TSU Alum Donates $30,000 for Student Support as President Glover Gives Upbeat Report on Progress at the Institution

President Glover, joined by Director of Alumni Relations, Cassandra Griggs, left; and Betsy Jackson, Director of University Foundation, receive a check for $30,000 from Roosevelt Bud Reese as his personal donation to Tennessee State University for student support. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
President Glover, joined by Director of Alumni Relations, Cassandra Griggs, left, and Betsy Jackson, Executive Director of University Foundation, receives a check for $30,000 from Roosevelt Bud Reese as his personal donation to Tennessee State University for student support. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Just minutes after Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover gave a cheerful report of progress at the institution and thanked alumni and friends for their support, a former student stepped up with a sizable individual donation to his alma mater.

Roosevelt Bud Reese, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at TSU, presented the President with a check for $30,000 from his CMI Foundation for student support, and challenged his fellow alumni to follow suit by giving to the University.

“We applaud your generosity and continued support of TSU,” Dr. Glover told Reese during a reception given by the President Friday night at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Memphis. “We are grateful for this gift that will be used to provide quality education for our students.”

“Tennessee State University has educated my whole family, and this is just a way to give back,” Reese said. “As a two-time graduate of TSU, I know what quality education can lead to, and I just want to make sure others get the opportunity I was afforded.”

Earlier, President Glover told the gathering of alumni, corporate and individual supporters, friends, faculty and staff that the University was making tremendous progress from improvements in recruitment, retention and graduation, to enhancements in campus safety and emergency management.

“Enrollment for the new academic year is now more that 9,000, and TSU is the only TBR institution that has not experienced a drop in enrollment for two years in a roll,” Dr. Glover told the gathering to a rousing applause. “We have also initiated programs to help students stay in school and graduate on time.”

As a measure to reduce financial burden on students, Dr. Glover reported on the University’s Book Bundle initiative, a digital cutting-edge program aimed at lowering the cost of traditional textbooks. The plan allows freshman and sophomore students to buy “e-books” (downloaded on a tablet) for general education classes, saving students up to $735 per semester.

On retention and graduation, the President spoke about the University’s new Take 15 initiative that encourages students to take at least 15 credits each semester to graduate in four years, as well as the 3+1 program, a dual (college/high school) enrollment program.

Dr. Glover also announced the TSU Community College Initiative aimed at creating a seamless transition of two-year degree holders to TSU. Through this initiative, Dr. Glover said, TSU is reaching out to all 13 community colleges around the state to develop long-lasting partnerships and relationships through “2+2” or dual enrollment efforts.

“Just yesterday, we signed a Student Transfer Partnership Agreement with Southwest Tennessee Community College right here in Memphis, my home town,” she said

In other areas that also drew cheers from the gathering, including state lawmakers and community leaders, the President disclosed that the University has raised more than $9.5 million in giving to the University since she arrived on campus about 18 months ago.

“Our corporate partners, community stakeholders, alumni, faculty, staff and individuals have been very generous and supportive of our plea for support,” said Dr. Glover, who presented a check for $50,000 to her alma mater as her “first order of business” when she became president in 2012, challenging other alumni to follow suit.

“We thank you for your support and for buying into our vision to make TSU the best it can be,” Dr. Glover added.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Grad Student Seeks Top Spot at Historic Apollo Theater Amateur Night

Darius Salazar, a graduate music student at Tennessee State University, will perform at Amateur Night at the Apollo, September 17 and attempt to become the "Super Top Dog." (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Darius Salazar, a graduate music student at Tennessee State University, will perform at Amateur Night at the Apollo, September 17 and attempt to become the “Super Top Dog.” (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A graduate music student at Tennessee State University is going to see if he has what it takes to be “Top Dog” when he takes his musical talents to New York and the Apollo Theater.

Darius Salazar, a Chicago native pursuing his graduate work in Music Education, will perform at Amateur Night at the Apollo, Wednesday, Sept. 17 in hopes of making it through four rounds of competition all the way to the Super Top Dog competition in late November. If he makes it that far, he has a shot at the $10,000 cash prize.

“I was very surprised when I was asked to take part in the competition,” said Salazar. “No matter what happens, I think this opportunity can open new musical doors for me.”

