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Colloquia Archives - News and Events

Smith, founder of FedEx, to provide Colloquia address March 21

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The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series continues this semester featuring Frederick W. Smith, the founder, chairman and CEO of FedEx, originally known as Federal Express.

Smith’s speech, titled “Airplanes, Robots, and Digging with Spoons: Innovation at FedEx,” will begin at 6 p.m. on March 21 in the Jobe Auditorium on campus.

Smith, a native of Marks, Mississippi, left the South in 1962 to enter the prestigious Yale University. At Yale, he wrote a paper for an economics class outlining overnight delivery service in a computer information age — and thus began his early ideas for FedEx.

After graduation, Smith was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving for three years (1966-1969) as a platoon leader and a forward air controller. As a Marine, Smith had the opportunity to observe the military’s logistics system firsthand. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, flying with pilots on over 200 combat missions. He was honorably discharged in 1969 with the rank of Captain, having received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

In 1970, Smith purchased the controlling interest in an aircraft maintenance company, Ark Aviation Sales, and by 1971, turned its focus to trading used jets. On June 18, 1971, Smith founded Federal Express with his $4 million inheritance and raised $91 million in venture capital.

With the creation of Federal Express, Smith not only offered an alternative to the mail, and more traditional and slower delivery services, but he also created an industry that almost single-handedly changed the way business was conducted. In the process, Smith’s company became the first American business to earn $10 billion in profits.

Along with his endless guidance at FedEx, Smith has served on the boards of several large public companies, as well as the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Mayo Foundation boards. He was formerly chairman of the Board of Governors for the International Air Transport Association and the U.S. Air Transport Association.

In addition, Smith is also a co-owner of the Washington Redskins National Football League team.

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the Colloquia program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

LaForge said the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series is another commitment to bringing excellence to Delta State.

“The university colloquia program gives our institution a chance to hear from and engage with experts from a wide array of professions and interests,” said LaForge. “It especially allows our students and faculty to rub elbows with professionals and resources we sometimes have the rare opportunity to engage. Great universities have great programs, and this is one.”

Those unable to attend the event can view the live stream speech online through the university’s official LiveStream channel: https://livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity.

Learn more about the series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.

Paige to provide colloquia address Oct. 10

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The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series continues this semester featuring Dr. Rod Paige, the former United States Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush.

Paige’s speech, titled “The Future of Higher Education in America,” will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 10, in the E.R. Jobe Hall Auditorium on campus.

Those unable to attend the event can view the live stream speech online through the university’s official LiveStream channel: https://livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity.

Paige served under Bush from 2001-2005. During his tenure, he helped create the No Child Left Behind Act, which was based in part on his work as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District. After the measure was signed into law in January 2002, Paige oversaw the new law’s implementation.

Born in Monticello, Mississippi, he is the son of public school educators. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in physical education from Indiana University.

Before beginning his career in education administration, he was a college football coach for two decades. In 1967, while coaching at historically black Jackson State University, his team played in a game that broke the color barrier at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.

Paige became superintendent of the Houston Independent School District in 1994, and was known for his successful leadership and innovative reforms as head of the large district. He also served as the dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University.

He was the first African American and the first school superintendent to serve as education secretary. After leaving the Education Department, he became a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He recently served as the interim president of his alma mater, Jackson State University.

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the colloquia program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

LaForge said the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series is another commitment to bringing excellence to Delta State.

“The university colloquia program brings distinguished, high-profile professionals to campus who can share career and life stories with our students and faculty. A distinguished lecture series is one of the exciting features of a university, and we are fortunate to be able to host outstanding professionals such as Dr. Paige,” said LaForge. “It especially allows our students and faculty to rub elbows with professionals and resources we sometimes have the rare opportunity to engage. Great universities have great programs, and this is one.”

Learn more about the series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.

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Woodward to provide Colloquia address April 12

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The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series continues this semester featuring Dr. LouAnn Woodward, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Woodward’s speech, titled “Health Care in Mississippi: What You Need to Know,” will begin at 6 p.m. on April 12 in the Jobe Auditorium on campus.WoodwardColloquia

Woodward, who completed her residency and board certification in emergency medicine at the UMMC, has served on the faculty for nearly 20 years. In addition to her role as vice chancellor, she also serves as a tenured professor of emergency medicine.

Woodward’s unique combination of experience as a professor, physician and seasoned administrator, has led to honors ranging from awards for teaching to recognition as one of Mississippi’s leading businesswomen.

Her personal and professional commitment to the medical center, and deep understanding of health care in Mississippi, have helped to keep UMMC at the forefront of health care, education and research — both in Mississippi and nationwide.

A native of Carrollton, Mississippi, Woodward earned her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Mississippi State University and doctor of medicine degree from UMMC.

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the Colloquia program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

LaForge said the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series is another commitment to bringing excellence to Delta State.

“The university colloquia program gives our institution a chance to hear from and engage with experts from a wide array of professions and interests,” said LaForge. “It especially allows our students and faculty to rub elbows with professionals and resources we sometimes have the rare opportunity to engage. Great universities have great programs, and this is one.”

