Nancy LaForge is the first lady of Delta State University and she is doing her best to get to know every Okra and Statesman of DSU.
Nancy is originally from Kosiusko where she grew up with her brother, who is now a judge in Columbus. She still visits her 91-year-old mother at least once a week.
She graduated from The University of Mississippi with a degree in political science and an English minor.
During her days as a Delta Delta Delta at Ole Miss, she attended a party at the Pi Kappa Alpha house where she met Bill, a first year law student.
"The rest is history," said Nancy.
The LaForges chose to travel around the country as field consultants and it was during this time that the two got engaged. They were married in July 1976.
The couple has two children Caroline and Clayton, who are both attorneys.
With the start of a new school year, and now the presidential inauguration coming up, Nancy has had the opportunity to meet the many people that make up the Delta State community, as well as Cleveland.
"Everybody has been wonderful to us — so welcoming. People come up all the time and say we're so glad to have ya'll here and so excited for ya'll to be back. We're excited to be back too," she said.
DSU President Bill LaForge said he is excited to see his wife engaging herself in the school.
"Nancy has immersed herself in Delta State in so many wonderful ways. First and foremost, she has been very supportive of our move to Delta State. She has taken charge of making our house on campus a home, and it is truly delightful. In a very creative way, she even discovered some great pieces of art stored away on campus that now grace the walls of our home. She is even involved with an effort to plan the building of a new president’s residence," he said.
Not only does Nancy enjoy the people but the beauty of the Delta is also something she admires.
"It's a beautiful town, a great campus," she said.
Nancy recalled an evening where the sun was setting and the harvest moon was in the sky. "It was amazing."
As DSU's new president continues to try to strengthen the university, his wife plans to help in every way she can.
"There's some challenges that we're facing head on. Bill's mission is to improve recruitment and retention so everything is being focused on that right now," she said.
When she isn't dressed in green and cheering alongside the rest of the DSU community, Nancy enjoys some of the quieter things that don't involve screaming or being surrounded by people covered in body paint.
"I love to read. I just finished reading “Life, On the Line” by Grant Achatz.
"He's a chef and he got cancer. It talks about his career and his struggle. It was a very interesting book”.
Nancy also enjoys a hobby that former DSU President Kent Wyatt was known for — walking the grounds of Delta State in the morning.
"I love to walk the campus and the quadrangle. The grounds crew does a fabulous job. They are always out there working and there aren’t that many of them. They do a fantastic job and if I've noticed anything I jot it down and give it to Bill," she said.
"We're not hurting for things to do around here. We went to Octoberfest. We go to different functions like civic functions, the country club, and different locations," said Laforge.
With the DSU Presidential Inauguration this week, Nancy said she is assisting in every way possible.
"She is serving on the Inauguration Steering Committee, and she will lead a campus architecture and art tour during inauguration week. She has also taken the time to visit with student groups on a number of occasions," said the new president of his wife.
With the rest of the school year ahead of them, Nancy said she plans to continue to help in any way she can to make the Green and White even greater for the students and the community.
"Making Delta State as strong as we can and keeping it growing and going forward is going to help the town and the community as a whole," she said.
"Overall she is helping me 'show the flag' for Delta State, and I am very grateful for that. She is a great ambassador for Delta State in her own right — some would even say much better than I am! And they’re probably right," said Bill.