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blansettretires

Celebrating 40 years of service

By | Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Join the Delta State community for a retirement celebration in honor of Dr. Wayne Blansett, vice president for Student Affairs, on April 25 from 3-5 p.m. in the Leroy Morganti Atrium in Kent Wyatt Hall. Members of the campus and community are invited to attend.

Blansett has served Delta State for 40 years in various capacities. In addition to his current vice presidency, Blansett has served as dean of students (1975-1980), director of Student Activities (1980-1984), associate dean of Student Affairs (1984-1990) and dean of Student Affairs (1990-1993).

Leslie Griffin, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, values the legendary contributions Blansett has made to the institution over a lengthy career.

“Dr. Blansett’s professional preparation in the College of Education, culminating in the Doctor of Professional Studies degree, had exponential effects on the DSU community,” said Griffin. “It is ideal when an individual’s educational career intersects with his life’s work — in this case, positively impacting the lives of literally thousands of students.”

Blansett has been a role model and mentor for countless students in Delta State’s storied history. As he puts it, his job is to improve the total development of students at the university. He announced retirement plans in October of 2014 with mixed emotions.

“I started working at Delta State when I was 23-years-old. I’ve had a long and rewarding career, and I will certainly miss the interactions with students, staff and the entire Delta State family.” said Blansett. “Delta State has been my life, and there will be some sad moments when I step away.

“There’s nothing that could replace the interactions I’ve had with the students. This has been a lifelong journey. There’s something very special about this place, and I’ve been fortunate to be a part of it.”

Having worked for Blansett for seven years, Administrative Coordinator Reagan Dilmore considers it a privilege to have learned from the true leader.

“During this time I have learned so much about higher education,” said Dilmore. “There is no question that Dr. Blansett has been a voice for the student body throughout his years as the vice president for Student Affairs.

“It didn’t matter how busy he was — he would drop what he was doing to talk to a student. After one conversation, students knew they could trust him and had found their advocate. Even when discipline was a factor, students always came back to see Dr. Blansett with a smile on their face. That is a special characteristic that is hard to find.”

Saturday’s retirement celebration will be presided by Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. Remarks will be provided by Ronnie Mayers, director of Athletics, President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt and President William N. LaForge. Blansett will provide a response before a special announcement and closing.

Personal messages are being collected for a memory book. Please submit yours by mail to DSU Box 3141, Cleveland, MS 38733, or by email to alumni@deltastate.edu or online at www.deltastategiving.org/blansett.

Retiring administrative secretary Bert Herbison (left) was recently recognized her 24-year career at Delta State. Also praised was Paul Hankins, who served four years as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and now returns as the chair of the Department of Music. Herbison worked directly with Hankins for the interim period.

Hankins and Herbison recognized

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, President | No Comments

Paul Hankins was recently honored for his years of service as the interim dean of Delta State’s College of Arts and Sciences. Colleagues and campus leaders gathered for a celebratory social in President William N. LaForge’s conference room to thank Hankins for his dedication.

Hankins served in the interim role for four years following the leadership of Collier Parker. Hankins now returns to the Department of Music where he will serve as department chair.

“We are very grateful to Dr. Hankins for his dedicated service as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences over a four-year period,” said LaForge. “He served in this position very well and often faced difficult challenges.

“I appreciate his commitment to Delta State and certainly welcome him back as chair of the Department of Music.”

Delta State Provost Charles McAdams echoed LaForge’s praise for Hankins.

“Delta State was fortunate to have someone as capable as Dr. Paul Hankins to serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences the past four years,” said McAdams. “He was a great advocate for all areas of the college, and his understanding of institutional history provided a strong foundation for the service he provided Delta State. Leading a college as diverse as Arts and Sciences is a challenge, but Dr. Hankins led the college with his characteristic calmness, grace and dignity.

“He is a real asset to Delta State and I am pleased he will continue to provide great leadership for the Department of Music.”

The university recently concluded a national search for the college’s new leader. Beginning this month, David Breaux, previously of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, takes over as the college’s new dean.

Breaux was a professor of political science at ULL, where he once served as graduate school dean. Prior to ULL, he taught in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Mississippi State University from 1989-2011.

The community of learners in the College of Arts and Sciences is composed of approximately 115 faculty, 1,250 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate majors. The college takes great pride in the quality and value of its educational programs. Students are encouraged to develop their talents in courses that improve communication, analytical thinking and problem solving.

“In striving for an environment in which everyone feels welcomed and appreciated, we provide the opportunity for significant intellectual, cultural and social growth,” Hankins said.

Also recognized in a recent retirement ceremony was Bert Herbison, who served as Hankins’ administrative secretary during his four years as dean. Herbison previously spent 20 years as the secretary for the Department of Art. She is retiring after a fulfilling 24-year career at Delta State.

“It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Hankins for four years,” said Herbison. “He is a consummate professional and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

“I loved what I did at Delta State all those years, but I am ready to sit back and enjoy the rest of my life with my husband.”

Learn more about the college at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/.