wsroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/New_Student_Move_In4.jpg” alt=”" width=”500″ height=”333″ /> Students unload their belongings and begin the process of moving into the Residence halls at TSU Wednesday, Aug. 22. (Rick DelaHaya, University Communications)
NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – “Transition to Independence,” a theme developed at TSU to welcome new students and first-time freshmen, has different meaning for different students.
For Emmanuel Collins, of Memphis, Tenn., the feeling of knowing that home is just few miles up the road, offers a sense of comfort that lessens the apparent anxiety that comes with being separated from your parents and siblings for the first time.
“I know I will miss them, but I am ready (for college away from home),” he said. “They are just a phone call away if I need them.”
But for Sabrina Wang, “Transition to Independence” is a stretch. Home is on “the other side” of the world in Shanghai, China, where even a phone call to hear mama’s voice may be hard on the ears, much less trying to take a quick trip.
“They are so far away. There is no way I can run home quickly to see my parents,” she said. “But already I have met so many nice people who have welcomed me and offered to show me around and make me comfortable.”
Sabrina’s situation may not be so dire after all. Unlike Emmanuel, 17, a first-time freshman still “wet behind the ears,” Wang, 24, is a graduate student, whose exposure to life far outweighs that of her fellow new student.
Whatever their different circumstances, Emmanuel and Sabrina are now part of history. As 2012-2013 recruits, they are among the first group of students who will usher in the beginning of the next 100 years of TSU’s existence.
“Welcome to Tennessee State University,” said President Portia Holmes Shields, as she “opened the doors” to hundreds of new students, freshmen and their parents during an orientation ceremony Wednesday in the Gentry Center Complex on campus.
“You have come here with big dreams, I want you to hold onto them,” she told the students. “This is the best decision you have made; hold tight. At TSU we do not make mistakes; we are giving you a gift, and that gift is today. There is no free ride at TSU. You must learn it to earn it.”
As examples of resources for success at TSU, Shields named a cadre of programs and individuals, including administrators and faculty who are available “to help you” at all times.
“We have a ‘Drop in on the President,’ where you can come to see me if you do not find the answer from these people. You are adults now. Learn to make wise decisions; do not take the ‘Walk of Shame’ by being involved in cliques, drugs, carrying weapons, stealing or dressing inappropriately.
“Avoid the ‘Walk of Blame’ – the teacher is at fault, sleep walking, trifling ways, or making excuses. Take the ‘Walk of Fame’ – going to class, the library, taking advantage of faculty hours, visiting the Success Center, Career Center or the Wellness Center.”
To the parent, Shields said, “This is a big day for you, because this is the day your child became an adult. We know you have prepared them for this day, so allow them to be the adults they have become.”
Emmanuel’s parents, Jerome and Anquinette Collins agree. “I don’t expect any trouble out of him. He will do his work as required, I am sure,” said his father.
“I am happy that he is here. It’s tough but I have to let him go,” Anquinette, his mother, added.
Like Emmanuel and Sabrina, whether coming from up the road in Memphis or from “the other side” of the world in Shanghai, all of the new students appear to take Shields’ admonishment and cautioning seriously to be the responsible adults they are no matter the difficulty of class work or of being away from home.
Emmanuel, a graduate of Kirby High in Memphis with a 3.3 GPA, plans to study Economics and Finance. Sabrina, who holds a master’s in Translation, is entering the MBA program at TSU.
Sabrina’s interest in TSU was developed during a recent visit of a team of American educators from the Tennessee Consortium on International Studies. The team, which visited five universities, including Tong Ji University, Sabrina’s school, and two high schools, included Dr. Jewell Winn, Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer at TSU.
“I was very impressed by the group’s visit to my university,” said Sabrina, who arrived in the United States a night ago for her first trip outside China. “Dr. Winn and other students on the trip made me feel like coming to TSU.”
Department of Media Relations
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About Tennessee State University
With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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 the Number One University in the state by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu
TSU Quick Facts
Motto: Think, Work, Serve Established: June 19, 1912 Type: Public, HBCU Endowment: $41.7 million Chancellor: John Morgan President: Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Faculty: 431 Enrollment: 8775 Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States Campus: Urban, 500 acres (2 km²) Former names: Tennessee A&I State Normal School for Negroes (1912); Tennessee A&I State Normal College (1925); Tennessee A&I State University (1951); Tennessee State University (1968) Colors: Reflex Blue and White Nickname: Tigers Athletics: National Collegiate Athletic Association Affiliations: Ohio Valley Conference Web site: www.tnstate.edu Phone: 615-963-5000
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