NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Women’s Center recently presented over 500 pearl sets to female freshman and transfer students to welcome them to the TSU Family.
Seanne Wilson, the center’s coordinator, said the initiative, which was started five years ago in conjunction with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., gives her an ideal opportunity to connect with new students.
“This initiative gives us a chance to reach the students and to find out what their needs are—if they have anxiety or depression, if they are in the wrong career field or if they need a little guidance,” she said. “It is all about empowerment, mentorship, and life coaching, which is what I do everyday.”
The young ladies wore the pearls during the New Student Convocation on Aug. 30. This year members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. joined the AKA’s to present pearls to the students.
Wilson said The Women’s Center tries to help by giving scholarships, work-study and various opportunities to young ladies who attend TSU. She said presenting the young ladies with pearls is a significant gesture for several reasons.
“Every girl should have pearls. It just really sets another tone. It raises the bar,” she said. “It just helps them to understand that they need to look a certain way on campus. You’re not just going to throw pearls on with anything.”
Kariya Jennings, a freshman human performances and sports sciences major from Hyattsville, Maryland, said wearing the pearls at the convocation will give her class a chance to showcase their love for TSU. She said attending an HBCU ranked high on her list of priorities when choosing a university to attend.
“I’m an aspiring physical therapist. My cousin is an alum here. My cheerleading coach in high school also went here. I was just looking up schools over my high school career, and Tennesee State popped up. It’s an HBCU. It met all of my qualifications. So now I am here,” she said.
Kori Robinson, an architectural engineering major from St. Louis, who also participated in the convocation, said she came to TSU because of close family ties.
“I looked up reviews, and it’s just a loving school,” she said. “Most of my family came here like my cousins and my aunt. It’s a school that most of my family members went to and graduated from.”
Mayora Celeste Berry, Miss Sophomore, who received her pearls last year and participated in last year’s New Student Convocation, said she still has her pearls.
“I’ve always been a pearl girl. I love pearls. Receiving another pair is great, and they are something that girls should always have,” she said. “There are many other accessories, but you are going to need these for professional looks and many other things.”
Over 1,200 new students participated in the New Student Orientation held in Kean Hall.
For more information about how to support the TSU Women’s Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/womenscenter/
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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.