Police arrest suspect in shooting of TSU student

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nashville Metropolitan Police have caught the final Woodland Hills escapee, who was charged in connection with Wednesday night’s shooting of an 18-year-old TSU student.

De’mario Fisher has been charged with especially aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and unlawful gun possession in the attack of an 18-year old TSU student Wednesday night.

Fisher, 18, has been a fugitive since he and more than 30 other teens escaped from Woodland Hills on Sept. 1. Police said he was armed with a loaded gun when he was apprehended.

Tennessee State University president, Glenda Glover, praised the collaborative efforts of the Metro and TSU police forces, and said the campus community can breath easier now that the suspect is in custody.

“Both police forces have made it a top priority to capture the suspect involved in this crime,” said Dr. Glover. “We are grateful for their efforts for restoring a sense of relief back to not only the campus community, but to the larger community as well.”

The arrest comes on the heels of an earlier press conference today at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church where local clergy, politicians, as well as Dr. Glover and members of the administration and students gathered as a sign of unity against crime in the community and against students at local universities and colleges. During the conference, Metro Police chief Steve Anderson identified Fisher as the primary suspect.

On Wednesday night, the gunshot victim and an 18-year-old friend were returning from the Wendy’s restaurant on 28th Avenue North. As they approached the intersection of John A. Merritt Boulevard and 31st Avenue North, the women noticed a dark colored four-door sedan parked on the street.

Moments later, a man with a pistol visible in his waistband got out of the passenger side, approached the victim and demanded her backpack. The victim refused and fought the gunman’s efforts to rob her. Ultimately the gunman put her in a headlock, threw her to the ground and shot her multiple times. Her friend received a minor injury. The gunman then fled back to the car, which was last seen traveling on John A. Merritt Boulevard.

Both students have been released from the hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.

 

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.

 

Metro Police Identify Suspect in TSU Attempted Robbery, Shooting

Woodland Hills Escapee De’Mario Fisher Wanted in the Shooting of a TSU Student Wednesday Night

 

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson announces the identification of De'Mario Fisher as the prime suspect in the attempted robbery and shooting of an 18-year old TSU student Friday, as president Glenda Glover and community leaders look on. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson announces the identification of De’Mario Fisher as the prime suspect in the attempted robbery and shooting of an 18-year old TSU student Friday, as president Glenda Glover and community leaders look on. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson today announced they have identified a suspect in Wednesday’s attempted robbery and shooting of an 18-year old female TSU student.

De’Mario Fisher is wanted for aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and unlawful gun possession in connection with Wednesday’s attack.

Fisher, who turned 18 today, has been a fugitive since he and more than 30 other teens escaped from Woodland Hills on September 1.  He is the only one who remains at-large.
 Fisher is considered to be armed and dangerous.

The announcement came during a press conference at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church when local clergy, politicians, along with Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover and administration members joined together in a show of unity against crime in the community, and against students at area colleges and universities.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Metro and TSU police in identifying a dangerous suspect in this attack,” said Dr. Glover. “We are very appreciative of their efforts.”

On Wednesday night, the gunshot victim and an 18-year-old friend were returning from the Wendy’s restaurant on 28th Avenue North.  As they approached the intersection of John A. Merritt Boulevard and 31st Avenue North, the women noticed a dark colored four-door sedan parked on the street.

Moments later, a man with a pistol visible in his waistband got out of the passenger side, approached the victim and demanded her backpack.  The victim refused and fought the gunman’s efforts to rob her.  Ultimately the gunman put her in a headlock, threw her to the ground and shot her multiple times.  Her friend received a minor injury.  The gunman then fled back to the car, which was last seen traveling on John A. Merritt Boulevard.

Both students have been released from the hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.

Careful analysis of certain evidence recovered from the shooting scene by an MNPD expert led to the development of Fisher as a possible suspect.  The victim picked Fisher as her assailant from a photo lineup earlier today.

Anyone seeing Fisher or knowing his whereabouts is urged to contact the Emergency Communications Center at 615.862.8600 or Crime Stoppers at 615.74CRIME.

 

 

 

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 Aristocrat of Bands Selected for 13th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational

AOB1NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Congratulations to the Aristocrat of Bands!

