TSU Professor Named 2015 Nashville Athena Award Winner

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge
Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Each year during Women’s History Month in March, Nashville, honors women leaders who inspire others to achieve excellence in their own professional and personal lives with the Athena Award.

This year the award went to a professor from Tennessee State University who exemplifies, “leadership, superior performance, commitment to community, and unselfish assistance to women and women’s issues.”

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, assistant director of Public Health Initiatives in the College of Health Sciences, received the award Thursday, March 26 during a ceremony held at the Parthenon in Centennial Park. She was selected from a talented and diverse group of 23 individuals

“It is a great honor to be named the 2015 Athena Award recipient and to have the work of my career recognized and celebrated,” said Wyche-Etheridge.

A licensed physician, specializing in family and community health, Wyche-Etheridge is responsible for improving the health and wellbeing of the Tennessee State University campus, as well as the larger Nashville community through integrating the College of Health Sciences into the community for opportunities for service and learning. She is also the founder of the public health consulting firm, WycheEffect LLC.

From its beginning, the Nashville Athena Award Program has been and continues to be a unique community-supported program, organized and sponsored through the collaborative efforts of local women’s organizations in partnership with local businesses and individual sponsors, unlike other cities which rely upon their local Chamber of Commerce. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Athena’s spirit lives on in those individuals who use their vision and persistence to excel while reaching out and opening the way for women across Nashville and Middle Tennessee, according to the organization’s website.

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

 

 

 

Taraji P. Henson to Share HBCU Experience with Students, Community March 24

Taraji P. Henson PhotoNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson will visit the Tennessee State University campus, Tuesday, March 24 to speak to students, faculty, staff and the community about the HBCU experience and how the HBCU journey shaped her life and prepared her for her future acting career.

Henson showed her love for the performing arts while still at a young age and tried unsuccessfully to apply to a performing arts high school. Instead she attended Oxon High School, graduating in 1988.

She spent her first year in college studying electrical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. After failing pre-calculus, Henson transferred to Howard University, where she studied theater. At the same time, Henson was working two jobs—one as a secretary at the Pentagon and another as a cruise-ship entertainer. At Howard, she honed her singing, dancing and acting skills, proudly earning herself a “Triple Threat Scholarship.”

Henson is one of many celebrities who attended an HBCU who are now discussing the importance of Historically Black Universities and Colleges. Celebrities who have attended HBCUs include filmmaker Will Packer, who attended Florida A&M University, R&B singer Erykah Badu, who attended Grambling University, Hip-Hop performer Common, who attended Florida A&M, and Oprah Winfrey, who graduated from Tennessee State University.

Henson will address the student body and community in Kean Hall beginning at 1 p.m. followed by a master-level class in the Forum beginning at 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 more than 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 Gospel Group Called “Best” in the Nation, Wins National College Choir Explosion

IMG_3445
New Direction Choir Director Justin Butler, left, primary advisor Deborah Chisom, and choir president Kendric Dartis receive the $15,000 first-place prize as the Nation’s Best Gospel Choir, at the National College Choir Explosion.


NASHVILLE, Tenn
. (TSU News Service) –

Hands-down, the Tennessee State University New Direction Choir is the best college gospel group in the country.

The group has proven this time and again, and Saturday, March 7, was no different when they took their final bow at the National College Choir Explosion in Louisville, Kentucky.

Competing as one of eight finalists from among several college gospel choirs, the TSU New Direction Choir came out on top winning the coveted title as the Nation’s Best Gospel Choir, with a $15,000 prize.

 The group also won the People’s Choice Award as the audience’s favorite group, which earned them another $1,000 prize. 

“It was an overwhelming experience knowing that we were national champions not just because the judges voted us number one, but because the audience also felt we were the best,” said tenor Kendric Dartis, a senior Healthcare Administration and Planning major, who is president of the choir. “Seeing the joy and jubilation on everyone’s face, especially the freshman members who had never experienced something like this before, was just very heartwarming.”

This was the group’s third straight finish as champions and runners-up in national competitions in the last four years. In 2011 they won first place in the Fourth Annual National Black Collegiate Alumni Hall of Fame Gospel Choir Competition in Atlanta, competing against four HBCU choirs. Two years later in 2013, the group came slightly short in the final round, winning Regional Runner-Up title in the Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Gospel Choir Competition, also in Atlanta.