A recruiter for the show approached Salazar when he was rehearsing this past summer with the 105 Voices of History All HBCU Jazz Band prior to their performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The recruiter was in the audience and introduced himself to Salazar, and invited him to the competition.

Salazar knows the Apollo is the place where many careers are started and can’t wait for his opportunity on stage. Just the invite, he said, is special.

“It really surprised me, and left me speechless,” added Salazar. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime not many people get.”

Salazar will have three minutes to grab the attention of the notoriously raucous audience at the Harlem Theater. He recently found out he is the first electric bass guitarist to take to the stage, and will perform a selection from Stevie Wonder, another musician whose career was launched at the theater.

With so much at stake, Salazar isn’t taking any chances. He is practicing long hours every day, trying to implement his own style on Stevie Wonder’s Billboard Hot 100 hit, As.

“It’s a great song to perform as an instrumental,” said Salazar. “The odds are pretty tough but I’m going to give it my best.”

Someone who knows about his “best” musical talent is Dr. Robert Elliott, chair of the Music Department, who not only is a bass player like Salazar, but also gave him private lessons for four years during his undergraduate studies at the University.

“Darius is a very talented and gifted musician,” said Elliott. “We are very pleased about his selection and excited about him moving on to the next phase of his musical career.”

No matter what the outcome, Salazar is just happy to showcase his musical talents and represent Tennessee State University.

“This will definitely make my career better and I am honored to be on such a historic show,” he added. “I am just pleased to show what I have.”

Amateur Night at the Apollo celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2009, serving as the model for Star Search and American Idol. When Amateur Night at the Apollo debuted in 1934, it quickly became the leading showcase for many young, talented, new performers such as a 15-year-old Ella Fitzgerald, who went on to become one of the first Amateur Night winners.

Today, competitions are held nearly every Wednesday evening throughout the year, culminating with the “Super Top Dog” competition. The show marries world-class talent with a distinctive, vaudeville-like atmosphere, and has depended on audience participation since the very beginning. The popularity contest has proven an effective measure of star potential, becoming a launch pad for some of the nation’s greatest entertainers.

Many legends have played there over the years — Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, to name but a few — and launched the careers of James Brown, the Jackson 5, Sisqo, D’Angelo, and Lauryn Hill.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University and Southwest Tennessee Community Agree on Seamless Student Transfer

President Glenda Glover, left, and President Nathan Essex, of Southwest Tennessee Community College, sign the Student Transfer Partnership Agreement. Witnessing the ceremony are, standing from left, Dr. John Cade, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services; Karen F. Nippert, Southwest VP for Institutional Advancement; Dr. Sharon Peters, Director of Community College Initiative; Dr. Mark Hardy, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Southwest student Reginald Deon Woods; Barbara Roseborough, Southwest Provost and Executive Vice President; and Dr. Alisa Mosley, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. (photo byJohn Cross, TSU Media Relations)
President Glenda Glover, left, and President Nathan Essex, of Southwest Tennessee Community College, sign the Student Transfer Partnership Agreement. Witnessing the ceremony are, standing from left, Dr. John Cade, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services; Karen F. Nippert, Southwest VP for Institutional Advancement; Dr. Sharon Peters, Director of Community College Initiative; Dr. Mark Hardy, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Southwest student Reginald Deon Woods; Barbara Roseborough, Southwest Provost and Executive Vice President; and Dr. Alisa Mosley, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. (photo byJohn Cross, TSU Media Relations)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With officials from the two institutions watching, Tennessee State University and Southwest Tennessee Community College Thursday signed an agreement that will allow students who complete two years at Southwest to transfer to TSU to complete their baccalaureate degree.

TSU President Glenda Glover and Southwest President Nathan Essex signed the Transfer Partnership Agreement during a ceremony on the Southwest campus in Memphis.

“This agreement is about two institutions taking steps to empower our students to be successful,” said Dr. Glover in an opening statement. “The agreement further strengthens our partnership, and gives Southwest students additional choices for aligning associate degrees with bachelor’s degrees through Tennessee State University.”

Referring to the agreement as “important and significant,” Southwest President Essex agreed with Dr. Glover’s assessment that it provides opportunities for students to be successful.

“We are here to ensure that our students are successful, and this partnership with Tennessee State University strengthens that effort,” Dr. Essex said, commending President Glover for her leadership. “She has done a phenomenal job in just two years, and her vision speaks well to the quality of her leadership.”

The agreement between the two institutions calls for the awarding of 10 two-year full TSU scholarships with preference to STEM majors, beginning fall 2015, The partnership also includes a dual-admission component that builds on the Tennessee Transfer Pathway, which is designed to help community college students plan for transferring to a Tennessee public university to complete their baccalaureate degree.

Two second-year Southwest pre-engineering students who attended the signing ceremony, see the agreement as timely and offers “much needed outlet” to complete their undergraduate degrees.

Reginald Deon Woods, a Computer Engineering major, and Christian Pavas, an Engineering Technology major, who plan to attend TSU at the completion of their associate degrees, said the University has the programs and offerings they need for their baccalaureate degrees.

“The opportunity to seamlessly transfer our credits and the scholarship opportunity the agreement offers are just great,” said Pavas. “I look forward to continuing my program at Tennessee State.”

Following the ceremony, President Glover spoke about the effort that went into bringing the agreement into fruition, giving special recognition to her senior administration including officials of the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, and the Dean of the College of Engineering.

“I want to thank all of you for your work in helping us to bring this agreement into reality,” Dr. Glover said. “I want to particularly thank Dr. Sharon Peters (Director of Community College Initiative), and Dr. (S. Keith) Hargrove, the dean of the College of Engineering for working so diligently with Southwest Community College to bring about this agreement.”

The agreement is part of TSU’s on-going effort to reach out to all 13 community colleges around the state to develop long-lasting partnerships and relationships. Currently, there are agreements with Volunteer State, Nashville State, Columbia State, Motlow State Community Colleges, and soon Southwest Tennessee Community College. There are hopes to sign agreements with four additional institutions within the next year.

Among other TSU officials at the signing ceremony were Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services; Dr. Alisa Mosley, associate vice president for Academic Affairs; and Kelli Sharp, assistant vice president for Public Relations and Communications.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University President Glover Extends Scholarship Offers to More than 100 Top High School Seniors

TSU President Glenda Glover interacts with several of the more than one students who attended her annual scholarship reception in the Downtown Memphis Sheraton Wednesday Evening. (Photo my John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
TSU President Glenda Glover interacts with several of the more than 100 students who attended her annual scholarship reception in the Downtown Memphis Sheraton Wednesday Evening. (Photo my John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – If Darrick Tucker’s enthusiasm over TSU President Glenda Glover’s announcement of scholarship offers is any indication, more than 100 top high school seniors from west Tennessee and northern Mississippi could be headed to TSU next fall.

Tucker, an all-A’s senior from East High School in Memphis, who wants to become a bio-medical engineer, was among more than 200 students and their parents who packed a hall in the Downtown Memphis Sheraton Wednesday evening to hear Dr. Glover at her annual Presidential Scholarship Reception.

“Tennessee State University is a caring institution for students who want to succeed, and we do everything possible to help them make the transition,” said Dr. Glover, assuring parents that TSU has plans to ensure on-time and early graduation.

For instance, the President named Take 15, a TSU initiative that ensures students graduate in four years by taking at least 15 credit hours or more per semester, and 3+1, another program that ensures student graduation in three years and beginning graduate school in their fourth year of enrollment.

“We nurture your children for success, but to achieve that they must be ready to work hard and be willing to invest the time and energy to graduate on time,” Dr. Glover, a Memphis native and TSU alum, who spoke about her personal gratification of returning home to recruit students, cautioned parents.

“This area means so much to me. This is where I had my beginning. I went to school here. The possibilities in earning an education are just so many. It is just wonderful to attend TSU and come back home as president.”

Unlike last year when the President awarded $3 million in scholarships to 50 students from 15 high schools in west Tennessee and northern Mississippi, no specific amount was announced this time. However, admissions officials said that all of the more than 100 students in attendance could get a full ride if their complete application packages are received by September 24.

“All of these students have been pre-screened by our admission counselors, with the required GPAs or ACT scores,” said Dr. John Cade, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services. “They only need to act fast to meet the September 24 deadline.”

Darrick Tucker is ready.

“There is a more than 85 percent chance that I will come to TSU,” said Tucker, expressing sentiments and enthusiasm shown by many of his fellow seniors at the reception. “TSU’s programs seem to fit what I am looking for.”

Tucker’s parents, mother Marion and father Kirk are just as equally excited about their son’s prospect of selecting TSU for his college career.

“All we have been receiving are letters from schools interested in our son, but this is the first time we are actually meeting a person talk to us about his future,” Kirk Tucker said about what he called the “face-to-face” approach of the President and the admissions officials.

“He has worked so hard to get to this point, and we are very sure that he is ready to work even harder in college,” added Marion Tucker, about her son.

The Presidential Scholarship Reception, one of many activities leading up to the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis, offered incentives for parents and students to attend the football game between TSU and Jackson State University on Saturday. All in attendance received at least one free ticket to the game.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

13 Years later, TSU freshmen remember 9-11

First-time freshmen gather around an American flag in Paog Auditorium to share tributes and personal stories to honor those who died during the 9/11 attacks. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
First-time freshmen gather around an American flag in Paog Auditorium to share tributes and personal stories to honor those who died during the 9/11 attacks. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – On a day when many Americans across the country took time to reflect on the tragic events that took place 13 years ago, nearly 40 students from Tennessee State University gathered today to pay tribute and honor those who perished in terrorists attacks that killed close to 3,000 American citizens on September 11, 2001.

Students from two freshman composition classes gathered around a 20-foot American flag to read inspirational stories of those who lost their lives and share their own personal experiences, while each held onto a portion of the giant flag.

“I’ll never forget the feeling of loss we felt that day,” said Heidi Williams, professor of English literature. “The people that lost their lives were just going about their everyday life…going to work, taking care of their families…so we need to remember their sacrifices and make sure our students remember the significance of the day.”

During the 30-minute tribute in Poag Auditorium, students had a chance to either read the uplifting and moving tributes they wrote as part of their research for the ceremony, or speak of personal experiences from that day.

“It’s a day I won’t forget,” said Deonta Young, a freshman from Nashville, as he read the story of a 27-year old woman who was on the 32nd floor of the Twin Towers when the first plane struck. “She was starting her day and just perished. I can only imagine how horrific that day was.”

This is the third year Williams has held the ceremony for her first-year students, and the first year she has joined forces with fellow teacher, Bob Bradley. The ceremony served two purposes.  The first was to remember the day and the impact it had on the country. The second was to teach through experienced-based writing according to Dr. Lucas Powers, professor and chair of the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy.

“We have a course revitalization grant through the Tennessee Board of Regents where we are weaving Freshman Composition classes and Service to Leadership courses together,” added Powers. “This is giving students the opportunity to not only participate in service-learning classes, but also write about their first-hand personal experiences in class.”

It’s personal experiences that Williams hopes all the students in attendance will remember not only today, but also one they hold on to. If nothing else, she told them, “…this should create a thought of service and selflessness, and the desire to serve.”

“This changed how I and many Americans viewed the country,” she told the students as they unfurled the flag. “Sometimes we get caught up in the everyday things in life. Today is a day to reflect and I urge you to conduct just one random act of kindness for someone.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University to Sign Memorandum of Understanding with Southwest Tennessee Community College

Agreement to Build Partnership, Pipeline of Students to TSU

 

UpdatedFullLogoNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will soon make it easier for West Tennessee community college students to attend the University and transfer all credits when TSU and Southwest Tennessee Community College sign an agreement to provide greater educational opportunities and services for students transferring between institutions.

swLogoThe two institutions will sign a Student Transfer Partnership Agreement Thursday, Sept. 11 that guarantees all the courses Southwest students complete on the Tennessee Transfer Pathways (TTP) will be accepted at TSU and count toward a baccalaureate degree. The agreement also awards 10 two-year full TSU scholarships in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The signing ceremony will take place on Southwest’s Macon Cove Campus in the Bornblum Library as part of TSU’s community outreach during the Annual Southern Heritage Classic celebration.

