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Delta State to celebrate Commencement May 5

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Delta State University will celebrate 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 5 inside the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of 493 graduates.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will honor graduates receiving doctorates, education specialists, masters degrees, College of Business and Aviation undergraduate degrees, and School of Nursing undergraduate degrees.

The 2 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduates receiving undergraduate degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Each graduate will receive four tickets to administer to family and friends. Ticket pickup will be at the Registrar’s Office May 2-4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If students choose to not take all of their assigned tickets, additional tickets will be available for pickup at the Registrar’s Office starting at 10 a.m. May 4, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

At the 10 a.m. ceremony, Delta State will also continue its tradition of recognizing greatness by conferring an honorary doctoral degree to legendary Delta-influenced soul and gospel singer, and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples.

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.

Keynoting both ceremonies is Dr. Glen Jones, president of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Jones also serves as the committee chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council. When Jones was introduced as Henderson State’s president in March 2012, he became the first African-American to serve as president or chancellor of a non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities institution in the history of Arkansas higher 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.

Mavis Staples to receive honorary doctoral degree

By | Academics, Community, President | No Comments

Delta State University will continue its tradition of recognizing greatness by conferring an honorary doctoral degree at spring commencement ceremonies May 5.

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 the legendary Delta-influenced soul and gospel singer, and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples.

Staples is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Kennedy Center Honoree, and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient.

“We are honored to welcome Mavis Staples back to Delta State, and to present this musical legend who has ties to the Delta, with an honorary degree,” said Delta State University President William N. LaForge.

With her first recording at age 13 in 1954, the musical world has continued to learn from Staples. She has worked with and schooled countless musical legends. And each time she takes the stage, she performs with timeless talent. Beyond gospel and soul, her musical influence has had an impact on folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock and even hip-hop.

Mavis’s stardom began with the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s with her father, Pops, and her brother and sisters as The Staple Singers. The Staple Singers, inspired by Pops’ close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr., became the spiritual and musical voices of the civil rights movement. Few musicians can rival Staple’s impact in American music history, along with her family’s impact on the civil rights era.

Mavis, who was born in Chicago, has ties to the Mississippi Delta thanks to Pops’ roots. Pops was born and raised near Dockery Farms in Sunflower County, learning to play his guitar at Charley Patton’s feet, picking up technique and musicianship from the older and popular bluesman.

These Delta Blues influences were passed down to Mavis and her siblings, shaping their musical careers forever.

Mavis would go on to top the radio charts during the Stax era with hits like “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.” She served as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince at the peak of their careers, and later formed collaborations with Van Morrison, Billy Preston, Zac Brown, Ry Cooder, Chuck D. and Willie Nelson.

Staples last performed at Delta State’s Bologna Performing Arts Center in 2016 alongside the Blind Boys of Alabama.

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

Jones to keynote commencement ceremonies

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Delta State University will gather for commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 5 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus. The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of this year’s graduates.

Keynoting the ceremonies is Dr. Glen Jones, president of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Jones also serves as the committee chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council.

The Presidents Council is Division II’s highest governance office. Its members are charged with setting the strategic direction for the division in all areas, including the division’s financial affairs and championships administration. The Presidents Council is also the primary sponsor of legislative proposals at the NCAA Convention, and the chair of the council moderates the Division II Business Session at the annual convention.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge is also a senior member of the council who began serving with the governing body in 2016.

“Dr. Glen Jones will bring a refreshing and fascinating message to our graduates at commencement,” said LaForge. “I’ve had the privilege of getting to know him through our work together on the NCAA Presidents Council, which he chairs. He is a leader in education and an inspiration to all those around him.”

When Jones was introduced as Henderson State’s president in March 2012, he became the first African-American to serve as president or chancellor of a non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities institution in the history of Arkansas higher education.

Jones’ service to the community also extends beyond higher education. He is chair of the board for Southern Bancorp, a billion dollar development-centered financial institution whose focus remains on building communities and changing lives. He also serves as a board member for Baptist Health, the largest healthcare provider in the state of Arkansas. Additionally, Jones is a founding officer, past president and former board member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the recognized authority for promoting inclusive excellence in higher education.

In addition, Jones serves on the executive committee of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, and is the vice-chair of the NCAA Board of Governors, the highest governance body in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

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.