NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently hosted a reception for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators on its Avon Williams Campus downtown. Members of the NBCSL were in Nashville for a legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
One of the highlights of the reception on Aug. 6 was a pre-birthday celebration for Tennessee State Rep. Barbara Cooper, a TSU alum who marks her 90th birthday on Aug. 11. Cooper, who represents District 86 in Memphis, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tennessee State University.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to our beloved university,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “But a special privilege to say, ‘Happy birthday’ to Rep. Cooper, and to thank her for her able leadership in the Tennessee General Assembly.”
In her remarks, Dr. Glover informed the gathering, which included a number of black Tennessee lawmakers, about TSU’s recent partnership with tech giant Apple, and the hosting of the inaugural HBCU C2 Presidential Academy last month. She called on Dr. Robbie Melton, TSU’s interim dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the initiative’s main facilitator, to elaborate.
“TSU is now a National Center for Smart Technology Innovations that will bring coding and creativity opportunities across HBCU campuses,” Melton said. “TSU will be the hub for all 104 HBCUs to come here and code and create. And on behalf of our partnership with Apple, you are able to take this course this fall for free – no cost.”
Before Glover’s presentation, remarks were made by TSU alums Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Sen. Brenda Gilmore, both of Nashville; as well as Rep. G.A. Hardaway, Sr., of Memphis, who is chairman of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators. The lawmakers thanked President Glover and the TSU family for the reception and the contribution of TSU to the community and nation.
“I certainly want to express our appreciation on behalf of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators to Dr. Glover for opening up everything to us and for always being that resource that we need, whether we’re talking about facilities, research, or helping to shape public policy,” Hardaway said. “It is critical that we have that type of avenue to secure the data that we need – that is unfiltered. And nobody does it like TSU.”
In an interview, South Carolina State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, president of the NBCSL, thanked her fellow Tennessee lawmakers for organizing the reception. She congratulated President Glover on her leadership, and extolled TSU for preparing students to become productive citizens.
“I am always impressed with sisters who handle business and who know what they are doing,” Cobb-Hunter said, of Glover. “My brief encounter with her suggests that Tennessee State has the right person at the helm, that she is certainly a visionary, and I am hopeful that the people here in this community and in the state recognize what a treasure they have in Dr. Glover.”
The NCSL summit was from Aug. 5-6.
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Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.