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Delta State to fly university flag at half-staff in honor of alumnus and former Delta State Foundation President, Louis Baioni

By June 10, 2024

Delta State University mourns the loss of alumnus and former Delta State Foundation President Louis Baioni of Germantown, Tennessee, who passed away on June 3, 2024. He was 89. The University flag will fly at half-staff today through sunset on Wednesday, June 12, in Mr. Baioni’s honor.

Mr. Louis Baioni, a native of Shaw, Mississippi, was a man celebrated for his generosity, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit. He earned an accounting degree from Delta State University in 1956.

He was a member of the Delta State Foundation Board from 1986 to 2018 and served as Board President and Finance Committee Chair. He notably spearheaded the University’s first-ever capital campaign, which aimed to raise $5 million in six years but impressively garnered $5.4 million in just two years, and later increased to $10.7 million in gifts and pledges. His efforts were recognized with several prestigious accolades; including Outstanding Alumnus of the Year and being inducted into the Delta State Alumni Hall of Fame. In honor of his service to Delta State, the College of Business named the conference center in Broom Hall, the Louis Baioni Conference Center.

In May of 1996, Mr. Baioni delivered the commencement speech to Delta State’s 69th graduating class. He stressed to the graduates that he hoped they would always remember that day for “not only the feelings of pride and accomplishment, but also what it took to get here – the self-discipline, the sacrifices, the hard work, and the support of your family and friends.”

Mr. Baioni is survived by his children, Sharon, Paul, and Richard (Beth); his six grandchildren, Dominick, Justin, Lena Dion (Chris), Rachel Haley (Matt), Allison, and Melissa; and four great-grandchildren.

A service of remembrance will be held at St. Louis Catholic Church in Memphis, Tennessee, Tuesday, June 11, at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, to commemorate Mr. Baioni’s dedication to philanthropy and community service, donations may be made to St. Louis Catholic Church, the Alzheimer’s Association of Memphis, or the Tunica Humane Society.

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As shown in the remembrances below, Mr. Baioni’s remarkable legacy of integrity, hard work, and love for his family, community, and Delta State University will forever inspire those who knew him.

Louis Baioni was an outstanding example of giving back to his Alma Mater. He loved Delta State University. Louis was a freshman at DSU with Janice and me in 1952. We have maintained a close friendship through the years. Dr. Kent Wyatt, President Emeritus, Delta State University

Louis was a business partner, mentor, and dear friend; and I admired him greatly. He was grateful for the education he received at Delta State and cherished the relationships with people he met at the school. He often told me that he attributed his successful business career to Delta State. The generous gifts of service and financial support from Louis and his family have left an indelible mark on the University. Dr. Tim Harvey, Past Chairperson, Delta State Foundation Board

Since its dedication on February 28, 2008, the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall has provided Delta State University’s College of Business and Aviation with a premiere venue for classes, student meetings, corporate and association meetings, special events, community and statewide conferences, and gatherings. The College is forever grateful to Louis Baioni as a trusted advisor, friend, and benefactor. His generosity will continue to positively impact generations to come.  Dr. Billy Moore, Dean Emeritus, COBA and Professor Emeritus of Economics/Finance

Louis was the consummate gentleman. He loved Delta State and always acknowledged his DSU degree as the major reason for his incredible business success and leadership in the Memphis and greater mid-south area. His outstanding business aptitude led the Delta State University Foundation to unprecedented success. I remain forever grateful for his devotion to our beloved DSU and also for his most meaningful personal friendship. Dr. Peter Jernberg, Director Emeritus, Delta State Foundation Board

What a loss. Louis was a fine gentleman and an excellent leader for us. I have the utmost respect for him. I was fortunate to have lunch with Louis last year in Memphis with Tim Harvey and Dr. Caston, and it was clear he still held DSU in high regard. Mr. Tom Janoush, Past Chairperson, Delta State Foundation Board

Louis Baioni was one of the most accomplished and determined Delta State Foundation presidents that I ever worked with in my 23-year career at Delta State. He served at a time when the young Foundation embarked on its first $5 million campaign and exceeded the goal using his accounting experience and personal fundraising skills. He also guided the staff into a new computer era and required accuracy and performance. He was generous with and loved his university and was loved back with the presentation of numerous awards, including the naming of the business center in his name.  Mrs. Vicki Fioranelli, Director Emeritus of Alumni Affairs

Louis and I met in 1996 when I interviewed at Delta State University, he was on the interview team that selected me as the first director of development. His leadership gave the Delta State Foundation Board, President Kent Wyatt, and Dr. Don Skelton the confidence to move forward with the first ever multi-million-dollar campaign, a $5 million effort that resulted in raising $10.7 million. Louis personally helped finance the campaign expenses. The campaign also resulted in creating the Quadrangle Oak Society Planned Giving Program, establishing the Annual Fund, creating a $2 million endowment for the Bologna Performing Arts Center, and funding the Faculty Development Fund. All donation opportunities that endure to this day. The Baioni Center in Broom Hall was dedicated to honor Louis for his vision and contributions to the Accounting Program and for his leadership and financial support of the Alumni and Foundation.  Mr. Keith Fulcher, Former Executive Director of Delta State Alumni/Foundation