Game On, Team LaForge Vs. Team Nowell

Register to participate!!!

By Courtney Warren

Are you Team LaForge or Team Nowell? The town will be divided this Saturday as Delta State President Bill LaForge and Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell partake in a friendly field day competition.

The even will take place on Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Bear Pen Park.

In the event of rain, the competition will be moved to Williard Samuels Gym, the City of Cleveland Parks and Recreation gym on North Chrisman Ave.

The two teams will compete in activities such as a tug-o-war, sack races, walking, throwing contests, limbo, spoon and golf ball races, hula hoop circle, football toss, bean bag toss, and more.

Nowell believes that this competition will bring out a good crowd and it confident in his team.

“I’m looking forward to people in Cleveland to come out and participate in the event.

President LaForge and I are both pretty big health nuts and I think this is a good competition to have,” said Nowell.

However, despite their long friendship, the competition and trash talking is definitely on, these two are ready to play.

“I think Team Nowell will win because there’s a lot more people who live in Cleveland that could come participate than there are people at Delta State,” he said.

However, power in numbers doesn’t seem to faze LaForge.

“First mayor Nowell conveniently relocated the competition from DSU’s walking trail to Cleveland’s Bear Pen Park. Home cooking if I’ve ever seen it.

“Next, I think he’s sandbagging and has more talent than he’s revealing. After all he has the entire city park commission staff!!!

“So I’m considering bringing out our football guys and other college athletes to show these curtly slicker types a thing or two about messing with Delta State. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” said LaForge.

Friendly competition is in the air and these two long time friends are ready to go head to head.

“We really just have power in the numbers—more people in the city of Cleveland. LaForge can bring on anything he can muster up and we’ll be waiting out there to see what he’s got,” added Nowell.

Friendly competition aside, the two are very excited about what this even can do for the community.

Nowell hopes that this event will be one that Delta State and Cleveland can host annually as a way to bring the town and university together.

“I think for sure this will be something we will do annually. Anything you can do to get families together to exercise to better our health the better off we are,” said Nowell.

The future of Cleveland is bright and with the mayor and DSU president working together Nowell hopes the community will continue to flourish.

“I think for many years and through all the different presidents Delta State has had we’ve had great town-gown relationships.

“I think Bill LaForge and I being former high school classmates, college classmates, and working on student government together we really know each other well and I think hopefully we’ll take the university and the town to higher places,” said Nowell.

The event is sponsored by Walk It Out Cleveland, the City of Cleveland, and the Healthy Campus/Community Initiative.

“We are excited about this weekend and hope everyone will come out and enjoy our Saturday morning together,” Nowell added.

To sign up for a team or get more info contact Krista Davis at 662-846-4567 or

LaForge presents a vision for DSU future

by: Courtney Stevens

Delta State University’s new president has a vision for the university.

After he was inaugurated on Friday , President Wiliam N. LaForge presented the DSU family with seven points of vision.

The president’s new focus is excellence in every aspect of the university.

“The quest for excellence is only renewed and reenergized by this ceremony,” he said.

“It is achievable. It is within reach and it is up to us. We must put the stamp of excellence on all important things we do at this university from the classroom to community outreach.”

The seven points of vision were: first, stabilizing and enhancing budget and enrollment.

Through this LaForge hopes to “provide the growth in student numbers and the revenue necessary to ensure quality instruction and adequate compensation for our faculty and staff.”

Second, maintaining and strengthening academic standards.

The president wanted to ensure that “our students are provided a first rate education and a degree that prepare them for life and for careers in an ever increasing global workforce and society.”

Third, the president hopes to make Delta State a school of “academic excellence where we celebrate the true meaning and concept of university through forums and programs such as the University Colloquial and distinguished speakers events.”

LaForge also revealed that next spring Delta State would have a major race relations conference.

He also said there will be an international academic blues conference on “the campus that is the rightful intellectual home of the blues.”

His fourth vision is to transform the school to a bustling campus of new students.

“From the Delta and Mississippi for sure, but also other states and from foreign countries who will comprise a multicultural environment that provides an outstanding college experience through our excellent academic programs, through our caring faculty, and our student focus on customer service.”

Fifth was the vision to rebuild and maintain the campus infrastructure.

LaForge said plans to stay true to the “architectural beauty and integrity of Delta State and expanding the campus as we develop a master plan for growth.”

Sixth the president envisions increasing leadership.

“In the form of outreach and engagement in the areas of community and economic development, health care, and education, through collaborating with the city of Cleveland, Bolivar County, surrounding governments in communities and organizations.”

Seventh the president plans to collaborate with the foundation, alumni and others to “boost private support for this university with major gifts and aggressive fundraising.”

The president then asked that all members of the DSU family to embrace and share the points of visions and goals with him.

The president ended his explanation of visions by saying, “It is our time. It is a new day.”