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Commencement Archives - News and Events

Malone to receive honorary doctorate

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Delta State University will continue its tradition of recognizing green and white greatness by conferring an honorary doctoral degree at fall commencement ceremonies Dec. 9.

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.

Receiving the honor will be Percy Malone, who attended Delta State in 1960 and was named the university’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2017.

“Senator Percy Malone is a most-deserving honorary degree recipient,” said Delta State University President William N. LaForge. “It is customary for universities to bestow honorary degrees, and they are intended to do just that — honor the recipient for distinguished service, accomplishments, successes and contributions to society. Sen. Malone is the ideal candidate for this honor. His record of community service and leadership is enviable. And he credits Delta State with providing him the basic science education to launch his professional school, and later, his business, successes. He is a leader who cares about people and who has demonstrated, time and time again, his commitment to human and civic causes.”

Malone, who was raised in a humble upbringing in Rosedale, Mississippi, credits his time in the classroom at Delta State as paving his way to pharmacy school, and then to eventually becoming a representative and senator in Arkansas.

Long before he sat in his senate and representative seats in the Arkansas legislature, long before he established a chain of pharmacies across Arkansas, and long before he traveled to Oxford to learn his vocation, he sat in classes at Delta State soaking up the knowledge and wisdom from several teachers that would influence him the rest of his life.

“I had a professor in physics – Dr. Wiley – he took a special interest in his students,” Malone said. “It was an affordable school, and when I got out, I was prepared for pharmacy school at Ole Miss.”

“This is a great honor from a school that helped me get out of poverty,” Malone said in a previous press release about being named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. “I have fond memories of being able to go to Delta State. It was a hand out and not a hand up.”

After receiving his pharmacy degree in 1965, Malone began working with I.B. Fuller in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Fuller became a mentor for Malone’s community involvement, which has ranged from serving on the board of directors of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, to serving as a delegate to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention in 1980. He was also a member of the state Board of Pharmacy.

His political career began in 1995 when he was elected to represent District 36, which he did until 1999. In this capacity, he served as co-chairman of the joint budget committee and as a member of the insurance and commerce committee, the public health and welfare committee, and other important committees and subcommittees. Malone’s stint in the state senate ran from 2001-2012.

President LaForge said Delta State has bestowed fewer than 20 honorary degree’s in the institution’s history, acknowledging the significance and prestige of Malone’s degree.

To follow all Delta State news, visit www.deltastate.edu.

 

Janoushes to receive honorary degrees at commencement ceremonies

By | Academics, Alumni, Community, GRAMMY | No Comments

Delta State University will continue its tradition of recognizing green and white greatness by conferring honorary doctoral degrees to the powerhouse alumni couple of Lucy and Paul Janoush.

The Janoushes will be recognized during spring commencement ceremonies May 6 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

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.

Lucy, who was named Delta State’s Alumnus of the Year in 2015, has been a dedicated supporter of the institution for years.

Take a look at what used to be the southeast corner of the Delta State golf course, and you’ll notice the latest of Lucy’s many civic contributions. Since 2011, she has served as president of the Cleveland Music Foundation Board of Directors, the group responsible for planning, funding, constructing and operating GRAMMY® Museum Mississippi. The $19 million-dollar facility opened in March of 2016.

This latest project represents just one of many ways Lucy has given back to the school and community that gave her an academic foundation. She started at Delta State in 1974 and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

Lucy’s memberships and volunteer service in the community runs incredibly deep. To name just a few — executive vice president of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce; Hayes Cooper Booster Club, president; Wildcat Booster Club and CHS PTSA, president; Crosstie Arts Council, president; DSU Alumni Association and Booster Club; Cleveland Community Theater; Friends of the Bolivar County Library; and the Cleveland Park Commission, volunteer coach for baseball, soccer and softball.

Lucy’s husband, Paul, also a Delta State alumnus, will be recognized for his decades of contributions to both Delta State and the Bolivar County community. He has served as the Chief Financial Officer at Jantran, Inc., since its founding in 1977.

The Boy Scouts of America and Cleveland scouts have benefited greatly from the many hours of dedicated volunteer work he has provided, including having served as a member of the Executive Board of the Chickasaw Council Boy Scouts of America, past chairman of the Tallaha District and Cub Scout pack leader.

The importance of youth activities within the community has always been one of Paul’s passions. His commitment has been evident in the many years he has volunteered his time and talents to Hayes Cooper Center Booster Club, Cleveland’s Booster Club, and Margaret Green Junior High’s and Cleveland High School’s Parent, Teacher, and Student Association.

His love for Delta State is also evident in his past and present commitments in serving on the Delta State University Foundation Board, the DSU Booster Club and Delta State Alumni Association.

Keynoting the commencement ceremonies is former state Supreme Court Justice Ann Lamar, who was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

Lamar served as a Mississippi Supreme Court justice from 2007-2016, the third woman to serve on the high court at the time of her appointment.

Lamar earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Delta State University in 1974, before completing her law degree at the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1982.

To follow all Delta State news, visit www.deltastate.edu.

Delta State celebrates fall commencement

By | Academics, Students | No Comments

Delta State University celebrated 2016 Fall Commencement ceremonies at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

The keynote address was provided by Dr. John Tiftickjian, professor emeritus of biology. Tiftickjian was presented with the Kossman Outstanding Faculty Award during spring commencement ceremonies on May 7, 2016.

The institution, family, friends and graduates came together to recognize the accomplishments of over 360 undergraduate and graduate students.

Delta State to honor Santelli at commencement

By | Academics, GRAMMY, President, Students | No Comments

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.

Graduates and Abney honored at commencement

By | Academics, Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

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.