Category Archives: Alumni

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Recognizes TSU Student as One of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30 Recipients

Kelli Peterson
Kelli Peterson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Since 2009, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has recognized influential members of the local community under the age of 30. In mid-November, the Middle Tennessee Chapter released a list of 30 individuals they believe have made significant impacts in the community through leadership and volunteer efforts.

Among that list is a doctoral student from Tennessee State University who has been selected as one of Nashville’s best professional and philanthropic community members for 2015.

Kelli Peterson, who is pursuing her Doctorate of Education degree in Teaching and Learning, Focus in Curriculum Planning, will be honored early next year as one of the most “prominent, influential and successful young professionals in the community.”

“I am truly blessed and honored to be named as one of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30 by such a wonderful organization,” said Peterson, who has served for the past two years as the assistant principal at East End Preparatory School. “I was surprised when I found out because I had worked extremely hard on a compelling essay to express my qualifications and passion for being a servant to Nashville through education. I knew the competition would be extremely competitive.”

2015 class of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30
2015 class of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30

According to Peterson, the recognition is important to her for two reasons. First, along with the other 29 professionals, Peterson will be given a chance to make an even bigger impact in the lives of others. As a member of Nashville’s Top 30 under 30, she will be campaigning to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Second, and most importantly, this is an opportunity to be a positive role model for her students.

“It is my goal to shed light on this disease to the African-American community, as well as children so that in tandem we may fight together,” said Peterson. “Although Cystic Fibrosis occurs less in African-Americans, it is important that we come together as Americans to help support this movement.”

According to Peterson, each recipient of the Top 30 Under 30 has to raise a minimum of $2,500 through ticket sales for the April 10 gala, donations and sponsorships. One way, she said, is to get her students involved.

“I plan to get my students involved as the leaders of the fundraising effort to show the power of children, and ask that the community show children ‘if they lead, we will follow,’ by donating as well,” she added.

Along raising funds for the organization, Peterson said that being named to the Top 30 Under 30 list was also important because it is an opportunity for her to show her students that anything is possible and nothing is out of reach. When she left Flint, Michigan, at age 17, she vowed that every accomplishment she made in life would not be for self-notoriety, but to show “all the little brown girls and boys sitting in a classroom they could move past the glass ceiling.”

“I walk the hallways at school everyday so that my ‘little brown children’ can see a brown woman as their assistant principal and thus, dream beyond it,” Peterson said. “I am in the second year of my doctoral degree, not for my personal gain, but so that my students can call someone that looks like them ‘doctor.”

Peterson, through her nomination to the Top 30 list, wants to show her students that someone that looks like them and that serves them on a daily basis, can be recognized not for the amount of money they are able to give, but the service they provide to the community. 

“I want to be able to prepare all my students for a brighter future,” added Peterson. “I want my students to know that anything is obtainable.”

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Middle Tennessee will hold its 7th annual “Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30” event April 10, 2015 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. Visit the Top 30 Under 30 website for more information or to donate.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was founded in 1955 with the mission of supporting research and education over the genetic disease.  Cystic fibrosis attacks the lungs and digestive system and affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.

 

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 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Richard Dent going into Black College Football HOF

Richard Dent - HS
Former Tennessee State All-American defensive end Richard Dent will be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2015. He was among seven players going into the Hall from a list of 25 finalists. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Former Tennessee State All-American defensive end Richard Dent will be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

Dent is among seven players going into the Hall from a list of 25 finalists. The announcement was made Wednesday.

Dent was a three-time All-American who recorded 39 sacks during his TSU career (1979-82) along with 158 tackles.

TSU retired Dent’s jersey No. 95 in 2013 after he became the first former Tigers player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Dent was an eighth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1983 NFL draft. In 1986 he was named most valuable player of Super Bowl XX.

In his 15 NFL seasons, which also included stints with the 49ers, Colts and Eagles, Dent recorded 137.5 sacks.

Joining Dent in the Black College Football Hall of Fame 2015 class is Roger Brown (Maryland Eastern Shore), L.C. Greenwood (Arkansas at Pine Bluff), Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd (Grambling State), Ken Riley (Florida A&M), Donnie Shell (South Carolina State) and Coach W.C. Gorden (Jackson State). The seven were selected by a 13-member committee of journalists, commentators, historians and former NFL executives.

Richard DentInductees will be honored at the Sixth annual Black College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Feb. 28, 2015.

The Hall was established in 2009 to honor the best players and coaches from historically black colleges and universities. The additional seven inductees now brings the number  to 58. Among those already enshrined are Grambling’s Buck Buchanan, Mississippi Valley State’s David “Deacon” Jones, Bethune-Cookman’s Larry Little, Alcorn State’s Steve McNair, Jackson State’s Walter Payton, Mississippi Valley State’s Jerry Rice, Alabama A&M wide receiver John Stallworth, Texas Southern defensive end Michael Strahan and Grambling coach Eddie Robinson.

 

 

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 42 undergraduate, 24 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 Pride Celebrated as TSU Great Claude Humphrey Enters the Pro Foot Ball Hall of Fame

Claude Humphrey
After nearly 30 years, TSU great Claude Humphrey took his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “TSU Pride” was front and center Saturday in Canton, Ohio, when Tiger great Claude Humphrey was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in front of thousands of spectators including family members, friends and Tennessee State University fans lead by President Glenda Glover.

“This is the proudest day in my life,” Dr. Glover said of the induction of her fellow Memphis, Tennessee, hometown native. “This very well deserved tribute to Claude Humphrey is beyond measure. I am just too proud to see this former Tiger and a product of Memphis, where I am from to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame.”

TSU President Glenda Glover (center) welcomes TSU great Claude Humphrey (left)  to the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2.  Humphrey is the second TSU Tiger enshrined into the Hall, including Richard Dent (right) Class of 2011. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
TSU President Glenda Glover (center) welcomes TSU great Claude Humphrey (left) to the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2. Humphrey is the second TSU Tiger enshrined into the Hall, including Richard Dent (right) Class of 2011. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I have so many mixed emotions right now,” Humphrey said, as he received and unveiled his bust that will be displayed in the Hall of Fame Museum alongside many other football greats before him. “I didn’t expect to get here, but I am sure glad that I did.”

Humphrey’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the second for a former Tiger, and it comes just three years after fellow defensive lineman Richard Dent was enshrined in 2011.

WATCH the complete acceptance speech OR READ the transcript

While many said Humphrey’s induction was long overdue, coming 33 years after he left the game, others saw it as a special moment for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with the enshrinement of three HBCU graduates on the same day. Michael Strahan, a graduate of Texas Southern University, as well as Aeneas Williams, from Southern University, were also inducted alongside Humphrey.

“I am so happy for Claude, and it really speaks to the type of program we had at Tennessee State, having two players in the Hall of Fame,” said Dent, of his fellow Tiger. “It was a long-time coming, but well-deserved.”

Humphrey, Strahan and Williams were three of seven to be inducted on Saturday, joining Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Walter Jones and Andre Reed.

Humphrey adresses the crowd during his enshrinement ceremony into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Humphrey played for TSU as a defensive tackle from 1964 through 1967, and played 13 seasons in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Humphrey adresses the crowd during his enshrinement ceremony into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Humphrey played for TSU as a defensive tackle from 1964 through 1967, and played 13 seasons in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In his 30-minute speech, Humphrey paid tribute to his alma mater, making special references to President Glover for being present at the enshrinement, and his former coach, the late John Merritt, whom he described as “the greatest coach in black college football.”

“A lot of recruiters came to visit me, but none like John Merritt,” Humphrey said of his former coach and collegiate playing career. “To me, he was the greatest. We lost a total of five games in four years.”

Humphrey, the former Atlanta Falcon, who retired with the Philadelphia Eagles, was a three-time All-American defensive tackle at TSU from 1964 to 1967. He ended his collegiate career as the all-time leader in sacks at TSU with 39. He is tied for second behind Lamar Carter along with fellow TSU legend Richard Dent.

Humphrey was selected in the first round of the 1968 NFL Draft going third overall to the Atlanta Falcons. During his rookie season in Atlanta, he was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Humphrey played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons (1968-74, 76-77) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1979-81).

While with Atlanta, he was named All-NFL or All-Pro eight times and was selected to the Pro Bowl on six different occasions.

Humphrey is only the second Falcon to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ben Ray Harrell, ’70, a brother of Humphrey’s late wife Sandra, called the newly inductee “just an all over great guy.”

“This day is so fitting and could not have happened to a better person than Claude Humphrey,” said Harrell. “If there is anything that is missing here today is his wife not being here by his side. They loved each other very much.”

Nashville Councilman Howard Gentry ’74, ‘04, who presented a proclamation to Humphrey on behalf of the City Council, described the enshrinement as a fulfillment of former TSU President Walter Davis’ (1943-1968) dream for TSU to not just be recognized as a great sports program among “black schools,” but a great program compared to any in the nation.

“Claude’s induction and that of Richard Dent three years ago are an embodiment of that dream, and I couldn’t be prouder of their achievement” Gentry said.

Tony Wells ’92, president of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association, like President Glover, said the enshrinement of Humphrey was a very proud moment for the whole TSU family.

“His mention of TSU, President Glover, and his days at the institution (during his speech) before the whole world was an indication of his pride and his appreciation for the preparation he received at the school,” said Wells. “I couldn’t be prouder as I am today.”

Dr. Reginald McDonald, Acting Band Director, waves to the crowd as the Aristocrat of Bands marches by during the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade in downtown Canton, Ohio Saturday, Aug. 2. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Reginald McDonald, Acting Band Director, waves to the crowd as the Aristocrat of Bands marches by during the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade in downtown Canton, Ohio Saturday, Aug. 2. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Also toting the “TSU Pride” was the University’s 290-member marching show band, the Aristocrat of Bands, which put up a crowd-pleasing performance to thunderous, continuous cheers during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Parade in downtown Canton Saturday. The band also put up another non-stop cheering, eight-minute performance during the half-time show of the nationally televised Hall of Fame game between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills at Fawcett Stadium.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

Tennessee State University Receives National Weather Service StormReady Designation During Packed Campus Ceremony

Storm Ready-7
Tom Johnstone, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, left, presents the StormReady designation plaque to Dr. Curtis Johnson, Associate Vice President and Head of Emergency Management at TSU. Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is well prepared to protect its students, faculty and staff from severe weather, the National Weather Service announced Thursday, July 10, when it designated the University as a StormReady institution.

The NWS said TSU has met all the “rigorous criteria” for a StormReady designation by developing an all-hazard safety plan and communications infrastructure, as well as actively promoted all hazardous weather safety through public awareness activities and training.

“There is nothing more important than keeping our community of students, faculty and staff safe on our campus,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University. “This designation shows that we are holding to our commitment to parents and other community stakeholders that TSU is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and secure environment for our students.”

Storm Ready
Tennessee State University officials receive the StormReady certification from officials of the National Weather Service and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. From left are Tom Johnstone, NWS; Thomas Graham, TSU assistant director of Emergency Management; Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU; Brittney Coleman, NWS Meteorologist; Chris Johnson, TEMA Middle Tennessee Regional Director; and Brent Morse, Area Coordinator for TEMA. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a presentation ceremony on campus, Tom Johnstone, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, congratulated the University for receiving the StormReady designation. He applauded the administration, the Emergency Management team and staff for their dedication and hard work in “putting all the right pieces together” to achieve the designation.

“Tennessee State University is prepared for the StormReady designation,” Johnstone declared.  “It took tremendous work to fine-tune all that was necessary to earn the certification required for this designation, and this university and this community need to be congratulated for a great job.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management, thanked the campus police, students and staff for their cooperation in doing what was necessary to earn the NWS certification.

“Being storm ready reaffirms Tennessee State University’s commitment to protection of life and property, and all of you have been helpful in allowing us to achieve that,” Johnson said. “We look forward to making TSU and the community better and safer.”

As a mark of designation and recognition, Johnson announced that the NWS StormReady signage would be placed at the two major entrances to the University.

NWS meteorologist Brittney Coleman, while acknowledging that natural disasters are inevitable, said preparing for them must always be taken seriously.

“Tennessee State University has really done a tremendous job in preparing itself and the community in the case of bad weather,” Coleman said. “We have been working with the campus team to make sure we had everything in place to be ready for this designation. All residence halls now have weather alert radios to keep them connected to the National Weather Service in case of emergency.”

Also participating in the ceremony were representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, who lauded the agency’s partnership with the University. They were Middle Tennessee Regional Director, Chris Johnson; and Area Coordinator, Brent Morse.

Speaking on behalf of the community, the Reverend Jimmy D. Greer Sr., pastor of Nashville’s Friendship Baptist Church, thanked the University for its community partnership.

“We applaud Dr. Glover for holding up to her commitment since arriving at this campus to ensure that the community is actively involved in any endeavor necessary for the promotion of this university,” Greer said. “We thank the university, the National Weather Service, TEMA and all the people that took part in making this achievement possible.”

Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs, representing Dr. Glover, who was traveling, said TSU’s effort in ensuring a safe weather environment for its faculty, staff and student, ties in with some major research efforts at the University.

Specifically, the vice president mentioned a more than $200,000 National Science Foundation-funded on-going research project in the College of Engineering to develop a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in a timely manner to better prepare inland and coastal dwellers for the storm.

“An assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Muhammad Akbar) is using computational fluid dynamics and mathematical models to predict flooding caused by storm surges that bring ocean water onto land, causing major devastation, and erosion to cities and coastal wetlands,” said Hardy. He thanked NWS for the recognition, adding that the StormReady designation “speaks to the volume of work we are doing not to only provide a safe environment for our students, but to also give them the highest quality of education.”

The packed ceremony in the President’s Dining Room on the main campus brought together an array of state, local and community partner leaders and representatives, including the office of Congressman Jim Cooper, and the Executive Director of Nashville JUMP (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership), Sharon Hurt.

TSU is one of only seven institutions in the State to receive the StormReady University designation.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.

 

Haslam Appoints TSU Alumnus as Judge for Tennessee Court of Appeals

ArmstrongK03rsNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed an alumnus from Tennessee State University to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Western Section.

Chancellor Kenny W. Armstrong of Memphis, Tennessee will replace Judge Holly Kirby, who has been appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court. The appointment is effective Sept. 1.

“Chancellor Armstrong has an impressive record of service, and I am pleased to make this appointment,” Haslam said in a news release June 18. “His experience in public and private practice as well as at the state and federal level will serve the Western Section well.”

Armstrong, 66, has been a trial judge in Shelby County Chancery Court since September 2006. He was clerk and master of Shelby County Chancery Court from January 1997-August 2006. Armstrong was recipient of the Charles A. Rond Memorial Award for Outstanding Judge of the Year in Shelby County in 2012.

“I appreciate Governor Haslam’s confidence in me, and I look forward to serving my state in this new role as an appellate judge,” Armstrong said.

A Munford, Tennessee native, Armstrong was in private practice in Memphis from June 1978-December 1996. He served as legal officer in the United States Air Force from June 1974-June 1978 at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and Blytheville Air Force Base in Arkansas. He was an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington from August 1973-June 1974.

Armstrong earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Tennessee State University in 1970 and received his juris doctorate from Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina, in 1973. Armstrong and his wife, Verline, have two adult children, daughter Shani and son Brian.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 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.