“Winning the National College Choir Explosion was especially exciting, because we wanted to come out and redeem ourselves after falling short the year before,” Dartis said.

Primary group advisor Deborah Chisom, a TSU alum and director of Graduate Admissions, said, “It was overwhelming to see students come out and work so hard. Even though I was not on stage with them, seeing them so excited was just very fulfilling. “

In addition to vocal presentation, participating choirs were judged on diction, intonation, tone quality, appearance, stage presence and audience appeal.

Judges included four-time Grammy Award-winning singer and musician Martha Munizzi; President and CEO of Bridgeman Foods Inc., Ulysses L. Bridgeman Jr.; talk show host and motivational speaker Carla Young; and gospel recording artist Byron Cage.

IMG_3436
A large group of TSU alumni, students, staff and friends were in attendance to cheer on the New Direction Choir as they took the stage as finalists at the National College Choir Explosion in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 7.

According to group members, the New Direction Choir, under the direction of TSU graduate Justin Butler, owes it success to the “overwhelming” support from TSU alumni, students, administrators and friends. During every competition, they said, a “dedicated” group of alumni, traveling on what they call the “Blue Bus,” follows and cheers them on wherever they are performing.

“Alumni support made a big difference,” said Tammy Taylor, group advisor and grants specialist in the Title III office, who also handles photo and videography for the group. “Our students had a level of support that was not visible with the other groups during the competition. I think that made a big difference with our group, and it lifted the extra burden of knowing they had an audience that was squarely behind them.”

Team support, with the new addition of the Reverend Frank Stevenson, assistant dean for Off-Campus Services in the Division of Student Activities, as an advisor to the New Direction Choir, is also a major factor in the group’s success, they said.

“President (Glenda) Glover has been very supportive; we could not have made it this far without her support and that of Executive Vice President Jane Jackson,” said Chisom. “Special thanks to the Student Government Association and Dr. Michael Freeman (vice president for Student Affairs) for not just their moral support, but also their financial support to the group.”

New Direction Choir has participated in concerts across the country. They have also appeared on the nationally televised Bobby Jones Gospel as featured guests. Additionally, the more than 45-member group has traveled many places taking what they have learned in vocal techniques and from Tennessee State University to share with others across the nation.

Other finalists that competed against New Direction were choirs from the University of Louisville, Middle Tennessee State University, Kentucky State University, North Carolina Central University, Virginia State University, the University of Kentucky and Mississippi State University.

SoBran CEO Amos L. Otis Featured Speaker to Close Out Research Symposium April 3

Cropped_Otis_Amos
Amos L. Otis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Amos L. Otis, founder, president and CEO of SoBran Inc., will be the featured speaker for the Awards Luncheon and official Closing Ceremony of the University-Wide Research Symposium Friday, April 3. The event begins at noon and takes place in the Farrell-Westbrook Auditorium, located on the main campus.

Every year, the Research Symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia, and prior to professional careers. Now in its 37th year, the weeklong symposium will officially close April 3 as students are presented with awards for their scholarly presentations.

The 2015 Research Mentorship Award will also be presented to an honored faculty member for serving as a mentor and/or advisor to the greatest number of winning student research entries, while a new member is inducted into the Million Dollar Research Club.

Amos Otis founded SoBran Inc., in 1987 after a distinguished 21-year career as an Air Force officer. He has led SoBran from a lean start-up in the basement of his Fairfax County, Virginia, home to a $63 million dollar company with three divisions. The divisions include BioScience, Engineering and Logistics, and SafeMail® and Security. SoBran consistently appears on the Inc. Magazine “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and the Black Enterprise “Top 100 Industrial Service List.”

Throughout its growth, Otis has guided SoBran based on the foundation of the Air Force values Integrity, Service and Excellence.

Otis has been recognized for his management and entrepreneurial skills as well as his civic leadership. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Cincinnati Branch in 2012. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dayton Development Coalition, and a life member of the NAACP. He has also been profiled in Black Enterprise magazine as an innovator in workforce readiness.

One of his passions is educational opportunity for deserving youths. Otis has established a number of scholarships and endowments including the SoBran/Scoman Educational Scholarship Endowment at Tennessee State University at Nashville. In Montgomery, Alabama, he established the Brenda Faye Otis-Lee Educational Scholarship at the St. Jude Educational Institute.

Otis has consulted for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences for Post-Doctoral Programs and The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. He is Treasurer of the Tennessee State University Education Foundation Board, and chairs its Finance Committee.

