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pres-pledge

LaForge among first to sign NCAA Presidential Pledge

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Delta State University President William N. LaForge, a member of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, became one of the first in the nation to sign the new NCAA Presidential Pledge.

LaForge was fully supportive of the diversity and inclusion initiative that commits schools to achieving ethnic and racial diversity and gender equity in college sports hiring practices.

The pledge was endorsed earlier this month by the highest governing body of each NCAA division and approved by the Board of Governors.

“I am pleased to sign this pledge that commits Delta State to achieving ethnic and racial diversity and gender equity in our college sports hiring practices,” said LaForge. “This is really a no-brainer for Delta State, because it’s a reaffirmation of what we’re already doing.

“I’m proud of our inclusive approach to our hiring processes across the board, especially in athletics. This is an important area for Delta State, and for me as president — but also because I’m serving as president of the Gulf South Conference and as a member of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council.”

Ronnie Mayers, Delta State’s director of athletics, echoed LaForge’s praise for the pledge.

“Fairness and equality are hallmarks of intercollegiate athletic competition, and I am proud to be part of an organization that upholds and protects these principles,” said Mayers. 

The NCAA pledge states:

Consistent with our mission and values, our institution, a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, pledges to specifically commit to establishing initiatives for achieving ethnic and racial diversity, gender equity and inclusion, with a focus and emphasis on hiring practices in intercollegiate athletics, to reflect the diversity of our membership and our nation.

We recognize and value the experiences individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to intercollegiate athletics. To that end, we will strive to identify, recruit and interview individuals from diverse backgrounds in an effort to increase their representation and retention as commissioners, athletics directors, coaches and other leaders in athletics. As part of this commitment, we will also engage in a regular diversity, inclusion and equity review to inform campus policy and diversity initiatives.

We understand this to be a collective responsibility we owe to student-athletes, staff, our athletics programs and the entire campus community.

In the coming months, presidents and chancellors who have signed the pledge will receive a toolkit with best practices and other resources to assist their schools’ ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts.

To view all the institutions participating in the pledge, visit http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/inclusion/ncaa-presidential-pledge.

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Delta State to host Smithsonian’s Hometown Teams exhibit

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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.

Laforge GSC

LaForge elected president of Gulf South Conference

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Delta State University President William N. LaForge will add another prestigious leadership post to his list of accomplishments this week, as he officially takes office as the president of the Gulf South Conference at the league’s annual summer meetings. He has spent the past two years as vice president of the GSC.

“I am thrilled and honored to be able to serve the GSC and Delta State in this new capacity,” said LaForge. “I look forward to working with the CEOs, ADs and staffs of our member institutions, Commissioner Matt Wilson and the conference office staff in advancing the interests of the league. We are in a position of strength to expand and I welcome the opportunity to work with colleagues as we move the GSC forward.”

The president of the GSC oversees the board of directors for the league and is responsible for chairing all board and general session meetings; appoints all standing and special committees and their chairs; calls all special meetings of the conference and executive committee; represents the conference in all of its business; and is legally empowered to bind the GSC when the commissioner is unavailable.

The GSC, with offices in Birmingham, Alabama, sponsors 17 sports at the NCAA Division II level and features membership across Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee. In its 46-year history, the GSC has won 49 national team championships in 13 sports and more than 100 regional titles.

“The Gulf South Conference is lucky to have President LaForge serve as president of the GSC and chair of our board of directors,” said Wilson. “He is a great supporter of the Division II model and is a consistent advocate for the GSC, its member institutions and student-athletes. I look forward to working alongside President LaForge during his term.”

LaForge’s election as president of the GSC continues Delta State’s longstanding tradition of leadership within the league. In the summer of 1970, DSU was one of six charter institutions that formed the GSC. Since that time, the Statesmen and Lady Statesmen have won 44 league championships, including the 2015-16 women’s basketball and baseball titles.

“The GSC is one of NCAA Division II’s premier conferences, and President LaForge’s leadership will be a major asset to the league as we move forward,” said Ronnie Mayers, DSU director of athletics.

Earlier this spring, LaForge was selected to serve on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, the highest governing body of Division II responsible for implementing policies adopted by the NCAA Board of Governors.

LaForge represents those active Division II institutions in Region 2, which include schools in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The council is a 16-member body that is based on a weighted regional representation by institutions and includes one president or chancellor per region for every 22 institutions in that region. In addition to setting policies adopted by the NCAA Board of Governors, the Presidents Council establishes and directs the general policy for Division II, with all other Division II committees reporting either directly or indirectly to it.

Former Alumni Association president Donald Green  '80 (left to right), George Miller Sr. '71, James Washington Sr. '86, and current Alumni Association board member George Miller Jr. '00.

Alums honored in Coahoma County

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Two Delta State University graduates were inducted into the Clarksdale/Coahoma County Sports Hall of Fame April 2 at the Pinnacle Building of Coahoma Community College. George Crump Miller ’71 and James Washington Sr. ’86 were both a part of fifth Hall of Fame class.

Miller was a member of the Delta State tennis team from 1967-71, serving as the No. 4 singles player and the No. 3 doubles player. He earned his degree in accounting.

Washington coached basketball at Coahoma Agricultural High School and Coahoma Junior College for 32 years. He obtained his master’s in education.

The banquet is in honor of Aubrey Rozell, a member of the Delta State football team and a 1956 graduate. Rozell would go on to play in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Delta State Alumni Director and tennis coach Jeffrey Farris was the featured speaker for the event.

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

 

Former Statesmen baseball players met at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni & Foundation House in between baseball games during a recent weekend home series. Attendees included: (front, left to right): Billy Lloyd, Jimmy Newquist, Mark Williams, Mark Graham, Tim Harvey, Harry Lott, Barry Lyons, Mike Kraft (back, l to r) Bryan Rogers, Charles Hughes, Ricky Perkins, Randall Gurlen, Judson Thigpen, Jeff Clemons, John Vitali, Ricky Hearn, Rusty Ruscoe, Bubba Cates, Joby Collins, Brad Armstrong, Jim Gangloff, Greg Thacker.

Baseball alumni reunite on campus

By | Alumni, Athletics | No Comments

A group of Delta State University baseball alumni recently gathered for a weekend of fun reunion activities on campus.

The group enjoyed lunch downtown with their former coach, the legendary Boo Ferriss, and his wife Miriam.

Chris Burgess '83 of Ridgeland, and Barry Lyons '84 of Ocean Springs, with former Statesmen baseball coach Boo Ferriss at The Warehouse in downtown Cleveland.

Chris Burgess ’83 of Ridgeland, and Barry Lyons ’84 of Ocean Springs, with former Statesmen baseball coach Boo Ferriss at The Warehouse in downtown Cleveland.

In between ballgames at Tim and Nancy Harvey Stadium-Ferriss Field, the former Statesmen and their families met at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni and Foundation House for food and fellowship provide by a former teammate and the National Alumni Association.

Director of Athletics Ronnie Mayers and Director of Alumni Affairs Jeffrey Farris updated the group on the exciting things happening on campus.

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