The Tennessee State University nationally and internationally recognized marching band is on its way to yet another Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.

The band was one of eight selected from among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities after a fierce online voting process. In addition to voting, students, alumni and fans of each HBCU took to social media to help their favorite marching bands advance to the 13th annual Battle of the Band showcase in Atlanta.

Feedback from band directors, HBCU school presidents and representatives from American Honda were also considered in the selection process.

An overall winner will be selected when the final eight bands take the Georgia Dome by storm on Jan. 24, 2015, to showcase their “incredible” musical talent and “electrifying” showmanship in front of a packed crowd.

The other bands making the final eight along with the Aristocrat of Bands are the Mighty Marching Hornets of Alabama State University, the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University, Howard University’s Showtime Marching Band, making their first Honda Battle of the Bands appearance, and the Sonic Boom of the South from Jackson State University.

Also selected are North Carolina A&T University’s Blue and Gold Marching Machine, the Human Jukebox from Southern University, and the Marching Tornado of Talladega College.

This will be the sixth appearance for the Aristocrat of Bands at the Honda Battle of the Bands, having performed in 2003, 2004, 2011, and 2012 and 2014.

“It is gratifying that this will be the fourth time in five years for us to be chosen under my leadership,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, acting band director. “Although we were selected by people voting online based on what they have seen and heard from our halftime shows, we look and sound great.”

According to a Honda release, this year’s theme, “March On,” is intended to serves as a reminder to students and fans that life on and off the field is a journey, and no matter the challenge, the dream or what may lie ahead, “learning never stops as long as you commit to ‘March On.’”

“Honda congratulates the eight bands selected to participate in the Invitational Showcase and thanks all of the schools, students, alumni and fans that participated in the process leading to Atlanta,” said Stephan Morikawa, assistant vice president, Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda is committed to supporting education at HBCUs by investing in their programs and providing a platform aimed at helping students realize what Honda calls The Power of Dreams.”

The 2015 Invitational Showcase will feature the first-ever Honda Battle of the Bands Power of Dreams Award. Participating teams and fans will have the opportunity to nominate an outstanding member of their community who is working to help students achieve their dreams. Honda will then select a winner who will be recognized in Atlanta at the 2015 Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase.

Tickets to the Honda Battle of the Bands are available for purchase now on the official website, starting at just $10. The participating eight HBCUs will receive a $20,000 grant from Honda to support their music education programs, plus travel to and accommodations in Atlanta for the Invitational Showcase.

In another development, the Aristocrat of Bands has, for the second time, been invited to perform at the Bands of America Grand National Championship in Indianapolis in November.

According to McDonald, TSU will be the only HBCU to play twice in the Bands of America Grand Nationals, considered the nation’s premier marching band event.

“It is unique that these top high schools at the competition will get to see our band perform. We see this opportunity as a recruitment tool for both the band and the University,” added McDonald, who put the graduation rate among band members at more than 75 percent.

 

 

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.

Colombian Orchestra Brings Sounds of the Caribbean Coast to Tennessee State University Oct. 30

Bolivar Symphony Orchestra-4NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University presents an evening with the Bolívar Symphony Orchestra from Colombia, Thursday, Oct. 30. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Poag Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.

The event is part of a four-state U.S. tour for the South American orchestra from the Bolívar Fine Arts and Sciences University in Colombia, that began in Miami and concludes in Nashville. Prior to arriving in Nashville, the orchestra performed in New Orleans, Orlando, Florida, as well as Hattiesburg and Meridian, Mississippi.

The orchestra will entertain audiences with songs from their repertoire including Adolfo Mejía, Strauss, and popular music of the Colombian Caribbean, filling each of the scenarios in its entirety.

Maestro Germán Céspedes leads the Colombian musicians, with the support of Sacra Náder, rector for the institution, who has lead and promoted this “Caribbean Autumn” concert as a way to bring the music, identity and multiculturalism in Colombia and the Caribbean coast to other countries of the continent.

“It is the first time that 45 symphonic musicians from the Department of Bolívar have departed (Colombia) as ambassadors of culture,” said Náder. “We are very proud of our symphonic orchestra and the talent and professionalism of its director and the musicians.”

This is not the first time musicians from Colombia have visited Tennessee State University. In June, nearly 20 music students took part in the exchange program, “Music without Borders,” to promote the University and its academic programs.

“Our partnership with Colombia is important because it provides an excellent opportunity for their students as well as TSU students to better understand each group’s culture, share academic interests and engage in dialogue to expand the scope of higher education,” said Dr. Jewell Winn, TSU’s chief diversity officer and executive director for international programs.

Prior to the concert, University officials will sign a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing a relationship between the two institutions to facilitate exchanges and dual degree possibilities.

“We are extremely happy for this opportunity because it solidifies our relationship,” added Winn. “It is also important because it shows the support and interest senior leadership from both institutions have in the success of the program.”

Paog Auditorium is located in the Davis Humanities Building. For more information, call 614.963.5341.

 

 

 

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.

U.S. Army Field Band Visits Tennessee State University October 29/30

Cantare and Soldiers’ Chorus ensembles to perform free concerts

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The U.S. Army Field Band’s Cantare and Soldiers’ Chorus will visit Tennessee State University October 29-30 to perform two concerts. Both concerts are free and open to the public.

2_Cantare2013
The small ensemble Cantare will perform Wednesday, Oct. 29 beginning at 11:30 a.m., in the E.T. Goins Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center.

The small ensemble Cantare will perform Wednesday, Oct. 29 beginning at 11:30 a.m., in the E.T. Goins Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center.

Cantare, comprised of classically trained soldier-musicians from the Soldiers’ Chorus, performs opera and songs for various settings, including educational outreach, recitals, and chamber music shows. These versatile musicians, and highly regarded performers in their field, strive to bring “fresh” characterizations and a dramatic flair to their spirited performances.

The Soldiers’ Chorus will perform Thursday, Oct. 30 in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center beginning at 3 p.m.

The Soldiers’ Chorus will perform Thursday, Oct. 30 in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center beginning at 3 p.m.
The Soldiers’ Chorus will perform Thursday, Oct. 30 in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center beginning at 3 p.m.

The group includes Staff Sgt. Charles Parris, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee State University in music. He has performed as a member of the cathedral choirs of the Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Parris has also appeared as Soloist with the Nashville, Columbus, Ohio, and Jacksonville, Florida symphonies.

The Soldiers’ Chorus, founded in 1957, is the vocal complement of the United States Army Field Band of Washington, D.C. The 29-member mixed choral ensemble travels throughout the nation and abroad, performing as a separate component and in joint concerts with the Concert Band of the “Musical Ambassadors of the Army.” The chorus has performed in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Asia and throughout Europe.

 

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 Host Inaugural Teresa Phillips Thanksgiving Classic

Courtesy: Tennessee State Sports Information

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Teresa Phillips


NASHVILLE, Tenn.
– The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team will host the inaugural Teresa Phillips Thanksgiving Classic in the Gentry Center on Nov. 29-30

Named after TSU Director of Athletics and former head women’s basketball coach Teresa L. Phillips, the tournament will feature four teams from across the country, including Youngstown State, Nicholls State, Norfolk State and host TSU.

“We thought the Thanksgiving classic would be a great opportunity to give recognition to Coach Phillips,” said TSU head women’s basketball coach Larry Inman. “Not only was she a great basketball coach but she continues to be a proven leader in college athletics. It is an attribute to all her years of service to Tennessee State University.”

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Teresa Phillips was head coach of the Lady Tiger basketball program at TSU for 11 seasons from 1989-2000. The three-time OVC Coach of the Year recorded 144 total wins while at the helm of the women’s basketball program. She guided the 1993-94 team to the program’s first-ever Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship, the OVC tournament title and TSU’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Phillips and her staff enjoyed another successful season in 1994-95 as the Lady Tigers (22-7, 12-4 OVC) claimed the regular season championship while earning its second consecutive tournament title and a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Phillips garnered national attention when she became the first woman to coach a Division I NCAA men’s basketball team in 2003. She is also an inaugural member of the Girls’ Preparatory School Sports Hall of Fame and a 2008 inductee of the Lookout Mountain Sports Hall of Fame.

