Fireside Chat

Joining President LaForge is Jeremiah Berry, a Delta State student and director of the Union Program Council.

At the beginning of each academic year, Delta State offers students a week of special activities to welcome them to campus and to provide information and opportunities for them to get involved in student organizations and groups. This annual Welcome Week is always filled with fun activities that give students the opportunity to get to know one another and to make new friends.

Welcome Week activities begin today with Welcome Week promotions from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Union and then a special outdoor movie tonight at 9 p.m. on the Quad with a screening of “The Legend of Tarzan.” For this event, students are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets. The festivities will continue throughout the week with water sports and games, the President’s Ice Cream Social, and a Foam Party with live music, which is always a popular event.

Thursday night, students are invited to the second Levitt Amp concert in downtown Cleveland, with Taylor Henry, Pop-rock craftsman Taylor Henry pairs his pure tenor voice with rhythmic, soulful guitar.The first 200 students to get there will receive a free “Throwback” t-shirt from the Union Program Council.

The Delta State football team will play Texas A&M Commerce at home this weekend. The game begins at 6 p.m. Saturday at Parker Field-McCool Stadium, and everyone is encouraged to show up to cheer on the Green and White. September 20 will mark start of the annual Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Series. The first guest will be Federal District Judge Gustavo Gelpi of Puerto Rico who will speak on the topic of police reform in the United States. To stay up to date on all of the news, activities and events on campus, visit the Delta State website at

Campus Update, September 1, 2016

As I shared with the faculty and staff at Convocation, this promises to be a terrific year, filled with exciting programs, intercollegiate athletics, campus changes, and the first steps toward realizing the university’s vision for a successful future.

We recently rolled out ten building-block visioning principles that will help guide us to that future success.  Many of the ideas and strategies that will pave that pathway are already in place or in the development stages.  All of us in the Delta State family have a huge stake in this vision, and I invite you to join in as we plan and shape that future.  I have attached the full list of visioning principles.

Delta State’s highest priorities are academic excellence and student success.  As a student-centric university, our mission is to help guide each student on the path to success, and to provide our students with the very best experience possible in and out of the classroom.  College is a time for exploration and discovery for our students, and this university is committed to providing an outstanding platform for student engagement.

Students…I encourage all of you to get involved with student government, intramurals, religious life, cultural and service organizations and projects, and fraternities and sororities.  Doing so is an important part of a college experience, and your involvement will make you a more versatile person as you prepare for your career.  As our tagline says, “Join In.  Stand Out!”

We have just rolled out a new and expanded healthcare service plan for all students, and this plan will also be available for faculty, staff, and the community.  In partnership with Bolivar Medical Center, we will have a more modern healthcare delivery system—in the same facility on campus, the Reily Health Center—that will provide enhanced medical care.  Please take advantage of these new services.

I call your attention to a full slate of entertainment and activities that will fill the calendar this fall and beyond.  Be sure to keep up with all university events and activities by checking out the Delta State home page and announcements.  For example, superb BPAC programming is scheduled for this year, including music, dance, and Broadway shows.   Statesmen football offers six home games.  Our annual International Conference on the Blues is slated for October 2-4, and our signature Race Relations Conference will be held again in the spring.  I am pleased to announce two University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Programs for the Fall—Federal District Judge Gustavo Gelpi of Puerto Rico on September 20th on the topic of police reform in the United States, and U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson on November 9th for a unique and timely “next day look-back” at the 2016 national election.  Both will take place in Jobe auditorium at 6:00 pm on those respective dates.

Finally, Delta State is a special place for many reasons, and this university strives to provide a warm, inviting environment that is conducive for teaching and learning.  Imbedded in our culture are a number of core values that speak to who we are as a university community.  I ask that you review this element of our visioning principles, and embrace our core values as we continue to make Delta State a university of distinction.

I wish for each of you a prosperous and successful 2016-17 academic year!