Over 500 mortarboards sailed through the air in celebration this past May, as Delta State celebrated its 80th Spring Commencement with one of its largest graduating classes in the school’s history.
The day was special not only special to the over 500 proud graduates, but to two of Delta State’s brightest alumni, as Dr. James (Jim) T. Rogers and Dr. Patricia (Patsy) A. Thrash - two leaders in the field of higher education – were conferred with the fourth- and fifth-ever honorary degrees presented by Delta State. Each received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, for which they were unanimously approved by the Institutions of Higher Learning’s Board of Trustees. An honorary degree is the highest honor bestowed by the University.
The pair has dedicated nearly their entire lives to the advancement of higher education, having served a combined 96 years. Until their retirements, they sat atop two of the nation’s six accrediting agencies in higher education.
“It is amazing that one institution produced two of the most important higher education leaders in the nation,” Dr. John M. Hilpert, Delta State President noted. “At one time, these two Delta State graduates led regional associations that accredit institutions in 30 of the 50 states.”
“We are proud of these two successful alumni and thrilled that we can honor them at our Spring Commencement. Furthermore, we are proud of the history of quality education at Delta State University,” he concluded.