ESPN is coming to town! MVSU vs. Grambling State

ESPN is coming to town! The Mississippi Valley State football team will be hosting Grambling State on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Tickets on game day will be just $5 for those wearing green and white. Prior to the game, MVSU will be recognizing its football senior student-athletes. Come out and support the MVSU Football Team as they play their final home game of the season.
For additional information please call 662-254-3550 or visit

Alumnus appointed to the State Food Distribution Advisory Council

Edward Hill2Edward H. Hill C’02, Director of West Bolivar County Consolidated School District’s Child Nutrition Program, was recently appointed to serve on the State Food Distribution Advisory Council.  The National School Lunch Program regulations contain a requirement for the State educational agency to oversee a State Food Distribution Advisory Council which meets periodically and provides recommendations on the commodity program.  Council members are appointed for three-year staggered terms; in addition, members must represent a variety of schools and administrative levels. The Food Distribution Project Director is a member of the committee, but is a non-voting member.  The council conducts a food-preference survey and gathers information; the council reports findings to the State Office of Child Nutrition.  The state, in turn, informs USDA of the council’s recommendations.  Activities of the council are vital links in the State information network.  Recommendations by the council have often resulted in documented programs improvements.  Hill will serve the following counties in Mississippi:  Desoto, Marshall, Tunica, Tate, Coahoma, Quitman, Panola, Lafayette, Bolivar, Sunflower, Leflore, Tallahatchie, Yalobusha, Grenada and Carroll.

Edward earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) in 2002.  While attending MVSU, he served as the Pre-Alumni Club President for two consecutive terms. In addition, Mr. Hill is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and “proud” active member of the MVSU National Alumni Association, Inc., and the Bolivar County, MS Alumni Chapter.

MVSU Alum Recognized by Oprah during the ‘Life You Want Weekend’ in Washinton D.C.

Jas Boothe ’99 of “Final Salute” Recognized for Her Outstanding Commitment to Provide Housing for Homeless Female Veterans
jaspen Boothe_10.27.14 oprah winfrey award
Amy Purdy (far left) with Jas Boothe (middle), founder of Final Salute, Inc, recipient of the Toyota “Standing O-Vation” Award; and Oprah Winfrey (far right)
 Photo Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc. / George Burns
Los Angeles – “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend,” Oprah Winfrey’s eight-city arena tour and transformational weekend, announced the third Toyota “Standing O-Vation” award recipient on Saturday, September 20 in Washington D.C. The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” recognizes extraordinary people who are making positive changes in their communities and  inspiring others to do the same.  Oprah Winfrey and Team Toyota brand ambassador Amy Purdy honored Jas Boothe of Final Salute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization Boothe founded to help homeless female veterans in the United States  by providing them and their children with transitional housing.  As a recipient of the  “Standing O-Vation” award, Final Salute  will receive a $25,000 grant from Toyota in support of their outstanding commitment to supporting homeless female  veterans in the local Washington D.C. community. 
Click here to see Jas Boothe’s story (with embed code):  
After losing her own home and belongings during Hurricane Katrina, and overcoming a devastating cancer diagnosis, Jas Boothe faced homelessness and the loss of her job firsthand. Once back on her feet, Boothe recognized the availability of helpful programs for male veterans, and the lack of such services for women.  She knew she had to help meet this desperate need for female veteran housing programs. Today, Final Salute has three homes in Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio, and has helped more than 300 female veterans and their families from 15 states and territories.  For more
information, visit
“Today was one of the proudest moments of my life, standing on stage with Oprah Winfrey and Amy Purdy to receive a standing ovation for the work we do at Final Salute,” said Jas Boothe.  “I’ve made it my life’s mission to give back to the brave women who have fought for our country, and this grant of $25,000 from Toyota will allow us to help even more homeless female veterans.” The driving force behind The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” stems from the automaker’s commitment to fostering women’s interests. While reflecting the kind of stories that define the brand, The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” is an opportunity to celebrate remarkable women who are not only making the world a better place, but also motivating others to spark their own journey of personal change.
“Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” will include additional presentations of Toyota’s “Standing O-Vation” awards during the following tour stops:
Sept. 26-27      Newark, New Jersey       Prudential Center
Oct. 17-18        Houston, Texas               Toyota Center
Oct. 24-25        Miami, Florida                  American Airlines Arena
Nov. 7-8           Seattle, Washington        KeyArena at Seattle Center
Nov. 14-15       San Jose, California        SAP Center at San Jose
About “Oprah’s The Life You Want” Weekend:
“Oprah’s The Life You Want” Weekend is an eight-city arena tour and transformational weekend featuring Oprah Winfrey and a team of special guests, sponsored by Toyota and Olay.  Each tour stop spans two days. On Friday nights, Oprah takes the stage, bringing her personal story and insights to life in a one of a kind intimate evening.  Then on Saturdays, Oprah leads a day-long gathering of thousands with handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons including Iyanla Vanzant, star of OWN’s  hit series “Iyanla Fix My Life,” regular O Magazine contributor, best-selling author and spiritual life coach; best-selling author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert; and one of Time 100’s Most Influential people, Pastor Rob Bell. Additionally, world-renowned author and pioneer in mind-body medicine Deepak Chopra will take the stage in select cities. “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” is
produced by Harpo Studios, 
O, The Oprah Magazine, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and WME Live, and is presented by Toyota and Olay.
For more information on the tour, please visit and follow on Twitter/Instagram @LifeYouWantTour #LifeYouWantTour.

