Fireside Chat

Joining President LaForge is Dr. Gary Bouse, Delta State Chief Development Officer and liaison to the Dedicated Statesmen Association.

This past fall, we celebrated the 90th birthday of Delta State University with a series of programs observing its accomplished history. As part of the continued celebration, a number of student groups will come together on April 19 to repaint Delta State’s Green Mile fitness trail, which weaves its way through campus. The project is being led by members of the Dedicated Statesmen Association, a group of retirees and alumni who continue to stay involved with Delta State and assist with various activities. This group oversaw the restoration of the Alumni Plaza clock as part of the 90th anniversary, and will continue to identify and spearhead projects on campus in the coming years.

The repainting of the Green Mile will kick off at the Alumni Plaza clock, next to the Student Union, at 1:30 p.m. on April 19, with members of several different student groups, athletic teams, and Greek organizations competing in teams. The goal is to give new life to the Green Mile, which was created in 2010 to promote overall health and wellness at Delta State. The one-mile trail enables walkers and joggers to start at any set of green footprints on campus and to follow the trail of footprints until they are back at their starting point, thus completing one mile of exercise. The work of the student teams will be judged on neatness and completion, and the winners will receive trophies and prizes for their efforts. Fitness and health are important components of education at Delta State, and the university is proud that the Green Mile is available to anyone from the campus or community.

In other news on campus, the Delta State University Jazz Ensemble will present its spring concert tonight at 7:30. At 7:30 tomorrow night, Delta State’s three choral groups will present “Carmina Burana,” a cantata which uses the text of 24 medieval poems. And, rounding out three nights of music will be a free concert featuring the U.S. Air Force Concert Band. That performance is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday night. All three performances will take place in our Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Campus Update, April 10, 2016

Last Tuesday, in the aftermath of Governor Phil Bryant’s signing House Bill 1523 (known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act”), I issued a statement to the media that incorporated information I am sharing with you below.

Over the last few days, conversations about civility and respect have ensued across the Delta State University campus.  Most recently, in meetings with students and faculty, I reinforced Delta State’s longstanding commitment to an open and inclusive university campus community—a theme I included in comments I made during the 2015 State of the University Address at the university’s annual convocation.

The signing of this legislation into law, coupled with some recent expressions of opinions on campus, present the university with yet another opportunity to restate our commitment to inclusiveness, fairness, and a safe and welcoming campus for all.

As stated in the guiding principles for the university, Delta State promotes mutual respect, teamwork, fairness, and integrity among all of our employees and students, and the university works diligently to create a climate in which students, employees, and constituents are valued and nurtured. Delta State strives to be a safe environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff, and we celebrate the many differences that make this university great. Those goals and principles are central to our mission and will not change.

Over the past few years, Delta State has hosted Safe Space training programs in which I, along with numerous faculty and staff members, have participated.  The goals of the national Safe Space program are to create campus spaces where LGBTQ students and employees feel safe, supported, and valued as members of the university community, and to reduce fear of reprisal and discrimination within the university community.  The university will continue to support that program and the work it does.

This week, Delta State is hosting a professional development webinar that is open to any faculty or staff member who wants to support the LGBTQ community on campus.  The program, “Beyond LGBTQ: Supporting the Spectrum of Sexual & Gender Identities of Your Students,” is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13 at 1:00 pm in the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall.

I ask for your continuing efforts to ensure Delta State remains a campus that embraces and demonstrates civility and respect.


Fireside Chat

Joining President LaForge today are Dr. David Breaux, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and two students in the Delta State College of Arts and Sciences.

This Saturday, April 9th, Delta State’s College of Arts and Sciences will kick off an exciting new campaign with far-reaching impact for the region and state. InFuSE, which stands for Integral Funding for Science Education, is a two-year campaign, which will provide funding for the newly-renovated math and science building, Caylor-White-Walters Hall, and will endow programs that will reach young students across the state for many years to come. Caylor-White-Walters Hall has been transformed over the past few years into a state-of-the-art facility that offers Delta State students superior laboratories for all areas of sciences including biology, chemistry, physics, DNA technology and anatomy. It also features a Planetarium, making Delta State the only university in the state to house such a facility, and a Herbarium, which is home to over 17,000 plant specimens and serves as a scientific and educational resource for researchers around the world.

The university is very proud of these new facilities and the opportunities they provide for Delta State students as well as for kindergarten through twelfth grade students from all over the state. In fact, the university is already planning the second Kent Wyatt STEM Summer Camp, a major outreach effort by faculty and students, which is intended to create interest among the future generations of college students in the growing fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Everyone from the Delta State family and the Cleveland-Bolivar County community is invited to come to a “Sneak Peek” into the new facility on April 9. Visitors will see first-hand the quality of the new laboratory and research space and will have an opportunity to talk to some of the Delta State students who are already benefitting from what this building now offers.

In other news on campus, SpringFest is set for Thursday on the Quad, and all Delta State students are encouraged to come out and enjoy the activities and giveaways that will be offered. The event is set for 1 to 5 p.m. On Wednesday night, Delta State student organizations will hold the annual Multicultural Step Show in Sillers Coliseum at 9 p.m., and everyone in the community is invited to attend. Check out all of the campus events and activities on our website: