Q: What was your experience like at Delta State University?
A: I would still be there if they hadn’t made me graduate. All these years, I’ve loved it. I still love it. Me and my twin sister were both cheerleaders all four years.
Q: Tell me about a favorite memory from your time in school.
A: I graduated in 1955, and we had the first and only undefeated and untied football team that year.
Q: When is the last time you went back?
A: I used to go back every year for homecoming, but I haven’t been in a couple years. Now, we have a group that goes to Lake Tiak-O’Khata every year. When we get together, it’s like we were never apart. It’s the same group we were with at Delta State. We are all still in touch. I’m determined to go back to Delta State one more time. Last time I went for homecoming, I put my uniform back on and did a cheer. I didn’t think I’d ever have this uniform on again.
Q: How have things changed since you left?
A: Well, I don’t know anything about the Okra. When I was there, it was just the Statesman. There are a lot of older people who don’t like the Okra, but now they say “Respect the Statesman, Fear the Okra” and that’s alright with me.
The new president, Dr. LaForge, is also a Delta State graduate and has that same love of Delta State that we have, so he’s perfect for the job. I would like to see it grow a little, but I don’t want it to get too big.
Q: What did you study at Delta State?
A: Cheerleading [laughing]. There weren’t a lot of majors for women at Delta State, and I didn’t really care for home economics. There was a group of us that went into education, and I found my niche there. I could relate to the kids… I got my masters degree from Ole Miss. I taught in Natchez my first year.
Q: Do you have a favorite Delta State tradition?
A: To me, the love of Delta State, the camaraderie and friendships is what stands out. The alma mater says “Oh Delta State we cling to the memory/ Of happy days we’ve spent/ Of standards high and of friendships dear” and it really is the way we all felt. There aren’t many of us still living my age, but I still feel that way about Delta State.
Tailgating is a little different at Delta State, too, and they call it pig pickin’. Now, everyone on campus wears green on Fridays and calls it a “sea of green.” I think that’s great.