According to TSU President Glenda Glover, TSU has always had a strong presence in the West Tennessee area. The University, she said, wants to continue to build on the strong partnerships established in West Tennessee, and will now build stronger ties with SWTCC. The agreement strengthens the pipeline of students from the region to the University.

“We are excited to expand our educational opportunities for residents in the western part of the state and beyond,” said Dr. Glover. “They will have additional choices for aligning associate degrees with bachelor degrees through Tennessee State University. The relationship we are establishing is about the two institutions empowering our students to be successful.”

The terms of the agreement include the awarding of 10 two-year full TSU scholarships in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The scholarships begin fall 2015 and include tuition, room and board. The partnership also contains a dual admissions component that builds on the Tennessee Transfer Pathways, which was designed to help community college students plan for transferring to a Tennessee public university, such as TSU, to complete their baccalaureate degree.

According to University officials, TSU is now creating more partnerships and programs with community colleges, such as SWTCC around the state to help students transfer seamlessly to the University to complete a four-year degree. Under the Community College Initiative, students have more options to move them along through their educational career.

Dr. Sharon Peters, director of the Community College Initiative Program, said the new initiative “just makes sense and is truly one of those win-win situations for everyone involved.”

“More and more students are choosing to pursue community college, as opposed to a university, right out of high school or as a nontraditional student because community colleges tuition costs are 50 percent less than four-year institutions,” said Peters. “Once they get their associate degree they will enter TSU as a junior and spend two years here, providing them with an opportunity to get their four-year degree from TSU.”

According to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics, as of fall 2012, 40 percent of all college undergraduates were enrolled in community colleges. TSU, added Peters, is committed to partnering with the Tennessee community colleges to create programs and initiatives focused on increasing the number of students prepared for transfer to the University.

“These programs and initiatives raise student achievement levels, close achievement gaps and successfully prepare a diverse population of students for academic and professional success,” said Peters. “Transfer preparation programs provide services such as regular and sustained advising, mentoring and early identification to improve student outcomes.”

According to Peters, the University is reaching out to all 13 community colleges around the state to develop long-lasting partnerships and relationships. Currently there are agreements with Volunteer State, Nashville State, Columbia State, Motlow State Community Colleges, and soon Southwest Tennessee Community College. There are hopes to sign agreements with four additional institutions within the next year.

These new relationships and initiatives, Peters added, are programs that specifically focus on the Community Colleges and their needs, but also the needs of the larger community. And with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” education initiative, TSU is prime to help lead the way for not only higher education, but for workforce and economic development.

“Of course we want to see growth in the number of transfer students that choose TSU, and a growth in the number of partnerships. More importantly we want to see partnerships between community college faculty and university faculty whereby they engage in joint research and curriculum design,” Peters said. “These types of partnerships benefit the students, the community and the state in our effort to insure that the majority of our citizens have a college degree.”

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Honors Program, Former Director to be recognized during TSU Scholarship Gala

Dr. McDonald Williams
Dr. McDonald Williams

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It is a program that has spanned 50 years and has seen the likes of future lawyers, surgeons, engineers, business CEOs, and even the University president, Dr. Glenda Glover.

Now, Tennessee State University’s Honor Program and one of its most treasured figures will be recognized during The 2014 Scholarship Gala Friday, Sept. 26. Themed, “An evening of Honors,” the celebration will pay tribute to long-time director, Dr. McDonald Williams, and the growth of the program since 1963.

“This really is a time to celebrate the program and one of the most instrumental persons behind it,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, current director of the Honor Program. “Dr. Williams, while not the original founder, laid the cornerstone of academic excellence and the standard of which this program was built upon.”

Under then University President, Dr. Walter S. Davis, a committee was charged with studying Honors programs and determining the feasibility of establishing one at the University. The committee recommended that TSU keep pace with other institutions throughout the country. As a result, an Honors Program for freshman students started in the fall of 1964. Sophomore through senior level course work was added yearly throughout 1968.

Williams spent 30 years at the University serving as a professor of English, and as director of the Honors Program for 23 years before retiring in 1988.

