DSU alumni hold meeting

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 3, 2009

Clarion Ledger Sports Editor Rick Cleveland was one of severalguest speakers Thursday night at the Delta State South CentralAlumni Meeting at the Brookhaven Recreation Department. Clevelandtalked about doing his book on Boo Ferris.

Outgoing alumni president and Brookhaven Mayor Les Bumgarnerpresided over the ceremonies.

Following a meal provided by Buie’s, Cleveland was the firstspeaker of the evening.

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“Doing the book was the highlight of my life,” said Cleveland.”In all my 43 years of writing, there is no finer person I’ve evermet.”

Cleveland’s ties to Delta State was his wife’s second cousin,Jamie Everett, who played baseball for the Statesmen. Everett wasalso in attendance last night.

“Boo lived by the Golden Rule,” Cleveland said. “He was a veryspecial person.”

Cleveland read a few paragraphs from his book about Ferris’generosity and support for all of his players. Cleveland talkedabout Ferris’ relationship with a young Mike Kinnison whoeventually made the team and later became an assistant coach. Thenwas named head coach. Kinnison led Delta State to a NationalTitle.

According to Cleveland, during the celebration, Kinnison tookthe trophy, went into the stands and presented it to an emotionalFerris.

Cleveland chuckled when he said best-selling author John Grishamwrote the introduction to the book. “It was very good.”

Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain introduced Delta Statemen’s head basketball coach Jason Conner as the next speaker.

“Recruiting scholar athletes is helped by our great facilities,”said McClain. “The women’s team has won national titles. The men’steam has not won one. That is our desire and I want to see thathappen. What I want is to compete for conferencechampionships.”

“I am proud of our kids,” continued Conner. “Coaching kids is myjob. We have a great group coming back.”

Conner stated that Delta State currently has more playersplaying professional basketball than the three big universitiescombined.

“We play at a high level,” added Conner. “Our guys must have adegree. When they get their degrees, their names go on a wall.”

Conner praised the Delta State athletic department.

“They are doing a great job in the athletic department. I amgrateful for the opportunity to coach at Delta State.”

Alumni Director Jeffrey Farris followed and discussed ideasabout recruiting students and former alumni who are not currentmembers. Farris ran down several major events, including the bigbarbecue and homecoming, that are coming up at Delta State.

Several teachers from various fields such as mathematics tonursing spoke briefly about Delta State’s accomplishments inacademics.

Before the announcement of the new South Central Officers forthe next year, committee chairman Bradley Smith presented Bumgarnerwith a special award for his dedication as serving as president ofthe chapter.

Bumgarner thanked the alumni chapter and the people who workedto make it a success.

The new officers of the year are Jeff Posey as president, JamieEverett as vice president and Celeste Williamson as thesecretary-treasurer.

It was announced that 47 alumni attended last night’s event.