Fireside Chat

President William LaForge takes the opportunity to talk about Delta State’s students and their success—and the faculty members and administrative support staff who serve as their guides in this week’s Fireside Chat.

“I applaud this past semester’s student performance in the classroom. A total of 241 students achieved a 3.8 GPA or higher, earning them a spot on the President’s List. We also had 275 Dean’s List scholars, earning a 3.5 – 3.79 grade point average,” said LaForge. “I commend the academy for your special efforts to help our students find their paths to academic success and to degree completion.”

Delta State’s student success initiatives through the Student Success Center and our First Year Seminar program seem to be paying off. LaForge indicates that specific information about retention numbers and student success outcomes should be available in the near future.

LaForge introduces the guest, Dr. Ethan Schmidt, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the First Year Seminar program.

Schmidt speaks about the program’s aid for students in the transition into college and their level of success. He expands on the areas of focus which include academics, social life and student to campus connection.

Schmidt reported that the feedback and success so far in the early stages of the program has been positive and encouraging.

In addition to the First Year Seminar, Delta State is launching the Okra Scholars Seminar that implements the program dollars that were awarded through the “First in the World” grant from the U.S. Department of Education in support of university retention efforts.

“Kickoff of the intense and rigorous one-hour class begins this month, and Christy Riddle and her team in the Student Success Center are off to a great start,” said LaForge. “The mantra is “A Commitment to Completion,” and eligible students include those who are first generation, Pell Grant eligible, or Delta area residents and have 17-21 ACT scores. The initial pool for consideration is the First Year Seminar group from last semester.”

LaForge salutes the football program which boasts 50 players with a 3.0 GPA or higher and a team average of 2.71 for the past semester.

“I especially commend Coach Todd Cooley and his staff for their strong stance on academics as a priority.”

Delta State’s nursing program was recently named number one on the list of best online RN to BSN programs in the United States. The program was recognized for offering a complete online education route with minimal on-site clinical practicums. What sets Delta State apart from others is the dedication and resources we put towards providing a first-class nursing education, and at a pace and location that works for the students. To add to that, Delta State has a 100% average pass rate on the state nursing board exam.

“Congratulations to Dean Libby Carlson and her faculty for this much deserved recognition.”

Delta State is on the rise as a regional university of national distinction, and it’s because of our wonderful students, faculty, and staff.

This week, the Bologna Performing Arts Center is showing the Tony Award-winning production titled Anything Goes. The show will begin Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. To get tickets, please call 662-846-4626. The Statesmen and Lady Statesmen Basketball teams play Union University in Walter Sillers Coliseum on Thursday at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. To keep up with all of the events on the calendar, please visit the website

“Thank you for joining me today. I will see you here next week for another addition of Fireside Chat.”

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LaForge featured in Hindsight Magazine

LaForge was featured in the Winter 2015 edition of Hinds Community College’s alumni publication Hindsight. He met with students, faculty and administration at the Raymond campus during December to talk about scholarships and opportunities that are available to transfer students at Delta State.

Hindsight – Hinds Community College – Winter 2015

Hindsight_Winter2015_p16 (989x1280)

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Fireside Chat

President LaForge welcomes the audience to another edition of fireside chat. He talks about the very important topic of campus safety. As a university, the goal is to protect the lives and property of our campus community.

University Police Chief Lynn Buford joins the chat to talk about safety and how our police department serves campus. Buford provides insight into what he and his staff do on campus to ensure safety.

UPD enforces all driving and parking regulations and manages motor vehicle registrations. The Okra Alert Text Messaging system is used to send emergency text messages to those registered to receive them. Students, staff and faculty may enroll through myDSU online by providing their cell phone number. Emergency phones are located across campus. They are identified with a reflective sign and blue light. The call button contacts the police directly. The crime prevention program is dedicated to reducing criminal opportunities and encourages campus community members to take responsibility for their own safety and security.

These duties are vital to smooth and safe campus operation. Additional services are also offered to the campus community.

Courtesy or safety escorts are provided to all students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus. This crime prevention service is primarily used after dark. UPD also provides the campus community with free car boost or vehicle unlock services. If a vehicle battery dies on campus or you lock your keys in your car, call 662-846-4155. Students and any member of the University community may register a bicycle for free for the sole purpose of having their number and description on record in case of theft.

LaForge thanks Buford and talks about another safety measure.

“One way that you can take responsibility for your safety during winter weather is by attending the “Winter Weather College Tour” presented by the Mississippi Department of Transportation on our campus today. M-DOT will be providing tips on how to stay safe and prepare vehicles for winter weather. That event begins at 11 a.m. in the Student Union, will last until 1:30, and is free to anyone.”

The President closes with thanks and encourages prospective and current students to register for class.

“If you are looking for a college home or have been thinking about going back to school, it’s not too late. You have until Wednesday to register for spring classes. Just contact our Admissions office at 662-846-4020 for more information.”


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