All posts by Lucas Johnson

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

 

 

 

Tennessee State University and Tom Joyner Foundation partner to increase math, biology, chemistry teachers in State

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The State’s two largest school districts could see an increase in math, biology and chemistry teachers thanks to a partnership between Tennessee State University and national syndicated radio host Tom Joyner.

The initiative, which encourages community college graduates to attend TSU and teach in Memphis and Nashville after graduation, was announced at a news conference in Memphis on Friday, Sept. 9, a day before the Southern Heritage Classic game between TSU and Jackson State University.

The partnership seeks to get more students interested in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. It will offer full scholarships to students graduating from five Tennessee community colleges: Southwest Tennessee, Nashville State, Volunteer State, Motlow State, and Columbia State.

“Today’s agreement with the Tom Joyner Foundation will help deserving students from five of our community colleges fulfill their desires to attend Tennessee State without the distractions of worrying about how to pay for tuition and fees,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Most importantly, we’re providing Memphis and Shelby County, along with the Metropolitan Nashville school system, with much needed STEM teachers for the students.”

Tom Joyner said he’s glad the initiative will not only help to produce more STEM teachers, but also ease students’ financial burdens.

“We always say that it’s one thing to go to school, but it’s another thing to stay in school,” said Joyner, whose mother was raised at then Tennessee A&I State College by his great aunt, Jane Elliott Hall. A building was named in her honor.

The Tom Joyner Foundation will provide 75 percent of the scholarship funds, and the rest will come from the NSF funded Tiger Teach Initiative and TSU’s Office of Community College Initiatives.

Sharon Peters, executive director of TSU’s Community College Initiatives, said the scholarship program is very much needed.

“We don’t have enough young people filling STEM careers,” Peters said. “A full scholarship to teach in math and biology or chemistry should lead to more teachers, particularly in Nashville and Memphis where we need them.”

School officials acknowledged the need for STEM teachers and lauded the partnership.

“As a system, we always have a shortage of science and math teachers,” said Roderick Richmond, director of student support services for Shelby County Schools. “So I’m really excited about the partnership with Tennessee State and the Tom Joyner Foundation.”

Students beginning their first semester of community college in fall 2016 will be eligible for the scholarship program. They must graduate from the two-year institution with a 3.0 grade point average, and maintain a 3.0 GPA while at TSU, according to requirements. Graduates must teach within the Nashville or Memphis area.

“This partnership gives our students an opportunity to fulfill their dreams,” said Tracy Hall, president of Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Tom Joyner, Jr., who oversees the foundation, agreed.

“This ensures that more students are able to graduate,” he said. “It ensures more children will be placed where they’re needed, the STEM classrooms of Tennessee, as well as throughout America.”

The Tom Joyner Foundation supports historically black colleges and universities with scholarships, endowments, and capacity building enhancements. Since it was created in 1997, the foundation has raised more than $65 million to help students stay in school.

Last year, the foundation selected TSU to be a “school of the month.” Under the designation, the foundation awarded scholarships to students throughout the month and featured TSU’s accomplishments on Tom Joyner’s weekly morning program.

To learn more about the Tom Joyner Foundation, visit: http://tomjoynerfoundation.org.

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.

 

First-semester freshmen get new ties, good advice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is making sure its students are prepared for success – or better yet, “tied” to it.

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TSU First-semester freshmen receive guidance on tie tying. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

On August 23, first-semester male freshmen packed the Forum in TSU’s Campus Center for the second annual “Tied to Success” program. All of the young men were given reflex blue colored ties with the name of the university in white letters at the base of the tie.

And for those individuals who needed assistance tying just the right knot, university officials and community leaders were on hand to provide assistance.

“Many of them will be going into professional arenas, and some have never even worn a tie,” said Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of students. “And so this is kind of our right of passage into that professional world; we’re preparing them now.”

State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., an alumnus of TSU, agreed. In addition to the ties, he applauded the program for helping the new students assimilate into the collegiate culture. Following the tie tying and male bonding, TSU officials talked to the freshmen about how they should behave on campus, and in general.

“I’ve always appreciated my alma mater because it took young men and made them better,” said Love, who attended the program. “When we talk about African-American males going into their freshman year, it’s important for them to understand that wearing of the tie is essential because they will need one for job interviews. And they may end up with a job one day like mine, where they’ll be wearing one almost everyday.”

Orlandis Timmons of Huntsville, Alabama, said he appreciated the orientation, and that the tie provides a “better look for TSU.”

“It’s great representation at the school, and for us as individuals, as young men,” said Timmons, who plans to major in psychology.

More than 1,200 first-time freshmen are enrolled at TSU this fall.

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 says student success remains a priority

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU President Glenda Glover says the university has several priorities which include improving retention and graduation rates, and creating new residence halls for students.

Glover addressed the Faculty and Staff Institute for the fall 2016 semester on Monday, August 15. While the university has its challenges, she said they must not overshadow the well-being of TSU’s most important customers: its students.

“We must never forget that we’re here because of the students,” Glover said. “We’re here for the purpose of enhancing their lives and their well-being, and ensuring the quality of their future.”

The president outlined steps TSU is taking to help students be more successful in college. They include the creation of a completion committee, block scheduling, and the formation of a consortium of advisors who will make sure that students stay on track to graduate.

Before Glover spoke, TSU Student Government president Aarian Forman addressed the crowd and said the Student Government Association is also committed to doing what it can to help students be successful.

Forman said the association is spearheading an initiative called START (Stimulating Transformative Academic Routines at TSU) that will have an academic achievement task force comprised of students, faculty and staff.

“We, as a TSU family – faculty, staff and students – have to continue to work together to make sure that we are successful as individuals and as a university,” he said.

Glover also discussed construction plans for building new student residence halls over several phases, the construction of a new football stadium, as well as acquiring land to build a transdisciplinary research center.

Other plans include: the development of higher admission standards; pay raises for faculty and staff; enhanced campus security; and implementation of the state’s new higher education governing structure, or the FOCUS Act.

Glover said regardless of the changes, and the challenges the university faces, she’s confident TSU will persevere.

“We’ve covered a lot of territory; we have a lot more to pursue,” she said. “This is an exciting time for us. The history of TSU is still being written.”

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, 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 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 among several participants in back-to-school festival

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is doing its part to help area youngsters have a “healthy start” back to school.

The university partnered with several organizations on August 13 to sponsor Love’s Healthy Start Festival, an event started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr.

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TSU nursing students provide free screenings at Love’s Healthy Start Festival. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The festival at Hadley Park near TSU was once again a success. TSU President Glenda Glover and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry stopped by to show their support.

“I’m so grateful for the participation in today’s event,” Love said. “We should all feel good about the number of students and families who will benefit. This will definitely give them a healthy start.”

Love said the event is a way for the community to support educational success, physical health and safe communities for Nashville’s children and youth.

“It’s our hope that the festival always meets some of the needs of the community,” said Love, who graduated from TSU.

This was the fourth year of the festival, which provided free backpacks and other school supply giveaways. One of the main sponsors of the event, Tyson Foods, Inc., has been a participant for three years.

“We know that getting ready for back to school is something that everyone should be able to do and have the appropriate resources to do so,” said Anna Kimble-Roberson, community relations manager at Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods. “We very much appreciate Rep. Love in terms of his efforts to coordinate so many community partners to offer different resources to make it easier for families to have the tools that they need to get off to a good start.”

In addition to giving away school supplies, the festival had a health fair, as well as free food and live entertainment.

Tennessee State University’s Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center was one of several departments from the university that participated in the festival.

“It’s a good opportunity to enlighten and make people more aware of what they’re eating, what they’re doing,” said Gerald Davis, director of the Wellness Center. “We want them to do things a little bit better than they have been; to live a better lifestyle, physically and mentally.”

TSU’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and the Office of Enrollment Management also participated in the festival.

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, 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 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.