The heart of any campus is its student body. Even though these coeds show that styles have changed considerably over the years, the importance of a well-rounded college experience has not. Below are sections that reveal some important and memorable aspects of student life.
A graduate of Delta State Teacher’s College, Margaret Wade was confirmed as an assistant professor of health, physical education, and recreation in September of 1959. Ms. Wade had played on one of the earlier teams when she was a student at De
lta Teacher’s College before the sport was removed from the campus.. When it was agreed that women’s basketball should be reinstated, Dr. Lucas with assistance from Dr. Wyatt and Mr. Forest Wyatt, approached Ms. Wade with the proposition of heading the new team. Her success with her Cleveland High School teams had become almost legendary. Certainly the same could be said of her leadership of the Lady Statesmen.
A graduate of Delta State Teacher’s College, Margaret Wade was confirmed as an assistant professor of health, physical education, and recreation in September of 1959. Ms. Wade had played on one of the earlier teams when she was a student at Delta Teacher’s College before the sport was removed from the campus.. When it was agreed that women’s basketball should be reinstated, Dr. Lucas with assistance from Dr. Wyatt and Mr. Forest Wyatt, approached Ms. Wade with the proposition of heading the new team. Her success with her Cleveland High School teams had become almost legendary. Certainly the same could be said of her leadership of the Lady Statesmen.
For three years, 1975, 1976, and 1977, the Lady Statesmen lead the nation as champions in basketball. Perhaps the most impressive team consisted of five particular players: Debbie Brock, Ramona Von Boeckman, Wanda Hairston, Cornelia Ward, and Lusia Harris. Even though these five athletes found national attention, it was the play of the entire team each of the three years that allowed the Lady Statesmen to have such success.. In Ms. Wade’s honor is named the Wade Trophy. It is the equivalent to the men’s Heisman Trophy for football and is awarded to the most outstanding women’s basketball player in the country. Women’s basketball has continued exist as a thriving sport, bringing many spectators to campus.
Athletics has been a significant part of Delta State from its beginning. Before fraternities and sororities appeared on campus in the mid-sixties, a “fraternal” group of another type formed and included athletes who lettered in their respective sports. This prestigious group named themselves the “M” Club and was originally formed n the late twenties. The organization chose “M” as its emblem because, at the time, the name of the college was formally Mississippi Delta State Teacher’s College. Throughout the years, the M Club has supported athletic achievements and outstanding athletes. The club is referred to today
as the Athletic Club.
Student organizations at Delta State have given people the opportunity to develop skills in leadership and cooperation. They also provide valuable experiences in social, recreational, and cultural activities. The campus has welcomed groups with a wide range of interests including religion, art, music, science, and academics.
From the earliest days of Delta State, students have found that
recording weekly events was an entertaining activity. The “Miss Delta”paper originally served as a combination of the college annual and newspaper. Miss Mollie Bedwell won the contest held on campus for the selection of a name for the new publication. This tradition of student news reporting continues today in the form of the “Delta Statement,” having changed its name in 1987.
The Broom has been another faithful publication of Delta State, serving as the student annual. Its pages have recorded the history of the institution and the activities of thousands of students who have passed through its doors.
Fraternity and sororities had their start at Delta State in 1959. Mr. H. L. Nowell, Director of Student Activities, called a meeting to propose the establishment of the Delta Alpha Omega Fraternity. In the weeks that followed, meetings were held with the President of the College, the Dean, and the Dean of Student Personnel. They all pledged their support to not only see that the Delta Alpha Omega Fraternity would be organized, but that a greek system be established on campus.
One of the many musical groups that has existed for years is the Delta Singers. It is a choral group of both music and nonmusic majors who wish to broaden their scope of artistic interests.
“In order to grow, a town must have either industry or a college, and a college makes for a much better community”
Audley Shands, Cleveland Lawyer 1922
The Delta Council began as the Delta Chamber of Commerce. It was organized
in 1935 and the group elected Delta State’s own President Kethley as their first president. Subsequently, the tradition of holding its annual meetings on the Delta State campus began. The speeches given by such popular personalities as William Faulkner and the lunch on the Quadrangle were strong drawing forces for the community. Early crowds would feast on barbecued chicken prepared over open grill pits.Today, catfish is the main course.
As with all communities in the Delta, Cleveland is rich with culture and history. In 1900, Cleveland became the second county seat in addition to Rosedale. An early photograph reveals the appearance of the County Courthouse.
An important part of a student’s experience is interacting with and contributing to the local community. Delta State has maintained a special relationship with local children for years. This can be traced back to 1926 with the opening of the Hill Demonstration Center. The Center served as an educational tool for students in the elementary education department. Even though it was closed in 1957, Delta State still provides this beneficial contact through its Child Development Center and a number of other programs.
Throughout the years, students have enjoyed various forms of local entertainment. Perhaps one of the most popular was attending one of the local movie theaters. The Ellis Movie Theater was situated on Court Street and was a comfortable walk from the main campus.