CLEVELAND, Miss. — Outgoing Dean of the College of Business and Aviation at Delta State University, Dr. Billy Moore, was the guest of honor at a surprise retirement party held Thursday, April 27 in the State Room of the H.L. Nowell Student Union. Friends, family and colleagues gathered to wish Dr. Moore well as he moves into a new phase in his life.
Dr. Tomeka Harbin, Chair of the Department of Management, Marketing and Business Administration was heavily involved in the preparations for the party, which was somehow kept a secret even though over 600 people were notified by email about the event. She said, “Dean Moore has been with DSU for 37.5 years, and we are so excited to be doing this surprise retirement celebration for him. He said he didn’t want anything, but he’s touched so many people’s lives we had to have something honoring him to let him know how much we appreciate him and love him.”
Dr. Moore appeared to be completely taken off guard when he walked into the Union and stood outside the State Room for a minute in disbelief. He was greeted by a thunderous round of applause and was visibly moved as he noted the attendance of former colleagues, family members, and members of his church. He refused calls to take the podium, instead addressing the gathering from just inside the doorway. He thanked everyone for coming and said, “I have had an excellent ride for 37.5 years. I said to our students, my wish for them is that they will have a career that they enjoy as much as I have enjoyed mine.”
Well-wishers crowded around Dr. Moore, and a table by the wall held a mountain of gifts. Colleagues heaped praise on Dr. Moore’s career, which has spanned almost four decades at DSU.
Clint Wood, former chair of the Division of Accountancy, Computer Information Systems, and Finance said, “It’s a university, so you have to keep going. Because of him, it’s headed in the right direction with a strong foundation.”
Joe Saia, chair of the Department of Commercial Aviation said, “He’s the only one who could get me through the accreditation. I appreciate everything he’s ever done for me, as a chair, and he’s always supported Commercial Aviation.”
Dr. Moore will be missed, but his legacy at DSU will endure for generations to come.