Those unable to attend the event can view the live stream speech online through the university’s official LiveStream channel: https://livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity.

Learn more about the series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.

Congressman Thompson to provide colloquia address following election

By | Community, President, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series continues this semester with U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi on Nov. 9.

Rep. Thompson’s speech, titled “A Look Back at the 2016 National Election,” will begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Jobe Auditorium on campus — just one day after the 2016 national elections. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the colloquia program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

“We’re thrilled to bring Congressman Thompson here for our Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series,” said LaForge. “It seemed fitting to invite him to campus the day after the national election to give us a snap-reaction to the election results. It’s an ideal opportunity for our campus to engage him, as our congressman in Washington, and at the same time, allow him to share his knowledge about what’s going to happen at the top of the ticket.”

Rep. Thompson has spent his entire life giving a voice to the voiceless. His lifelong public service record is a testament to his unwavering dedication to fulfill and exceed the expectations of the constituents of the Second Congressional District of Mississippi.

A native of rural Bolton, Thompson has always been aware of the realities that plague the South. Viewing the experiences his family endured firsthand became the catalyst for his passion for those who were often times underserved.

He is a product of the Hinds County School District and later earned a Bachelor of Science from Tougaloo College and a Master of Science from Jackson State University. While pursuing his education, Thompson began to cultivate his passion for grassroots political activism. A product of the Civil Rights movement, he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and helped to organize voter registration drives for African Americans in the Mississippi Delta. After graduating from college, he followed in the footsteps of his mother and worked as a schoolteacher. It was during this time that he began to aggressively pursue a career in politics.

Thompson has served the Second Congressional District since 1993. He is the longest-serving African American elected official in the state of Mississippi, and he is also the only Democrat in the Mississippi Congressional delegation. Thompson’s voting record is indicative of his determination to be an activist for reform. In 2000, he authored legislation creating the National Center for Minority Health and Health Care Disparities, which subsequently became law. Thompson also received a presidential appointment to serve on the National Council on Health Planning and Development.

In 2006, during the 109th Congress, Thompson’s Washington colleagues expressed their overwhelming confidence in his abilities and selected him to serve as the first Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. As chairman, he introduced and engineered House passage of the most comprehensive homeland security package since Sept. 11, 2001 — H.R. 1, the “9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007.”

LaForge said the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series is another commitment to bringing excellence to Delta State.

“The university colloquia program gives our institution a chance to hear from and engage with experts from a wide array of professions and interests,” said LaForge. “It especially allows our students and faculty to rub elbows with professionals and resources we sometimes have the rare opportunity to engage. Great universities have great programs, and this is one.”

Those unable to attend the event can view the live stream speech online through the university’s official LiveStream channel: https://livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity. Learn more about the series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.

U.S. District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi to provide Colloquia address

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The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series kicks off the fall semester featuring United States District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi.

Gelpi’s speech, titled “Police Reform Though the Eyes of a United States District Judge,” will begin at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 in the Jobe Auditorium on campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Those unable to attend the event can view the live stream speech online through the university’s official LiveStream channel: https://livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity.

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the colloquia program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

Gelpi was appointed to the federal court bench in 2006 by former U.S. President George W. Bush, following his unanimous Senate confirmation. He holds life tenure and sits in the District of Puerto Rico.

Currently, he presides over the nation’s largest police department reform case, which was filed by the United States Attorney General in 2012 as a result of systemic police practices violative of civil rights, such as excessive use of force, racial and ethnic profiling, as well as sexual and political discrimination in the hiring and promotion of officers.

During his judicial tenure, Judge Gelpi has presided over hundreds of prosecutions for narcotics, firearms, child exploitation, immigration, white collar, government corruption and other federal crimes. He has also presided over a large number of civil cases in the areas of civil rights, environmental litigation, medical malpractice, bank shareholder class actions, corporate litigation and personal injury.

Gelpi has had an illustrious career spanning 25 years of public service, previously serving on the federal bench as a United States Magistrate Judge, as Solicitor General of Puerto Rico, and as Assistant Federal Public Defender and judicial law clerk.

He is a graduate of Brandeis University and Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, from which he also holds an honorary doctorate.

LaForge and Gelpi have known each other for about 12 years, and they first met when LaForge was serving as president of the national board of the Federal Bar Association. LaForge’s son Clayton also spent two years as a law clerk for Gelpi in Puerto Rico.

“Judge Gelpi is an outstanding jurist who has had an amazing career on the bench,” said LaForge. “He brings an outstanding amount of expertise on the issues related to police reform. We are looking forward to hosting him on campus.”

In addition to his speech, Gelpi will spend time visiting classes and with student organizations at Delta State.

LaForge said the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series is another commitment to bringing excellence to Delta State.

“The university colloquia program gives our institution a chance to hear from and engage with experts from a wide array of professions and interests,” said LaForge. “It especially allows our students and faculty to rub elbows with professionals and resources we sometimes have the rare opportunity to engage. Great universities have great programs, and this is one.”

U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson will follow Gelpi with the next colloquia address on Nov. 9 for a unique and timely look back at the 2016 national election.

Learn more about the series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.