All posts by Lucas Johnson

TSU, Google partner to help prepare computer science students for the workforce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and Google have partnered to help prepare students for a competitive workforce.

TSU is one of 10 historically black colleges and universities participating in the Google in Residence Program, which uses the technology giant’s engineers to teach introductory computer science classes, as well as help students further develop soft and technical skills.

ali-sekmen
Dr. Ali Sekmen, chair of the Department of Computer Science

“The Department of Computer Science students are in high demand with strong technical and soft skills,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen, who chair’s the department. “The GIR program will further make our program and students stronger with understanding of state-of-the-art technical skills and intense interview processes of top software engineering companies.”

Google said in a statement that it’s pleased to be at TSU “as part of our commitment to encouraging greater diversity in the tech sector.”

“We’ve been impressed with Dr. Sekmen’s commitment to his students and look forward to our continued partnership with the TSU CS faculty through the Google in Residence Program,” the company said.

The Google team at TSU consists of a tech programs specialist and an instructor who teaches an introduction to computer science course, which Google helped develop. The Google instructor and a computer science faculty teach three sections of the course together.

While the introductory class is mainly for freshmen, both Google team members provide assistance to all students to help prepare them for opportunities in the tech field. TSU officials say they hope the prep will increase internship and employment opportunities for TSU computer science students not only with Google, but companies like IBM and Microsoft.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove is dean of TSU’s College of Engineering, which includes the Computer Science Department. He lauded the Google-TSU partnership, saying it could help fill the nearly 1,300 IT-related job openings in the Nashville metropolitan area.

“The growth of the IT field here has been phenomenal,” Hargrove said. “We have an opportunity with our computer science program that offers to help fill that workforce need here in Middle Tennessee and contribute to the growth in the city.”

TSU computer science major Ryan Stubbs of Newark, New Jersey, said mock interviews he’s had with the Google instructor have been particularly helpful.

“I know what to prepare for,” said Stubbs, a senior. “The instructor is a great resource.”

Timothy Darrah of Hutchinson, Kansas, agreed. The senior computer science major believes the insight and real-world experience provided by the Google team at TSU is especially beneficial to freshmen.

“When I came in as a freshman, I didn’t know what the end of the road looked like,” he said. “Seeing what they (freshmen) can do, what they can become, it provides a lot of motivation for them to exceed and do better than what they normally would.”

Google is a multinational, publicly traded organization built around the company’s hugely popular search engine. Google’s other enterprises include Internet analytics, cloud computing, advertising technologies, and Web app, browser and operating system development.

To learn more about TSU’s Department of Computer Science, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/computer_science/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

TSU President Glenda Glover announces initiatives to continue ‘legacy of excellence’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover outlined new initiatives she says will continue a “legacy of excellence” at the 104-year-old institution.

img_3527
TSU President Glenda Glover discusses Impact 20/20 initiative at news conference. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Glover held a press conference on Oct. 14 during Homecoming week to discuss Impact 20/20, which includes new governance, academic excellence, and capital improvement and infrastructure enhancements.

“This is an exciting time for TSU as we celebrate a legacy of pride and progress,” said Glover, referring to this year’s Homecoming theme.

In the area of governance, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced two days earlier the eight appointees to the newly created TSU state governing board, which aims to give the university – and the other four-year state institutions – increased autonomy to support student success as the state continues an initiative to have 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or credential by 2025.

“We are pleased with the men and women the governor has selected, and look to the leadership of the full General Assembly to approve them,” Glover said.

She also announced TSU is raising its admission standards and enhancing student success initiatives to increase retention and graduation rates. Beginning the fall of 2017, all students must have a 2.5 GPA and a 19 on the ACT for admission to TSU. The previous admission scores were 2.25 or a 19 on the ACT for in-state students, and a 2.5 or 19 ACT for out-of-state students.

“We’re glad that we’re raising the bar here at Tennessee State University,” said Student Government Association President Aarian Forman. “We want to continue to be an institution of great quality. I think the new admission standards will help further this agenda to help us do that.”

The academic component also includes an Executive MBA Program offered through the College of Business next year, as well as establishment of TSU centers for Social Justice and Equality; Economic Policy Institute; Law Enforcement Education; a Center of Excellence for Ethics; and Emergency Management Institute.

As for capital improvement and infrastructure enhancement, Glover announced construction of a new Health Sciences building, as well as plans for new residence halls, an on-campus stadium, and a project that will encompass more than 80 acres along the Cumberland River.

“With a mixed use concept, Cumberland City will be an educational, technology, health, commercial, and residential engine that will allow TSU to be a major participant in the economic boom that is Nashville,” Glover said.

In 2012, TSU contributed $610 million to the Nashville economy, statistics show.

“We’re very proud of the economic value that Tennessee State University brings to the city and to the state,” said state Rep. Brenda Gilmore, whose district includes TSU.

Joni McReynolds, president of TSU’s National Alumni Association, agreed.

“We are so proud of the things TSU is doing, and we’re going to be here to sponsor you, and help raise money,” she said.

Glover also emphasized during the press conference that TSU is continuing to strengthen campus security.

“New Police Chief Greg Robinson has been dedicated to bringing additional enhancement to our Police Department,” she said. “Public safety is paramount, and we will treat it as such.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Haslam announces governing board for Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced the eight appointees to the newly created Tennessee State University state governing board, giving the university increased autonomy to support student success as the state continues its Drive to 55 initiative.

Tennessee State University’s governing board is one of six to be appointed by the governor, a result of the governor’s FOCUS Act passed by the General Assembly earlier this year.

“Student success at Tennessee State University is paramount,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “To that end, we commend Governor Bill Haslam on the slate of appointees for the newly created TSU state governing board, and look forward to working with them. These are exciting times for the University and we are immensely pleased with these board members. The work of this administration will always be to continue a standard of excellence for the University.”

The appointees to the TSU board are:

 

  • Deborah Cole, president and CEO of Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Co.;
  • Stephen Corbeil, president of TriStar Division of Hospital Corporation of America;
  • Bill Freeman, chairman of real estate development firm Freeman Webb, Inc.;
  • Richard Allen Lewis, owner of Lewis & Wright Funeral Home;
  • Pam Martin, president of Cushion Employer Services and member of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission;
  • Obie McKenzie, managing director of BlackRock, Inc.;
  • Edith Peterson Mitchell, president of the National Medical Association and clinical professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology for the Kimmel Cancer Center; and
  • Bishop Joseph Walker III, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Nashville and International Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship.

 

“There is incredible momentum around Tennessee’s college enrollment rate, which increased to a historic high of 62.5 percent in 2015. With Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect we’ve been successful in increasing access to higher education, but as we change the conversation and culture of expectations in our state we have to ensure our colleges and universities are supported in their efforts to create student success,” Haslam said.

“These six local governing boards will provide more focused support to the institutions as we continue the Drive to 55, our push to have 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or credential by 2025,” Haslam added.

Haslam also appoints members to local governing boards for Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Memphis.

Subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, the board appointments are effective January 16, 2017. If confirmed, board members will undergo orientation and professional development delivered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The TSU board will assume responsibility upon the first called meeting by Haslam.

The six state universities will have increased autonomy with the authority to appoint the campus president, manage the university budget and set tuition, and oversee other operational tasks.

To learn more about the appointees and the FOCUS Act, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/president/focus/news.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU alumnus, Sekou Charles, serves up the most important meal of the day at Wild Eggs

By K. Dawn Rutledge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Some people may debate whether skipping breakfast is good or bad, but who can resist the flavor of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, cheesy omelets and skillet potatoes washed down with fresh squeezed orange juice? At least not those frequenting Nashville’s newest breakfast, brunch and lunch spot – Wild Eggs.

sekou-charles1
Sekou Charles, general manager of Wild Eggs. (submitted photo)

Last April, Tennessee State University alumnus Sekou Charles ventured into the new opportunity helping to introduce the first Wild Eggs in the Nashville area. As general manager and partner of the restaurant, located in downtown Nashville on 333 Union Street, Charles has worked hard to help the city re-discover why breakfast shouldn’t be missed.

“This is an upscale dining experience for those who want a fresh, contemporary approach to traditional breakfast, brunch and lunch,” said Charles, adding that the restaurant strives to deliver optimum service and food to all guests.

With Charles at the helm as general manager, the Wild Eggs chain amassed quite a bit of traction in the Nashville area. Open seven days a week, the restaurant now averages $30,000 a week in sales, and its prime location attracts many city residents, as well as visitors who walk the downtown area and are discovering the restaurant for the first time. The success of Charles’ Wild Eggs location has prompted the company to look at opening additional shops in Middle Tennessee, including a Bellevue location slated for 2017.