In addition, Otis chairs the Beta Nu Boule’ Education Foundation of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and he is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

While in the Air Force, Otis served as a Titan II ICBM combat crew commander; USAF Plant representative at Hughes Aircraft Corporation, a cost analyst for the Aeronautical Systems Division (General Officer’s staff), and comptroller for the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (Kunsan, South Korea). He has also served as a professor of Air Science for the District of Columbia’s AFROTC Detachment at Howard University, and as program manager at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s Special Programs.

Otis holds a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University, an MBA from The California State University System, and a master’s of Military Art and Science from Air University.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/research/or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.

 

RELATED

37th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium set for March 30 – April 3

Noted Molecular Geneticist Georgia M. Dunston Featured Symposium Keynote Speaker March 30

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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 Molecular Geneticist Georgia M. Dunston Featured Symposium Keynote Speaker March 30

Address officially Kicks off 37h Annual University-Wide Research Symposium

DunstonNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. Georgia M. Dunston, the founding director of the National Human Genome Center (NHGC) at Howard University (HU), and Director of Molecular Genetics in the NHGC, will be the featured keynote speaker officially opening the University-Wide Research Symposium Monday, March 30.

The keynote address is free and open to the public, and will take place in the E.T. Goins Recital Hall, located in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus, beginning at 2 p.m.

Now in its 37th year, the symposium will take place at the University March 30-April 3. The Research Symposium serves as a foundation to provide students with authentic experiences in presenting their research before advancing to regional, national and international research symposia, and prior to professional careers.

Georgia M. Dunston, Ph.D., is professor and former chair of the Department of Microbiology, Howard University College of Medicine; the founding director of the National Human Genome Center (NHGC) at Howard University (HU), and director of Molecular Genetics in the NHGC.

Dunston received a Bachelor of Science degree degree in biology from Norfolk State University, a Master of Science degree in Biology from Tuskegee University, and Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan. She performed post-doctoral work in Tumor Immunology at the National Institutes of Health in the Laboratory of Immunodiagnosis, National Cancer Institute.

Dunston is an established investigator, nationally and internationally known for genetic research on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) polymorphisms in African Americans.  Her research on human genome variation in disease susceptibility has been the vanguard of current efforts at Howard University to build national and international research collaborations focusing on the genetics of diseases common in African Americans and other African Diaspora populations.

She served on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; the Genetic Basis of Disease Review Committee for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences Review Committee on Human Genome Diversity Project. Under Dunston’s leadership, the NHGC has been instrumental in bringing multicultural perspectives and resources to an understanding of knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project and research on human genome variation.

Dunston currently co-leads a newly formed biophysics research and development group at Howard University that is exploring functional aspects of common variation and population genetics from first principles of thermodynamics and statistical physics (i.e., “genodynamics”). Her passion is building community-academic partnerships that connect the African Diaspora to the global genome revolution in knowledge on health and human identity. Her research addresses the power of genome variation and population diversity in decoding the Genome Story: From human origins, migrations, adaptation, and transformation to liberation.

For more information on the Research Symposium, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/research/or contact Nannette Carter Martin, co-chair at 615.963.5827, or Tamara Rogers, co-chair at 615.963.1520.


RELATED

37th Annual University-Wide Research Symposium set for March 30 – April 3

Sobran CEO Amos L. Otis Featured Speaker to Close Out Research Symposium April 3

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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 Travels to Kentucky for NCAA Opening Round March 20

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Tennessee State Sports Information) – The Tennessee State women’s basketball team earned a No. 15 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament and will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to play the No. 2 seeded University of Kentucky on Friday, Mar. 20 at 1:30 p.m. CT.

The Lady Tigers heard the news at an on-campus selection show party held for the team on Monday night, March 16. Up to that point, they had secured a spot in the “Big Dance” by virtue of earning the Ohio Valley Conference’s automatic-berth, but the seeding, opponent and location were unknown.

Tennessee State will play in a postseason game for the first time in 20 years. The Lady Tigers are 0-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, having lost their two appearances to Southern Mississippi and Oregon State.

TSU is 18-12 on the year and has won 10 straight contests dating back to a Feb. 5 victory over Eastern Kentucky.

The Lady Tigers fell to Kentucky earlier this season on Dec. 28, 87-75. TSU led by eight five minutes into that contest.

