sport standout at Drew High School.

Earlier this year, DSU representatives traveled to Jackson for the unveiling of the exhibit at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Few aspects of American culture so colorfully and passionately celebrate the American experience as sports,” said Bob Santelli, curator of Hometown Teams.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Mississippi Humanities Council.