Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Grace Napolitano: 1936—: Politician to Richard (Wayne) Peck (1934-) Biography - Career » Lester C. Newman Biography - Raised With High Expectations, Remained In Academia, Left Alma Mater, Guided Mvsu Into The Twenty-first Century - Selected writings

Lester C. Newman - Reached Out To The Community

delta industry students mississippi

By offering evening classes, Newman tried to make MVSU as convenient as possible for nontraditional students of all races, including older students, and single and working parents. The university's second off-campus site opened in 2001.

MVSU's Delta Research and Culture Institute, devoted to research on the Delta's educational and economic priorities, opened in 2001 under the direction of former Mississippi governor William Winters. Newman told the Clarion-Ledger that "improving the quality of education and attracting and retaining viable industry are two of the most difficult challenges facing the Mississippi Delta." The region's poorly performing public schools were under-funded and had difficulty attracting and retaining good teachers. Newman told the Clarion-Ledger that the Delta desperately needed industry that paid decent wages and that "oftentimes luring business and industry to an area is directly tied to the quality of the educational system."

Although administrative functions and fundraising took up the preponderance of Newman's time, he told the Clarion-Ledger that his favorite aspect of his career remained "seeing students who first come to the university with a lot of anxiety and apprehension later graduate with a level of excitement that they didn't initially think was possible.... This is what makes higher education exciting, watching people at difference levels discover and explore a whole new world of possibilities."

Throughout his career Newman has been very active in both professional and community service organizations including the Leflore County Industrial Board, the Greenwood Leflore Chamber of Commerce, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He has served as a board member of the Delta Health Alliance, the Delta Council, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mississippi. Newman has received numerous fellowships and professional and community service citations and awards.

Lester C. Newman - Maintained Research Interests [next] [back] Lester C. Newman - Introduced New Academic Programs

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