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Delta State University announces Dr. Bob and Sylvia Ferguson as the University’s “Philanthropist of the Year” for 2012.
Bob and Sylvia Ferguson, natives of New Albany, co-founded the Tri State Educational Foundation in 1998 and have since provided more than six million dollars in scholarships and grant moneys to support the educational needs of students who are residents within a 50 mile radius of Iuka. Over one million dollars of the six million dollars has supported scholarships and academic programs at Delta State University.
Tri State Educational Foundation is partnering with Delta State University through the College of Education to give scholarships to teachers in Tishomingo County, in order to attain their Master of Elementary Education degree. The financial support is also evident in the College of Arts and Sciences through scholarships and support of various programs such as the Delta Music Institute and the Delta Center of Culture and Learning. Scholarships provided by Tri State Educational Foundation are supporting the University’s recently announced $15 million Scholarship Initiative.
The Fergusons work daily overseeing day-to-day operations of the Tri State Educational Foundation with its board members: Nancy Brown (Iuka), Sara Ellington (Corinth), Judy Schaper (Saltillo) and Dana Degraw (Iuka).
Dr. Bob Ferguson is a 1962 graduate of Delta State where he earned his B.S.E. in Art and Physical Education and was a member of the Statesmen football team. He earned the Master of Education Degree in 1966 from the University of Kansas and Educational Doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1979. His tenure in P-12 education began with coaching and progressing through the positions of principal and superintendent in Long Beach Schools, Tishomingo County Schools, and the Picayune School District. Dr. Ferguson’s service extends to tenure as State President of the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools, and he has been a recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship.
Sylvia Hawthorne Ferguson received the Bachelor of Science in Education Degree from Delta State University. While a student at Delta State, she was a Delta Belle and cheerleader. She holds certifications in Home Economics, K-8, gifted K-12, vocational childcare, and child development. She received the Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her diverse career in education includes service as a home economics teacher, elementary school teacher, child development center director, and teacher of the gifted. She received the Leo Seal Outstanding Teacher Award and has written numerous grants that were funded.
The Fergusons and Tri State Educational Foundation were recognized at a luncheon at the Jackson Country Club on Thursday, November 15th where they were presented at the Association of Fund Raising Professionals Annual “Philanthropist of the Year” Luncheon. For more information on the Scholarship Initiative visit www.deltastategiving.org or call 662-846-4708.