NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Ivanetta Davis’ tie to Tennessee State University stands out in a very unique way. Alumnae and former First Lady – all at the same time – seem like a rare feat. But if you think that’s a lot, add Grand Marshal.
Yes, Grand Marshal of TSU’s Centennial Homecoming parade. And, who better for the role than the former First Lady – who also celebrated her 100th birth anniversary (June 19) this year.
“I am honored to be asked to serve as the Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal,” Davis said. “Tennessee State University is my school and I love to serve in any way I can.”
Speaking in her home recently about Tennessee State University of the past and her role as the Centennial Homecoming Grand Marshal, the Centenarian spoke highly about the growth the University has achieved over the years.
“Tennessee State has grown for the better,” she said. “Back when my husband was president, not only did the school help to educate the children, but it got a lot of help from the churches and the community. They all came together to help the students.”
As a student, Davis entered Tennessee State University, then Tennessee A&I, in 1936 as an elementary education major. While attending the University, she met and fell in love with the then head football coach, Walter S. Davis, who would later become the second president of the University. The two later got married and had a son, Ivan, who currently works at TSU in the Health Services.
Not surprising, Davis, as the close confidante of her husband, was a major contributor to the tremendous growth the University experienced during Dr. Davis’ reign as president of Tennessee A&I. Together, they gave the school 25 years of service.
“I think my greatest achievement as First Lady was to work with my husband to see the University grow for the better,” Davis said.
Just like in grander days, the former First Lady, is again ready to take the helm as Grand Marshal to lead her alma mater’s Homecoming parade in celebration of TSU’s century of educating and molding minds.
“I am just humble and very grateful for this honor and I thank the President and all of those who had a hand in selecting me as Grand Marshal,” she said.
Before her big day on Saturday, September 29, Davis will be celebrated at the Grand Marshal Dinner given by the University at the Gaylord OpryLand Resort on Thursday, September 27.
If you go:
What: Grand Marshal Dinner
When: Thursday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m.
Where: Gaylord Opry Land Resort
Cost: $50 per person
For more Information: 615.963.7001
What: Homecoming Parade
When: Saturday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m.
Where: Begins at Walter S. Davis Blvd.
View Parade Route
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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 one of the top Universities in the county 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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