Congratulations Timothy Lampkin C’08!

Timothy lampkinTimothy E. Lampkin, was appointed to the 2014-2015 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy by the Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant and Federal Co-Chairman Christopher A. Masingill. The DLI Executive Academy is a yearlong leadership development program coordinated by the Delta Regional Authority for regional leaders that prepares them to collaborate and address the most-pressing issues of the Delta region. Lampkin is currently the Community Development Officer for Southern Bancorp Community Partners (SBCP) in Clarksdale, MS. He works with the city, county, and local nonprofits to identify funding for community development projects. Since joining in November 2013, he has helped secure over a half of million dollars for projects in Coahoma County. Timothy earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Mississippi Valley State University, M.B.A. from Delta State University, and a M.S. in Organizational Performance from Bellevue University. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning from the University of Arkansas. Some of his afflations’ include the Placemaking Leadership Council, American Management Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mississippi Broadband Initiative, Christian Community Development Association, and the Federal Voting Rights Observer Program.

Young Named Director of Alumni Affairs

WJY PhotoWillie James Young, Jr. was recently named the new director of alumni affairs at Mississippi Valley State University.

“I’m very excited about being here at Valley,” Young said. “It’s kind of like a homecoming, but it’s also an opportunity to make a difference.”

Most recently, Young has worked as the personnel director for the Greenwood Public School District, a position he held from July of 2003 until June of this year.

As director of alumni affairs, Young hopes to reconnect with as many alumni as possible. He is building a database of alumni contact information in order to keep alumni abreast of current events at Valley. “There’s strength in numbers,” Young said. He hopes to get more alumni volunteering their time and resources to the university in order to help the institution in its mission to meet the educational needs of its students.

A native of Greenwood, Miss., Young has been instrumental in the development of the lives of many young people, in particular young men, in the Leflore County area. Because of his desire to develop the whole person, he has often gone far beyond the call of duty to give love, support and time to the young people of this community.

In 1980, Young began his professional career in Greenwood at Republic Finance, Inc., where he eventually became a branch manager. In 1992, he became the owner and manager of C&W Collection Services and an independent associate for Pre-Paid Legal Services (now LegalShield) in 1998. He has worked as a lead counselor with Three Rivers Community Economic Development Corporation’s Leflore County Juvenile Report Center in 2001-2002, and as director of the Education and Training Institute’s Leflore County Fatherhood Initiative Program from 2002-2003. He served as head coach of the Greenwood High School Baseball Team during the 2003 season.

Young is a 1976 graduate of Greenwood High School, where he was involved in the baseball program and other school activities. He graduated with honors in 1980 from Mississippi Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. While at MVSU, he was captain of the MVSU Baseball Team and the Most Valuable Player during the 1980 season. He was also a member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society.

“As a first generation college graduate, I truly understand the value of our wonderful university and the impact it has had on the lives of so man,” Young said.

Throughout the years, Young has dedicated his service to several community projects. He has served as co-founder of the Davis School Male Mentor Program, president of the Davis School Parent Teacher Association, a member of the Greenwood Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee, and coach/secretary-treasurer of the New Stone Street Baseball League.

A member of the Baptist faith, Young is a member of Salem Missionary Baptist Church, where he serves as superintendent of the Sunday school.

“I am a true believer that, to whom much is given, much is required,” Young said. “I encourage all alumni to be an even greater part of the bright future of our beloved alma mater.”

An avid baseball fan, Young enjoys hunting, fishing, baseball, golf and cooking in his spare time.

Young and his wife, Wanda Young, are the parents of two adult children, Courtney JeLecia and Willie, III. He is the son of the late Willie J. Young, Sr. and Mary Young of Greenwood.

