Members of the Ford Foundation

Joining President LaForge are members of the Ford Foundation, Ms. Cheryle M. Sims, Ms. Gayle Papa, Mr. Tom Papa, and Mr. John C. Lewis.

Delta State University hosted a special grant announcement ceremony earlier this month in honor of The Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, a longtime Delta State supporter, for providing one of the largest gifts in the university’s history. The Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, based in Jackson, Mississippi, recently pledged $3 million to the university to support the newly established Center for Teaching and Learning at Delta State.

The foundation, founded in 1991 by Gertrude Castellow Ford, gives to educational and philanthropic projects primarily relating to higher education, children and youth services, and also health and human service organizations. Thanks to the foundation’s commitment, the Center for Teaching and Learning at Delta State will be funded well into the future. As a way to honor Ford’s legacy, the center is named the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning. The facility provides Delta State with an opportunity to support the faculty in their efforts to improve student success. It is essentially an “in-house” professional development program for our faculty.

Dr. Gray Kane, director of the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning, said the center is an essential facility to improve overall learning at Delta State, and provides faculty and chairs with much needed resources, workshops, programs, networking opportunities, and individual consultations centered on topics such as advising, mentoring, leadership, and scholarship.

In other campus news, it’s Spring Break at Delta State. The Bologna Performing Arts Center is hosting a Spring Break Arts Camp this week with visual and performing arts classes. The camp is open to 5-8 year olds. The Environmental Science program at Delta State, along with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, is hosting a Spring Outdoor Camp for Youth this week. The outdoor camp promises to educate and train members of the community to be responsible citizens with a deep love for the outdoors while encouraging them to hunt and fish responsibly. In athletics, the men’s golf team participates in the Skyhawk Spring Classic at the University of Tennessee – Martin today. Statesmen baseball hosts Harding University on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. and the men and women’s tennis teams host Alcorn State University on Thursday beginning at 2:00 p.m. The Statesmen baseball and Lady Statesmen softball teams travel to Livingston, AL this week to play the University of West Alabama. As a reminder, classes will resume on Monday, March 19.

To keep up with all of our news, events and activities, please visit our website at

Winning the Race

Joining President LaForge is Temika Simmons, co-chair of the conference.

Delta State University’s award-winning race relations conference, Winning the Race, returns to campus for a fifth year on March 26-27.

This year’s conference, with the theme, “Intersectionalities in Action: The Quest for Equity, Access, and Justice,” is presented in partnership and with support from Casey Family Programs and the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Conference topics will highlight the various ways in which the concepts of race and race relations intersect areas of our daily lives — from politics, economics, health, and housing, to education, entertainment, art, and science.

The 2018 schedule will continue the critical dialogue about current issues related to education, social justice, and community healing, while highlighting opportunities for sustained community action, awareness, and mobility.

A highlight speaker for the 2018 conference is Kevin Powell, a political activist, poet, writer, and entrepreneur. Mr. Powell, one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary, and hip-hop voices in America today, is a native of Jersey City, New Jersey.

Raised by a single mother in extreme poverty, he managed to study at Rutgers University thanks to New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund. Mr. Powell has gone on to author 12 books, including his newest title, “The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood.”

In other campus news, the Wiley Planetarium will host a viewing of “Robot Explorers 3D at 6 p.m. on March 9. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12. Senior Citizens and Delta State employees and students with an Okra card can get tickets for $5 as well. In athletic news, the softball team will compete at the University of West Georgia at noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday.  The baseball team will also compete at the University of West Georgia with game times at noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, and at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

To keep up with all of our news, events and activities, please visit our website at