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DSU recognizes alumni

Delta State University Alumni Association is inducting Dr. Edward E. Milam and Stan Topol into the Alumni Hall of Fame.

Milam, a native of Hernando, graduated from Delta State in 1965. He received both his master’s and doctorate in accounting from LSU. In 1971, he joined the accounting faculty at the University of Mississippi and later became the school’s first Dean of the School of Accountancy. After 20 years at Ole Miss, he joined the faculty at Mississippi State University in 1990. While at MSU, he was named a William Giles Distinguished Professor, the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member. After a 38-year career in higher education, he is now retired.

Milam is married to Kay Nevela Milam of Brookhaven and has one daughter, Meg Milam Arnold, and one grandson, Milam Robert Arnold. He is anxiously awaiting the arrival of a second grandchild due in early November. The Milams reside in Starkville.

Topol received his undergraduate degree from Delta State and a master of arts from the University of Alabama. He founded the award-winning design firm of Stan Topol & Associates in the early 1970s. During the early years of his career, Topol headed the interior design program at the Art Institute of Atlanta and was later in charge of the institution’s entire art curriculum.

His numerous awards include “Southeast Designer of the Year” on two separate occasions, the “Top Hotel Design Award” for his work in Boston and Town & Country’s “Top 25 Designers of the United States Award.” In 1997, Topol was inducted into the Designers Hall of Fame.

In a separate item, the association recently named the recipients of the 2012 Alumni Award Winners. The awards are the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award, the Kent Wyatt Young Alumnus Service Award, the Gladys Castle Friend of Delta State Award and the Legacy Award.

The Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award was established to recognize outstanding service and contributions to Delta State University by an alumnus. This year’s recipient is Nan Sanders. A native of Cleveland, Sanders earned her B.A. and B.S.E. in English from Delta State University in 1967. She was named Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities and was a member of the Phi Phi Chapter of the Delta Delta Delta Fraternity. She is currently serving her third term on the Delta State University Foundation Board.

The Kent Wyatt Young Alumnus Service Award is given each year to an alumnus who is 36 years or younger and has given outstanding service and contributions to Delta State University. This year’s recipient is Paul “Bubba” Mancini Jr. A native of Indianola and a 1996 Indianola Academy graduate, Mancini earned a biology degree from Delta State University in 2000. Mancini graduated from the Nuclear Medicine Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2001. Following graduation, he was employed with Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale for seven years before accepting his current position with Bolivar Medical Center in Cleveland.

The Gladys Castle Friend of Delta State Service Award is presented to a non-alumnus who has made outstanding service and contributions to Delta State. Homer Sledge III is this year’s Gladys Castle Friend of Delta State Service Award. Sledge is a native of Cleveland and the vice president of Nehi Bottling Company. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in business.

The Legacy Award was established to honor an alumnus who made an institutional changing impact on the university. This year’s recipient of the Legacy Award is Gene Ayers. Ayers is a native of Grenada and a graduate of Delta State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education. He began working in the Music Department at Delta State in 1974.

The Delta State University 2012 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year is Dr. William C. Bell. A native of Bolivar County, Bell is a 1982 graduate of Delta State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and behavioral science. He is currently the CEO of Casey Family Programs, a position he has held since January 2006.

Bell has over 30 year of experience in the human services field. Some of his past positions include executive vice president for child and family services at Casey Family Programs, commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), deputy commissioner of ACS’ Division of Child Protection, deputy commissioner of field services and contract agency case management for the New York City Human Resources Administration and associate executive director for Miracle Makers, a private sector minority-owned, not-for-profit child and family services organization in New York City.

Bell received his Ph.D. in social welfare and his masters of social work degree at Hunter College School of Social Work.


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