Campus Update from President LaForge


At the top of the New Year, welcome back for the spring semester!  I hope 2018 is a grand year for you and for all the Delta State family!

We completed the fall term on a high note by graduating approximately 350 students and bestowing an honorary doctorate degree on Senator Percy Malone of Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Our spring enrollment statistics are looking very positive, with the early number showing a sizeable increase over spring semester a year ago.

Please help us welcome the inaugural director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Dr. Gray Kane.  The Center is located on the second floor of James M. Ewing Hall, and its purpose is to provide professional development for our faculty.  We will have a grand opening later in the semester in conjunction with a special announcement.

We recently received a six-figure gift from the Casey Foundation to help support both the Winning the Race Conference and the recently rolled out Local Government Leadership Institute.

Delta State has been approved for a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program and recommended for support funding.  We anticipate having our first visiting Fulbright scholar on campus in 2019.

Considerable progress has been made on several campus construction projects, including the renovation of Zeigel Hall and Young-Mauldin Dining Hall as well as the building of Statesmen Boulevard.  Each project is ahead of schedule.

The State Legislature is back in session.  In conjunction with IHL and our sister public universities, we will make a strong push for additional financial support from the state legislature.  Our goal is to increase our operational budget, and so we are requesting restoration of the last two years’ cuts by the state.  We are also seeking special funds for campus repairs, and access to bond funding to support major campus projects.

I will continue my periodic visits to campus departments this spring, as well as my bi-monthly luncheons with faculty and staff.  I look forward to visiting with many members of the faculty and staff through these events.

I am also continuing to host my weekly “Fireside Chat” segment that focuses on campus activities and programs. These brief videos are released each Monday morning, and I encourage you to tune in. If you have an idea for a topic or episode, please contact the Communications and Marketing Office at 846-4675.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the following terrific upcoming events on campus.


Student Recruiting Activities

Delta State’s Office of Admissions will host several events this spring for prospective freshmen and transfer students. The second annual Statesmen Scholarship Day occurs on January 26. Ten incoming freshmen will receive full-ride scholarships, and several other academic scholarships will be awarded. Students will be selected to attend the event based on ACT scores, high school GPA, academic leadership, and service demonstration.

To introduce prospective students to Delta State, each college and/or school will be showcased during an Academic Day in February. Admitted students will be invited to take part in an academic preview of their specified department. Students will have the opportunity to speak with professors, meet future classmates, and participate in hands-on activities. The Academic Day schedule is as follows: the College of Business and Aviation on February 12; the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing on February 19; the College of Education and Human Sciences on February 23; and, the College of Arts and Sciences on February 26.

Transfer students, who are members of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa, will be welcomed to Delta State’s campus on April 13 for Early Registration Day. The event provides the opportunity for top-notch, transfer students to reserve their spot in fall courses, and they are awarded full-tuition scholarships.

The fifth annual “Go Green Weekend and Spring Preview Day” is scheduled for April 27–29. The Spring Preview day will be held on Friday, April 27 and is geared toward potential students who are high school juniors. Participants will tour campus, preview academic programs, engage with current students, attend sporting events, and more.

Our Student to Statesmen tour will continue this spring. Along with the admissions representatives, I will visit high schools around the state to meet and speak with students about higher education opportunities and experiences, especially at Delta State.


Other Campus Activities

The spring installment of the Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Lecture Series will take place on March 21, and will feature FedEx CEO and founder Fred Smith.

Plans are underway for another superb Winning the Race conference on March 26 and 27.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Intersections in Action: The Quest for Equity, Access, and Justice.”

The Bologna Performing Arts Center has a full slate of events set for the spring including Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music on January 25; the legendary GRAMMY-Award winning singer Michael McDonald on February 22; RENT on March 1; the Empress of Soul and winner of seven Grammy Awards, Gladys Knight, on March 22; and, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA on April 17.

Finally, we have an outstanding array of intercollegiate sporting events on tap throughout the semester, and I hope you will come out to support our superb student-athletes.  Be sure to check out our men’s and women’s basketball games, our swim-dive and cross country meets, our tennis and golf matches, and our baseball and softball games.  The schedules for each can be accessed at

I wish you a productive and successful semester!


Very best regards,

Bill LaForge

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