Category Archives: Athletics

TSU Olympians recall Olympic experiences

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It’s been more than 50 years, but Tennessee State University Olympian Ralph Boston still gets a rush when he thinks about his Olympic experience.

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TSU’s Ralph Boston at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. (TSU Media Relations)

“It is a very exciting feeling to be selected to represent your country,” said Boston, who won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome.

Boston is among a number of TSU Olympians who understand the excitement, and anxiety, athletes are experiencing in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.

“It can be overwhelming and sometime frightening when you see all the colors from the other nations and you are wondering how you fit in or how prepared you are,” Boston said.

However, TSU alumna Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice said the anxiety to help the team win can also serve as a motivation.

“Sometimes all it takes is that extra sense of motivation from months – and sometime years – of preparation that push you to give it your all, said Cheeseborough-Guice, who is director of the TSU track and field program. “After all, you made the trials, you got selected … that is special.”

1960 Olympic Team
Legendary TSU track and field coach Ed Temple and the 1960 TSU Olympic team. (TSU Media Relations)

Cheeseborough-Guice made history at the Los Angeles games in 1984 when she ran a leg on two gold-medal relay teams and was the silver medalist in the 400 meters.

TSU has won 23 Olympic medals: 13 gold, six silver and four bronze.

A large part of that success is due to legendary TSU track and field coach Ed Temple, whose famed Tigerbelles produced 40 Olympians. Besides Cheeseborough-Guice, another famous Tigerbelle and Olympian is the late Wilma Rudolph, who became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome.

Other Tigerbelles who won Olympic medals include: Madeline Manning Mims, Edith McGuire, Wyomia Tyus and Willye White.

“They are an inspiration to everybody,” Temple said in a recent interview. “It just shows what can be done. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

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TSU alumnus Markeith Price

TSU is hoping to continue it’s winning tradition this year in the Paralympic Games in Rio with 2012 graduate Markeith Price, who will represent Team USA in track and field. The Paralympics start September 7.

“We are excited about Markeith going to the Paralympics,” said Cheeseborough-Guice, who coached Price at TSU. “He was an excellent athlete who worked very hard. I have no doubt that he will perform well.”

Price, who is visually impaired, is making his second straight appearance in the Paralympics. He was a member of the 2012 London games, where he finished 6th in the long jump and 8th in the 400-meter dash.

Like those Olympians before him, Price said he’s inspired to do his best – and bring home the top prize.

“I am extremely honored and blessed for this opportunity,” he said. “I have dedicated the last four years to training to run the best race to bring home the gold for the U.S.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Graduate and Former Track Star Markeith Price Goes for Gold in Rio; Selected to 2016 Paralympic Games

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Lack of sight is not holding back Markeith Price.

The 2012 Tennessee State University graduate, who is visually impaired, is one of more than 60 athletes chosen for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio that start September 7.

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Markeith Price

At the team trials in Charlotte, North Carolina, July 5, Price flashed across the finish line ahead of the field in the 100-meter. He came second in the 400-meter. He will represent the United States in both competitions, in the T-13 classification for the visually impaired.

A Baltimore native, Price will join 39 other men and 26 women who will represent Team USA in track and field.

“I am extremely honored and blessed for this opportunity,” said Price, who will be making his second straight appearance in the Paralympic Games for the United States. “I have dedicated the last four years to training to run the best race to bring home the gold for the U.S.”

Price was a member of the TSU Tigers men’s track team and the 2012 London Paralympic Games where he finished 6th in the long jump and 8th in the 400-meter dash.

His former coach at TSU said she was not surprise that Price was selected, citing his work ethics and determination to always be the best.

“Markeith was an excellent athlete who worked very hard and didn’t give us any trouble,” said Chandra Cheeseborough-Guide, director of Track and Field and a former Olympian, who coached Price in his junior and senior years. “I am excited for him and to know that we have someone from TSU in the Rio games.”

Diagnosed with Optic Nerve Atrophy at age 3, Price has lived with visual impairment his entire life. The condition is caused by damage of the optic nerve.

“When I was younger, I never really knew how to describe it,” Price said. “As I got older and heard other people describe their vision, I was able to get a better understanding.”

Price recently moved back to Hagerstown, Maryland, where he started a non-profit organization called I C You Foundation, Inc., which raises money for scholarships and programs for the visually impaired. In the last three years, the foundation has given more than $20,000 to organizations such as the Maryland School for the Blind, the Tennessee School for the Blind, and the United States Association for Blind Athletes.

“It’s something that my parents taught me and it’s something that I strongly believe in, and that is giving back to the community,” Price said. “I specifically give back to the visually impaired community because I know that group of people and I know their struggle.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Former TSU Tigerbelles Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, Madeline Manning Mims among Olympians to be honored at U.S Olympic Track and Field Trials

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Former Tennessee State University Tigerbelles Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice and Madeline Manning Mims are among Olympians being honored during the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

The women will participate in the opening ceremony at storied Hayward Field and will join other Olympians who will be recognized for their achievements throughout the trials July 1-10.

