All posts by Lucas Johnson

TSU kicks off 2019 Homecoming with 32nd annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University kicked off this year’s Homecoming with the 32nd annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest on Sunday.

The event, which was free and open to the public, was held in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center on the main campus. Cash prizes of $1,200, $800 and $500 were awarded respectively for first, second, and third place winners in freshman and upperclassman divisions.

TSU President Glenda Glover (2nd from right) with contest chairperson Dr. Jacqueline Mitchell (far left) with freshman winners Akyra McDougal, Janae Williams and Ter’niciah James; and Mrs. Robert Murrell (far right). (Photo by Lalita Hodge, TSU Media Relations)

There were 26 participants this year. The freshman winners were: Akyra O. McDougal, 1st place; Janae Williams, 2nd place; and Ter’niciah L. James, 3rd place. In the upperclassman division, Sarah Sulewski claimed 1st place; Ashanti Holland, 2nd; Trey Gibson, 3rd; and Sydni Daniels received a $200 bookstore gift certificate for 4thplace.

Before the contest, TSU President Glenda Glover thanked the students for their participation, and lauded their courage and talent.

“What better way to start Homecoming than to have our magnificent students display their talents,” said Dr. Glover. “I’m proud of each participant for sharing in this event, and for the fortitude and determination to play such a significant role today.”

The contest, established in 1988, is named in honor of the late Robert N. Murrell, a longtime administrator and dean of men at TSU. It encourages students to develop skills in research, writing and oratory.

“I’m most grateful to all of you who played a part in making this happen, and for all of you who are here today,” said Ms. Barbara Murrell, whose late husband the event honors.

In 1993, the TSU Homecoming Committee incorporated the oratorical contest into the official Homecoming schedule of activities, and established the Homecoming theme as the theme for the contest. This year’s theme is: “Unleash the Pride of the Tiger!”

Following the oratorical contest, TSU’s Homecoming events continued with the Gospel Explosion in Kean Hall gymnasium. The concert, which was also free, featured hit artists Kirk Franklin, James Fortune, and Koryn Hawthorn. TSU alum and gospel legend Dr. Bobby Jones received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other Homecoming highlights throughout the week include the Coronation of Mr. and Miss TSU, Oct. 16; Ralph Boston Golf Tournament, Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Symposium, and Homecoming Concert, Oct. 17; and the Greek Step Show and the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, Oct. 18.

On Friday evening, TSU has planned a stellar Scholarship Gala at the Music City Center. This year, the Gala welcomes back comedian Jonathan Slocumb as the master of ceremony. Special entertainment will be provided by Melvin Crispell III, the ninth-season winner of BET’s Sunday Best. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships are used to provide financial assistance to students.

Homecoming will conclude Oct. 19 with the Homecoming Parade from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard, and the big football matchup between the Tigers and the Austin Peay Governors at Nissan Stadium.

To see all Homecoming activities, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/documents/HomecomingSchedule.pdf.

Note: In featured photo, TSU President Glenda Glover (4th from left) with contest chairperson Dr. Jacqueline Mitchell (far left) with upperclassman winners Sara Sulewski, Trey Gibson, Ashanti Holland and Sydni Daniels; and Mrs. Murrell (far right). (Photo by Lalita Hodge, TSU Media Relations)

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.

Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Lecture Series to feature TSU alumna and Board member, Dr. Edith Peterson Mitchell

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The second annual Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Lecture Series will take place on Oct. 17 during Tennessee State University’s Homecoming week.

Dr. Edith Peterson Mitchell

This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Edith Peterson Mitchell, a TSU alumna and member of the university’s Board of Trustees. She is also a renowned cancer specialist, and retired Air Force brigadier general.

The lecture is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Robert N. Murrell Forum in the university’s Floyd-Payne Campus Center.

The lecture series, a component of the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Institute, was established to honor Watkins, a 1966 alumnus of TSU and the first African-American to be accepted into and graduate from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. It features prominent speakers who address areas in health care and STEM to prepare students for the medical field.

In addition to the lecture series, the Institute also consists of a pre-med society and an endowed scholarship.

The late Watkins is known worldwide for being the first surgeon to successfully implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a human patient at John Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr.

