All posts by Lucas Johnson

TSU partners with Motlow State Community College to offer baccalaureate degree in agricultural sciences

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has partnered with Motlow State Community College to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural sciences in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

TSU officials will be in Fayetteville on Friday, June 1, to promote the program, as well as an open house that will be held June 12 at the MSCC Fayetteville Campus.

Under the “2 + 2” program, participants get an associate’s degree at Motlow, then have the option of getting a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences from TSU, which can be conveniently done at the Motlow campus.

TSU professors will teach in a combination of ways that includes traveling to Fayetteville and providing instruction remotely, according to TSU officials.

“We make every effort for the students to see and interact with TSU professors, and to gain the same classroom experience they would if they were on TSU’s main campus,” said Dr. Sharon Peters, executive director of Community College Initiatives in the Division of Academic Affairs at TSU.

The program is a continued effort by TSU to help students in rural areas meet the demand for trained professionals in different fields.

The university currently has a similar program at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, that leads to a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and criminal justice. A program on Motlow’s main campus in Tullahoma, Tennessee, leads to a degree in criminal justice; and one is planned for the Motlow-McMinnville, Tennessee, campus in 2019 that will offer a degree in engineering, with a focus on megatronics.

“TSU is committed to the growth of 2+2 programs because they represent sustained growth in our transfer student population and outreach to our neighbors in Tennessee’s rural communities,” said Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president of Academic Affairs at TSU

In the case of the most recent TSU-MSCC partnership, the degree completion program will target adults who began college but never finished, and traditional age students with an interest in agriculture that would prefer to study close to home.

“Students will be able to finish a four-year degree program, which is required for lots of the different types of jobs they want to go into,” said Dr. John Ricketts, a professor of agricultural sciences who will be teaching some courses in the “2 + 2” agriculture program. “It’s a benefit all the way around.”

Peters said students who have an associate’s degree and continue their education usually have a “high rate of completion.”

“They’ve demonstrated they can make it through two years of post-secondary education,” she said. “They’re focused. A lot of these students end up being some of our high achievers.”

For more information about the TSU-MSCC program, contact Lisa Smith at 931-433-9350 or lsmith@mscc.edu.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 receives 10 nominations for 2018 HBCU Digest Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is a finalist in 10 categories of the 2018 Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Digest Awards.

The winners will be announced at the eighth annual HBCU Awards ceremony to be held on June 22 in Washington, D.C.

TSU is a finalist for University of the Year, and TSU President Glenda Glover is in the running for Female President of the Year.

Other TSU nominations are:

Best Marching Band: Aristocrat of Bands

Best Student Organization: Collegiate Citizens Police Academy

Awards in Academic Excellence: Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center

Best Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) Program: College of Agriculture

Awards in Alumni Activity: James Shaw, Jr.

Female Athlete of the Year: Tia Wooten

Female Student of the Year: Theresa Lyles

Male Student of the Year: Naton Smith

Smith, a health science major from St. Louis, recently finished his freshman year with a 3.81 grade point average.

“I’m very honored to even be considered for this award,” says Smith, who was recently recognized as one of TSU’s “high achievers.”

The HBCU Awards is the first and only national awards ceremony honoring individual and institutional achievement at historically black colleges and universities throughout the country. Winners are selected by a panel of previous winners, journalist, HBCU executives, students and alumni for the merit of accomplishment and for generating positive coverage for HBCU campus communities.

More than 700 nominations were received for this year’s nomination process, an event record.

Last year, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands and the university’s College of Engineering received top honors in the HBCU Digest Awards.

The year before that, TSU got three honors: Alumna of the Year, Dr. Edith Mitchell; Female Coach of the Year, Track and Field Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice; and Female Student of the Year, RaCia Poston.

In 2015, TSU’s women’s basketball team got Female Team of the Year, and student activities received Best Student Organization.

To see all the 2018 HBCU Awards finalists, visit: https://hbcudigest.com/north-carolina-hbcus-dominate-2018-hbcu-awards-finalist-ballot/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

Emergency management conference speaker urges attendees to stay ‘engaged’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Emergency management officials from higher education institutions across the country are at Tennessee State University this week.

TEMA director Patrick Sheehan and Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s chief of staff, talk to Fox 17 reporter. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

They are among more than 200 first responders, consultants and volunteers attending the Best Practices in Emergency Management for Higher Education Conference TSU is hosting May 22-24.

“We’re glad TSU could host such an outstanding conference,” TSU President Glenda Glover said at a luncheon on Wednesday. “We have some of the leading emergency management experts in the country right here on our campus.”

Patrick Sheehan, director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), was the conference’s keynote speaker. He said conferences like the one at TSU are important because they allow emergency management officials to stay “engaged” and share information.

“It’s so important that we seek opportunities to come together and to share,” said Sheehan. “You’re all trying to tackle the same problems, and you’ve come up with innovative solutions to those problems, or to prevent problems.”

TSU, the first HBCU selected to host the conference, has been recognized for its unique urban-agriculture and cutting-edge emergency preparedness initiatives that have earned the university many accolades, including a Storm Ready designation.

As a result of the recognition, TSU was presented with the Best Practice Trophy at last year’s conference at Virginia Tech, and subsequently was selected to host the 2018 conference.

Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s chief of staff, said the need for emergency management has increased over the years.

TSU President Glenda Glover speaks at emergency management conference luncheon. TSU was presented with the Best Practice Trophy at last year’s conference at Virginia Tech, and subsequently was selected to host the 2018 conference. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“The frequency in emergency situations have increased,” said Johnson. “And so, in turn, institutions of higher education have learned that we need to be better prepared for these situations, so many of them are putting resources where they can respond.”

One of the topics at the conference was about problems that arise from mental health issues, and how to address them.

“Mental health is a challenge in higher education because some individuals … don’t always take their medicine,” said Johnson. “And when they don’t take their medicine, they become a challenge. We have to be prepared to manage it, and work with those individuals to get them back to as normal as possible.”

Gary Will is assistant vice president for campus security and emergency management at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. He acknowledged mental health is an issue, but he said the biggest problem in northwest Georgia is the weather, and letting people know if there’s a threat.

Berry College got its Storm Ready designation in 2015.

“The biggest thing with being Storm Ready is advising people of what’s happening, at least having that inclination that there’s some sort of threat that’s on the horizon,” he said.

For more information about TSU’s OEM, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/emergency/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

Families of Waffle House shooting victims say ‘thank you’ to TSU alum, hero, James Shaw, Jr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Families of the victims of the Waffle House shooting last month got a chance to collectively thank TSU alum James Shaw, Jr., the man being hailed a hero for disarming the shooter.

TSU President Glenda Glover (center) is joined by James Shaw, Sr., and his wife, Karen, as they talk to families of the Waffle House shooting victims. (Copyright 2018 TSU Media Relations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Family members attended a ceremony at Tennessee State University on Tuesday to honor those killed and wounded in the April 22 incident at the Waffle House in the Nashville suburb of Antioch.

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed the families to the university, before everyone gathered for a brunch with Shaw and his mother and father. Four balloons were later released on the university’s campus in remembrance of those killed in the shooting.

Authorities have said there would have probably been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions. The 29-year-old wrested a rifle away from the gunman and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door.

Shaw has been humble about his actions, saying he’s really not a hero. But those attending the event at TSU on Tuesday reiterated what the nation has been saying since the shooting: Shaw is a hero.

Family members release balloons in remembrance of those killed in the Waffle House shooting. (Copyright 2018 TSU Media Relations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

“Had you not been there, everybody in that building would have been killed,” said Renee Hampton, the aunt of 24-year-old Sharita Henderson, who was wounded in the shooting. “I just want to say thank you.”

Shaw has said he plans to use the notoriety he’s receiving as a platform to address gun violence and mental illness issues. In doing so, Abede Dasilva, who was there with his brother Akilah that didn’t survive said Shaw is honoring his brother.

“My brother was against guns,” he said. “He would want this.”

Immediately after the shooting, Shaw set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $15,000. However, he raised over $240,000.

A replica of the check was presented to the families during the luncheon. The amount will be divided evenly among the families once processed and released.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 site of meeting, reunion for Waffle House families with James Shaw, Jr.

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The mood was somber as expected, as family members, many visiting TSU for the first time, were greeted by President Glenda Glover along with James Shaw, Jr. and his family. The seven families were here to meet Shaw, Jr., the young man hailed as a hero following the deadly mass shooting on April 22 at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee.

Renee Hampton, aunt of 24-year-old Sharita Henderson, who was injured in the Waffle House shooting, thanks James Shaw, Jr. (Copyright 2018 TSU Media Relations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

“I truly wish I was welcoming you to our university under different circumstances, but please know you have all been in our thoughts and prayers since the horrific events of April 22 unfolded,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “The Shaws are a part of the TSU family as alumni, and we reached out to them immediately as a show of support because that’s what families do. On behalf of our university, we welcome you as family, and are here for you as well.”

Shaundelle Brooks, whose son, Akilah Dasilva, was killed in the Waffle House shooting hugs James Shaw, Jr., as her other son, Abede, looks on. (Copyright 2018 TSU Media Relations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Following a brief meeting with the families, the small group shared lunch and got an opportunity to thank Shaw, Jr., for his heroism and actions following the shootings. Emotions after emotions were displayed as mothers, brothers and others representing those still hospitalized thanked Shaw. All consumed by tears.

“I would have lost two sons if it weren’t for you,” said a tearful Shaundelle Brooks. Her sons Akilah and Abede Dasilva were both there. Akilah didn’t survive.

The parents of Joe Perez, one of the four killed in the Waffle House shooting on April 22, thank James Shaw, Jr. for his heroism. (Copyright 2018 TSU Media Relations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

“If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here,” said Abede Dasilva. “I’m able to be here for my mother because of you.”

The group walked to the campus amphitheater to release balloons to honor their loved ones. The eight families, representing those killed or injured, held hands and bowed heads as they were lead in prayer. Four black balloons were released for those who died.

Shaw has repeatedly said he doesn’t consider himself a hero. However, following the shooting he immediately began helping the families of those killed or injured by creating a GoFundMe account to help with expenses.

As a show of support and to highlight his act of bravery, TSU set up a scholarship in Shaw’s name. Donations to the James Shaw, Jr. Scholarship Fund can be paid through the link below or by mail. Please send to: The James Shaw, Jr. Scholarship Fund at Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University Foundation, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd. Box 9542, Nashville, TN   37209

https://epay.tnstate.edu/C20204_ustores/web/classic/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=415&SINGLESTORE=true

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 establishes Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Memorial Institute in honor of trailblazer and alumnus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is using a half million dollar gift from the family of the late Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. to establish an endowed scholarship fund in honor of the TSU alumnus and renowned heart surgeon.

Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr.

The Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide financial assistance to pre-med majors at the institution based on high scholastic achievement. In conjunction with the scholarship fund, TSU will establish the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Memorial Institute. The initiative is made up of three components: the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society, the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Pre-Med Society and the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Lecture Series.

“We are extremely grateful to the family of Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. for this tremendous gift to further the legacy of such a brilliant individual, and TSU alumnus,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover.

“The Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Endowed Scholarship and institute are incredible programs to have housed at our university and will add another caveat to our stellar STEM programs. Most importantly, it continues the work of Dr. Watkins of inspiring students to pursue their dreams in the medical profession and to give back to others.”

The Society is a student organization for STEM majors who are high academic achievers and Presidential Scholars. The Pre-Med Society is for students who are high achievers interested in attending medical school.

Both organizations include periodic seminars, service as research assistants, a living learning community on campus, and training for personal health and wellness.

The Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Lecture Series will be annually and will invite prominent speakers to TSU to address areas in health care and STEM. The focus will be on preparing students for the medical program and is slated to begin this fall.

Watkins is carried on the shoulders of well-wishers following his victory as the new Student Council President. (courtesy photo)

Dr. Levi Watkins enrolled at Tennessee State University where he excelled as a student. Watkins studied biology but was also heavily involved in campus life. He was listed in the Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges, president of the Student Council (1965-1966), and received the title of “Mr. Brains” by the yearbook staff in 1966. Levi was a member of the Nashville Collegiate Exchange Council, National Vice President of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and the University Counselors. He graduated in 1966 with honors.

After leaving Tennessee State, Watkins became the first African American student to be admitted to and graduate from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Following Vanderbilt, Levi began his residency at John Hopkins Hospital. He would go on to become the first black chief resident of cardiac surgery.

Watkins was a pioneer in both cardiac surgery and civil rights at Hopkins. He was the first doctor to implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a patient, a medical procedure that is now more common place. It is because of his vision and innovation this medical breakthrough has been responsible for saving the lives of millions worldwide.

He performed this groundbreaking procedure while he was also fighting to diversify the medical staff and student ranks at Hopkins. His legacy of recruiting and mentoring minority students helped to change the landscape of the medical profession. Watkins retired from Hopkins in 2013, dedicating 43 years of service to helping others.

Dr. Watkins became ill while doing what he loved most, inspiring prospective medical students at Hopkins, and died on April 11, 2015. Watkins will be remembered not only for his transformative achievements, but also for the deep personal connections he made with people from all walks of life.

The University held a memorial service with the campus family and Nashville community to celebrate his life of outstanding achievement and service.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 honors alumnus and Waffle House hero James Shaw, Jr. with scholarship, Special Presidential Recognition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has set up a scholarship in the name of alumnus James Shaw, Jr., who has received national acclaim after disarming a Waffle House shooter last month.

The announcement was made during a reception held in Shaw’s honor at the university Monday evening. The event was highlighted on “Good Morning America.”

James Shaw, Jr. and TSU President Glenda Glover

TSU’s Farrell-Westbrook Building was filled to capacity as the Nashville community, state and local elected officials, as well as TSU students, faculty and staff joined the University for the Special Event. TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed the crowd and led a program consisting of area businesses and civic groups paying homage and giving awards to Shaw for his heroism.

“The TSU family is extremely proud of alumnus James Shaw, Jr. for his bravery and courage,” Glover said before the ceremony.  “James epitomizes the core values and mission of our institution, which is think, work and serve. His genuine concern for the well-being of others is a tribute to his parents, who are also TSU alumni.”

Presentations were made by Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association; Marie Sueing, vice president of Multi-Cultural Community Relations with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation; Carolyn Waller, president of the Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce; Attorney Mary H. Beard with the Nashville Napier-Looby Bar Association; and LaDonna Boyd, CEO of Boyd Publishing Company, along with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., of which Shaw is a member.

Shaw and his family beamed with pride following each recognition, and were equally surprised and moved about the scholarship in his name. Attending with him were his parents James, Sr. and Karen Shaw, grandmother Mary Louise Edwards, sisters Brina’ and Brittni, cousin Mari Ashley and four-year-old daughter Brooklyn, and her mother Jalicia Collins.

James Shaw, Jr., being pinned by Dr. Jamie Riley, TSU alumnus and executive director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Nearly $15,000 was collected just moments after the university made the scholarship donation information public. This included $11,000 from his fraternity. Numerous members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. were on hand for the celebration of their fraternity brother. The fraternity’s Executive Director Dr. Jamie Riley, also a TSU alumnus and from the university’s Beta Omicron chapter as Shaw, made a special presentation.

Dr. Riley lauded Shaw for his bravery and presented him with a lifetime membership.

“Your example challenges me and others to be our best even in the most uncomfortable circumstances,” said Riley.

Dr. Everett B. Ward, general president of Alpha Phi Alpha, shared a similar sentiment in a statement.

“The well-being and viability of our communities has often been predicated on the willingness of strong men to put themselves in harm’s way,” said Ward. “In like manner, the men of Alpha Phil Alpha Fraternity, Inc., have established a legacy of service and sacrifice to serve the greater good that was continued by our brother James Shaw, Jr., whose actions prevented further loss of life.”

TSU President Glenda Glover, alumnus James Shaw, Jr., and Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association

Four people were killed and several others wounded during the April 22 incident at a Waffle House in the Nashville suburb of Antioch. Authorities have said there would have probably been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions.

The 29-year-old wrested a rifle away from the gunman and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door.

State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, a TSU alumnae, along with State Sen. Jeff Yarbro shared special remarks at the event and applauded the Nashville native for springing into action.

Shaw has been humble about his actions, saying he’s really not a hero. And he reiterated that on Monday.

“Like I said, I was just trying to save myself. I did this with no recognition,” said Shaw. ”But it seems like it inspired so many people throughout the world. For that, I am greatly, greatly appreciative. To all of you, thank you.”

During the event, President Glenda Glover also announced that Shaw will receive a Special Presidential Recognition at Tennessee State’s homecoming in October.

Donations to the James Shaw, Jr. Scholarship Fund can be paid through the link below or by mail. Please send to: The James Shaw, Jr. Scholarship Fund at Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University Foundation, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd. Box 9542, Nashville, TN   37209

https://epay.tnstate.edu/C20204_ustores/web/classic/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=415&SINGLESTORE=true

Watch and read GMA and ABCNews’ coverage at https://abcnews.go.com/US/alma-mater-waffle-house-hero-establishes-scholarship/story?id=55013512

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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 moves Saturday commencement to Gentry Center, begins at 8 a.m.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s 2018 Undergraduate Spring Commencement Ceremony will be moved to the Howard C. Gentry Complex on Saturday because of rain, TSU officials say.

The commencement had been scheduled for Hale Stadium. But the National Weather Service is predicting rain showers on Saturday, so the ceremony will be at 8 a.m. in the Gentry Complex. Gentry has a seating capacity of 8,000, so overflow will be moved to Kean Hall. Families are asked to arrive approximately 45 minutes to an hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Once capacity is reached, guests will be directed to Kean Hall. Shuttles will be available to assist with relocating.

Nearly 1,000 undergraduate students are expected to walk across the stage and should arrive at 7:30 a.m.

General Parking will remain the same and be available in parking lots throughout the campus. Shuttle services will be provided to transport guests from parking lots to the Gentry Complex. The following areas are for general parking:

  • Lot J – Engineering parking lot
  • Lot K – Power Plant parking lot
  • Lot L – Tiger Bell and 37th
  • Lot P – Queen Washington parking lot

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

 

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms shares inspiring words with TSU graduate students at Spring Commencement Ceremony

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University graduate students received some inspiring words from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who spoke at TSU’s Spring Commencement Ceremony Friday evening.

2018 Spring graduate class. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Before Bottoms’ address, TSU President Glenda Glover congratulated the graduates.

“This is your day,” said Glover. “We thank you, and we’re depending on you to continue the tradition of excellence.”

Bottoms, an Atlanta native who became the 60th mayor of Atlanta last December and only the second woman to be elected to that post in the city’s history, is also a highly accomplished lawyer and successful public servant who advocates for high quality public education, job opportunities and economic growth.

During her address, she told the graduates not to be afraid to share their struggles, their “scars,” because they don’t know who may be inspired by them – especially in the case of youth.

“As you enter this next season of life, think of those little boys and little girls who need to hear your stories, and be uplifted by your stories,” said Bottoms. “How you graduated from TSU, and how you got to the other side.“

Alongside her public service career, Bottoms has maintained a private law practice for more than 20 years, and has served as general counsel for a multi-million dollar business, as well as a Judge (Pro Hoc) in Fulton County State Court.

She told the graduates that their achievement of a higher education will better equip them to be successful.

“The world is waiting on you to make a difference,” said Bottoms. “Walk in your purpose; the best is yet to come.”

Mercedes Hence, who received her master’s in criminal justice Friday, took Bottoms’ words to heart. She said the mayor’s accomplishments are inspiring, especially because she’s an African American woman.

“The fact that she is the mayor of Atlanta, that’s just empowering, inspiring,” said Hence, who has a job lined up with AmeriCorps where she will be assisting with public health research.

2018 Spring graduates make entrance. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

Between its graduate commencement and the undergraduate ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 5, TSU will graduate more than 1,000 students. And officials say a “substantial number,” like Hence, have already gotten job or internship offers.

Among them is Jonathan Robertson, who received a master’s degree in nursing on Friday. He got his bachelor’s in nursing at TSU, and said he liked the university so much that he decided to continue his education at Tennessee State.

“It provided great experiences, and great practicum opportunities,” said Robertson, who will be working as an interventional pain specialist in his hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Recent data comparison shows that TSU is on an upward trajectory when it comes to job placement for new graduates.

Within three months of receiving their degrees, nearly 52 percent of students who graduated in December had received “some form of employment opportunities,” according to the TSU Career Development Center. That’s just 6 percent shy of the national average of graduates who had jobs within six months of graduation, according to College Track, an online database that guides parents and students in college selection.

Dr. Tracey Ford, TSU’s vice-president for Student Affairs, attributed part of TSU’s success to the “outstanding job performance” of former students who are employed with companies around the nation and the world.

“Our students who have become great employees at these world-renowned companies are making such an impact that it causes the employers to want to continue to recruit at Tennessee State University,” said Ford.

Last year, TSU received a $2 million career development grant from the United Negro College Fund. The money gave Career Development Center staff the tools to prepare and ultimately help TSU students secure employment immediately upon graduation.

In addition, Hence said TSU faculty, in particular, went out of their way to provide guidance and support.

“From the lowest point to the highest point, they were there to guide me,” she said. “Just life lessons in general.”

 

NOTE: TSU’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday will be in the Howard C. Gentry Complex instead of Hale Stadium, and it will start at 8 a.m. Gentry has a seating capacity of 8,000; guest overflow will be moved to Kean Hall. Families are asked to arrive approximately 45 minutes to an hour prior to the start of the ceremony at the selected location. Once capacity is reached, guests will be directed to Kean Hall. Shuttles will be available to assist with relocating.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.

 

Morning showers could mean relocation of TSU Spring Commencement on May 5 to indoors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Undergraduate Spring Commencement Ceremony will be moved to the Howard C. Gentry Complex if it rains Saturday, TSU officials say.

Currently, the May 5 commencement is scheduled for Hale Stadium. But the National Weather Service is predicting rain showers on Saturday. If commencement is moved, the ceremony will start at 9 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. Gentry has a seating capacity of 8,000; guest overflow will be moved to Kean Hall. Hale, Gentry and Kean Hall will be set up for graduation. However, the weather will determine which venue is used. Families are asked to arrive approximately 45 minutes to an hour prior to the start of the ceremony at the selected location. Once capacity is reached, guests will be directed to Kean Hall. Shuttles will be available to assist with relocating.

Nearly 1,000 undergraduate students are expected to walk across the stage and should arrive at 7:30 a.m.

General Parking will remain the same and be available in parking lots throughout the campus. Shuttle services will be provided to transport guests from parking lots to the Gentry Complex. The following areas are for general parking:

  • Lot J – Engineering parking lot
  • Lot K – Power Plant parking lot
  • Lot L – Tiger Bell and 37th
  • Lot P – Queen Washington parking lot

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. 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.