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Delta State celebrates fall commencement

By July 23, 2010General


Lacey Alanna Branch, an elementary education major of Winona, was awarded the First Diploma during the commencement ceremony


Kimberly Ann Rigney (at left), a social science education major of Greenville, and Anna Rice Machell, a general business administration major of Boyle, were awarded the Second Diploma during the fall commencement ceremony,


Delta State University celebrated its 79th Fall Commencement this morning inside Walter Sillers Coliseum on the campus. Friends and family, along with Delta State faculty and staff, gathered to honor the accomplishments of the 359 Delta State graduates.

After welcoming an overflowing crowd, Delta State President, Dr. John M. Hilpert, remarked, “Each of today’s graduates has reached a milestone, and we are here to recognize their achievements. On behalf of the faculty and staff, I extend congratulations to all graduates.  I urge you to view your college education as a trust that commits you to a lifetime of learning and service.

“This nation and the state of Mississippi need the benefit of the skills and learning that you have acquired here,” he continued.  “We send you into the world with our deep affection and wish for each of you the fullest measure of success.”

Dr. Lynn Varner, Director and Chair of the newly formed Center for Rural School Leadership and Research at Delta State and 2005 Kossman Award recipient, delivered the keynote address, offering, “When I won the Kossman Award last year I was totally shocked and thrilled and then, just after the ceremony, it hit me – I’ll have to give the address at graduation in December. So, I did what any good faculty member would do – I panicked. What could I possibly say to a group of graduates that they would care to hear? I’ve heard some truly awe-inspiring speeches in my life and I really wanted to deliver one of those.”

Varner explored “The Four Agreements of Life” from Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements during her address. Ruiz has written several books and millions of people have used his code of conduct to transform their ordinary lives into ones filled with freedom, true happiness and love. As outlined in her talk, the four agreements urge all to 1. Be impeccable with your word; 2. Don’t take anything personally; 3. Don’t make assumptions; and 4. Always do your best.

One doctor of education degree and 13 educational specialist degrees were conferred during the commencement exercise, while numerous master’s and bachelor’s degrees were awarded through the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education and the School of Nursing.