Dr. Watkins was also a pioneer in civil rights at Hopkins. He fought to diversify the medical staff and student ranks at the hospital. His legacy of recruiting and mentoring minority students helped to change the landscape of the medical profession.

Watkins retired from Hopkins in 2013, dedicating 43 years of service to helping others. He passed away on April 11, 2015.

To see all of TSU’s 2019 Homecoming activities, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visits TSU, lauds its innovative research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – During a visit to Tennessee State University on Monday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue lauded the land-grant institution’s innovative research, and challenged students to “invest in yourselves.”

Perdue toured the College of Agriculture and gave a presentation to Ag students in the Farrell Westbrook Complex on the main campus.

U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, TSU President Glenda Glover, and College of Ag Dean Chandra Reddy. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Following the presentation, the College gave Perdue a gift, and TSU President Glenda Glover thanked him for visiting TSU and for his support.

“We’re pleased to have you on our campus, and in our corner,” said Dr. Glover. “We’re so appreciative of all you’ve done for 1890s; you’ve taken land grants to heart.”

Including Tennessee State, the 1890 land-grant system consists of 19 universities.

In his discussion, Perdue emphasized the importance of such institutions, and encouraged students to take advantage of what they offer. He also challenged them to “stand, “ be “steadfast,” and “persevere.”

“As you stand, as you’re steadfast to your vision, and persevere for the next cause, I know that you’ll be successful,” said Perdue, who also took questions from the students.

“TSU has invested in you, USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) has invested in you, now I want you to invest in yourselves. You are provided an opportunity that many people in this life do not get.”

Emmanuel Wallace, a sophomore from Memphis majoring in agricultural sciences, was inspired by what Perdue said.

Perdue receives gift from College of Ag student. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

“I learned to definitely stay steadfast, be confident in what you’re doing, and continue to strive for excellence,” said Wallace.

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is very supportive of the university, so he’s pleased that the department’s top official visited TSU.

“This is awesome, because USDA supports a number of USDA scholars for us, as well as research and extension facilities at TSU,” said Reddy. “This is an opportunity for the Secretary to see firsthand how we are stewarding those resources they are providing.”

During his visit, Perdue noted TSU’s research in hemp, food safety, as well as its New Farmer Academy, the only one of its kind in Tennessee.

“You’ve got major research here,” said Perdue. “The research dollars … are being well-utilized.”

Kristin Day is among numerous TSU students who have benefitted from USDA. The junior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received a full-ride with an 1890 land-grant scholarship, which also guarantees an internship with a federal agency.

Before Perdue’s visit, Day, who is majoring in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness, said she looked forward to seeing him again. She said she first met Perdue last month during a visit to Washington, D.C.

“It’s an honor that he’s coming to TSU, and he wants to sit down with us and have an intimate discussion,” said Day, who hopes to one day work with USDA.

Perdue takes questions from students. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Last year, USDA awarded more than $2 million in teaching, research and extension capacity building grants to seven TSU professors in the College of Ag.

The College was also awarded a $450,000 grant from the USDA’s Agricultural Food and Research Initiative. It’s being used to pursue an integrated approach to mitigate antimicrobial resistance in cattle and poultry, and help establish stewardship programs for small and medium-sized ranchers.

For more information about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.

US AG secretary Sonny Perdue to visit TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will get a glimpse of innovative research and interact with top-notch students when he visits Tennessee State University on Monday, Oct. 7.

Perdue is scheduled to attend a breakfast hosted by TSU President Glenda Glover before touring the College of Agriculture and giving a presentation to Ag students at 10 a.m. in the Farrell Westbrook Complex on the main campus.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture is very supportive of the land-grant institution, so he’s pleased that the department’s top official is visiting TSU.

“This is awesome, because USDA supports a number of USDA scholars for us, as well as research and extension facilities at TSU,” says Reddy. “This is an opportunity for the Secretary to see firsthand how we are stewarding those resources they are providing.”

Kristin Day is among numerous TSU students who have benefitted from USDA. The junior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received a full-ride with an 1890 land-grant scholarship, which also guarantees an internship with a federal agency.

Day, who is majoring in agricultural sciences with a concentration in agribusiness, says she’s looking forward to seeing Perdue, again. She says she first met him last month during a visit to Washington, D.C.

“It’s an honor that he’s coming to TSU, and he wants to sit down with us and have an intimate discussion,” says Day, who hopes to one day work with USDA.