Friday’s contest will be broadcasted on ESPN2.

Tickets

Single-session tickets for the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds to be held in historic Memorial Coliseum on March 20 and March 22 are now on sale.

No. 15 seeded Tennessee State will face host University of Kentucky (No. 2) Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET in the Albany Regional.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.ukathletics.com/tickets, in person at the Joe Craft Center Ticket Office or by calling the UK Ticket Office at 800-928-2287.

Single-session reserved tickets are $22 for adults (ages 19-64), $15 for youth (ages 0-18) and for seniors (ages 65+).

Single-session group rate is $10 for groups of 10 or more people (bleacher side seating only). Contact the UK Ticket Office if interested in-group seating.

Every person, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter the facility.

All-session ticket prices are $36 for adults (ages 19-64) and $24 for youth (0-18) and seniors (65+). All-session tickets are valid for two games on Friday and one game on Sunday. Fans may not leave the Coliseum and re-enter between games on Friday. Fans are encouraged to purchase all-session tickets to secure the best possible seats.

Single session tickets will go on sale beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday morning.

All seating at Memorial Coliseum is reserved. Chairback seats are located on the west side (Sections A-J and AA-JJ). Bleacher seats are located on the east side (Sections R-Z and RR-ZZ). All seats in rows 3-6 are chairbacks.

Individuals requiring special access (e.g., individuals who are disabled and/or need special seating) should contact the UK Ticket Office during regular business hours, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Tickets will be administered in accordance with ADA guidelines, based on availability.

Tickets will not be refunded, exchanged or returned. For more information on the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds go to: http://www.ukathletics.com/ncaawbb/index.html.

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

California Post Office Renamed for Late TSU Alum

Courtesy of the Vallejo Times-Herald          

Philmore Graham
Philmore Graham

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – An alum from Tennessee State University was always one to bring two opposing sides together. Even in his death, he was able to unite California Republicans and Democrats.

And because of this and his involvement in his community, a building in Vallejo, California now bears his name…the Philmore Graham Post Office.

With the unveiling Saturday, March 14, of a plaque dedication and ceremony, U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson’s crusade came to fruition, to the delight of about 150 of Graham’s family, friends and well-wishers.

Graham, who graduated from TSU in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering, dedicated his life to serving others, and in 1966, founded what would later become the Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls Club in a building coincidently, next to the newly renamed post office.

“There is no one more deserving of this recognition than Philmore Graham and I am proud that we were able to pass legislation to rename our post office in his honor,” said Thompson. “Mr. Graham was a veteran, a patriot, a mentor and a leader. He dedicated his life to helping others succeed, and he made our community a better place to live and raise a family. It’s only fitting that we honor his memory by forever naming our post office after Philmore Graham.”

Thompson joined Mayor Osby Davis, Omega executive director Rey Amador, Post Office Bay Vallejo District Manager Jeffrey Day, Postmaster Anthony Daniels, Graham’s daughter, Deidre Graham, and son, Montoya Graham, in honoring the local icon who died June 12, 2014 at 75.

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, right and Bay Valley District Manager of the USPS Jeffrey Day, left,  along with Deidre Graham and her brother Montoya unveil a plaque renaming the Springstowne Center Post Office after Philmore Graham. (Photo courtesy of CHRIS RILEY—VALLEJO TIMES-HERALD)
U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, right and Bay Valley District Manager of the USPS Jeffrey Day, left, along with Deidre Graham and her brother Montoya unveil a plaque renaming the Springstowne Center Post Office after Philmore Graham. (Photo courtesy of CHRIS RILEY—VALLEJO TIMES-HERALD)

Thompson, a Democrat for California’s 5th congressional District, said it “took an act of Congress” to get his bill passed. Literally. He had to convince the other 52 state legislators “from both sides of the aisle” to sign on. If one challenged Graham’s qualifications, the bill was done. Plus there was that minor detail of getting it signed by President Obama.

“Before you name a post office, you better be pretty certain this is someone worthy of that honor,” said Thompson, who previously passed bills renaming a Yountville post office after a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and a Napa post office after a Superior Court judge “who set the gold standard of what people should be like. And Philmore falls into that category.”

Thompson was a state senator when he befriended Graham and knew the club’s patriarch well.

“He was the kind of guy you would follow anywhere. He was a great leader and had a great vision for Vallejo and, most importantly, the youth of Vallejo,” Thompson said.