“The growth opportunities are endless here,” Charles said. “Nashville has grown so much and it is certainly the place to be now. I see it as the next Atlanta, but maybe even better.”

Charles, a Chicago native, made his way to the Music City to attend Tennessee State University not knowing anything about the school, but only wanting an opportunity to move outside the state of Illinois for a fresh start away from his inner-city environment. He applied and was accepted to TSU in 1992 and admits it was a different culture from his experience.

“Why is everybody smiling?” he recalled asking himself during his first few months on campus. “I’m from Chicago and everyone has to be on guard because you might get jacked.”

Charles eventually learned to brush the chip off his shoulder, quickly making friends and becoming more social.

“I discovered that some people are actually genuine and sincere. It made my wall come down and it allowed me to open up.”

In 1997, the marketing management major took his first job out of college as manager of Luby’s Cafeteria, a casual dining restaurant chain, to support his twin children. Little did he know this job would put him on the path to a successful 18-year career in the restaurant industry.

“At the time, this was not what I came to school for because my dream was to be working at a marketing firm,” he said. “But they [Luby’s] were the only place that gave me a shot and I fell in love with it. Now, I realize sitting behind a desk eight hours a day just wasn’t me. I still use the knowledge I learned from my marketing degree at TSU and I put those skills to use daily. It has been rewarding to be involved with people and being part of a team.”

Charles continues his ties with his alma mater volunteering and mentoring current students. He also appreciates the fact that many of his fellow alumni have been highly supportive of the Wild Eggs restaurant.

Ranetta Smith, who has been friends with Charles nearly 20 years, met him as a student at TSU. Smith, owner of Ranetta Renea’s Boutique in Smyrna, Tennessee, said she frequents the restaurant often and enjoys the atmosphere and the food.

“When I first visited the restaurant I tried the chicken and waffles and it was amazing,” she said, adding that the yellow submarine is also among her menu favorites. “I eat there at least four times a month. The menu items are very reasonable and the food is really good. Everybody who goes once always wants to go back. There’s something for everyone. It’s worth it!”

Charles is among hundreds of alums who will be attending TSU’s 2016 Homecoming that began Oct. 9 and ends Oct. 15 with the game against Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky University. To learn more about this year’s Homecoming events, visit www.tnstate.edu/homecoming.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

101-year-old former cheerleader still full of spirit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – At 101, Burnece Walker Brunson is still full of life.

“I just keep on breathing,” Brunson said during a recent interview at her Nashville home.

brunson1-2
Burnece Walker Brunson at her Nashville home. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Brunson is one of the grand marshal’s for Tennessee State University’s 2016 Homecoming. She is a member of the affinity chapter, which is comprised of alumni cheerleaders as far back as 1934. Brunson was a member of then-Tennessee A&I College’s cheerleading squad from 1934-1935.

“I was fortunate that I was able to go to A&I,” she said. “It was just a wonderful place to be.”

Brunson, a native of Mount Pleasant, Tenn., moved to Chicago for a better education. There, she got her first taste of cheerleading while in high school.

“It fulfilled my desire to stay physically active since there were not many sporting activities for girls during those days,” she said.

After high school, Brunson decided to attend TSU (A&I College) in 1933. The following year she joined the cheerleading team.

In 1936, Brunson received her teaching certificate and eventually went back to Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Chicago Teacher’s College, and a master’s degree from the National College of Education in Evansville, Ill.

While in Chicago, Brunson was the first female hired there to serve as a lifeguard.

brunson1-4
Picture of a young Burnece Brunson (standing, far left) and her father, mother, brother and three sisters. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Brunson would later return to Tennessee and make Nashville her home; the place where she developed unforgettable collegiate memories.

“I’m really looking forward to (this year’s) homecoming,” Brunson said.

She will be honored at several homecoming events, and a cheerleader scholarship has been established in her name.

“She’s a very educated, and devoted person,” said Kevin T. Davis, president of the TSUNAA Alumni Cheerleaders. “We just felt that we needed to honor her in that way.”

Dwight Pope, TSU’s spirit coordinator, agreed.

“She’s participated in activities from homecoming to just regular games,” Pope said. “It’s a great honor to have a legacy, a legend, to still be around at 101 years old and be a part of our program.”

Brunson’s son, Boyce, said he’s sure many people are looking forward to seeing his mother; and gleaning her wisdom.

“After you have a conversation with her, you realize she’s not just 101 years old, but she has 101 years of experience that is valuable even in today’s world.”

Brunson has tried to spread that wisdom in one of about a dozen books she’s written, including Food for Thought: Nourishment for the Soul, which gives tips on how to navigate life’s challenges.

When asked what advice she would give people today, especially youngsters, she smiled, then replied:

“Do the right thing, in every way.”

To find out more about Homecoming 2016, visit www.tnstate.edu/homecoming.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

Hundreds attend memorial service for legendary track and field coach Edward S. Temple

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Hundreds of people attended a memorial service for legendary track and field coach Edward S. Temple, a man heavily praised, mainly for being a game changer.

14441077_1420913067925175_7833658022112176305_n
TSU President Glenda Glover speaks at Coach Ed Temple memorial service . (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

“Coach Ed Temple helped to put TSU on the international stage,” TSU President Glenda Glover said during the Sept. 30 service in the university’s Kean Hall. “He made TSU a household name.”

Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89. Among those attending his service were Temple’s daughter, Edwina; Gov. Bill Haslam; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; a number of Temple’s famed Tigerbelles; and representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee and United States of America Track and Field Association.

“I get the honor everyday to represent 6.6 million Tennesseans. And on special occasions, I get the opportunity to recognize some very special Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “And there is no doubt that we’re here today to honor a man who is one of those. Your coach deserves to be in the very top level of our heroes of Tennessee.”

Barry said she has a small replica of a statue of Temple on her desk, to remind her of the “incredible impact that one person can have.”

U.S. Olympic Committee representative Tracy Sundlun knew Coach Temple for more than 40 years. He said Temple was “always willing to share with those of us who came after him.”

“He was a very generous man,” Sundlun said. “He gave without hesitation, or reservation.”

14448888_1420917274591421_7895640701339346992_n
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

During his speech, Sundlun read a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association that said in part: “We believe Ed to be the most prolific women’s track and field coach in the history of the sport,” which caused an eruption of applause.

Before the service, Davidson County Criminal Court clerk Howard Gentry, Jr. expressed similar sentiment during an interview when he called Temple “an icon, not to be duplicated in any form.”

“He built a team of world class track participants who changed the landscape of women’s track forever,” said Gentry, who was TSU’s athletic director when Temple retired.

Temple was head of TSU’s women’s track and field program from 1950 to 1994. Under his coaching, the Tigerbelles won 23 Olympic medals. In all, he led more than 40 athletes to the Olympics. His athletes also accumulated more than 30 national titles.

14523188_1420960807920401_2741180480318374585_n
Former Tigerbelle and Olympic gold medalist Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, who heads TSU’s track and field program. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about the Tigerbelles, said there were a few countries like Germany that dominated track and field, particularly at the Olympic Games, up until the mid-1950s. But then the Tigerbelles made their presence known at the Games in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956 when they won several bronze medals.

They continued that domination at the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, highlighted by Wilma Rudolph’s three gold medals, the first American woman to win that many gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games.

“Since 1960, it’s been America dominating,” Lewis said. “And it was the Tigerbelles who started that wave. Coach Temple would often say, ‘They paved the way for other women in sports.’”

Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston, who was among the athletes that Temple trained, agreed his legacy lives on.

“He certainly made a difference in the track and field world,” said Boston, who got a gold medal in the long jump competition during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

14495296_1420972841252531_8273432322217642627_n
Coach Ed Temple’s daughter, Edwina. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Boston and others say Temple’s accomplishments were even more impressive coming in the midst of severe racism and discrimination that permeated the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

“He did it in some of the toughest times that our nation faced,” Gentry said. “And so to see that occur in the 50s and the 60s, and then moving into the 70s, was an amazing feat by one person. But also a true inspiration for all who had the ability to experience it.”

Monica Fawknotson, executive director of the Metro Sports Authority, of which Temple was a founding member, said Temple had a “profound influence.”

“He not only embodied excellence, he expected it from us and, like all great coaches, called it out of us,” Fawknotson said. “He taught us that greatness is not about one’s color or gender, but about hard work and the spirit of a person.”

In 2015, a 9-foot bronze statue was unveiled in Temple’s likeness at First Tennessee Park in Nashville. The visionary for the statue was Nashville businessman Bo Roberts, who said the project had been in the works for well over a decade, and that he was glad the unveiling could finally take place for one of his longtime heroes.

“We hope locals and visitors will come to this statue to learn about and honor one of the city’s most important citizens,” Roberts said.

Coach Temple’s legacy is now on display for the world to see as exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The TSU collection includes Temple’s Olympic jacket, replicas of gold medals, and other artifacts or memorabilia.

To read more about Coach Temple, visit: www.tnstate.edu/edtemple.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tigerbelles remember Edward S. Temple as more than a coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The women Ed Temple helped become Olympic medalists say the legendary track and field coach was a “father figure” who motivated them to be successful outside the sport.

14479687_1420908957925586_9048596677206990482_n
Tigerbelles and Olympic Gold Medalists Wyomia Tyus and Edith McGuire Duvall speak at Temple memorial press conference. (Photo by John S. Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Coach Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89. A memorial service was held Sept. 30 in TSU’s Kean Hall, and many of Temple’s famed Tigerbelles attended.

One of them was former Tigerbelle Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, who inherited the title of TSU track coach from Temple. She made Olympic history at the 1984 Los Angeles Games when she ran a leg on two gold-medal relay teams and was the silver medalist in the 400 meters.

She recalled Temple calling her after he retired in 1994 and urging her to take the job. She didn’t say no.

“I got the job and 22 years later, I’m still here at Tennessee State,” said Cheeseborough-Guice, adding that she considered Temple to be a “father figure, and a man of truth and wisdom.”

“I’m blessed that he entrusted me with this program, to keep the legacy going,” she said.

Temple led the Tigerbelles to 23 Olympic medals. In all, of the 40 athletes he trained and sent to the Olympics, 100 percent of them received college degrees.

“This speaks to his greatness and impact,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Tennessee State will always remember Ed Temple, the man and the coach.”

Coach Temple’s daughter, Edwina, said about 85 percent of those 40 Olympians have more than one degree, and roughly 10 percent have doctorates.

“He wanted them to get an education,” she said. “He wanted them to be productive citizens once they left this institution.”

14516601_1420918944591254_8721281010540314602_n
Former Tigerbelles Madeline Manning Mims and Edith McGuire Duvall, and current Tigerbelle Amber Hughes, sign banner dedicated to Coach Ed Temple before his memorial service. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Former Tigerbelle and two-time Olympic medalist Madeline Manning Mims said it was Temple who encouraged her to get her doctorate.

“He just really encouraged me to go all the way,” Mims said. “I remember calling Edwina and letting her know when I got my master’s, and he said, ‘OK, you’ve gone all the way in athletics, now go all the way in education.’”

Former Tigerbelle Edith McGuire Duvall said she appreciated the fact that Temple wanted his athletes to perform just as good, or better, in the classroom.

“He impressed upon me to finish school,” said the Olympic gold medalist, adding that she lost her father a year before she started at TSU, and that Temple was someone she turned to for advice. “This man treated us all like his kids. We were there to run track, but also to get an education.”

Olympic bronze medalist Margaret Matthews Wilburn, a retired Memphis principal, said her experience with Temple as a Tigerbelle helped her be successful in the workforce.

“Some of the skills I learned from him; some of the work habits I learned from him, I used them as a principal,” Wilburn said. “He made me a better person.”

Current Tigerbelle Amber Hughes said that even though she didn’t train under Temple, she feels fortunate to be coached by someone who did.

“Just to know that he is the one who brought my coach here, and that I’m now under the coaching of who he coached and brought up,” Hughes said. “He was a great man.”

Coach Temple’s legacy is now on display as exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The TSU collection includes Temple’s Olympic jacket, replicas of gold medals won by the Tigerbelles, and other artifacts or memorabilia.

To read more about Coach Temple, visit: www.tnstate.edu/edtemple.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Legendary coach Ed Temple ‘changed the landscape of women’s track forever’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Legendary track and field coach Ed Temple’s impact on the sport will be discussed for generations to come, say those close to the man who led Tennessee State University’s famed Tigerbelles to 23 Olympic medals.

Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89. A memorial service is planned for Sept. 30 in TSU’s Kean Hall.

temple-10
Coach Ed Temple’s daughter, Edwina (far left); Sculptor Brian Hanlon; Coach Temple; TSU President Glenda Glover at unveiling of sculpture honoring Temple. (photo by John Cross)

“His accomplishments are unparalleled and continue to resonate even today on our campus and with any organization participating in the sport,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Tennessee State will always remember Ed Temple, the man and the coach.”

Davidson County Criminal Court clerk Howard Gentry, Jr., who was TSU’s athletic director when Temple retired, called him “an icon, not to be duplicated in any form.”

“He built a team of world class track participants who changed the landscape of women’s track forever,” Gentry said.

Temple was head of TSU’s women’s track and field program from 1950 to 1994. He led more than 40 athletes to the Olympics, snagging 16 gold medals. His athletes also accumulated more than 30 national titles.

Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about the Tigerbelles, said there were a few countries like Germany that dominated track and field, particularly at the Olympic Games, up until the mid-1950s. But then the Tigerbelles made their presence known at the Games in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956 when they won several bronze medals.

They continued that domination at the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, highlighted by Wilma Rudolph’s three gold medals, the first American woman to win that many gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games.

1959-60 Tigerbells with Coach Temple
(TSU archives)

“Since 1960, it’s been America dominating,” Lewis said. “And it was the Tigerbelles who started that wave. Coach Temple would often say, ‘They paved the way for other women in sports.’”

Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston, who was among the athletes that Temple trained, agreed his legacy lives on.

“He certainly made a difference in the track and field world,” said Boston, who got a gold medal in the long jump competition during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

Boston and others say Temple’s accomplishments were even more impressive coming in the midst of severe racism and discrimination that permeated the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

“He did it in some of the toughest times that our nation faced,” Gentry said. “And so to see that occur in the 50s and the 60s, and then moving into the 70s, was an amazing feat by one person. But also a true inspiration for all who had the ability to experience it.”

Monica Fawknotson, executive director of the Metro Sports Authority, of which Temple was a founding member, said Temple had a “profound influence.”

“He not only embodied excellence, he expected it from us and, like all great coaches, called it out of us,” Fawknotson said. “He taught us that greatness is not about one’s color or gender, but about hard work and the spirit of a person.”

In 2015, a 9-foot bronze statue was unveiled in Temple’s likeness at First Tennessee Park in Nashville. The visionary for the statue was Nashville businessman Bo Roberts, who said the project had been in the works for well over a decade, and that he was glad the unveiling could finally take place for one of his longtime heroes.

“We hope locals and visitors will come to this statue to learn about and honor one of the city’s most important citizens,” Roberts said.

Coach Temple’s legacy is now on display for the world to see as exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The TSU collection includes Temple’s Olympic jacket, replicas of gold medals, and other artifacts or memorabilia.

To read more about Coach Temple, and get information about the memorial service, visit: www.tnstate.edu/edtemple.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU Legendary Track and Field Coach Ed Temple Remembered

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Before he became a heavyweight champion and changed his name to Muhammad Ali, Cassius Clay sat down on a bench beside Ed Temple at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and boasted that he’d one day hold the prestigious boxing title.

What Clay didn’t realize, was that he was actually talking to a legend in the making.

Clay went on to win a gold medal in Rome as a light heavyweight, and eventually became a heavyweight champion a few years later when he beat Sonny Liston, backing his claim to Temple that “people are going to be running to see me one day.”

Coincidentally, “running” made Temple a legend. Under his leadership, five members of Tennessee State University’s track team earned gold medals at the Rome Olympics. Wilma Rudolph, alone, won three gold medals and became the first American woman to achieve such a feat at any of the Olympic Games.

1960olympicteam
TSU Coach Ed Temple and his famed Tigerbelles. (TSU archives)

Over the years, Temple went on to lead 40 athletes to the Olympics. His famed Tigerbelles, including Rudolph, snagged a total of 23 Olympic medals.

Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89 after an illness. He and Ali remained friends after they met in Rome, and had a mutual respect for one another. Shortly after Ali’s death, Temple had talked about his first meeting with the brazen fighter in Rome, and how Ali visited TSU from time to time to see him, Rudolph and some of the other athletes.

But while he was proud of his relationship with Ali, nothing made his chest stick out more than the accomplishments of his athletes.

“They are an inspiration to everybody,” Temple said in an interview shortly before his death. “It just shows what can be done. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover called Temple a “global icon in the world of track and field,” and lauded him for what he did for athletes outside the sport.

“His accomplishments are unparalleled and continue to resonate even today on our campus and with any organization participating in the sport,” she said. “Of the 40 athletes Coach Temple trained and had participate in the Olympics, 100 percent of them received college degrees. This speaks to his greatness and impact. He was a legend of a man. I am so thankful and proud of all he did for the university. Tennessee State will always remember Ed Temple, the man and the coach.”

Ed Temple

TSU Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips echoed Glover’s sentiment.

“We have truly lost a crown jewel in the treasure chest of our university,” she said. “His life, his work and his results are textbook of what one would like to emulate.”

Temple’s achievements were even more impressive coming in the midst of severe racism and discrimination that permeated the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

“There were times when riots were going on, but they kept running and competing,” said Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about the Tigerbelles. “They stuck with it and performed to the best of their ability, and won.”

For many of his athletes, Temple wasn’t just a coach, but also a father figure.

“I always looked at Coach Temple as a father figure and a man of truth and wisdom,” said TSU Olympian Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, a former Tigerbelle who inherited the title of TSU track and field coach from Temple. “He is one of the finest people I have ever had an opportunity to meet. He really brought out the best in me. He made me realize my potential that had not been tapped.”

Former Tigerbelle Edith McGuire Duvall said Temple was there for her after she lost her father.

“This man treated us all like his kids,” Duvall said. “He impressed upon me to finish school. We were there to run track, but also to get an education and to be ladies.”

Temple was head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Track and Field teams in 1960 and 1964, and assistant coach in 1980. He was inducted into nine different Halls of Fame, including the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2012, in which he was one of only four coaches to be inducted. He also served as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the international Women’s Track and Field Committee and the Nashville Sports Council.

In addition to being part of the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame, Temple’s legacy continues in such recognitions as the Edward S. Temple Track at TSU; Ed Temple Boulevard in Nashville, adjacent to the TSU campus; the Edward Temple Award established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Track and Field Coaches Association; and the Edward S. Temple Seminars: Society and Sports, held annually at TSU.

Temple’s autobiography, Only the Pure in Heart Survive, was published in 1980. The book, along with additional papers and memorabilia from his lifetime of achievement, are part of the Special Collections department in TSU’s Brown-Daniel Library.

“Even after his retirement, he continued to represent TSU,” said Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor David Gregory. “He emphasized excellence in athletics, academics and in life. His former athletes are a testament to his mentorship.”

In 2015, a 9-foot bronze statue was unveiled in Temple’s likeness at First Tennessee Park in Nashville.

“Even the Bible says a prophet is seldom honored in his hometown,” U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper said at a ceremony for the unveiling of the statue. “But here we are honoring perhaps one of the greatest coaches in all of history.”

Following Temple’s death, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry released a statement directing departments and agencies to light the KVB Bridge and public buildings blue the night of Sept. 23 to honor Temple.

“Coach Temple was in a league of his own as a coach and teacher, and Nashville will miss him dearly,” Barry said.

TSU track and field exhibits are a part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. They are there mainly because of Coach Temple and his accomplishments with the TSU program and Olympics.

To read more about Coach Ed Temple, visit: www.tnstate.edu/edtemple.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands performs at the White House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The famed band performed on the lawn of the White House on Friday, Sept. 23, a day before the museum was to open on the National Mall.

“We are extremely proud that our band and university are a part of this historic event with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in our nation¹s capital,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover, who attended the event. “This is a proud moment for TSU as we continue to build
on our great legacy. TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands is the first HBCU band to perform for this administration at the White House.”

resized_20160923_120636001
Members of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands outside White House. (submitted photo)

Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of University Bands, called the opportunity a “once in a lifetime chance.”

“A lot of people would never be able to say that they’ve had the opportunity to meet the President of the United States, let alone play on the White House lawn,” McDonald said. “This is tremendous.”

TSU has a number of items that will be part of opening exhibits at the museum, which has built a collection of about 40,000 artifacts. Several of the items are tied to legendary TSU Track and Field Coach Ed Temple, who died Thursday at the age of 89.

Glover said while the visit to the White House was exciting, it was also somewhat somber because of Temple’s death.

“This is a sad time as we mourn the loss of our beloved Coach Ed temple, who would have attended the event,” she said. “TSU has a number of sports-related items in the museum’s opening exhibits that are there because of the accomplishments of Temple at TSU
and the Olympics.”

Grant Winrow, TSU’s director of special projects, worked with Kelli Sharpe, assistant vice president for public relations and communications, to help the museum coordinate the display of the university items.

Winrow said the items, as well as the band’s performance, showcase TSU’s “excellence.”

“Now all the world can see what our great university has produced,” Winrow said.

Smithsonian officials estimate annual visits to the museum will average between four to five million people in its first few years.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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 country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.