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Former Tigerbelle and Olympian Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice

“It’s exciting,” said Cheeseborough-Guice, who is director of TSU’s track and field program. “It’s going to be like a reunion.”

Mims said she too is looking forward to reconnecting with other Olympians.

“We’re all out there doing our thing and we’re in different places, so we don’t get a chance to see each other,” Mims said. “This is a great opportunity for us to come back together and find out what’s going on, and watch the young ones come in.”

Cheeseborough-Guice emerged on the scene in 1975 at age 16, where she won a gold medal in the 200-meter dash in the Pan American Games. She went on to be named to three United States Olympic teams. In 1984, at the Los Angeles games, she made Olympic history by running a leg on two gold-medal relay teams and was the silver medalist in the 400 meters.

Madeline Manning M
Former Tigerbelle and Olympian Madeline Manning Mims

Between 1967 and 1981, Mims won 10 national titles and set a number of American records. She participated in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics. At the 1968 games, she was awarded a gold medal in the 800-meter race, the only American woman to win the event. In 1972, she won a silver medal in the 4 x 400 meters relay. Mims founded the U.S. Council for Sports Chaplaincy. The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics will be her eighth as a Team USA chaplain.

Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about TSU’s famed Tigerbelles, said it’s only fitting that Cheeseborough-Guice and Mims should be recognized during the trials because they were part of a team that “paved the way for other women in sports.”

The Tigerbelles got the attention of the world in 1956 when TSU (Tennessee A&I at the time), led by legendary track and field coach Ed Temple, sent six members to the Olympics in Australia. The Tigerbelles returned to the 1960 Olympics in Rome and made history when Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals, making her a household name.

The Tigerbelles won a total of 23 Olympic medals. Lewis said what was also impressive about members of the team is that they also excelled outside track and field.

“Not only did they perform well in track and field, but … they got their degrees,” he said.

Temple said Cheeseborough-Guice and Mims, as well as all his Tigerbelles, are inspirations and deserve all the recognition they continue to get.

“They are an inspiration to everybody,” Temple said. “It just shows what can be done. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU track and field icons remember Muhammad Ali

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A few years before Muhammad Ali became a heavyweight champion, legendary track and field coach Ed Temple said the young fighter told him he would one day hold the title.

The former Tennessee State University coach said in an interview shortly after Ali’s death on June 3 that he first met the brazen boxer at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Temple, who was the U.S. women’s track coach, said he had just finished practicing and was sitting on a bench in the Olympic Village when then-Cassius Clay sat down beside him.

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TSU Olympic legends Ralph Boston and Wilma Rudolph hang out with Muhammad Ali during one of his visits to Tennessee State University. (TSU archives)

Temple said the two talked for more than 30 minutes. During their discussion, he said Clay talked about his aspirations, boasting that he would one day be “the heavyweight champion of the world,” Temple recalled.

Toward the end of their conversation, Temple said someone ran by yelling that Floyd Patterson was in the village. Patterson was the heavyweight champion at the time. Temple said when he asked Clay if he was going to see Patterson, he said “no.”

“People are going to be running to see me one day,” Temple said Clay told him.

Clay, who would later change his name to Muhammad Ali, went on to win a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics as a light heavyweight, and eventually became heavyweight champion in 1964 when he beat Sonny Liston in a sixth-round technical knockout that stunned a Miami Beach crowd. In the ring, Ali proclaimed, “I am the greatest! I am the greatest! I’m the king of the world.”

A year later, Ali fought Floyd Patterson and knocked him out in the 12th round to hold onto his title.

Despite his cockiness, Olympic gold medalist and TSU alumnus Ralph Boston said Ali was a friendly person. Boston, who won a gold medal in the long jump competition at the 1960 Olympics, said he and Ali met in New York while they were waiting to board a plane for Rome.

“He had brashness, but he was always very cordial,” Boston said.

Temple and Boston said Ali was also very fond of TSU alumna Wilma Rudolph, who in 1960 became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympics.

They said after they met Ali in Rome he stayed in contact, particularly with Rudolph, and made several stops at TSU to see them on his way to training camp in Miami.

Temple also recalled a banquet where both Ali and Rudolph had been asked to speak. During his speech, he said Ali bragged about the gold medal he won. When he sat down next to Rudolph, Temple said she leaned over and whispered in his ear: “You won one, I won three.”

Temple said the two remained close friends up until her death.

Ali was 74 when he died at a hospital near Phoenix, Arizona. A family spokesman said he was being treated for respiratory complications. Ali had battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 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.