Recently, the Ohio Valley Conference named Phillips one of the league’s most influential women in its celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX. Just last year Phillips was featured on the Tennessean’s Legendary Ladies Elite 8 list in conjunction with the 2014 Final Four.

All contests of the Teresa Phillips Thanksgiving Classic will be played in the Gentry Center located on TSU’s main campus. For ticket information call 615.963-ROAR.

Tournament Schedule
Saturday, Nov. 29
Nicholls State vs. Youngstown State – 1 p.m.
TSU vs. Norfolk State – 3 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 3
Norfolk State vs. Nicholls State – 12 p.m.
TSU vs. Youngstown State – 2 p.m.

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 Holds Third Tuesday Field Days and Educational Workshops to Discuss Healthy Living October 21

TTFD&EW_Flyer_OctoberNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Cooperative Extension Program will continue the Third Tuesday Field Days and Educational Workshops series on Tuesday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Farrell-Westbrook Building Auditorium, room 118.

The theme for this month’s program is “Healthy Living: preventing or reducing the effects of obesity.” Vanderbilt University assistant professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Dr. John Stafford will present a workshop titled “Can we make obesity healthy (ier)? Defining pathways to reduce obesity-related cardiovascular disease.” Vanderbilt health educator Stacey Kendrick will also present a workshop on simple steps to prevent diabetes.

TSU/UT Cooperative Extension Program assistant Heather Gum will present “Heather’s Healthy Habits: Doing it for ME!” Gum was featured nationally in the official magazine for Take Off Pounds Sensibly after losing more than 170 pounds and going from a size 30 to a 12/14. She was also featured on an episode of the weekday medical show, “The Doctors.”

The registration fee of $10 includes lunch. To register or request more information, please contact Dr. Jason de Koff at 615.963.4929 or jdekoff@tnstate.edu. Visit the website at http://www.tnstate.edu/extension/Third%20Tuesday.aspx for more information.

 

 

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.

Noted Civil-Rights Activist Al Sharpton to Visit TSU October 23

al_sharptonNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Community leader, politician, minister and civil-rights activist the Reverend Al Sharpton is scheduled to visit Tennessee State University Thursday, Oct. 23.

Sharpton will speak at a forum about disparities in sports, business and politics and other social issues.

The presentation will be held in Kean Hall beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Sharpton serves as the host of PoliticsNation on MSNBC. With more than 40 years of experience as an advocate, he is one of America’s most renowned civil rights leaders. Sharpton has held such notable positions as the youth director of New York’s Operation Breadbasket, director of ministers for the National Rainbow Push coalition, and founder of his own broad-based progressive civil rights organization, the National Action.

 

 

 

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 Men’s Golf Team Ranked Among the Top 25 in the Nation

Courtesy: Tennessee State Sports Information

Foultz and Stout
Jermey Fultz, left, has claimed two top 20 finishes in the young season, while Andy Stout, right, earned a spot in the top-5 at the Black College Hall of Fame Tournament.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s golf team boasts the 24th ranked freshman class in the country, according to Golfstat.com. The combination of Jermey Fultz (Knoxville, Tennessee.) and Andy Stout (Manchester, Tennessee.) has teamed for a 73.50 average and a Relative Strength rating of 208.953.

“I can’t say I am surprised by their performance,” Coach Parrish McGrath said. “This is what I expected when I brought them to TSU.”

The Tigers are the lone Ohio Valley Conference program to currently be ranked in the Freshman Top 25.

The University of Nevada holds down the top spot and is followed by North Carolina, Wake Forest, Southern California and SMU. Rounding out the Top 10 were, Northwestern, Oregon, Illinois, California and Southern Utah.

Fultz has claimed two top 20 finishes in the young season, while Stout earned a spot in the top-5 at the Black College Hall of Fame Tournament. Earlier in the week, Stout placed one spot ahead of Fultz as they finished 12th and 13th, respectively.

Stout ranks eighth in the OVC, tied with senior James Stepp, with a 72.8 average. Fultz is tied for 11th in the conference at 73.1.

”I’m glad they have been able to make the transition to the collegiate level,” said McGrath. “I believe it is going to be the beginning of many accolades for these two young gentlemen.”

