MASCO Meeting

President LaForge welcomed attendees to campus for the spring meeting of the Mississippi Association of Staff Council Organizations.

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Fireside Chat

President LaForge delivers fireside chat from the Dave “Boo” Ferriss Museum and discusses the history and exhibits with University Archivist Emily Jones.

The Museum is housed in the Crawford Center, which is the facility supporting baseball games at Dave “Boo” Ferriss Field. The Museum chronicles the illustrious career of the former, long-time Statesmen head coach’s early days at Shaw High School, to a young man at Mississippi State, to the height of his career with the Boston Red Sox, to his days at the helm of his beloved Delta State program.

Visitors are welcome to the Museum at any time by appointment or one hour prior to and for the duration of any baseball game at Dave “Boo” Ferriss Field.

There are two other endeavors underway in support of Boo Ferriss.  The first is the renovation of Ferriss Field. While the planning stages are still underway, the renovation of the home of Statesmen baseball will include the installation of 800 chair back seats, a state-of-the-art press box, two skyboxes for spectators and new dugouts to provide a more comfortable game-day experience for Statesmen players and fans.

Delta State is also working to create a life-size statue in honor of Coach Ferriss, similar to our Margaret Wade statue that was recently unveiled, which will be a permanent fixture at Ferriss Field.  The University has received significant support for both of these projects; however, if you would like to contribute toward these endeavors that help pay tribute to legendary Boo Ferriss, contact the Foundation office at 662-846-4705.

LaForge closes the chat with announcements of upcoming events.

“This week, we will have a very special guest on campus as part of our Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series.  Justice Leslie King, of the Supreme Court of the State of Mississippi, will be our guest speaker, and his lecture will focus on Perspectives on Social Justice in Mississippi. Justice King is a native of Greenville, and he has had a distinguished career in both the legislative and judicial branches of government,” said LaForge.

The event is scheduled for Wed., March 4 at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium of E. R. Jobe Hall. There will be a reception in his honor immediately following the event.

The Student Government Association is hosting their spring organization fair on Thursday in the Union at 5:00 p.m. Students, come out to that event to support your groups, and get involved with your peers. Delta State is approaching spring break week, which will be March 9-13.

“Students, please travel safely and return to campus ready to finish out the rest of the semester,” said LaForge.

“Thank you for joining me, and I will see you here next week for another edition of fireside chat.”

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Fireside Chat | Diversity

President LaForge hosts guest speaker Dr. Noah Lelek to discuss diversity efforts across campus and recognize his recent award.

“Welcome to this edition of fireside chat. The topic of discussion for today is diversity and the efforts in place by the Delta State faculty, staff, and students,” said LaForge.

Delta State promotes diversity in many ways. The Diversity Committee, chaired by Arlene Sanders, provides opportunities for faculty, staff and students to enhance their understanding of diversity and of multicultural sensitivity; and, promotes curricula to include more opportunities for student engagement in issues of diversity in the classroom. The annual “Winning the Race” conference, which is scheduled for March 30th and 31st, promotes dialogue on race relations by building conversations that bring together diverse communities in the Delta. The Conference Planning Committee is co-chaired by Dr. Paulette Meikle and Dr. Chuck Westmoreland, and the coordinator of the conference is Dr. Myrtis Tabb, who also serves as Delta State’s Title IX officer and represents the university on the system’s Diversity committee.

“The dedication and hard work of our campus community, both inside and outside of the classroom, does not go unnoticed.”

Recently, the Institutions of Higher Learning’s Board of Trustees recognized Dr. Noah Lelek, an outstanding professor here at Delta State, with the Diversity Award of Excellence. Lelek’s rapport with students and colleagues and his dedication to broadening insight into issues of diversity on our campus have led him to receive this prestigious award.

Lelek serves in many capacities at our university.  He is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Theatre Arts and also serves as the Coordinator of the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan.

LaForge and Lelek discuss the QEP, a 5-year plan for a university-wide effort to improve cultural competency, and how it will assist Delta State with its diversity efforts.

Lelek has been very involved in developing and promoting activities that advance diversity on campus and within the campus community.  He created and organized the “Bullying, Bystanders, and Violence in the Classroom” conference at Delta State; created and was Artistic Director for the Diversity in Performance Series at Delta State; and, he instituted a nationally-respected Safe Space Training Program for faculty and staff who are interested in learning about how they can provide support and work toward being an ally for the LGBTQ community.

The two discuss the importance of these programs on campus and their impact on the community. LaForge announces this week’s events and closes the chat.

“Coming up this week on campus, The Great Gatsby will be performed at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, contact the BPAC at 846-4626. On Friday, the Margaret Tullos Symposium will take place from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. This annual conference seeks to highlight the importance of social work practice and service delivery to vulnerable populations in a non-traditional environment. For registration, please visit the website at Support our athletics program this week by logging on to for a list of events taking place this week.”

“Thank you for joining me, and I will see you here next week for another edition of fireside chat.”

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