The program, said Jackson, has gone through many changes throughout the years. Today it boasts more than 400 students; 145 of which are first-time freshmen. The goal is to transition the program into an Honors College in the near future. But the foundation built by Williams still holds true today, she said.

“He [Dr. Williams] had a vision for where the program needed to go and subsequent directors, including Jane Elliott and Sandra Holt have carried that vision forward,” said Jackson.

Former CNN anchor and now Al Jazeera America special correspondent Soledad O'Brien, addressed the student body and faculty March 26 during the University Honors Convocation in Kean Hall. Earlier in the day, O'Brien was the featured speaker at the Honors Program 50th Anniversary Luncheon honoring Dr. McDonald Williams, the first Director of the Honors Program. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Former CNN anchor and now Al Jazeera America special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, addressed the student body and faculty March 26 during the University Honors Convocation in Kean Hall. Earlier in the day, O’Brien was the featured speaker at the Honors Program 50th Anniversary Luncheon honoring Dr. McDonald Williams, the first Director of the Honors Program. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

The yearlong celebration of the Honors Program kicked off earlier this year and was capped by a visit on March 26 by award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien. The former CNN anchor was the featured speaker at the Honors Anniversary Luncheon as well as the keynote speaker during the Honors Day Convocation.

Other events planned include a Black Tie Gala held earlier this year, and an Honors Research Symposium to coincide with the University-Wide Research Symposium. In the fall, the celebration will culminate with a special 50th Anniversary cake-cutting ceremony and an Honors Week observance.

Scholarship Gala Advert 5x8According to Jackson, the primary goal of the celebration is two-fold. The first is to bring awareness to the program that creates and maintains a community of academically bright and talented students who serve as campus leaders and role models. The second, she said, was to raise the necessary funds to transition the program to a college.

“The key objective is the academic enrichment of our students and working with them to achieve their goals,” she added. “We have the opportunity to teach students who are excited about learning and have the freedom to explore issues from multiple points of view. The program not only impacts the students but also the entire University.”

The jubilee celebration kicks off with an “Honors 50 for 50” campaign to raise $500,000 to help the program transition to an Honors College. The new college, she said, will encourage interdisciplinary programs, enhance undergraduate research in all disciplines, advisement for prestigious fellowships and scholarships, mentoring programs, and lifelong learning, including a global perspective through study abroad.

“As a College, we will be able to highlight the importance of offering an enriched honors curriculum and to increase the University’s ability to recruit and retain high-ability students,” added Jackson.  “We have a program that has a national reputation and it already meets the characteristics of an Honors College, as recommended by the National Collegiate Honors Council, the recognized leader in undergraduate honor education.”

For more information on the 2014 Scholarship Gala call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala. The gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at Music City Center and tickets are available now to purchase.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Claude Humphrey Named TSU Homecoming Grand Marshal

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee to be honored at 2014 Scholarship Gala

 

 

After nearly 30 years, TSU great Claude Humphrey took his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio. On September 27, Humphrey will serve as the Grand Marshal for TSU's Homecoming parade, and honored during the Scholarship Gala Friday, Sept. 26. (courtesy photo)
After nearly 30 years, TSU great Claude Humphrey took his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio. On September 27, Humphrey will serve as the Grand Marshal for TSU’s Homecoming parade, and honored during the Scholarship Gala Friday, Sept. 26. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – One of the most celebrated Tigers to ever step on the playing field at Tennessee State University will serve as Grand Marshal for his alma mater’s 2014 Homecoming parade.

Claude Humphrey, legendary TSU Tiger and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will serve as the official grand marshal during the Homecoming Parade, Saturday, Sept. 27, and honored during the Homecoming game later that evening at LP Field.

Humphrey, who was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame more than 30 years after retiring from football, will also be honored at the 2014 Scholarship Gala Friday, Sept. 26, an event designed to raise scholarship dollars for students in need.

Scholarship Gala Advert 5x8“This is truly a great honor and I am looking forward to returning to the place where my football career started and my life changed,” said Humphrey. “It is a special time in my life to come ‘home’ to Tennessee State University so soon after my induction into the Hall of Fame. Everybody from the current president, Glenda Glover, to the staff have treated me as if I am a student again and that can’t be overlooked.”