Last year, USDA awarded more than $2 million in teaching, research and extension capacity building grants to seven TSU professors in the College of Ag.

The College was also awarded a $450,000 grant from the USDA’s Agricultural Food and Research Initiative. It’s being used to pursue an integrated approach to mitigate antimicrobial resistance in cattle and poultry, and help establish stewardship programs for small and medium-sized ranchers.

For more information about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.

TSU New Farmer Academy graduates prospective farmers from across the country

NASHVILLE, Tenn . (TSU News Service) – Individuals from across the nation looking to become farmers graduated from Tennessee State University’s New Farmer Academy on Sept. 16.

The seven-month program was started by the university’s College of Agriculture in 2014. Participants meet the third Monday in each month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and cover topics that include agricultural leadership and regulations, financial planning, hydroponics and irrigation, organic production, hemp production, soil fertility and suitability, and drone usage.

Finis Stribling, TSU area extension specialist and Academy coordinator, speaks to participants. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

The Academy, which also offers classes in West and East Tennessee, is the only one of its kind in Tennessee. Its first year, the program had nine participants. This year, 38 graduated from the Middle Tennessee class, which finished this week. TSU President Glenda Glover was among the speakers who addressed the graduates on their final day.

One of the participants, Brian MacDonald, flew in each month from Orange County, California. After visiting Tennessee several years ago, he decided it is a place where he would like to retire, and do some organic farming.

“I have this dream of owning a farm,” said MacDonald, who is a retired president and chief financial officer for an electronics company. 

On the farm, he said he would set up a program for disadvantaged youth that would allow them to grow their own produce and possibly sell it, “basically teach them how to run a business, and how to sustain themselves in life.”

“When I was a kid, I was raised by a single mom for the most part,” recalled MacDonald, who is looking for farmland in Tennessee. “But there was a small portion of my life where I had an opportunity to have a horse for nine months. And I learned how to take care of it, and it taught me responsibility. I feel like, if I can have a program for kids where they can take care of plants, and to teach them the responsibility of doing that, it may give them a leg up.”

Graduate Daniel Harpstead traveled from Philadelphia to attend the Academy, and said he also plans to retire in Tennessee where he owns a 33-acre farm in Culleoka. Harpstead said he doesn’t yet know what he’s going to grow on the farm, but that the class has given him some ideas, and guidance.

“I’ve had an opportunity to learn a lot, and I plan to put it to good use,” he said.

John Ferrell, TSU extension agent for Franklin County, Tennessee, talks to participants about irrigation. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

Shannon Summer also said the class was very beneficial. The retired Army veteran has a farm in Williamson County and is planning to grow hemp on it.

“What I’ve received out of it (the class) is a broad spectrum, an overview of agriculture in different arenas,” she said.

Hemp research and production was one of the main topics of this year’s class. Finis Stribling, the Academy’s coordinator and a TSU area extension specialist, said some of the graduates have already started producing hemp, and others are curious. 

“It’s a niche crop that can be utilized for small scale farmers,” said Stribling. “A lot of farmers are growing an acre, half-acre, or quarter-acre just to gain some experience.”

Ashley Richmond of Chicago was another long distance traveler to the class. A Nashville native, she and her family have a 10-acre farm in Cross Plains, Tennessee. They use one acre for hemp. 

Richmond said one of the main reasons she’s interested in hemp is because some of the senior members of her family currently use it for medicinal purposes. 

“Just seeing some aging family members around me who have issues with pain,” she said. “So I thought it was a good idea to get into the industry myself. It provides help for people who are in my life.”

Another class topic that drew strong interest is the growing use of drones in agriculture. More farmers are beginning to use them to locate livestock, detect nutrient deficiencies in croplands, and inspect water lines.

TSU Ag Professor Dr. Thomas Broyles talks to Academy participants about the use of drones. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“They’ll fly along those pipelines with the drones to see if any pipes have burst, so they don’t have to walk the fields,” said John Lee, a natural resource specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and one of the Academy’s guest speakers.

Stribling said the next class is scheduled for March 2020 and he currently has a waiting list of 15 people.

For more information about the New Farmer Academy and TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.

Southern Heritage Classic a time for fun, opportunity for recruitment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – While the Southern Heritage Classic is a time for festivities and reunions, it’s also an opportunity to recruit some of the city’s top high school students.

Tennessee State University may have fallen to Jackson State University 49-44 in the 30th annual SHC this past weekend in Memphis, but the TSU Tigers scored major points with numerous aspiring college students.

Top high school students attend recruitment reception. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

“TSU is a great school,” said Memphis senior Randy Perry, who stopped by the booth TSU had at the Classic College Fair the day before Sept. 14 game. “My mother and grandmother went there. The biology program that I would like to go into, I hear it’s immaculate.”

Senior Nicholas Townsend agreed.

“It’s just a good school, rich in culture,” said Townsend, who plans to major in criminal justice and eventually become a police officer.

Rachel Cox is a college counselor at The Soulsville Charter School in Memphis where Perry is a student. She lauded the Classic for making the college fair part of its annual activities.

“Our college office is all about options,” said Cox. “An event like this is important because it helps our students see what their options are.”

TSU President Glenda Glover and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland at pre-game events. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

The evening before the college fair, TSU had a special recruitment reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel for top high school seniors.

Kabrea Bell attended the reception and said she would like to enroll in a HBCU and major in criminal justice. She hoped to get information at the reception that will help her make a decision on where to go.

“I’m hoping to get a lot out of this,” said Bell before the event. “I want to one day be a lawyer.”

TSU admissions officials said the goal of the reception is to seek out the best students, nurture them, and graduate them prepared for the global market.

“We like to position them this time of the year so that they will be prepared for admissions, and more importantly, be prepared and positioned and lined up for scholarship opportunities,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of high school relations and NCAA certification.

TSU alum April Terrell helped organize the recruitment reception. She said she wanted to convey to the high school students the special experience they will have if they choose to attend a historically black institution, particularly Tennessee State.

TSU Big Blue fans at Southern Heritage Classic game. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

“They can receive a quality education from a HBCU, one that is affordable in the state of Tennessee, and is going to have them ready for the workforce,” said Terrell.

In 2016, TSU raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest students. 

At an alumni mixer the evening of Sept. 13, TSU President Glenda Glover touted the high quality of students attending the university, and how it’s seeing an increase in enrollment.

“Enrollment is up,” said Glover. “It was 7,780 last year, it’s probably going to be around 8,000 this year.”

Following a luncheon earlier that Friday, SHC founder Fred Jones Jr. was asked what advice he would give young people who are about to graduate and are considering college, or entering the workforce.

“You’ve got to have staying power,” said Jones, alluding to the longevity of the SHC despite obstacles he encountered. “You’re going to have some adversity. The Classic is successful. We’ve had a lot of adversity, but we’ve been able to work through it on a consistent basis.”

TSU Aristocrat of Bands participates in annual SHC parade. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Besides the college fair and big game on Saturday, another highlight of the SHC was the annual parade in the Orange Mound community of Memphis. Hundreds of people lined the route to see the floats and participants, including TSU’s world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands.

TSU National Alumni Association President Joni McReynolds has attended the Classic for a number of years, and she plans to continue doing so.

“The Southern Heritage Classic is like another Homecoming,” she said. “There are so many TSU alums here. I enjoy coming, and I think everybody else does.”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.

Top high school seniors attend TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Michael Payne says he’s heard “great things” about Tennessee State University, and the Memphis high school senior believes they were confirmed at a recruitment reception he attended Wednesday night.

“I know freshmen that are there, and they say the environment is really nice,” said Payne of TSU. “It’s a great all-around school.”

High school student Kabrea Bell and her mother, Tiffany Stevenson, attend recruitment reception. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

The prospective mechanical engineer said he understands why the freshmen attending Tennessee State feel the way they do after hearing TSU admissions officials talk passionately about what the university has to offer and how to enroll.

The program was the annual TSU Memphis Recruitment Reception at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel for graduating high school seniors and their parents and family members.

TSU’s Office of Admissions holds the reception each year as part of activities leading up to the Southern Heritage Classic between TSU and Jackson State University at the Liberty Bowl.

Admissions officials say the goal of the reception is to seek out the best students, nurture them, and graduate them prepared for the global market.

“We like to position them this time of the year so that they will be prepared for admissions, and more importantly, be prepared and positioned and lined up for scholarship opportunities,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of high school relations and NCAA certification.

TSU alum April Terrell helped coordinate the recruitment reception. She said she wanted to convey to the high school students the special experience they will have if they choose to attend a historically black institution, particularly Tennessee State.

“They can receive a quality education from a HBCU, one that is affordable in the state of Tennessee, and is going to have them ready for the workforce,” said Terrell.

Kabrea Bell would like to attend a HBCU and major in criminal justice. She attended the reception to hopefully get information that will help her make a decision on where to go.

“I’m hoping to get a lot out of this,” said Bell before the event. “I want to one day be a lawyer.”

TSU admissions official, Dr. Gregory Clark, talks to attendees. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

Bell’s mother, Tiffany Stevenson, commended TSU for having the reception, which she said is an important way to inform high schoolers about the admission process, and college life in general.

“They learn what’s needed to attend a college, but they also get an idea of what’s to come, what to expect in college,” said Stevenson.

In 2016, TSU raised admission standards to attract the best and brightest students. For more information on TSU’s admission requirement, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.

Top TSU students join President Glenda Glover at National HBCU Braintrust

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s best and brightest students joined the institution’s president at the National HBCU Braintrust last week in Washington, DC.

President Glenda Glover

TSU President Glenda Glover spoke at the Braintrust Sept. 11-13, as well as participated on a panel comprised of other university presidents who discussed how their institutions are “preparing the next generation of black innovators.”

The Braintrust was part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, Sept. 11-14.

Top students from the nation’s historically black colleges and universities participated in the Braintrust, including four from TSU.

Micheal Grady

They were: Micheal Grady, a senior business management major from Memphis; Derelle Roshelle of Chattanooga, a junior majoring in supply chain management; Trinity Young, a sophomore math major from Indianapolis, Indiana; and Paul Johnson, a freshman mechanical engineering major from Houston.

Trinity Young

“We selected four amazing students, all who are very interested in entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Frank Stevenson, associate vice president and dean of students at TSU. “This is a great opportunity for them to network, as well as represent TSU.”

Before leaving for the conference, Paul Johnson said he was looking forward to meeting different professionals and hearing their experiences.

Paul Johnson

“I will be able to get their insight; what it takes to make it out there,” Johnson said. “How we can get into business ourselves.”

When it comes to innovation, TSU is making sure that its students – its community – are prepared to compete in an ever-changing global workforce.

In July, Tennessee State launched a national initiative that seeks to bring coding experiences to HBCUs and underserved communities.  

TSU hosted the inaugural HBCU C2 Presidential Academy through its newly established National Center for Smart Technology Innovations. HBCU C2 seeks to bring coding and creativity opportunities to students across HBCU campuses and to a broad group of students across Nashville.

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the initiative: “Anything is possible when people come together with a shared vision. Thank you to @TSUedu for your leadership and enthusiasm in bringing coding to your community and HBCUs nationwide!”

To learn more about TSU’s HBCU C2 Presidential Academy, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded 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.

Tennessee A&I Championship Teams Inducted into Hall Of Fame

Courtesy: TSU Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The 1957-59 Tennessee A&I NAIA National Championship teams were recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The teams, featuring legendary players such as Richard Barnett and John Barnhill, were one of 12 honorees in this year’s Class of 2019. The class was celebrated at the enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, Sept. 5-7. 

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover, Athletics Director Teresa Phillips, and men’s basketball coach Brian “Penny” Collins were among those who attended the event.

The 1957-59 teams were the first in basketball history to win back-to-back-to-back championships in any college division. Coached by the late Hall of Fame coach John McLendon, the teams went 31-4, 31-3 and 32-1 in his final three years at the helm of the Tigers, garnering the school’s first national championship. The 32-win season remains the most-winningest season for Tennessee State basketball.

Richard Barnett, the fourth pick in the 1959 draft and a member of the back-to-back-to-back championship teams, represented Tennessee State at the induction. 

“It was a wonderful experience for them to finally acknowledge the great team Tennessee State was and the contribution that we made being a part of a team that was able to acheive such great things during the crisis of the height of segregation” said Barnett. “Now, the young people at Tennessee State can remember the history of what was accomplished.” 

Coach Collins said witnessing the historic moment was “inspiring.”

