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College of Arts and Sciences honors LaForge

The faculty, staff and students of Delta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences invite the public to a day of scholarly activities celebrating the inauguration of William N. LaForge.

Dean Paul Hankins said he was looking forward to the schedule as an opportunity to highlight the unique opportunities available through the college.

“The quality of the education at Delta State is second to none. Our students learn with faculty who are experts in their field and are committed to helping them succeed,” said Hankins. “Our faculty will nurture your intellect, stimulate your imagination, inspire your creativity and open the door to your dreams and aspirations.”

Serving more than 1000 undergraduate and 122 graduate students, Hankins said there are a number of exciting happenings.

The Department of Music recently completed the first phase of a planned $339,000 purchase of 20 new pianos. The acquisition includes 10 grand pianos, including a Shigeru Kawai VI for the BPAC recital hall stage, and 10 additional upright and digital pianos for faculty and student use. Upon completion of the purchase, DSU will be an EPIC Partner with Kawai Piano corp.

New degree programs are available in digital media arts, a unique program for creation, use and managing digital content and media. New degree options are also available in entertainment industry/music industry studies.

“A multimillion dollar renovation of the Caylor-White-Walters science building is now in phase three,” added Hankins. “The completed renovation will provide updated facilities for students studying the biological and physical sciences.”

Soon to be installed in the Roy L. and Clara Belle Wiley Planetarium will be a state-of-the-art full-dome 3D projector. The Evans & Sutherland projector is one of the most technologically advanced projector systems in the world.

Hankins said all the recent news and a strong core faculty make the College of Arts and Sciences an exciting option for perspective students.

“Students in the college are advised by faculty members,” he said. “Students are taught by full time faculty, not teaching assistants. Faculty care about the student as a person and a scholar.”

The college’s inauguration events kick off at 10 a.m. on Oct. 30 with First Lady Nancy LaForge’s Campus Architectural History and Arts Walking Tour. The first lady, along with University Archivist Emily Jones and Art Department Chair Ron Koehler, will begin the tour at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The trio will showcase the historic architectural and artistic highlights of Delta State’s beautiful campus.

At noon, inside the auditorium of E.R. Jobe Hall, the Madison Center will be celebrated with a lecture event featuring guest speaker James W. Morhard.

Morhard, a close personal friend and former colleague of LaForge, worked closely with the president during their time together on Capitol Hill.

In the 70s and 80s, Morhard served as an analyst for the Secretary of Navy and as Navy Comptroller in the Pentagon. He became chief of staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2003 and served in that capacity until 2005, when he founded the law firm Morhard & Associates.

Morhard is a survivor of the 2010 Alaska Turbo Otter plane crash that took the lives of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and four others.

At 2 p.m., the college is sponsoring an open house, giving the public an insider’s view and invitation to be part of the inauguration celebration.

Open house events include an art exhibit and a chorale performance in Wright Art Gallery; a virtual dementia tour presented by the Department of Social Work in Bailey Hall; hearing screenings by the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences in Kethley Hall; and student/faculty research poster displays from the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences inside Caylor-White Hall.

At 5 p.m., the Delta State University Colloquia series continues with a presentation by Morhard inside the auditorium in E.R. Jobe Hall. There will be a reception immediately following the speech.

Later that evening, the Delta Players and Division of Languages and Literature perform selected scenes from Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town.” The show starts at 7 p.m. inside the auditorium at E.R. Jobe Hall.

All inauguration events are funded through support provided to the Delta State University Foundation. No university funds are being used during the week of activities.