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Commencement Archives - News and Events

Bob Santelli, executive director of the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE, will keynote commencement ceremonies May 7 at 10 a.m. inside Walter Sillers Coliseum. Santelli will also receive the Doctor of Arts and Letters honorary degree.

Delta State to honor Santelli at commencement

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Delta State University will celebrate the 2016 Spring Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 7 inside Walter Sillers Coliseum. The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of 442 graduates.

The graduates include recipients of bachelors, masters, education specialists and doctoral degrees — all of whom have made their impact on the storied history of Delta State.

The keynote speaker for the commencement address is Bob Santelli, executive director of the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE. Santelli’s leadership was crucial to making GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi a reality on Delta State University’s campus.

Santelli will also be granted an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts and Letters as part of Delta State’s long-running tradition of recognizing green and white greatness.

Delta State confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally or other areas of society. Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

Santelli was named executive director of the GRAMMY Museum in 2006. A noted blues and rock historian, he is credited for developing the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festival, and has authored three books on the blues: “The Big Book of Blues: A Biographical Encyclopedia,” “The Best of the Blues: The 101 Essential Blues Albums” and “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey.”

Santelli also served as a consultant on Scorsese’s “The Blues” series for PBS, and co-created a 10-part history of the blues series for PBS radio. He was also honored with the Keeping the Blues Alive Award from The Blues Foundation, and taught courses on the blues at Monmouth University in New Jersey and the University of Washington.

Delta State President William N. LaForge will provide introductions at the ceremony, while presentations of candidates and degrees will be led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams.

Follow all news at Delta State University at http://www.deltastate.edu.

Delta State University Provost Dr. Charles McAdams (left) and President William N. LaForge (right) present UPS CEO David Abney '76 with an honorary doctorate at today's 89th Commencement ceremonies.

Graduates and Abney honored at commencement

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Delta State University celebrated its 89th Commencement in grand fashion today with a traditional graduation ceremony and a presentation of an honorary doctoral degree.

The institution, friends and family united to recognize the accomplishments of over 400 graduates.

While his list of accomplishments is already lengthy, alumnus David Abney ’76, CEO of UPS, added another milestone to his résumé after being granted an honorary doctoral degree as part of Delta State’s long-running tradition of recognizing green and white greatness.

Delta State confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally or other areas of society.

Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

Abney, who became UPS’s CEO in 2014, is also the creator of Delta State’s annual International Business Symposium in the College of Business. The IBS provides a unique look at current trends in the business world. The symposium celebrated its 10-year anniversary this April. Abney and his wife Sherry, both Delta natives, have sponsored the IBS since its inception.

Abney studied marketing at Delta State and was named the 2007 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. He currently serves on the Delta State University Foundation Board of Directors.

The esteemed alumnus offered these words of wisdom in relation to time during his keynote address.

“Take time to fail, take time to believe in yourself, take time to shine a spotlight on others, take time to listen and at the end, of course, take time to dream,” said Abney. “I think you’ll find this will be time well spent.”2015 spring commencement small

Delta State President William N. LaForge provided introductions at the ceremony, while presentations of candidates and degrees were led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams.

“This spring, we are graduating more than 400 students, and we are happy to have them and their loved ones on campus to celebrate this momentous occasion,” said LaForge. “Thank you to our faculty and staff who have helped make this semester another successful one for Delta State. I also extend congratulations to Dr. David Abney on receiving a honorary doctoral degree. He delivered a powerful and meaningful commencement address, and we thank him for sharing his experiences and advice with all of us.”

Follow all news at Delta State University at http://www.deltastate.edu.

 

 

Delta State Alumnus David Abney '76, CEO of UPS, will keynote Spring Commencement May 9 at 10 a.m. in the Walter Sillers Coliseum.

Abney to keynote 2015 Spring Commencement

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Delta State University will celebrate the 2015 Spring Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 9 inside Walter Sillers Coliseum. The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of nearly 410 graduates.

