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Terrel A. Delphin, Jr. 

NATCHITOCHES -  A new Northwestern State University scholarship honors the memory of an individual who worked tirelessly to bring awareness of the Cane River Creole culture to a national and international audience.  The NSU Foundation announced the creation of the Terrel A. Delphin Jr. Scholarship, initiated through contributions to the Creole Heritage Center at NSU from the Delphin family and friends.  Significant support came the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. (CRNHA, Inc.) to endow the scholarship at the $10,000 level.  

"Today, we remember the life of Terrel Delphin and his accomplishments," said Vanner Erikson, assistant director of Alumni Affairs and CRNHA, Inc. board member, in meeting with the family to announce the scholarship earlier this week. 

The scholarship will be presented to a full-time Northwestern State student classified as a sophomore or above with a 2.5 grade point average.  Preference will be given to a student with a 3.0 grade point average or higher.

"We thank everyone who worked so hard to get to this point," said Lillie Delphin, Mr. Delphin's widow. "This is a wonderful way to remember our loved one." 

"We are fortunate in  life when we  meet exceptional people and he was exceptional," said Cynthia Sutton, CEO of CRNHA, Inc.

"We were presented with an opportunity to establish the Terrel A. Delphin Jr. Scholarship Fund at NSU," said Theresa Morgan, Delphin's sister.  "Dr. Hiram 'Pete' Gregory of the NSU Creole Heritage Center Foundation, suggested this would be a way of honoring Terrel's work in establishing the Creole Heritage Center."  Therefore, the Delphin family has made a commitment to continue donating annually to the scholarship fund over the coming years.

Delphin's family has deep roots in the Cane River area.  After working in law enforcement for 18 years, he joined the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, holding a number of positions, including assistant commissioner for the Office of Animal Health Services.  He retired from state service in 2005 and became the coordinator for the Office of Homeland Security and the Office of Emergency Preparedness in Natchitoches.

Delphin was active in his church, historic St. Augustine Catholic Church, and in his community for many years.  His desire to protect and promote the Cane River area led to his involvement with the St. Augustine Historical Society and later serving as the president for a number of years He advocated on behalf of his community with the Louisiana Board of Regents to establish the Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State and served as chairman of its advisory council.  He assisted in developing an ethnographic study of the Cane River Creole community for the National Park Service, served on the state committee for the National Register of Historic Places, co-chair of the Cane River National Heritage Area Commission, and was a board member of the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission. He was known as the "Father of the Creole Renaissance-Resurrection" as seen in the LPB documentary, "The Spirit of a Culture - Cane River Creoles."  He also worked to establish the Civil Rights Hall of Fame in Natchitoches.

As a tribute to his abilities to cross cultural lines and encourage multicultural interaction, the City of Natchitoches declared March 29, 1997, as Terrel Delphin Day. He received the Creole Center's Historic Preservation Award in 1999 and 2003. The Natchitoches Police Jury presented him with the "People's Involvement Award" for his work in Creole heritage preservation and he was named "Cane River Mayor." Delphin was named a Natchitoches Treasure in 2007 and in 2011, Northwestern State awarded him an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his work in bridging cultural and racial gaps through multicultural education, harmony and cooperation.

"Terrell was a remarkable person and this scholarship is in recognition of his leadership and commitment to  preserving the culture of  the Cane River Creole community, with the Creole Heritage Center and the  Cane River National Heritage Area," said Dr. Kathleen Byrd, chair of CRNHA, Inc. Board of Directors. .

For information on contributing to the scholarship, contact the NSU the NSU Creole Heritage Center at 318 357-6685 or NSU Office of Alumni and Development at (318) 357- 4414 or visit 

Delphin Family cutline:

The Northwestern State University Foundation announced the creation of a scholarship that honors the "Father of the Creole Renassance-Resurrection" Terrel A. Delphin Jr. Joining the family for the announcement were, from left, NSU Development Officer Brittany McConathy,  Walter Delphin, Curtis Bordenave, Mary Delphin Bordenave, James Durham, treasurer of the board of directors for Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc.;  Dr. Kathleen Byrd, CRNHA, Inc. Board Chair;  Lillie Louviere Delphin, Thomas Delphin, Shirley Metoyer Delphin, Creole Heritage Center Director Loletta Wynder, Steven Fullen, CRNHA, Inc. Dir. of Interpretation; Daphne Delphin, Dr. Pete Gregory;  Marie Theresa Delphin Morgan, Vanner Erikson, NSU assistant director of Alumni Affairs & CRNHA, Inc. board member; Dennis Morgan and Cynthia Sutton, CRNHA, Inc., CEO. Not shown is Phillip Delphin of Houston.