MVSU Alum Charles Vaughn says an “Advanced Degree Is ‘Major Ingredient For Success’ In Dallas”

Charles VaughnThey work to bridge the gap between the citizens of the City of Dallas and the police department. They also work to build successful relationships with local businesses.

“We assess the needs of the community and address quality of life issues,” said Vaughn.

“‘Chief On The Beat’ is an ongoing community engagement initiative where we bring local businesses like health and public safety vendors, for the public to see what services are available to them,” said Vaughn.

“Volunteering is a valuable element,” said Vaughn, who originally offered to help out at a community engagement event. Because of his positive attitude and willing spirit, he was soon offered the position of community engagement officer.

“I don’t have a specific beat; I go where there is a need. I handle topics like drug awareness, anti-bullying, identify theft, theft, burglary and robbery prevention, holiday safety, banking safety, suspicious activity awareness and 911 education,” said Vaughn.

Vaughn earned a bachelor’s in speech communications from Mississippi Valley State University with a minor in vocal music education.

Click here to read more!

MVSU Graduate and Educator Publishes First Novel

Lipsey PhotoMVSU alum and educator Marques Lipsey recently published his first novel, through which he explores life in the Delta and the perennial problems facing the black community in the region.

Titled My Delta Blues, the novel is about a 15-year-old boy who has recently moved to the Delta from Chicago to live with his grandmother. The story takes place over one summer, yet through flashbacks, Lipsey delves into the history of his young protagonist, Malachi, exploring the events that both influenced his character and instigated the challenges he faces going forward.

“Even though this is a fiction story, lots of the things that happen are things that I experienced or things that are true to other people’s experiences,” Lipsey said. Still, My Delta Blues is not a roman à clef – Malachi at 15 is a different person from Lipsey at that same age.

He emphasized that many of the more traumatic experiences that take place in the Delta, ranging from growing up without a father to sexual abuse, take place in other places, yet oftentimes they’re not discussed openly.

“I hope that people take away that in the black community we have to start talking about these things,” Lipsey said. “I want people to realize that the secrets, the lies, the duplicity – these things make you messed up as a child, and if you’re a messed up child, you grow up to be a messed up adult.”

While the story is about a teenager from the north who moves to Mississippi, Lipsey said that he thinks the book reflects on experiences relevant to a broad section of the reading public, and not just Mississippians. He hopes the novel attracts a wide audience of readers.

My Delta Blues was first published as an ebook by Read Publishing, a startup publishing firm, though he has recently published a print version through Fundcraft, a Tennessee-based publisher.

Although Malachi, Lipsey’s protagonist, is from Chicago, Lipsey was raised much closer to home in nearby Greenville. After finishing his undergraduate education in 2000, he worked for Wwiscaa, a nonprofit community action agency, for several months before getting a job as a substitute teacher for Greenville Public Schools. In 2001, he became a high school teacher in Greenville, and after his first full year of teaching, he came to MVSU in the summer of 2002 to obtain his M.A. in Teaching.

“Going to Valley – Most of my professors knew my struggle. They understood what I was going through – they really cared.”

In many ways, Malachi’s struggle to overcome obstacles and personal setbacks mirrors Lipsey’s own struggle to be his “true and authentic self.” His journey toward self-actualization led him to the works of African American author, director, and academic Omowale Akintunde, who he considers a mentor. Through Akintunde, he learned that a deeper level of fulfillment is possible through the process of deconstruction – taking apart all the norms, assumptions, and ideologies learned over a lifetime and unveiling who you really are beneath it all.

Lipsey started writing My Delta Blues in 2005, not long after graduating from Valley. He rewrote the novel six times before having it published. To finish the novel, for two years he wrote every night before going to bed. At first, he said that much of what he wrote were long passages with no characters, but after a while he began to imagine characters and their stories seemed to start writing themselves.

He cites Song of Solomon and There Eyes Were Watching God as sources of inspiration. The perspective of My Delta Blues, written in the first person, is that of a teenager’s. “When describing these things,” Lipsey said, “I saw myself describing them as a child. I drew from personal experiences and the way that he describes things is very much the way that I would’ve described them at that age.” In some ways, he sees Malachi as a part of himself, even though the events of Malachi’s life don’t match up with his own.

With this book now complete, Lipsey is hoping that it can serve, in part, as a launch board for other things. He stated that he would like to do some public and motivational speaking. He also discussed wanting to be a guest lecturer at a college. “I’m an educator,” he said, stating that the work that he does with his students, he would like to bring to a wider audience. “I would like to inspire anyone who can’t see the forest for the trees, that you can do it.”


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