Mississippi Valley State University

Mississippi Valley State University
Mississippi Valley State University
Established 1950
Type Public, HBCU
President Dr. Donna H. Oliver
Students 2,500
Location Itta Bena, Mississippi,
United States
Campus Rural
Former names Mississippi Vocational College
Mississippi Valley State College
Colors Forest green and White
Athletics NCAA Division I (FCS)
Sports football
cross country
Nickname Delta Devils or Devilettes
Affiliations Southwestern Athletic Conference
Website www.mvsu.edu

Mississippi Valley State University (commonly referred to as MVSU or "The Valley") is a historically black university located in Itta Bena, Mississippi, in the United States.[1] MVSU is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.



The institution, which opened in 1950, was created by the Mississippi Legislature as Mississippi Vocational College. The legislature anticipated that legal segregation of public education was in danger (and would in four years be declared unconstitutional in the United States Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education the institution, hoping that its existence would draw African-American applicants who might have otherwise applied to attend Mississippi's premier whites-only institutions—the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Creating separate institutions of higher learning for Mississippi's black population, the state's political leaders hoped, would help ease the pressure to integrate the state's premier universities. To attract the support of those who opposed any government action to provide higher education to blacks, those proposing creation of M.V.C. used the term "vocational" to imply that the institution's main purpose would be to train blacks to take on blue-collar jobs.

The original legislative proposal would have located M.V.C. in Greenwood, but the white leadership of that city did not like the idea of hosting an institution that would attract young, ambitious blacks to the area. Thus, the proposed site was moved to Itta Bena. Even that town, however, objected to too close a proximity of a black institution, so the final site was chosen to place the college away from the downtown area, on cheap, uncultivatable land.

In 1964, Mississippi Vocational College was renamed Mississippi Valley State College.

In 1970, a student boycott was organized to protest President White's administration of the institution. Half the enrolled students of the institution—about 900—were arrested. However, White was ousted as president soon afterward.

In the early 1970s, civil rights leaders continued to protest the inequalities in higher education opportunities offered to whites and blacks in Mississippi. In an effort to defuse some of the criticism, Gov. [William Waller] proposed changing the names of three black institutions from "colleges" to "universities." Thus, in 1974, the institution was renamed again, as Mississippi Valley State University.

In 1998, the university renamed many of the buildings on campus, except for the ones named after Sillers, Wright, and J. H. White.

Student Activities

Activities include theater, orchestra, and band. Students may work on the Delvian (yearbook) or the Delta Devil Gazette (student-run newspaper). Leadership opportunities are found in the Student Government Association (SGA) or other organizations such as English Club, Future Teachers of America, and Trades and Industries Club.

NPHC Greek-letter organizations

Non-NPHC Greek-letter organizations


Mississippi Valley State University has academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are 2 colleges: the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Education and Professional Studies, and a Graduate School.


2011 Tuition per Semester: $2465.52 (off campus, in-state); $6036.48 (off campus, out-of-state); Room and board: $5234.02 (resident); $8804.98 (non-resident).


MVSU's colors are forest green and white. Their nickname is the Delta Devils for men's teams and Devilettes for women's teams. MVSU sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (I-AA for football) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Famous alumni include NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice of the 1984 football team.

The Mississippi Valley State University Department of Athletics currently sponsors men's intercollegiate baseball, football, basketball, cross country, golf, tennis and track along with Women's Intercollegiate basketball, soccer, volleyball, cross country, golf, softball, bowling and track.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability References
Patricia Hoskins 1991 former player for the women's basketball team, the Devilletes, who once held the record for NCAA Division I women's basketball points scored in a career
Katie Hall 1960 former U.S. Representative from Indiana from 1982 to 1985, and former city clerk of Gary, Indiana
Ashley Ambrose 1992 NFL cornerback
Alphonso Ford 1992 Former NBA and Euroleague basketball player
George Ivory 1988 Current head basketball coach at University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Parnell Dickinson 1975 Former NFL quarterback
Ricky Feacher 1975 Former NFL wide receiver and member
Fred Bohannon 1982 Former NFL defensive back [2]
Jerry Rice 1984 Former NFL wide receiver; member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Willie Totten 1985 Former Head coach of the Delta Devils football team
Vincent Brown 1987 Former NFL linebacker and current college football coach
Ted Washington, Sr. 1972 Former NFL linebacker
James Haynes 1984 Former NFL linebacker (1984-1989) for the New Orleans Saints
Melvin Morgan 1976 Former NFL defensive back
Corey Holmes 2000 Mayor of Metcalfe, Mississippi; former CFL running back
Tyrone Timmons 2006 Arena Football wide receiver


External links

Coordinates: 33°30′45″N 90°20′33″W / 33.5125597°N 90.3424215°W / 33.5125597; -90.3424215

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