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DSU cuts ribbon on unique outdoor lab Featured

IMG 6072Among those present at the ribbon cutting were Leslie Griffin, Charles McAdams, Spring Heflin Nunnelee, Dave Helfin, Todd Davis, William LaForge and Amber Heflin Ockerbloom.

A ribbon cutting ceremony and social was held Saturday at Forest E. Wyatt's Gymnasium in honor of the new Dave Heflin's Outdoor Recreation Education Laboratory.

During the ceremony, many DSU faculty and staff spoke about their experiences with outdoor recreations and the experiences they have shared with Dave Heflin.

"All of these people are here in the presence of what you did are here to celebrate you and your legacy, and that is what this program is about," said DSU Provost Charles McAdams.

The Dave Heflin's Outdoor Recreation Program consists of the Outback and Kayak Club at DSU.

The Dave Heflin Professorship for Outdoor Recreation, which was established in 2008, helps students with travel costs and purchasing outdoor gear and equipment to continue a safe and effective program.

"As this program grows and expands, I want you to know that there are opportunities to support this program, to help this program have an even greater influence that it has," McAdams said.

DSU is the only four-year university that has an outdoor recreation program and a dedicated laboratory.

Before the laboratory construction began, it was an unused locker room that has now been reconstructed into an outdoor education lab with a deep clean room, laundry room, map and chart room, and classroom.

McAdams said there are about 60 students in the outdoor recreation program, and there are essentials for a lot of interdisciplinary work.

"The program helps the students to enjoy outdoor recreational sports but also learn out to participate in those things and learn how to do the those things appropriately," said McAdams.

There are many opportunities in the program for students to bond with one another, learn survival skills, critical thinking skills, and problem solving skills.

DSU President William LaForge talked about his experiences he has shared with Heflin on a kayaking trip.

LaForge said, "I remember getting ready to go kayaking, and instead of Dave wearing a regular kayak helmet, he had a Delta State football helmet."

LaForge also remembered going over a patch of water while kayaking and the water hitting Heflin in the face.

"It was one of the saddest moments we've ever seen, and that face of his just got long because that (helmet) filled up with two tons of water," said LaForge, laughing.

Todd Davis has led the recreation program for the last few of years, and LaForge and McAdams thanked Davis and other staff members for the hard work they have put in into bringing the new laboratory to life.

McAdams said, "I really appreciate the term education laboratory, because it is about an education and providing those skills for life."

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