DSU honors alumni with awards

The Delta State University Alumni Association recently recognized this year’s service award winners during the 2010 Alumni Awards and Gala Dinner. Michael Aguzzi of Cleveland received the Kent Wyatt “Young Alumnus” Service Award. The award is presented to an alumnus 36 years of age or younger who has given outstanding service to Delta State. He is a farmer with his family’s rice and soybean operation in Bolivar County. Aguzzi graduated in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in computer information systems and marketing.

Nancy Gerrard received the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award. Gerrard finished Delta State Teacher’s College in 1950. She has served on the National Alumni Association board of directors. She represented the Golden Circle constituent group as the president of the Golden Circle from 2006-2008. Gerrard has been very active in the Veteran’s Atrium project in Jobe Hall for the past four years. She is married to Hal Gerrard (1951). They have four children and seven grandchildren. The award is named for Hugh Ellis Walker who served as the director of the Delta State Alumni/Foundation for 24 years.

Dr. Rose Strahan of Cleveland is the 2010 Gladys Castle “Friend of Delta State” Service Award recipient. Strahan served as chair of the Mathematics Department for 1978 to 2009. She finished Hinds Junior College and Mississippi College with a degree in mathematics in 1963. Strahan taught mathematics at Gulfport High School and Murrah High School before completing her master’s degree from the University of Mississippi and doctorate from the University of Florida in 1980. She served as Delta State’s Faculty Athletic Representative to NCAA from 2003 until 2009. In 2009 Strahan made the largest planned gift of any employee of the university through a $750,000 life insurance policy. The Rose Strahan Endowed scholarships will one day result in approximately $30,000 in annual scholarship money for the Delta State Math Department. The Gladys Castle “Friend of Delta State” Service Award is name for Gladys Castle, a 46-year employee of Delta State who served as the first alumni secretary.

Ronnie Mayers of Cleveland is the recipient of the 2010 Legacy Award, which is presented to a Delta State alumnus who has made an institutional-changing impact for the university. Mayers received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Delta State. Mayers spent 20 years as the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at Delta State. He began his career as an instructor in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 1976. He also served as the head coach of the Delta Aquatics team from 1974-1989. He is a member of the Delta State Alumni Association, Cleveland Noon Lions Club, United States of America Swimming Association, Mississippi Swimming Inc., National Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. He is married to the former Karen Scott of Natchez.

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