“Not many know the greats that came out of TSU, such as Anthony Mason, Carlos Rogers, as well as members of the teams that were honored tonight – Dick Barnett and John Barnhill,” said Collins. “This induction hopefully encourages our current student-athletes to strive for greatness and acheive more.”

Members of the three NAIA championship teams:

Richard Barnett, 1955-59

John Barnhill, 1956-59

Hillary Brown, 1959-61

Joseph Buckhalter, 1956

Charles “Henry” Carlton, 1955-56

Robert Clark, 1959-61

Albert Cook, 1956

Melvin Davis, 1959-61

Lavert France, 1959-60

Ronald Hamilton, 1954-56

Ronald Heflin, 1958-61

Porter “Mert” Merriweather, 1959-62

Remus Nesbit, 1952-56

Rueben Perry, 1955-58

Gregory Pharr, 1959

James Satterwhite, 1956-59

Nurlin Tarrant, 1955-59

Ben Warley, 1958-60

Elliott “Peco” Warley, 1959-61

Eugene Werts, 1958-61

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.

TSU hosts Small Farm Expo, National Women in Agriculture Association conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University highlighted the latest research in agriculture this week at its Small Farm Expo, and the National Women in Agriculture Association conference the institution hosted on its downtown campus.

The Expo, the 15th year of the event, was held Sept. 4 in the university’s Pavilion Agricultural Research and Education Center. The NWIAA conference was Sept. 5-6 on the Avon Williams Campus.

“Small Farmer of the Year” Daryl Leven, College of Ag Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy, and Jo Anne Waterman, extension agent for Shelby County. (Photo by Joan Kite, College of Agriculture)

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed attendees to the Expo and stressed the importance of small farmers.

“This is special to TSU because we are a land grant institution, and we specialize in land grant activities,” said Glover. “Farming is major to us. We really appreciate small farmers.”

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, echoed that sentiment.

“Small farmers are a majority of the state farming community,” said Reddy. “They are very innovative. They’re not so much interested in producing high quantities of products. They want to get quality in the niche markets, and profitability.”

The Expo featured speakers at the local, state and federal levels, and provided workshops on topics such as urban agriculture, use of drones in agriculture, and hemp research.

Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher and State Sen. Frank Niceley were among the speakers. Hatcher said events like the Expo are beneficial to farmers in economically distressed counties.

“It’s tough right now for farmers,” said Hatcher, referring to the trade wars and flooding. “So this gives them hope for the innovation and technology that’s available to them. We have legislators, we have the governor’s office that’s onboard, we have universities like TSU, and others across the state, coming together to make things better.”

Sheldon Hightower, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee, said the Expo is an opportunity to “build partnerships” that last.

“What we’re trying to do is sustain agriculture for future generations,” said Hightower. “So it takes universities such as TSU to help us carry out that mission to sustain agriculture, to educate our youth about the importance of agriculture here in Tennessee.”

Reginald Holland of Clarksville, Tennessee, is a graduate student working on a degree in agriculture science at TSU. He attended the Expo and said it was “very beneficial.”

“This is a great function,” said Holland, who was among a number of students attending the event. “What we learn here, we can apply to the future workforce.”

One of the highlights of the Expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” This year’s winner was Daryl Leven, owner of New Way Aquaponics Farms in Shelby County.

Farms, which opened in 2017 in the Annesdale-Snowden section of Memphis, grows vegetables and fish within a closed system using only 10 percent of the water used in conventional agriculture. The farm raises tilapia and grows lettuce, basil, stevia, and other herbal plants. The farm also hosts educational workshops for middle and high schoolers interested in learning about growing fish and food using aquaponics.

At the NWIAA conference, the focus was on opportunities for women in agriculture. The conference also featured speakers and workshops. One of the more popular, as was the case at the Expo, was discussion of hemp production.

Products made from hemp. (Photo by Joan Kite)

Bobbette Fagel traveled from Ruffin, North Carolina, to attend the conference. She has a little over 52 acres and is considering growing hemp.

“Hemp is fast growing,” said Fagel. “You can use it for the production of a lot of materials that traditional wood is used for.”

Tennessee State is among the nation’s leaders in hemp research. The university’s College of Agriculture has hosted several hemp workshops, and has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production. Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.

For more information about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.