Colloquia speaker Dr. Rod Paige

Joining President LaForge is Dr. Rod Paige, former United States Secretary of Education.

The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series continued last week with special guest Dr. Rod Paige, who spoke on the topic of “The Future of Higher Education in America.”

Dr. Paige served as the United States Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.  During his tenure, he helped create the No Child Left Behind Act, which was based in part on his work as a superintendent in the Houston Independent School District. The son of public school educators, Dr. Paige earned his bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University. He was the first African American and the first school superintendent to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education, and he recently served as the interim president at Jackson State University.

In other news on campus, the Office of Student Affairs is hosting a dodgeball tournament on the Quad from 3 to 8 p.m. tomorrow, October 17. And, the Bologna Performing Arts Center presents Brothers Osborne, an up-and-coming country music group, on Thursday, October 19, beginning at 7:30 p.m. In athletic news, the Statesmen football team will play at home against Valdosta State this Saturday, October 21 with kickoff set for 2 p.m.

To keep up with all of our news, activities and events, visit our website at deltastate.edu.

International Conference on the Blues

Joining President LaForge is Dr. Shelley Collins, a professor of music and co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues.

Delta State wrapped up its fourth annual International Conference on the Blues last week, and there is little doubt the conference continues to grow and attract top-notch blues scholars and aficionados from across the country. This year’s conference concluded with a performance by GRAMMY® award winner Aaron Neville and had a two-part theme:  John Lee Hooker’s centennial birthday celebration in conjunction with GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi and an exploration of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax’s collection of Mississippi Delta blues and gospel recordings.

Other highlights included live music by Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, Marquise Knox, and Jontavious Willis; fascinating academic presentations and panels; and, a keynote address from Dr. John Szwed. Dr. Szwed, a leading authority on Lomax’s life and work, won the 2006 GRAMMY Award for Best Album Notes for “Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings.” This box set is based on Lomax’s interviews with jazz great Jelly Roll Morton.

In other news on campus, the Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series returns tomorrow with Dr. Rod Paige, the former United States Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush. The event is set for 6 p.m. in the E.R. Jobe Hall Auditorium. Dr. Paige will be speaking on the future of higher education in America, and it is certain to be an informative and enlightening presentation.

Pig Pickin’ starts Friday

Joining President LaForge is Melissa Love, assistant director of the Delta State Alumni Association.

Alumni and friends will flood campus this weekend for Delta State’s 32nd annual Pig Pickin’. This event has become increasingly popular over the past 30 years and always features a full line up of entertainment, great food, and of course, football. This year, a new event has been added to the schedule the first annual Hog Run 5K. The 5k is sponsored by Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the Delta State Office of Student Affairs. Proceeds from the run will be donated to Kappa Sigma’s national philanthropy Military Heroes Campaign which benefits veterans. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 7 at the gazebo in downtown Cleveland.

Beginning this year, Pig Pickin’ is a sanctioned member of the Memphis BBQ Network, an organization providing support for BBQ contests across the region. This new affiliation is expected to bring an even larger number of cook teams to campus for the annual BBQ competition.

In other news on campus, the keynote address for the International Conference on the Blues will take place at GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi today at 9 a.m. with Dr. John Szwed, professor emeritus of music and jazz studies at Columbia University. The conference will continue through Tuesday afternoon with a full slate of entertainment and academic panels. Tuesday night, the Aaron Neville Duo will take the stage at the Bologna Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. For more information on the conference, visit www.deltastate.edu/bluesconference.