| Front row, from left: Sherry Bailey, Evening Shift Supervisor, DSU Student Health Center; Dr. Stella B. Wear, Professor of Mathematics; Kay C. Ware, Payroll Administrator; ; Vicki Fioranelli, Director of Alumni; (back row, from left) Dr. Darvin E. (Duke) Barnes, Chair and Professor of the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Albert C. Prewitt, Assistant Director of the Physical Plant; Paul L. Lindsey, Director of the Physical Plant; and Dr. John G. Thornell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will retire at the close of the 2007 academic year. Not pictured: Dr. Edward R. Bahr, Professor of Music.
In a reception held this afternoon inside the State Room of the H.L Nowell Union today, Delta State University recognized nine employees with over 193 years of combined service.
Dr. Edward R. Bahr, Professor of Music; Sherry Bailey, Evening Shift Supervisor, DSU Student Health Center; Dr. Darvin E. (Duke) Barnes,Chair and Professor of the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Vicki Fioranelli, Director of Alumni; Paul L. Lindsey, Director of the Physical Plant; Albert C. Prewitt, Assistant Director of the Physical Plant; Dr. John G. Thornell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Kay C. Ware, Payroll Administrator;and Dr. Stella B. Wear, Professor of Mathematics, will retire at the close of the 2007 academic year.
A professor of low brass, Bahr has taught trombone, euphonium and tuba at Delta State for the past 24 years. In addition, he also directs the trombone ensemble, euphonium/tuba ensemble and the brass ensemble. He is a published author, as well as accomplished soloist. Of his two-decades plus career, Bahr offered, “I take great enjoyment in having so many of my low brass students progress toward becoming public and private school or college teachers, as well as professional performing musicians.”
Sherry Bailey has been employed at Delta State for more than 13 years as evening shift supervisor at the Delta State Student Health Center. Her retirement plans include spending more time with her mother plus she plans to visit more with her grandchildren. In years past, she was involved with the Nursing Association, and she plans to get involved once again.
A familiar face in the Department of Health, Physical Education & Recreation at Delta State for the last 17 years, Duke Barnes came on staff as an associate professor in 1990. He has advanced through the ranks, earning full professor status in 1995. In 2000, he became chair of the department, while still maintaining some teaching duties. “Delta State University is awesome. The professional opportunities that I have had here have been the highlights of my career,” Barnes explained. “The “family” environment among the faculty, staff, and students can not be found at many institutions. It has been a joy and a privilege to work here.”
A true advocate of the University, Vicki Fioranelli has dedicated 20 years of service to Delta State, including time as the director of career services to her current role as director of alumni services. “I dearly love my job and dearly love this University, I always will,” she explained. “But, it’s time to slow down and ‘smell the roses.’ I want to play with the grandkids, sit on the patio during the day and barbecue, and play in the garden. I’ve got photo albums to organize, closets to clean and volunteer work that needs to be done.”
Paul Lindsey has been proudly “serving my alma mater since 1972.” After his 1970 graduation and two years with the Army National Guard, he began work at Delta State as property officer. In 1981, he was promoted to transportation director and property control. He operated one of Delta State’s buses for many years, and in 2000, he became the assistant director of the physical plant. Later in 2002, he was elevated to director of the physical plant. Of his years of service to Delta State, Lindsey offered, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Director of the Physical Plant these last few years. It has been the pinnacle of my career and something that I had wanted to do since working here as a high school student in the late 1960s.”
For the past eight years, A. C. Prewitt as been employed at the Delta State physical plant, first as facilities engineer for the campus to his current position as assistant director. His retirement plans include adding a sun room to his house, and perhaps travel to Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Of his time served at Delta State, Prewitt offered “I have enjoyed working with Paul Lindsey, Billy Morehead, Greg Redlin, and all other staff, faculty, and administration at Delta State.”
The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2001, Dr. John Thornell has also served as interim president of the university in the spring and summer of 2003. Prior administrative appointments at Delta State include associate vice president, dean of graduate studies and research, and director of institutional research. His first faculty appointment was an assistant professorship at Delta State in 1975 after completing a Ph.D. at the University of Texas in 1974. Of his decision, Thornell expressed, “Delta State University has been a very important part of my life and my family’s life for the past 32 years, so it is with mixed emotions that I made this decision. I will be saddened to leave the colleagues I have grown so close with over the years, but am excited by the great opportunity that awaits me in North Carolina.” He accepted an offer to become the chief academic officer at North Carolina Wesleyan University.
Kay Ware, Payroll Administrator, University Accounting has dedicated more than 28 years of service to Delta State. Prior to her current position, she has served as secretary to Dr. Kent Wyatt, Executive Assistant to the President, secretary in the Admissions Office and Institutional Representative, National Direct Loan in the Bursar’s Office. As far as her retirement plans, she would like to travel and spend time with her grandchildren.
For Stella Wear, retirement is bittersweet, as the veteran professor confesses, “I have enjoyed my 31 years of teaching, especially the 11 at DSU. I hope to equally enjoy retirement. I have books to write; husband, children and grandchildren to enjoy; birds to see; flowers to plant; bridge to play; and much, much, more.”
She began her teaching career at Delta State in 1996 as an assistant professor of mathematics. In 1997, she moved to the rank of associate and later earned full professorship in 2001. She currently serves as chapter president for American Association of University Women.
A reception for all retirees followed the ceremony. Family and friends of the retirees were in attendance.