Category Archives: Alumni

Tennessee State University to Host National Higher Education Emergency Management Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has been selected as the host institution for the 2018 Best Practices in Higher Education Emergency Management Conference May 22-24.

The sixth annual conference will bring together more than 200 emergency management practitioners, first responders, consultants and volunteers to share best practices and lessons learned.

TSU was awarded the Best Practice Trophy for its unique urban-agriculture and cutting-edge emergency preparedness initiatives. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

TSU, the first HBCU selected to host the conference, was 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 this year’s conference at Virginia Tech, and subsequently selected to host the 2018 conference.

“We are honored to be selected as the host of next year’s conference,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for administration and chief of staff. “We have made major strides in preparing the university against natural disaster and acts of terrorism. To be recognized as a Best Practice institution shows that Tennessee State University is in the right direction in ensuring that we provide a safe and secure environment for our students, staff and faculty.”

Thomas Graham, director of TSU’s Office of Emergency Management, said TSU looks forward to the conference and to let participants from other institutions see some of the initiatives TSU has put in place to keep its campus safe.

Graham noted that TSU offers “several preparedness classes for faculty, staff and students, as well as alumni and the Jefferson Street community.”

For more information about Emergency Management, the conference, and to find out about preparedness classes, visit

http://www.tnstate.edu/emergency/emconf2018.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 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 choir members part of spirited performance at 51st CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of Tennessee State University’s Choir  joined a Nashville ensemble in a spirited performance at the recent 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville.

Members of the Tennessee State University Choir served as backup singers at the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night. (Submitted photo)

The choral students appeared as backup singers to some of the biggest names in country music, including Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire. The students were invited along with the Portara Ensemble, to kick off the CMA Awards, which was broadcast live on national television from the Music City Center.

“It was an amazing experience with about 20,000 people in the audience cheering us on,” said Dre Pinson, a senior general music education major from Nashville, who is president of the TSU Choir. “Talk about adrenaline rushing out, talk about the pressure. They were very polite and very welcoming, especially when they realized that we were from TSU. They were very honored to have some local people behind them to support them.”

Thomas J.  Taylor III, another member of the choir, said he was glad to have the opportunity to once again showcase TSU’s excellence.

“Thanks to our director, Dr. (Susan Kelly) for putting us out there,” said Taylor, a junior music education major from Nashville. “I was excited that we were going to be in front of all those people on live TV.”

Dr. Kelly described the invitation from the CMA and the experience as “very humbling.”

“We got to not only sing with, but to interact with, some of the greatest Country Music artists alive today,” she said. “Our students are doing great things and I am proud to say that I teach at TSU!”

For more information on the Tennessee State University Choir, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/music/choir.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 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 Research May Prevent Unnecessary Hurricane Evacuations

A team of engineers, including Dr. Muhammad K. Akbar, Tennessee State University Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, is diligently working to more accurately predict which areas should be evacuated during threats of hurricanes.

Dr. Muhammad K. Akbar

Akbar said when people are asked to evacuate unnecessarily, they lose trust and become less likely to evacuate when future warnings are given. Accurate surge storm predictions save lives and properties through timely evacuations, he said.

The team is developing a new implicit solver-based storm surge model called CaMEL(Computation and Modeling Engineering Laboratory).  It is being evaluated against ADCIRC (ADvanced CIRCulation Model), an established storm surge model.  Akbar said that while the ADCIRC model is faster, CaMEL is more stable.

Storm surge, according to the National Weather Service, is the change in the water level that is due to the presence of the storm. Storm surges are caused primarily by the strong winds in a hurricane or tropical storm.

Akbar said they input meteorological data approximately every six hours to forecast the hurricane’s wind track and strength for the entire duration through its landfall and beyond. Their results help emergency management to communicate with first responders which areas should be evacuated.

“Our goal is to merge the good features of both models in one to improve our prediction capabilities,” he said.  Scientists are working on different fronts to understand the complex physics of hurricanes and evolution of storm surges.

“Understanding the underlying physics will help us to improve the prediction capabilities of hurricane storm surges,” Akbar said.  “An accurate storm surge model could save millions of dollars by preventing unnecessary evacuations.”

A native of Bangladesh, Akbar cites the devastation caused by the Bhola Cyclone that killed nearly 500,000 people in his homeland in 1970, as one of the major motivations for his research.

Aided by a $209,403 grant from the National Science Foundation, Akbar also receives funding from the Department of Homeland Security and the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

Part of his work includes advising graduate students like Kyra Bryant, who is currently pursing a doctorate in Computer Information Systems Engineering at TSU. Bryant received the Graduate Master’s Thesis Award in February at the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools for her research on storm surges.

“Receiving the award is a great honor for Ms. Bryant, and all of us at Tennessee State University,” Akbar said. “It is an encouragement and motivation for us to advance the research to the next level.”

According to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, each year, the United States averages some 10,000 thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, 1,300 tornadoes and two Atlantic hurricanes, as well as widespread droughts and wildfires. Weather, water and climate events, cause an average of approximately 650 deaths and $15 billion in damage per year and are responsible for some 90 percent of all presidentially-declared disasters.

 

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 plans special Veterans Day program on Nov. 10 to honor alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will honor its veterans on Nov. 10 and pay special tribute to a university alum and Medal of Honor recipient.

Lt. William McBryar, a Buffalo Soldier, was awarded America’s highest military decoration for his actions on March 7, 1890, during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory. According to his citation, McBryar was distinguished for “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” while his 10th Cavalry troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache warriors.

McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80, but he will be honored posthumously at TSU’s Veterans Day program. McBryar was 73 when he got his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from then-Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University.

Dating back to the Civil War, there have been 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients. Of that number, 90 are black – and Lt. McBryar is one of them.

“We are acutely aware of the paucity of African Americans who have received such an honor,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, Tennessee State University’s vice president for academic affairs.  “We are very excited to be one of the institutions to have been a part of the educational experience our Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. William McBryar, received many years ago.”

Lt Col Sharon Presley, Air Force ROTC Det 790 commander stationed at TSU, echoed Hardy’s sentiment.

Display honoring Lt. William McBryar in TSU library (Submitted photo)

“From the perspective of a military officer, to know of someone who achieved the nation’s highest honor, is awe-inspiring,” Presley said. “He was a soldier’s soldier.”

McBryar went on to serve with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba. He also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

In 1906, after leaving the military, McBryar moved to Greensboro, North Carolina as a civilian and there he married Sallie Waugh, a nurse. Three years later, he worked as a watchman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a military instructor at what is now Saint Paul’s College.

In 1933, with a desire to complete his degree, McBryar attended Tennessee A & I. He graduated the following year, finishing a college education that started at Saint Augustine’s University before he enlisted in the military.

McBryar went on to write for Tennessee State’s publication, “The Bulletin,” addressing issues related to social justice and developments in Germany.

McBryar is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A Tennessee Historical marker honoring him will be unveiled at TSU early next year.

 

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.

Former NFL Star and Nashville Public School Director Among Speakers to Visit TSU for College Prep Workshop

by Michael McLendon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alumnus and retired NFL athlete Randy Fuller and Metro Nashville Public Schools Superintendent Shawn Joseph will speak to hundreds of area high school students at a free college prep workshop at TSU scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18.

TSU alum and retired NFL athlete Randy Fuller

Sponsored by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Gamma Phi Chapter in association with TSU, REALSPORTS Leadership Academy and Belmont University, the workshop will kick-off at 8:30 a.m. in the Robert N. Murrell Forum.

The deadline for registration to attend the college prep workshop at Tennessee State University is Nov. 6. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2hssd1Z .

“We are trying to open up to the community the process for going to college, particularly for African American students,” said Roderick Owens, the workshop’s main organizer. “We found out that a lot of times they are not prepared. The workshop is intended to get them ready and also introduce them to some opportunities for scholarships.”

He said 9th and 10th graders will attend a session on the importance of college, the college path curriculum, good study habits and time management. Eleventh and 12th graders will explore the college path curriculum, improving GPAs, ACT PREP, ACT test scores, and the Gamma Phi Scholarship.

Gamma Phi offers four $2,000 scholarships to male and female students who are freshmen entering college for the first time.

Fuller, who spent six years in the NFL, played in 1996 Super Bowl with the Pittsburg Steelers and the 1999 Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons. He is remembered by many for breaking up a “Hail Mary” pass during the closing seconds of the AFC championship game in 1996 that secured the Steelers trip to the Super Bowl.

During an interview published in February by Sports & Entertainment Nashville, Fuller credited TSU’s staff and coaches for his successful transition into the NFL.

“I was attracted to Tennessee State University because of its rich tradition in producing quality people on and off the field. Tennessee State was not only concerned about you for four years, but for the next forty years,” he said. “They made it a point that each student would have the necessary skills to contribute to society in a meaningful way.”

Fuller currently works for Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center which offers an environment for women ages 12 and older who struggles with eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, trauma and co-occurring disorders.

Metro Nashville Public Schools Superintendent Shawn Joseph

Barbara Murrell is the founder of REALSPORT Leadership Academy, a pre-college summer program that gives student athletes a head start for college through workshops and activities designed to promote personal, cultural and social development. She said the workshop is one way of helping students become successful in college.

“We don’t want to just get these young people in college. We want them to be successful when they get there,” Murrell said. “We do time management and study skill preparation. We help them with the ACT. We do life-skill development. We help them to build their self-confidence and more,” she added.

Dr. Shawn Joseph serves 86,000 students in urban, rural, and suburban communities. Since taking over as director in July 2016, his administration has provided more targeted literacy instruction, developed new K-12 literacy curricula aligned to the Tennessee standards, expanded ACT support in high schools, and funded all high school advanced coursework and career and technical education fees for all students.

 

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.

 

Former State Auditor Adrian Davis is the New Director of Internal Audit at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A longtime accounting expert who is no stranger to Tennessee State University has returned to the university as the new director of internal audit.

Adrian R. Davis

Adrian R. Davis, a certified public accountant, served for 11 years as a legislative auditor with the Tennessee Division of State Audit. During that time she performed seven external audits at TSU.

Also a certified government financial manager, Davis holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Alabama A&M University, and a master’s degree, also in accounting from Tennessee Technological University. She will report directly to TSU President Glenda Glover.

TSU’s Vice President for Business and Finance Cynthia Brooks described Davis as someone with “a wealth of audit experience” that will have an immediate positive impact in her new role at the university.

“Most employees in the Division of Business and Finance have worked with Ms. Davis for several years in her former role with State Audit, so we are familiar with her professionalism, integrity, commitment and collegiality,” Brooks said.  “I feel she will consistently meet the high standards the president and Board of Trustees require.”

Davis, who started her new role on Oct. 16, said she has always held “a special affinity” for the university.

“I am honored to be in this position,” Davis said. “Over the past 11 years I have come to know many of the staff here. I am excited to now be a part of the university.”

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 Sophomore with Dream to Become a Military Lawyer Receives $18,000 Scholarship from the U.S. Air Force

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Katelyn Thompson’s dream is to be a military lawyer or judge advocate general. The TSU sophomore is well on her way after receiving a $18,000 scholarship from the U.S. Air Force.

On Oct. 25, Thompson, a criminal justice major, signed a contract with the Air Force and was sworn in as a cadet. As part of her contract, she received the scholarship under the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship program, which covers tuition, fees and books. She will train with the AFROTC Detachment 790 at Tennessee State University.

Cadet Katelyn Thompson’s family attended her swearing-in ceremony in AFROTC wing on the main TSU campus. From left are: Lt. Col. Sharon Presley; Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather; Clarese Brown, grandmother; sister Bria Ingram; and auntie Barbara Brown. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, the Detachment Commander, conducted the swearing-in ceremony in the AFROTC wing on the main campus. She said Thompson, who is the Honor Guard commander, has been with the program since her freshman year.

“Cadet Thompson has got an incredible track record of success since coming to us as a freshman,” Presley said. “As far as academics, physical fitness and leadership among the cadets, she has proven herself to be quite capable.”

Thompson said her passion for becoming a military lawyer goes as far back as her freshman year in high school. She said she enjoys arguing and debating.

“The reason I want to be a JAG is an aspiration I have had for law since I was in high school,” said Thompson, whose family has a rich military history. “Additionally, my family is definitely military. I have a stepfather that’s in the Army; I have a grandfather that was in the Air Force. It (military) runs in the family and I want to keep that tradition going.”

Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather, who was a member of the AFROTC as a student at TSU, attended the swearing-in ceremony with Thompson’s grandmother Clarese Brown, sister Bria Ingram, and auntie Barbara Brown.

“Katelyn is very special and the family is here to support her dream,” Morris Brown said. “I am extremely proud that she is getting this scholarship.”

Presley said Thompson will compete for an enrollment allocation for field training this coming summer.

“If she successfully completes that training, then she will go on two more years with ROTC and be commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Air Force,” Presley said.

Thompson is thankful to TSU and the Air Force for her scholarship.

“It is always my dream to strive for excellence, and if it were not for TSU, I wouldn’t have this opportunity. I am very thankful,” she said.

Also attending the swearing-in ceremony was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association; and June Michaut, president of the TSU Veterans/Military Alumni Chapter.

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 Students’ Research Focus on Finding Cure for Heart Disease, Cancer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University students and their professors have embarked on research projects that could lead to prevention, and possibly a cure, for the nation’s deadliest diseases: cancer and heart disease.

Orica Kutten is a sophomore biology major. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Jaquantey Bowen, a senior biochemistry major, and Orica Kutten, a sophomore majoring in biology, presented their projects to fellow students and faculty on Friday during the inaugural Honors Ted Talk, a forum organized by the Honors College to give students and faculty an opportunity to present their work to the campus community.

Motivated by personal tragedies in his family, Bowen, of Fishers, Indiana, has made it his life mission to put an end to heart disease, which is responsible for nearly 610,000 deaths in America each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

His research project, “A Potential Avenue to Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: An Analysis of the Effect of Genetically-Induced Hypercholesterolemia on Zebrafish,” has also been presented at Harvard and the Brigham Young Women’s Hospital, where it received rave review.

Near his 18th birthday while a freshman at TSU, Bowen’s maternal grandfather died from heart disease, the same disease that claimed his paternal grandfather’s life and several others in his family.

“From that day forward, I vowed to put an end to heart disease,” said Bowen, a graduate of the highly competitive Harvard BWH Stars Program for Summer Research. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and has done field research with “some of the best and notable experts in cardiology.”

“The science behind my research is basically to look at the fundamental mechanisms that lead to heart disease, especially the connection between high cholesterol and atherosclerosis,” said Bowen, who will receive a bachelor’s degree with concentration in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry.

For Kutten, her research project, “Microtubule Actin Crosslinking Factor 1 a Target in Glioblastomas,” or MACF1, aims to identify new and novel targets for the treatment of cancer and to improve therapies for a variety of different cancers.

A native of Cape Coast, Ghana, Kutten said growing up in Africa, much of the discussions were around malaria, a tropical infectious disease.

“But when I learned that cancer was the second cause of deaths, I knew it was an area I would like to study,” Kutten said. “During my time in the lab I have actually learned a lot of concepts that I didn’t actually know before, and which have been very helpful in my research.”

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, said the importance of Bowens’ and Kutten’s research topics and the participation in the forum are some of the reasons why Ted Talk was established.

“Ted Talk is a wonderful opportunity for all students from all areas to share their research, to share their inventions and creations with the TSU community,” Jackson said. “It is one thing to do all this wonderful research and it just sits on the desk or it is published in the book and no body hears about it. So anyone who has something to share is invited to Ted Talk.”

Mariel Liggin, a freshman biochemistry major, was one of the many students who attended the forum. She said she was impressed by the two presentations, which encouraged her to get more serious about developing her own projects.

“I am glad I came,” Liggin said. Coming here and listening to Jaquantey and Orica gave me an idea of what to do when I start my own research.”

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 Homecoming 2017 a ‘Tremendous Success’; Scholarship Gala Exceeds $1 Million Goal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will be able to help more students get a quality education after it exceeded its goal of raising $1 million at this year’s Scholarship Gala.

Former TSU President Frederick S. Humphries receives a Special Presidential Recognition from President Glenda Glover at the 2017 Scholarship Gala. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“We are pleased to announce that our goal of $1 million was met and exceeded in a big way,” said TSU President Glenda Glover following the Oct. 13 gala. “Alumni giving and sponsorships also increased. This means more financial support for our students.”

The gala, part of TSU’s weeklong Homecoming activities, is the biggest single event by the university to raise scholarship money. Contributions swelled from $600,000 last year to more than one million this year. Initially planned for 1,300 guests, the event was sold out with additional seats brought in.

“The scholarship gala is the most important event other than the football contest,” said Homecoming chairman Grant Winrow. “This is by far the biggest effort by the university to raise scholarship money and we are glad that not only did we raise the million, we exceeded our goal.”

President Glenda Glover joins thousands in the 2017 Homecoming parade along Jefferson Street to the main campus. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Earlier this year, Glover challenged the gala committee, a subset of the Homecoming committee, to exceed previous performances.

“With that mandate,” gala chairwoman Barbara Murrell said, “We knew we had a job to do. We knew this would be a community effort. We talked to and got the cooperation of the city of Nashville, the TSU Board of Trustees, corporations, Foundation board members, National Alumni Association, the president’s cabinet, faculty, staff and students. What we ended with was an exceptional gala with a stellar group of individuals and an evening to remember.”

According to Murrell, the more than 1,300 “friends of TSU” were greeted at various intervals in the Music City Center by student musicians who entertained the attendees as they proceeded through the venue to the night’s “stellar event” in the grand ballroom.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry waves to the crowd as she participates in the TSU Homecoming parade along Jefferson Street. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Jasha Keller, of St. Louis, and Kayla Daniels, of Atlanta, are two scholarship recipients who helped to escort guests at the gala. They were impressed by the “elegance of the evening,” especially interacting with alumni who helped to raise funds to keep them (students) in school.

“I really loved the program, the atmosphere and that we were able to be a part of the event,” said Keller, a sophomore integrated marketing major. “Alumni were very engaging with us, letting us know, ‘this is all for you. We are invested in your education.’”

Mr. TSU Alec Forrest, and Miss TSU Kayla Smith greet TSU fans and supporters at the 2017 Homecoming game between the Tigers and the Governors of Austin Peay, at Nissan Stadium. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Daniels, a sophomore business administration major, added: “I really like the fact that they had two scholarship recipients speak on our behalf to let the alumni know that their scholarship dollars are going to students like us, and how grateful we are for their support.”

The gala also highlighted the contributions of a “stellar group” of honorees and grand marshals whose lives and legacies exemplify the best of TSU, most notably former TSU President Frederick S. Humphries, who was awarded a special Presidential Recognition by Glover.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry served as Honorary Chair of the Scholarship Gala.

Other honorees were: Dr. Sterlin Adams, retired, professor and special assistant to Dr. Humphries; Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher, retired, director of libraries; Dr. Raymond Richardson, retired professor and chair of physics, mathematics and computer science; and William “Bill” Thomas, former head football coach and athletic director.

The grand marshals were: Georgette “Gigi” Peek Dixon, senior vice president and director of national partnerships, government and community relations at Wells Fargo; Alfred Gordon, vice president of operations for Frito-Lay North America; State Senator Thelma Harper, 19th District, Tennessee General Assembly; and Roosevelt “Bud” Reese, CEO of CMI Foundation.

Special Presidential Honoree Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, along with grand marshals and honorees wave to the crowd during the Homecoming parade. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“These are very accomplished individuals with proven track records of successes in their respective career fields,” Winrow said. “I think their selfless commitment of service and helping others is the commonality they all share.”

Prior to the Homecoming parade and football game the next day, the Scholarship Gala capped a week of activities that started with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest, followed by a gospel explosion featuring gospel singers Deitrick Haddon, Earnest Pugh and the New Direction Gospel Choir.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people — including parents, relatives, friends and fellow students — packed a jubilant Kean Hall to witness the crowning of Mr. TSU Alec Forrest, and Miss TSU Kayla Smith, and their Royal Court.

On Saturday, thousands lined Jefferson Street for the highly anticipated Homecoming parade. President Glover, joined by Mayor Barry, headed the parade that ended on the main campus. They were accompanied by other government officials, numerous floats, businesses, and visiting school bands led by the famed TSU Aristocrat of Bands and the Mr. TSU and Miss TSU Royal Court.

The week climaxed Saturday evening at Nissan Stadium when thousands of fans witnessed the TSU Tigers rally from behind, but eventually fall 21-17 to the Austin Peay Governors.

Glover described the 2017 Homecoming celebration as a “tremendous success.”

“It could not have happened without the entire Tennessee State University family working together, students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Glover said. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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.

Mr. And Miss Tennessee State University Coronation Continues Homecoming Tradition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University continued a Homecoming tradition Wednesday night with the crowning of a new Mr. and Miss TSU.

Hundreds of people — including parents, relatives, friends and fellow students — packed a jubilant Kean Hall to witness the coronation of Alec Forrest and Kayla Smith, and their court.

TSU President Glenda Glover, left, and Dr. Tracey Ford, Vice President for Student Affairs, congratulate Kayla Smith and Alec Forrest, the new Mr. & Miss TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover congratulated the new king and queen after giving them the oath of office. Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president for Student Affairs, followed the president. She charged the two students to take their roles seriously.

“Taking on the responsibility of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU is steep in tradition, as many are looking up to you,” Ford said. “Be reminded that this is serious.”

Forrest, a senior business major from Jackson, Tennessee, is the outgoing Mr. Junior. He said in an interview before the coronation that his goal is to help develop young men with character and vision by leading by example.

“You can’t expect people to do one thing and they see you doing quite the opposite,” Forrest said. “I like to impact people. When I leave this institution, I want to come back and see someone in a leadership position because of an influence I had on them.”

Smith, who becomes the 88th Miss TSU, is from Memphis. She is a senior health science major with a concentration in therapeutic studies and a minor in psychology. She said becoming Miss TSU or “black excellence,” as she puts it, has always been a goal. The journey, she said, began when she “broke the norm” at predominantly white Germantown High School and became the first female African-American senior class president. Her leadership ability and academic success granted her a full-ride scholarship to TSU.

“College for me would be nowhere else but Tennessee State University,” Smith said. “TSU stole my heart with its southern charm and hospitality. I have always been in awe of the rich history and modern culture. I just cannot get enough of it.”

The new Mr. and Miss TSU Court include: Landon McCall, Mr. Freshman; Braxton Simpson, Miss Freshman; Jonathan Miles Hammock, Mr. Sophomore; Sierra Holmes, Miss Sophomore; Darian McGhee, Mr. Junior; Brandi DeCoats, Miss Junior; Andrew Crawford, Mr. Senior; Danielle Perry, Miss Senior.

Outgoing Miss TSU Alicia Jones, crowns the new Miss TSU Kayla Smith. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

In addition to the Mr. and Miss TSU coronation, this year’s Homecoming, which will culminate Saturday with a parade and the big football matchup between the Tigers and Austin Peay, includes a  “stellar group” of honorees, grand marshals and star power.

In keeping with the theme, “The Road to Greatness Begins with Excellence,” the university has selected honorees and grand marshals that exude the excellence TSU strives for. They include Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, who will receive Special Presidential Recognition. Dr. Humphries, TSU’s fourth president, served from 1974-1985.

Other honorees are: Dr. Sterlin Adams, retired, professor and special assistant to Dr. Humphries; Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher, retired, director of libraries; Dr. Raymond Richardson, retired, professor and chair of physics, mathematics and computer science; and William “Bill” Thomas, former head football coach and athletic director.

The grand marshals for the popular Homecoming parade (from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Blvd.) are: Georgette “Gigi” Peek Dixon, senior vice president and director of national partnerships, government and community relations, Wells Fargo; Alfred Gordon, vice president of operations for Frito-Lay North America; State Senator Thelma Harper, 19th District, Tennessee General Assembly; and Roosevelt “Bud” Reese, CEO, CMI Foundation.

Besides the game and parade, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the Annual Scholarship Gala, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Music City Center. This year, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will serve as honorary chairperson. Nationally syndicated radio show host, actor and comedian, Rickey Smiley, will be the gala’s master of ceremony. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships are used to provide financial assistance to students. The goal is to raise one million.

For more information about Homecoming 2017, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/documents/HomecomingSchedule.pdf

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
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Nashville, Tennessee 37209
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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.