Humphrey, the former Atlanta Falcon, who retired with the Philadelphia Eagles, was a three-time All-American defensive tackle at TSU from 1964 to 1967. He ended his collegiate career as the all-time leader in sacks at TSU with 39. He is tied for second behind Lamar Carter along with fellow TSU legend Richard Dent.

His college career also included a 35-3-1 record, two Black Colleges National Championships and an All-American selection in 1967. It all helped make Humphrey one of the earliest small-school prospects to be a top overall selection in the NFL draft.

But Humphrey will quickly say his love for football started purely by accident.

During his acceptance speech recently at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement, he described seeing some kids playing football, running around and tackling each other at the local high school in Memphis, Tennessee, while on an errand to get baking powder and cornmeal from the store for his mom.

When the coach asked him if he wanted to play, he said he had to finish the errand first, and took the stuff home. From there, he went back out and played, which is where his passion for the game presumably began.

He spoke about his time at Tennessee State, and the recruiting pitch from TSU coach John Merritt. The coach visited Humphrey’s house and spoke to his parents, telling them that he’d make sure Humphrey made it to church every Sunday no matter what.

“John Merritt to me was the greatest coach in historic black college football,” Humphrey said. “We lost a total of five games in four years. We lost two my freshman year, and then during my 1965 and 1966 seasons, we won the Black College National Championship.”

But the biggest thing that stuck out in his mind, Humphrey said, was Coach Merritt’s pitch. Coach Merritt actually came to his house and spoke to his parents about how he was going to take care of him at TSU. He would make sure he received his education, would buy his clothes, and feed him in the way he was accustomed to eating. That, he said, sealed the deal.

“Historically black colleges and universities take care of their students and everybody looks out for you,” added Humphrey. “It was an easy choice coming to TSU. It was like moving from one house to another…it was family.”

During his time at TSU, Humphrey’s tenacity on the field made him a first-round selectee during the 1968 NFL draft, going third overall to the Atlanta Falcons. During his rookie season in Atlanta, he was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons (1968-74, 76-77) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1979-81). While with Atlanta, Humphrey was named All-NFL or All-Pro eight times and was selected to the Pro Bowl on six different occasions. Humphrey is only the second Falcon and TSU Tiger to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But none of this would have been possible without the opportunities and nurturing he received at TSU, added Humphrey. From playing at the iconic William J. Hale Stadium, known as the “Hole,” to professors and coaches that took a personal interest in not only the football player, but also shaping the man he would become, it started at Tennessee State.

“I came from very humble beginnings and have been blessed for everything I have accomplished,” Humphrey said. “Life has given me opportunities, including the opportunity to attend TSU. Had I not come her, there is no telling where I would be today.”

Humphrey joins a list of impressive former grand marshals including TSU Tigers Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Richard Dent, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Other past grand marshals include Drs. Bobby Jones and Levi Watkins, Coach Ed Temple, Air Force general, Lloyd “Fig” Newton,” and current president Glenda Glover.

The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. and will again follow its original route through the historic Jefferson Street corridor to the TSU campus. The mile-and-a-half route begins at 14th Avenue and Jefferson Street traveling to the campus through the campus and concludes to 33rd Avenue and Albion Street.

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at 615.963.5831.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Upcoming TSU Gala More Than Glitz and Glamour

Annual event to raise scholarship dollars for students with real needs

 

 

Lauren Wiggins
Lauren Wiggins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Lauren Wiggins says she learned a life lesson in high school that continues to follow her even today. That lesson: people aren’t concerned about your excuses. The Atlanta native recalls a high school teacher telling her, at age 14, that she displayed the actions of a criminal because she skipped classes or arrived late. Wiggins says her explanations fell on deaf ears.

“Whenever I was late or missed class, I would let the teachers know I had been up all night taking care of my brothers or in the emergency room with them,” explains Wiggins. “I have a 19-year-old brother who is severely disabled, and a 15-year-old brother who is diagnosed with Autism and ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder]. I’m the oldest of three, and I have been changing diapers since I was five years old.”

Wiggins says her oldest brother has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a cerebral shunt.