It’s significant having a post office named after Graham, said Thompson.

“The post office will always be here. A donut shop or bagel shop or ice cream parlor can be out of business tomorrow. A post office is always going to be in a community,” he said.

Davis, a friend of the Graham family for more than 40 years, gave a brief — but emotional — tribute.

“I was thinking how special this moment is,” Davis said. “I was thinking how big a grin Philmore would have on his face. I know how proud he would be. This is really an honor.”

Deirdre Graham, Philmore’s daughter up from her Southern California home, called the ceremony “a joyous occasion.”

“I never thought I’d be standing in front of a post office that would be named after my father,” she said. “I feel like the most blessed daughter in the world. Today is a priceless moment.”

Montoya Graham relayed a conversation he had with his father about death.

“He always told me, ‘Son, don’t be worried about death. If you just do the right thing in your life, in your death, you will be remembered.’”

Philmore Graham graduated from Tennessee State University and accomplished graduate studies at UCLA and Cal-Berkeley. He was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, receiving an honorable discharge in 1965. Two months later, he accepted a position at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard where he would receive several Superior Accomplishment awards.

Graham was the first and only African American supervisor in the Nuclear Engineering Department’s history on Mare Island.

Since he began the Continentals of Omega club, Graham was honored as the NAACP Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Good Neighbor Award, Salute to America Lifetime Merit Award, Profile of Excellence Award, Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, the “Who’s Who” among Black Americans, and multiple awards as Omega Man of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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 President Glenda Glover Joins Bernice King, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Thousands to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Selma to Montgomery March

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover joined Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights activists Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and others for the “Bloody Sunday” commemorative march in observance of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March.

TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover (right) marches the streets of Selma, Alabama with noted civil rights activist, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others, as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March. (courtesy photo)
TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover (right) marches the streets of Selma, Alabama with noted civil rights activist, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others, as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March. (courtesy photo)

President Glover met presidents from Historically Black Colleges and Universities from around the country in Selma, Alabama to celebrate the historic 1965 event. National leaders including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, head of Rainbow PUSH, and Dr. Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) called for HBCU presidents to make the journey for the anniversary.

“The Selma to Montgomery March is the single most galvanizing moment in our nation’s history in the fight for civil rights, particularly voting rights,” said Dr. Glover. “What happened on the Edmund Pettus Bridge was engrained in the minds of millions of Americans as we watched in horror and disbelief – yet trusting that it would bring about change for all Americans.”

While in Selma, President Glover met with other college presidents, educators, civil rights leaders, students, community organizers, and several service groups. The Selma journey was also significant for Dr. Glover as it gave her the opportunity to memorialize the people and place where thousands of leaders came together to march for the “paramount victory” in the fight for equality.

“I am honored to make the journey to Selma as president of Tennessee State University to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this historical event. This 50th Anniversary has personal relevance for me because of my father’s role in the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee.  I also appreciate the impressionable role of the TSU Freedom Riders in the Civil Rights Movement. I am pleased to go back to Selma in honor of my father’s memory and in dedication of those who fought for freedom everywhere.”

Glover made a contribution in the name of Tennessee State to Brown A.M.E. Church for $1,000. The church was a starting point for the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 and, as the meeting place and offices of SCLC during the Selma Movement.

“We appreciate President Glover’s commitment to advancing education, economics and human rights,” Dr. Steele remarked. “She is clearly a leader in higher education, and brings a unique perspective in engaging students. Glover is dedicated to educating and empowering the next generation of leaders.”

It is estimated that as many as 70,000 people took part in the commemorate march. One of the highlights included President Barack Obama’s address mark at anniversary.

Former NBA Star Antoine Walker Talks Money Matters at TSU

Antoine Walker, former University of Kentucky and NBA All-Star visited Tennessee State University Thursday to share his story of financial mistakes over the years in hopes of helping students avoid the same pitfalls. (photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)
Antoine Walker, former University of Kentucky and NBA All-Star visited Tennessee State University Thursday to share his story of financial mistakes over the years in hopes of helping students avoid the same pitfalls. (photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It was truly a rags-to-riches story. As a 19-year-old rookie with the Boston Celtics, Antoine Walker was one of the highest paid athletes under the age of 20. He signed a three-year $5.5 million contract and eventually during his 12 year career, earned $110 million.

And one day, it was all gone and Walker was forced into bankruptcy losing millions of dollars in the process.