The graduates include recipients of bachelors, masters, education specialists and doctoral degrees — all of whom have made their impact on the storied history of Delta State.

Graduating graphic design major, Briana Williams of Southaven, said she is looking forward to marching across the coliseum stage in cap and gown.

“These four years have been so instrumental for me,” said Williams. “I feel ready to take on the world and apply what I’ve learned here. I owe so much to Delta State, and I can’t wait to walk with my classmates.”

The keynote speaker for the commencement address is successful Delta State alumnus David Abney ’76, who was born in Cleveland, Miss. Abney is the Chief Executive Officer for United Parcel Service — the world’s largest package delivery company.

Abney is also the creator of Delta State’s annual International Business Symposium in the College of Business. The IBS provides a unique look at current trends in the business world. The symposium celebrated its 10-year anniversary this April. Abney and his wife Sherry, both Delta natives, have sponsored the IBS since its inception.

Abney began his career as a part-time package loader at a small facility in Greenwood while in school at Delta State. In 2014, he became the 11th CEO in the 107-year-history of UPS. Abney previously served as COO, holding responsibility for logistics, sustainability and engineering. In these roles, he directed all facets of the UPS transportation network, serving more than 220 countries and territories.

He studied marketing at Delta State and was named the 2007 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. He currently serves on the Delta State University Foundation Board of Directors.

At commencement, the accomplished alumnus will also be awarded with an honorary doctoral degree for his contributions to the university and the business world. To this day, Abney remains proud of the path Delta State helped pave for him.

“Obtaining my degree from Delta State was like crossing the continental divide. I was the first in my family to graduate from a university,” said Abney. “I also transitioned from the hourly ranks to management at UPS. My education at Delta State certainly helped prepare me for the ‘real world’ of business.

“As I now travel throughout the world, I proudly refer to Delta State wherever I go. I wholeheartedly recommend Delta State to anyone that is interested in continuing their education.”

Delta State President William N. LaForge will provide introductions at the ceremony, while presentations of candidates and degrees will be led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams.

Follow all news at Delta State University at http://www.deltastate.edu.

President William N. LaForge (left) congratulates Governor William Winter with an honorary doctorate today at Delta State University's 88th Commencement.

Winter receives honorary degree

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Delta State University celebrated the 88th Commencement with a traditional ceremony and a special honorary doctoral degree presented to Governor William Winter. President William N. LaForge welcomed members of the Delta State family to the celebration.

“Every day is a great day to be at Delta State, and I know our degree candidates will fondly remember this day in particular — the day in which we honor the graduating class of 2014 for your hard work and perseverance in achieving academic success that few actually accomplish,” said LaForge.

Dr. Mary Lenn Buchanan, professor emeritus of music and winner of the 2014 Kossman Teaching Award, delivered the address, followed by the presentation of the honorary degree.

“Delta State University confers honorary doctoral degrees for outstanding scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support,” said LaForge.

Winter was granted the degree as part of the long-running tradition of recognizing green and white greatness. He is a lifelong leader for Mississippi with a distinguished legacy for racial reconciliation, historic preservation, public education and freedom of information. Winter has served the state in numerous official capacities, including Governor from 1980–1984, Lt. Governor from 1972–1976, Mississippi State Treasurer from 1964–1968, Mississippi State Tax Collector from 1956–1964, and Representative in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1948–1956.

The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi was named in his honor. Winter and his institute staff participated in Delta State’s inaugural Winning The Race diversity conference last spring. Additionally, he was the inaugural speaker for the Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series in 2013. His leadership and service have impacted the lives of many individuals across the state and nation.

“On a personal note, Gov. Winter has been a friend of mine for many years,” added LaForge. “He is a pioneer in Mississippi in several areas, and we are delighted to bring him back to campus. He is the symbol of leadership.”

Winter resides in Jackson and is married to Elise Varner, and they have three daughters.