Delta State University announces Dr. Bob and Sylvia Ferguson as the University’s “Philanthropist of the Year” for 2012. The Fergusons, natives of New Albany, co-founded the Tri State Educational Foundation in 1998 and have since provided more than $6 million in scholarships and grant moneys to support the educational needs of students who are residents within a 50-mile radius of Iuka.
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. His 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. 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.