On Thursday, the former University of Kentucky and NBA All-Star visited Tennessee State University to share his story of financial mistakes over the years in hopes of helping students.

“I’m telling students what I wish I had known several years ago,” said Walker. “I lived a lavish lifestyle, but before long, the money was gone. And those friends were gone. I want the students to learn from that and to know how to make the right choices moving forward.”

Even though the University was on spring break, students, many of them athletes, filled the Floyd Payne Campus Center to listen to Walker’s brutally honest tale of his success and how he lost it all.

Walker, 38, made national headlines when the All-Star was forced to claim bankruptcy after losing $110 million throughout his NBA career. Paid more than four times the average player in the league, Walker’s problems started during his rookie year in 1996 and spiraled out of control, hitting rock bottom in 2010 when he declared bankruptcy, citing $12.74 million in liabilities with $4.2 million in assets.

“I lived a very lavish lifestyle,” Walker told the more than 100 students gathered. “If I saw something I wanted, I bought it. And I took care of those around me. I figured I was the one traveling up and down the court working for the money so why not get what I wanted.”

The oldest of six children of a single mother, Walker told those gathered that it was exciting when he was drafted by the NBA in the sixth round after the University of Kentucky won the National Championship in 1996. Instead of finishing his education he started his professional career at age 19 and was awarded a $5.5 million contract.

“If I saw it, I got it,” he recalled. “I had very expensive tastes and never wore the same suit twice. I had 82 custom made suits, one for each game of the season. I had tons of watches, jewelry, three homes and six cars.”

But his lifestyle came at a price, one that forced him into bankruptcy. He estimates he lost $4 million from gambling and $20 million in a failed real estate venture when the recession hit. As a full guarantor of the investment, Walker was responsible for the debt.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” he said. “It was a process going through it and learning the value of a sound financial plan and education. I wish I knew then what I know today.”

It took Walker two years to get out of bankruptcy and was discharged from his debt in 2012. Today Walker has since downsized every aspect of his life and is working to rebuild his life and hopes to make a difference by helping others avoid the same financial pitfalls.

Now Walker is teaming with Regions Bank to share his story with college students around the country in hopes they will learn from his mistakes and show them that no matter how much they earn, they should have a sound financial plan.

“What we hope is students will understand is it is not how much money you make, it’s what you do with the money you make,” said Latrisha Jemison, senior vice president of Community Affairs for Regions Bank. “They need to learn you have to make wise decisions.”

Walker recommended students embrace moderation, plan for the future and take time to learn the basics of managing money.

He went on to say that he might not ever make $110 million again but whatever he does earn will be financially protected.

“It is the little things you do to protect yourself and your money,” he added. “I’ve experienced a life that many will never know. But now, life is about lessons. I make the money, the money doesn’t make me.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

Regions Bank and Former NBA Star Antoine Walker To Discuss Financial Education with Student Athletes March 12

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Former NBA star Antoine Walker, will visit Tennessee State University and speak to student-athletes from around the area on financial education and the importance of learning the basics of managing money.

The event takes place at the Floyd Payne Campus Center, March 12, beginning at 4 p.m.

TN SW150224 Antoine Walker Event.inddSponsored by Regions Bank, the goal of the event is to encourage students to plan ahead, get an education, and learn how to manage their money today, whether they enter professional sports or not.

Walker, 38, made national headlines when the All-Star was forced to claim bankruptcy after losing $110 million throughout his NBA career. Paid more than four times the average player in the league, Walker’s problems started during his rookie year in 1996 and spiraled out of control, hitting rock bottom in 2010 when he declared bankruptcy, citing $12.74 million in liabilities with $4.2 million in assets.

Discharged from his debt in 2012, Walker has since downsized every aspect of his life. He is working to rebuild his life and hopes to make a difference by helping others avoid the same financial pitfalls.

“I’m telling students what I wish I had known several years ago,” said Walker. “I lived a lavish lifestyle, cars…friends…clothes…jewelry…but before long, the money was gone. And those friends were gone. I want the students to learn from that and to know how to make the right choices moving forward.”

Walker added that he wants to reach as many students as possible, that he has a story to tell, and appreciates Regions for giving him a platform to tell it.

“Regions was already supporting financial education in colleges and high schools,” said Walker. “As I began sharing my story publicly, Regions heard it and said, ‘Let’s find a way to share this with student athletes.’”

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.