Cleveland, with a population of around 15,600, has a lot to offer. This fact was recognized by Norman Crampton in both issues of his book, The 100 Best Small Towns in America--a nationwide guide to the best in small-town living. It is a vibrant community blending tradition with progress to create an exceptional Delta lifestyle. Despite its size, Cleveland is packed with wonderful surprises! Among them is the wide variety of restaurants, providing culinary pleasures to satisfy anyone’s palate--from elite dining at our four-star restaurant, K.C.’s, to the “down home” country cooking of the Country Platter. There is no shortage of entertainment either, from the cultural entertainment of the Delta State University Bologna Performing Arts Center to the fascinating performances of our talented locals at the Cleveland Community Theatre. When it comes to shopping, Cleveland is the “Mecca of the Delta” offering an abundance of captivating spe- ciality shops. If recreation is a high priority, be assured that Cleveland’s recre- ational facilities are the best of any town of its size in the South. Among these facilities are the Performing Arts Center, Planetarium, Natatorium, and Sillers Coliseum at Delta State; a cinema theater with four movie screens; one amateur theater; twelve parks; ten ball fields; one bowling lane; three swimming pools; twenty-five tennis courts; two golf courses; a country club, and an Expo Center. And, Cleveland’s medical clinics and hospital provide the best possible health- care. As Cleveland has grown, so have healthcare needs, and our hospital has expanded accordingly. The Bolivar Medical Center works closely with Delta State to meet the medical needs of the University and provide training for nursing students. In every area, City officials, the Chamber of Commerce, and Delta State University work in unity, making Cleveland’s continued growth and development inevitable.
Delta State University was created as Delta State Teachers College by Senate Bill Number 263, Chapter 284, entitled An Act to Create and Establish the Delta State Teachers College. Governor Henry L. Whitfield signed the bill on April 9, 1924. Cleveland and Bolivar County provided the College’s first physical facilities in the form of three buildings that formerly housed the Bolivar County Agricultural High School. The institution opened for its first regular session on September 15, 1925, with a faculty and staff of eleven and a student body of ninety-seven.
The College’s first president, Mr. James Wesley Broom, died during Delta State’s first session. He was succeeded by Dr. W. M. Kethley, who served as president from 1926 to 1956. Dr. James M. Ewing became the third president on September 1, 1956, and served until his retirement on July 31, 1971. Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas served as the institution’s fourth president from August 1, 1971, until June 30, 1975. On July 1, 1975, Dr. Forest Kent Wyatt became the fifth presi- dent, and he served until his retirement on June 30, 1999. He was succeeded by Dr. David L. Potter on July 1, 1999.
The growth and expanding mission of the institution were evidenced by its name change in 1955 to Delta State College. In 1969 Delta State was authorized to reorganize its academic structure into four schools. The School of Arts and