The Inauguration of Daniel J. Ennis

Delta State University’s Ninth President

Dr. Daniel J. Ennis, who assumed office on June 1, 2023, will be formally installed as Delta State University’s ninth president on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Dr. Michael T. Benson, President of Coastal Carolina University, will deliver the inaugural address. The ceremony will be the heart of a series of events that celebrate Dr. Ennis and Delta State University.

Inaugural Ceremony

The Inaugural Ceremony, or investiture, is an academic tradition originating in English universities. The word “investiture” comes from the Latin phrase for “dress in robe,” and this term used in academia refers to the donning of the university’s regalia.

The Inaugural Ceremony is an important institutional event that formally marks a new era of leadership. The event includes many academic traditions and protocols, including an academic procession with delegates from other colleges and universities, as well as faculty of the host institution. The ceremony typically features musical selections, greetings from university and community groups, introduction of the president, an address, the official transfer of institutional leadership, and the singing of the Alma Mater.

Schedule of Events

Monday, Feb. 19

3 – 4 PM
Centennial Lecture
Jobe Hall
Livestream

4 – 4:30 PM
Reception following Centennial Lecture
Jobe Hall

Thursday, Feb. 22

7 – 9 AM
Faculty and Staff Breakfast
H.L. Nowell Student Union, State Room

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Student Luncheon
H.L. Nowell Student Union, Second Floor East Lobby

Friday, Feb. 23

7:45 AM – 2:30 PM
Community Service Day in Rolling Fork
Rolling Fork

6 PM
A Delta Celebration for the Inauguration of Daniel J. Ennis
GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
*By invitation only

Saturday, Feb. 24

8 – 9 AM
Delegate Breakfast
Zeigel Hall
*By invitation only

10:30 – 11:30 AM
Inauguration Ceremony
Bologna Performing Arts Center
Livestream

12 PM
Inauguration Luncheon
H. L. Nowell Student Union, State Room

Delegate Registration

Academic delegates are official representatives of other colleges, universities, and higher educational professional organizations and societies. They will join local and state leaders, Foundation Board, Alumni Board, and other representatives in the procession. The university is extremely appreciative to all delegates who will serve as designated representatives of their institutions and organizations at the inauguration of Dr. Daniel J. Ennis.

Delegates Registration

Regalia
Academic regalia is required for official delegates, platform guests, Delta State University faculty and administrators. Delegates must bring their own regalia. If you need assistance in ordering regalia, please email inaguration@deltastate.edu

Accommodations and Travel

The Cotton House
215 Cotton Row, Cleveland, MS 38732
(662) 843-7733

The Lyric Hotel
1300 Highway 8 West, Cleveland, MS 38732
(662) 441-3901
$149 plus tax (use code: DSU Inauguration)

Airports and Transportation

The nearest international airports are located in Memphis, Tennessee (110 miles north of Cleveland) and Jackson, Mississippi (130 miles southeast of Cleveland). The nearest municipal airport is located within Cleveland’s city limits. Guests arriving by commercial flights in Memphis or Jackson may utilize rental car services.

Memphis International Airport
Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport
Cleveland Municipal Airport

Directions from Jackson, MS

Driving directions from Jackson to Delta State University:

  • Take Highway 49 north toward Yazoo City
  • After you go through Yazoo City, take the Highway 49 north exit (toward Indianola)
  • Stay on Highway 49 north until you get to the intersection of Highway 49 and Highway 82 in Indianola.
  • Turn left onto Highway 82.
  • At the second traffic signal, turn right onto Highway 448 (there is a Double Quick on the corner)
  • Highway 448 is a 2-lane road through farm country.  Don’t worry, you’re on the right road.
  • You will travel on Highway 448 for approximately 20 miles.
  • You will come to the intersection of Highway 448 and Highway 442 (stop sign)
  • Turn left onto Highway 442, toward Shaw
  • At the intersection of Highway 442 and Highway 61, turn right onto Highway 61 North.
  • You will travel approximately 10.5 miles to Cleveland
  • At the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 8 in Cleveland, turn left onto Highway 8 West
  • You will travel through four traffic signals (approximately one mile from the intersection of Highways 8 and 61) to reach Delta State University.

Directions from Memphis/North MS

Driving directions from Memphis/North Mississippi to Delta State University:

  • Take U.S. Highway 61 south toward Cleveland
  • At the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 8 in Cleveland, turn right onto Highway 8 West
  • You will travel through four traffic signals (approximately one mile from the intersection of Highways 8 and 61) to reach Delta State University.

Directions from Grenada, MS

Driving directions from Grenada to Delta State University:

  • Take U.S. Highway 8 West toward Cleveland
  • At the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 8 in Cleveland, continue straight to stay on Highway 8 West.
  • You will travel through four traffic signals (approximately one mile from the intersection of Highways 8 and 61) to reach Delta State University.

Delta State University is located on Highway 8 West in Cleveland, Mississippi. From the intersection of Highways 61 and 8 in Cleveland, travel west on Highway 8 approximately one mile to the campus entrance.

Sponsors

Gold Sponsor

Green Sponsor

White Sponsors

Inaugural Steering Committee

  • Claire Cole (Co-Chair), Coordinator of Executive Services, Office of the President
  • Chrisa Mansell (Co-Chair), Director, Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning
  • Jennifer Ennis, First Lady, Delta State University and Co-Chair, Centennial Commitee
  • Hannah Aguzzi, Executive Director, Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce
  • Nicholas Bobo, Representative, Student Government Association
  • Will Hooker, County Administrator, Bolivar County
  • Julie Jackson, Director, Housing and Residence Life
  • Shaun Kelly, Instructor, Department of Commercial Aviation
  • Amber Kincaid, Delta State Foundation Development Officer
  • Ronnie Mayers, Delta State University Retiree
  • April Mondy, Assistant Professor, Division of Management, Marketing, and Business Administration
  • Becky Nowell, First Lady, City of Cleveland and President, Cleveland Music Foundation
  • Susan Perry
  • Christy Riddle, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Haley Rooks, President, Student Government Association
  • Lori Spencer, Alumni and Foundation Chief of Staff
  • Tricia Walker, Delta State University Retiree