The Tigers are third as a team with a 292.5 average, behind UT Martin (290.8) and Eastern Kentucky (291.1). Defending conference champions, Jacksonville State, has posted a 279.0 average in three rounds played, two shy of the minimum number of rounds to be ranked in the OVC.

“They have definitely been a spark for the rest of the team,” McGrath stated. “The newcomers have helped motivate the squad to increase their game. We look at things with a new attitude when it comes to the teams we feel we can compete against.”

TSU returns to action on Monday, Oct. 20, at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

 

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 Greats Recognized as Pioneers at Annual Humanitarian Breakfast

TSU educators and civil rights pioneers Carrie Gentry (l) and Inez Crutchfield (r) were honored for their service to others during the 10th Annual James "Tex" Thomas  (center) Humanitarian prayer breakfast. The ceremony, held at the Northwest Family YMCA, also honored TSU women's and Olympic track coach Ed Temple.
TSU educators and civil rights pioneers Carrie Gentry (l) and Inez Crutchfield (r) were honored for their service to others during the 10th Annual James “Tex” Thomas (center) Humanitarian prayer breakfast. The ceremony, held at the Northwest Family YMCA, also honored TSU women’s and Olympic track coach Ed Temple. (photo by  John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Local, state and national politicians, as well as community leaders and friends paid tribute to three legends from Tennessee State University today for their service to others at the 10th Annual James “Tex” Thomas Humanitarian Prayer breakfast.

The ceremony was held at Nashville’s Northwest Family YMCA.

Civil rights pioneers and educators, Inez Crutchfield and Carrie Gentry, as well as legendary Olympic and TSU women’s track coach, Ed Temple, were honored for their commitment to their students, the community and fighting for the rights of others.

“The people we honor today were pioneers in the classroom, on the track and in the civil rights movement,” said Lelan Statom, master of ceremony and News Channel 5 meteorologist. “It is fitting that we honor these local humanitarians for their contributions to the Nashville community.”

Crutchfield, an assistant professor for health education at Tennessee State University from 1949 to 1985, and Gentry, an educator and wife of Howard Gentry Sr., the 12th head football coach for the TSU Tigers, were involved in the nonviolent civil rights movement in Nashville during the 1960s. They later became involved in the League for Women Voters, and were the first African-American members of the Davidson County Democratic Women.

In accepting her award, Crutchfield gave thanks for the recognition, and added that she could not have done everything alone. She had the help of “a special friend.”

“You have been my best friend for 60 years Carrie,” she said. “We’ve done it together and I love you.”

Crutchfield said the recognition was an honor since it was coming from members of her own community.

“It is especially wonderful to receive this honor by people who know me, my struggles, and what we have been able to accomplish,” she said. “This means the world to me.”

Gentry, who came to then Tennessee A&I College in 1949 with her husband, taught rhythmic and modern dance at the University, and later, along with Crutchfield, became influential in the effort to desegregate Nashville, aiding student protestors during the nonviolent civil rights movement.

“I really feel humbled today standing among so many worthy people, and you my friend, Inez (Gentry),” she said. “As I stand here today, I think about all the people that helped me move along the way. I want to thank everyone for the honor and praise. It’s a tribute to my family who helped me succeed.”

Ed Temple

TSU women’s and Olympic track coach, Ed Temple, was also recognized for his success on and off the track with the Tigerbelles and Olympic athletes during his 41 years at the University.

Temple led more than 40 athletes to Olympic competitions, bringing home a 
total of 23 Olympic medals (13 gold, six silver, and four bronze). His teams also won 34 national team titles and 30 
Pan-American Games medals.

“His success on the track and in the classroom will never be matched,” said Alfred Degrafinreid, TSU alumnus and counsel for U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper, as he spoke on behalf of Temple, who was unable to attend the ceremony.

Also on the program was TSU legendary golf coach, Dr. Catana Starks, who spoke on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the need for programs to help address the difficult task of overweight children and obesity.

The annual prayer breakfast is a Northwest Family YMCA fundraising event that benefits the Y’s annual Giving Campaign. Past honorees include community leader Richard Lewis and State Representative, Brenda Gilmore.

 

 

 

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.