Today is a very sad day for Tennessee State University.
One of our own, William Wayne Jones III, a 19-year-old freshman from Smyrna, Tennessee, died last night after he was rushed to Baptist Medical Center in Nashville. Wayne, as the campus fam
ily called him, a member of the Tennessee State University football team, collapsed and became unresponsive during early evening practice. After being treated by EMTs on site at the practice field on campus, Wayne was taken to Baptist Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at approximately 5:50 p.m.
When a TSU Tiger dies, it is a tragedy for our university family. But it’s harder because this was a tiger cub with such promise and leadership potential. I am personally affected by Wayne’s passing because I interacted with him and the other Boot Campers regularly during this past summer. Not only did Wayne exhibit a high level of maturity and sense of responsibility during the camp, he also made many friends through his sense of humor and excitement about being a student here. Wayne was an outstanding, personable young man, who was on his way to becoming a leader as shown by the skills he exhibited among his friends and team mates. We shared a space on the sidelines at our games where he could be heard cheering for the team and encouraging them.
While this is a very sad and difficult day for the Tennessee State University family and community, I am heartened by the freshmen students who came by this morning to suggest we hold a unifying rally on campus. The students are planning this celebration and the entire university and the parents will be invited to participate. I have spoken with Wayne’s mom and dad as has Coach Reed. We are prepared to offer our personal and collective services to the family throughout this ordeal. Surely, this is what Wayne would expect. He loved TSU and we, his campus family, returned his love. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this very difficult time.
Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
About Tennessee State University
With nearly 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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