“My brother has the mind of a six-month-old. His body has continued to grow since birth, but his brain hasn’t. At times all I could do was just hold him when he cried. He’s unable to communicate and is completely immobile. My choice was easy in high school, family is first.”

Today, the 21-year-old Wiggins is a rising senior at Tennessee State University with a 3.8 GPA as a Public Health major. She received a full music scholarship to TSU following high school. However, after her sophomore year, she had to make another tough decision regarding her education and family. Wiggins decided to give up the scholarship.

“Dropping out [of college] was never an option, but I was needed at home. This conflicted with my commitment to the marching band and wind ensemble. I enjoyed being in the band, but my parents are older and needed help taking care of my brother. I had to rush home several times when my mom called and said her back was out from getting him in and out of bed or his wheelchair.”

2014 Scholarship Gala
Click to Buy tickets today!

Wiggins knew giving up the scholarship meant her family would have to struggle to pay tuition, but she was determined to stay at TSU. The University has been a part of her family for three generations. Through persistence, she found out about the TSU Foundation and was awarded a scholarship that covered nearly all her expenses for the upcoming fall semester.

“This scholarship has helped immensely, and heightened my desire to give back to Tennessee State, for other students who deserve a second chance.”

On Friday, Sept. 26, Tennessee State will hold its annual scholarship gala honoring long-time educators Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams. Both have ties to some of TSU’s most notable alumni, including Oprah Winfrey. The event will also honor alumnus and former football player Claude Humphrey, one of the newest members inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dr. Sharon Peters, Gala co-chairman, says while the event will honor these individuals, the primary mission is to raise funds to help students who need money to stay at the University. Students like Wiggins are one of many examples why the gala is so important.

“The gala provides the needed support for students to enroll at the University who may not otherwise have the funds to attend or who may fall short financially,” adds Peters, also director for TSU’s Community College Initiative Program. “A majority of our students need financial aid and without the help of many of our donors, these students would not have the opportunity to attend college.”

This will be TSU President Glenda Glover’s second scholarship gala while serving as the leader of one of the nation’s top HBCUs. Last year’s event had record attendance. According to University officials, more than 600 students were helped with $1.7 million worth of scholarships during the 2013-14 academic year. This represented a 76 percent increase in donations from the previous year and the University was able to award up to $965,000 in private scholarships.

“I am confident that our donors- employees, alumni, corporate partners, and friends of the University will continue to give and partner with us for this year’s scholarship gala,” says President Glover. “We have students with real needs, and the Foundation, along with the Office of Student Enrollment, has done a tremendous job in matching students with dollars. Every dollar counts and will make a difference in a student’s life. It begins with them receiving a quality education at Tennessee State.”

Wiggins says that’s exactly what she’s receiving at TSU – a quality education that has afforded her the opportunity to have internships with environmental watchdog Green Peace and the Centers for Disease Control. She beams with pride when asked what the future holds.

“I’ve lived my life around my brother’s health and wouldn’t change one single thing. I am happy to be alive and not a burden on my parents. I believe my future is bright and I owe it to my future alma mater TSU.”

Following graduation, Wiggins has her eyes set on Yale University where she plans on obtaining master’s degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science. Eventually, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology.

Call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala for more information on how you can help students like Lauren Wiggins through the 2014 Scholarship Gala. The gala takes place at Music City Center and tickets are available now to purchase.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU College of Business Launches 12-Month Option for the MBA Degree

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Business at Tennessee State University has announced a 12-month degree completion option for the Master of Business Administration. The program is designed for highly motivated students who are seeking to develop strong managerial competencies that are applicable in any business setting around the globe.

The 12-month MBA program offers the same core curriculum as TSU’s traditional MBA program with greater flexibility for the working adult. Ideally suited for the busy professional, the accelerated option offers convenient weekend classes on the Avon Williams downtown campus during the fall and spring semesters, and fully online classes during the summer. The accelerated alternative will enable graduates to expeditiously achieve the prestigious credential of an MBA degree from a business school accredited by AACSB International, the most prestigious accrediting body for business programs around the world.

For more information regarding the accelerated option and the traditional MBA program, email the College of Business Director of Graduate Programs at mba@tnstate.edu or visit our website at www.tnstate.edu/mba.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.