Fireside Chat

Fireside Chat today comes from the Janice Wyatt Conference Room in Kent Wyatt Hall for a special reason. The location for the segment is significant because of two loyal supporters of Delta State — President Emeritus Kent Wyatt and his wife Janice — and a special scholarship fund established in their honor.

The Wyatts have a long association with Delta State, beginning with their time as students at Delta State in the mid-1950s.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Wyatt working at Delta State. He began as the university’s first full-time alumni secretary on July 1, 1964 and later served 24 years of distinguished service as president of the institution.

As part of the celebration of that special anniversary, the university has established the Kent and Janice Wyatt Retention Scholarship fund. This fund, which is fully embraced by the Wyatts, provides financial assistance to students to help them stay in school and on the path to graduation. And, it helps Delta State address one of its major challenges on campus — retention.

The long-term goal of the fund is to raise several hundred thousand dollars. In the short term, the goal is to raise the first $100,000 by homecoming on Nov. 15. On that day, the Wyatts will be honored with a special luncheon, where President LaForge will announce the cumulative amount raised for the retention scholarship program. This is a major initiative for Delta State and goes directly to the heart of helping its students.

Welcomed as the Fireside Chat guest is Keith Fulcher, executive director of the Alumni-Foundation Office. Fulcher tells the audience more about this new scholarship program; how it was created; how it contrasts with other recruitment scholarships; and how someone can make contributions via online, mail or phone.

“This outstanding scholarship program is a double plus for Delta State,” said LaForge. “We are helping our students stay in school and receive their degree, and we are honoring two of Delta State’s legends — Kent and Janice Wyatt. So, please join us in saying thank you and happy anniversary to the Wyatts by contributing to this special scholarship.”

Other events noted included:

· Today and tomorrow, the inaugural International Conference on the Blues comes to Delta State. There are several special guests in attendance for this event, including star performer Alvin Youngblood Hart. The schedule of events online at deltastate.edu/blues.

· Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Circus Electronica will be featured at the BPAC. Circus Electronica brings a fresh approach to high European circus with world-class acrobats. Find out more by contacting the BPAC at 662-846-4625.

· The 22nd annual Elliott-Nowell-White Science Symposium will be held Oct. 8-10. The symposium was created by Drs. Robert and Mary Elliott, both Delta State graduates, to introduce Delta State students to doctors and scientists of international stature who can serve as role models. The symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the science department at 662-846-4240.

· The Statesmen football team will play at home this week against Shorter University on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. To tune in online, visit www.espn3.com.

· Oct. 11th is the annual Breast Education and Early Detection Project Golf Tournament held at the Delta State Golf Course. For more information, contact Johnny Glorioso at 662-846-4585.

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