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Leroy Morganti

Leroy Edward Morganti, loved by many and respected by everyone, died Thursday, September 6, 2012 at St. Dominic's Hospital in Jackson.  Dr. Morganti, born in Clarksdale in 1939 and a native of Rosedale, graduated from Rosedale High School in 1957.  He received a baccalaureate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, master's degree from Mississippi State University and doctorate from Delta State University.  He also completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.                 He served as a news reporter for The Hattiesburg American, Delta Democrat-Times, The Clarion-Ledger and The Associated Press before joining Delta State in 1971 as Director of Public Information. From 1976-78, Dr. Morganti served as Press Secretary to the late Gov. Cliff Finch and returned to Delta State in 1979.                 In 1993, he was promoted to Vice President for University Advancement and in 2000 to Vice President for Executive Affairs and Chief of Staff, a role he filled until his retirement in June, 2002.  Upon retirement, he was granted the title of Vice President for Executive Affairs and Chief of Staff Emeritus.                  Dr. Morganti was elected to membership in several journalism and educational honorary societies and served as president of three statewide organizations:  the Mississippi Sportswriters Association, the Mississippi Collegiate Press Association and the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi.  He was a founder of the Staff Council at Delta State, recipient of the H.L. Nowell Outstanding Support Staff Award, inducted into the Delta State University Hall of Fame and received the Wall Street Journal  Award for achievement in journalism.                 In 2008, he was presented the Bologna Performing Arts Center's President's Award for his leadership in the development and success of the Center, serving as its chief administrative officer and Chairman of the BPAC Advisory Board from its inception in 1995 until his retirement in 2002. In 2011, Delta State named the atrium in Kent Wyatt Hall the "Leroy E. Morganti Atrium" in honor of his dedicated service and loyal support to Delta State.  During dedicatory remarks, the facility was described as representing what Morganti meant to so many people and to the university. "These pillars are strong, yet unassuming, and serve to support this building... just as Dr. Morganti has quietly supported so many people, whether personally or professionally, and provided support for Delta State for over 30 years.  He is a true Statesman and we are honored to have his name forever etched in this building."                 Dr. Morganti resided in Benoit and Cleveland during recent years and wrote a weekly newspaper column for the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville and The Bolivar Commercial in Cleveland. He was known and endeared for his quick wit, storytelling, words of wisdom, and encouragement of others. He was a quiet and gentle man who had a way with words, both written and spoken.   He was a kind and genuine person, and he made a difference in the lives of everyone he met.  He was a humble man and always had a few moments to share his wisdom with others. He will be missed by many, but forgotten by none.   He was preceded in death by his parents John Hayes Tucker and Rosa Graziosi Tucker, his father Edward Morganti, a sister Virginia Morganti and brother Leroy Morganti who both died during childhood, his brother Robert Morganti, and his son Reed Andrew Morganti.  He is survived by two sons:  John Edward Morganti of Brandon, and his wife Linda and their children, Michael Andrew Morganti and Matthew Connor Morganti, and Bryan Taylor Morganti, of Madison, and his son Taylor Reed Morganti.  Visitation will be held in the Leroy E. Morganti Atrium of Kent Wyatt Hall at Delta State University from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 9.  On Monday, September 10, visitation will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University followed by the memorial service at 2:00 p.m. in the Delta and Pine Land Theater of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.                 In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to the Leroy and Reed Morganti Memorial Scholarship Fund (https://www.deltastategiving.org/Fund/Give/2 ) at Delta State University, Box 3141, Cleveland, MS 38733.  Cleveland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.  

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Leroy was one of the "big dogs" in Mississippi college public relations -- Leroy, Ed Meek, Fred Middleton, Bob Moulder. A youngster then, I admired and respected each of them. Nearly 40 years later, just one day before he died, Leroy wished me a happy birthday. When I saw "visitation" on his Facebook page, I cried. Morganti -- a magnificent man, a dear friend, now beyond all worldly pain and worry. Celebrating Leroy Morganti and Easter, in the same breath. Peace to you.

NancyKay Sullivan Wessman - September 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

To all of the Morganti Family Members, I am so sorry for your loss. I know that Mr. Leroy will be missed by so many. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his articles for the newspapers. His mother, Mrs. Rosie Tucker lived next door to our Mom in Rosedale and we loved her to death. She was so proud of Leroy! All of you are in my thoughts & prayers. God Bless.

Melody McCreary Stafford - September 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Leroy was my first sports editor when I was a "kid" reporter at the Delta-Democrat Times and I will never forget road trips to cover games in his little Nash Metro. I learned a lot from this funny little man from the Delta ... who turned out to be another in the long string of great writers spawned by that rich, Delta soil. Rest in peace, my friend. -30-

John H. Walker - September 10, 2012 at 09:59 AM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

I am forever grateful for what I learned from Leroy during the short time we worked together. He was a gifted communicator and dedicated public servant. His friendship was a blessing.

Wayne Edwards - September 07, 2012 at 05:04 PM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Leroy was the father of my cousins, John Morganti and the late Reed Morganti. He was such a good man and always had a smile on his face. I was honored to have him as a member of my family.

Janie Givens Miller - September 07, 2012 at 03:09 PM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

I admired him greatly.

Trina Garner Nullet - September 07, 2012 at 11:33 AM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

To the Morganti and Delta State Family, Leroy was a wonderful friend to us. He will be greatly missed by anyone who loves Delta State, Cleveland and MIssissippi. He was a great man of integrity and honesty. We love him and his family. All of you and the Delta State Family are in our prayers. Tom and Judy Watts

Tom and Judy Watts - September 07, 2012 at 10:42 AM Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM