Category Archives: Alumni

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Haslam announces governing board for Tennessee State University

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

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

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

The appointees to the TSU board are:

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

More than 100 Top High School Seniors Participate in First TSU ‘Scholars’ Party’ for Homecoming

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 100 top area high school seniors participated in TSU’s first “Scholars’ Party,” as part of the university’s Homecoming festivities.

The pilot is a recruitment initiative organized by the Division of Student Affairs in collaboration with the Office of Admissions.

Principals and guidance counselors from nine local high schools selected the 120 students with 3.0 GPAs or higher.

“We want to tell these very bright students that we really want them to consider TSU,” said Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of Students. ”We feel there is no better time to expose future students to the exciting learning environment here than at Homecoming. We want them to have a taste of the TSU culture and climate.”

The students attended a special reception on Oct. 13 in the Faculty Dining Area on the main campus, Stevenson said. Following the reception, they received free tickets to the Homecoming concert in the Gentry Complex. The guests also met the artists backstage, Stevenson said, as well as received custom T-shirts.

“This is all in response to a campus-wide call by President (Glenda) Glover to increase our efforts in recruitment. We recognize that there are some good students here locally and we want to make sure they know about TSU. We want to make sure they understand that this is a great place to get a great education,” Stevenson said.

For additional information on the Scholars’ Party, contact the Division of Student Affairs at (615) 963-2154 or fsteven1@tnstate.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 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

To learn more about TSU’s 2016 Homecoming events, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/homecoming.

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

By K. Dawn Rutledge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

Excitement Growing Over Tennessee State University 2016 Homecoming

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University senior Ariel Neely probably best sums up Homecoming at TSU: “It is just an exciting time of the year!”

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TSU¹s Aristocrat of Bands is one of the highlights of 2016 Homecoming. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the 2016 celebration, which started Oct. 9 and ends Oct. 15 with the game against Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky University.

This year’s Homecoming theme is “celebrating a legacy of pride and progress,” and marks TSU’s 104th anniversary.

Alums, both local and from across the country, will attend Homecoming events that include a scholarship gala, showcase of bands, parade, step show, coronation of Mr. and Miss TSU, and of course, the game.

“Homecoming is a way for family and alums to come back and see the changes on campus and what their kids or family members are really doing,” said William Johnson, a senior economics major at TSU.

He said this year’s celebration is extra special because his parents, both alums, will be attending.

“That’s just the icing on the cake for me to see them here,” Johnson said.

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A business along the Homecoming parade route showcases TSU spirit. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

Organizers expect turnout for this year’s Homecoming to be one of the largest since the Centennial celebration four years ago.

They say reserved hotel spaces are filling up fast, and tickets to various activities are selling in record numbers.

“We are expecting a lot of people this year,” said Michelle Viera,

TSU’s assistant vice president for Events Management and chair of the Homecoming committee.

Many returning alumni say, more than anything, they’re looking forward to reuniting with old classmates and reminiscing about school days.

“First and foremost, just to fellowship,” said Nashville entrepreneur Kevin Robertson, a ’89 graduate of TSU. “It’s a family environment. I really look forward to seeing old faces and catching up.”

Burnice Winfrey (’85), and two of his three other brothers, attended TSU.

“I get to see a lot of people who come back in town,” said Winfrey, who runs a family business in Nashville. “I enjoy going to the pep rally, the game, and catching up with old professors and classmates. It’s a great atmosphere.”

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

101-year-old former cheerleader still full of spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dwight Pope, TSU’s spirit coordinator, agreed.

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

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

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

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

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

“Do the right thing, in every way.”

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

Tennessee State University to Kick off 2016 Homecoming on Oct. 9

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It’s time for Homecoming, and this year Tennessee State University is fittingly “celebrating a legacy of pride and progress.”

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A very enthusiastic TSU fan and potential future Tiger celebrates during last year’s Homecoming. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That’s the theme for the 2016 celebration that kicks off Sunday, Oct. 9, and ends Saturday, Oct. 15, with the game between TSU and Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky University.

This year’s celebration marks TSU’s 104th anniversary. Organizers say the theme embodies the “true meaning” of TSU Homecoming.

“It is a time for TSU students, alumni and the community to celebrate the university’s 104-year impact on educational excellence,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Affairs and co-chair of the Homecoming Committee. “Homecoming is a time when the ‘Big Blue’ spirit is celebrated through well-planned academic and social events.”

The planned festive activities include a scholarship gala, the coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU, a parade, and Greek reunions and events, among others.

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Parade goers and TSU supporters celebrate on campus immediately following the Homecoming parade on Jefferson Street in 2015. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The university will also celebrate the contributions of several former students and numerous supporters, including Burnece Walker Brunson, a 101-year-old member of the Alumni Cheerleading squad, who will serve as co-grand marshal for the Homecoming parade.

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

She will be joined as grand marshal by Damon Lee III, who along with his sister Kimberly Lee-Lamb, earlier this year contributed $250,000 to the university on behalf of their late parents Damon and Rachel Lee, who attended TSU 80 years ago.

Yvonne Y. Clark (affectionately referred to as “TSU Lady Engineer”), who served the university for 55 years as instructor and associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Edward L. Graves, retired professor and bandleader for 35 years, will serve as honorees for the Homecoming.

Celebrations will kick off at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. The Founder’s Day celebration on Tuesday will start at 9 a.m., also in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center, to be followed at 7 p.m. by the Blue Sapphire Awards in Poag Auditorium.

The coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU will take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Kean Hall. On Friday, activities will begin with the Breakfast of Champions in the Farrell-Westbrook Complex at 8 a.m. The Charles Campbell Fish Fry will follow at 10 a.m. on the President’s Lawn.

The annual Scholarship Gala and Silent Auction will take place later Friday evening at 6 in the Presidential Ball Room at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. The cost is $150 per person or $1,500 for a table of 10.

Homecoming events will culminate Saturday with the parade along Jefferson Street, starting 9 at a.m., to be followed by the Homecoming football game at Nissan Stadium.

See links for a complete schedule of events, parking details for Scholarship Gala, ticket information and how to purchase tables for Homecoming 2016, or contact speters@tnstate.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 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tigerbelles remember Edward S. Temple as more than a coach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1959-60 Tigerbells with Coach Temple
(TSU archives)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.