Retiring TSU-Trained Speech Pathologist Loves Giving Children a Voice

Courtesy: Herald-Citizen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As Putnam County students and teachers settle into summer break, Tennessee State University alumna Patti Marquis is beginning a new chapter in her life after 31 years of working for the school system.

Marquis, a speech pathologist, began her career in the county schools in 1984 after moving to Cookeville from Oklahoma, where she had obtained a bachelor’s degree in English secondary education from the University of Oklahoma.

Marquis received her master’s degree in speech pathology from TSU in the mid-1990s. She has seen changes in the field of speech pathology throughout her career, including more paperwork, but also better identification of students who need services as well as more awareness to help students.

“It’s hands on,” she said. “No matter what you learn in school, you’re always getting ideas from others. Your tool box grows and grows.”

Marquis learned about speech pathology from a friend who was working for the school system at the time and obtained her certification in speech and hearing from Tennessee Tech.

“I found I really loved it,” Marquis said of speech pathology from her classroom at Cane Creek Elementary School last week. “It’s an opportunity to work with children, to give them a voice, to work with families and to share strategies to help children.”

Marquis has served as one of the 13 speech pathologists and speech therapists who work in Putnam County schools.

“I really consider it a ministry,” she said. “It’s been an amazing blessing to me.”

Each of them works with anywhere from 65 to 100 students per year.

Of working with 30 to 40 kids per day, Marquis said, “It is really working on all levels of communication, articulation, fluency, voice problem. Language is a big component in working with children who have minor speech problems to autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy. It’s a wide variety.”

Just three days before her last day as a full-time speech pathologist, Marquis was working with pre-kindergarten students on naming animals through a sorting activity that helps students with word retrieval and building general vocabulary skills. Even in retirement, she plans to maintain her work in speech pathology on a contract basis with the school system.

Marquis has worked with pre-kindergarten students through high school and has seen the effects of her work through many of the kids she’s followed from preschool to graduation.

Just last week, Marquis attended a graduation party for a young man on the autism spectrum whom she worked with as a preschooler.

“That was really sweet,” she said.

One tool she’s used successfully over the years is PECS, or Picture Exchange Communication System, which can help students who don’t communicate verbally at all be able to transition to a regular classroom.

“We set up the environment where they have to communicate in some way,” she said. “Bubbles are a preschool speech teacher’s best friend.”

Marquis recalled one activity where she was blowing up a balloon and letting it go, prompting one boy to say his first words to her, “Let go.”

And she’s received feedback from parents on how what she’s doing has helped their kids.

“They’ll say, ‘They (students) talked to their grandparents on the phone, and they could actually understand them.

“Communication is such a part of who we are as human beings, to help with a piece of that, is beyond rewarding.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU a finalist in 11 categories of HBCU Digest Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is a finalist in 11 categories of the 2016 Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Digest Awards.

The winners will be announced at the sixth annual HBCU Awards ceremony on July 15 at the University of District of Columbia.

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

In sports, TSU men’s basketball coach Dana Ford, the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, is a finalist for Male Coach of the Year, and his team is in the running for Men’s Team of the Year.

Women’s track and field coach Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice is a finalist for Female Coach of the Year, and Tigerbelle and Olympic Trials qualifier Amber Hughes is up for Female Athlete of the Year.

In the other categories, TSU is up for National Alumni Association of the Year; Damon Lee III is a finalist for Alumnus of the Year; Edith Mitchell for Alumna of the Year; RaCia Poston for Female Student of the Year; and Dr. Gregory Henry for Male Faculty Member of the Year.

Finalists were selected from more than 600 submissions from colleges and individuals from around the country and based on media exposure and impact on institutional progress made during the 2015-16 academic year.

Winners will be selected by a panel of previous HBCU Award winners, presidents and chancellors, media members who cover HBCU programs, alumni and 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 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.

 

Newspaper Teen Headed to TSU Says ‘Education’ is Key to His Success

Courtesy: WMCActionNews5.com

 

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A passerby snaps a photo of Kevuntez King on the corner where the Memphis teen has sold newspapers for four years, rain or shine. (Courtesy photo)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Working as a paperboy on a roadside corner is only a small part of Kevuntez King’s story. The graduating senior made a commitment to education, and he’s following through by going to Tennessee State University.

“Education – that’s the key to my success, that’s my way out,” King said.

Every Sunday for four years, rain or shine, King stood on the corner of Poplar Avenue and Estate Drive in Memphis selling newspapers.

“I came back the next week, I made $150,” King said. “I just kept doing it, kept doing it.”

What he continued to do was not only sell newspapers, but make an impression on the people who live close-by.

On May 22, Molly Laster snapped a photo of King, a recent graduate from Craigmont High School, in his graduation cap. That picture sparked a frenzy of positive words and posts from Sea Isle neighbors.

“He always had a smile, always had something nice and positive to say,” Laster said.

Along with his upbeat attitude, King also maintained a desire for success. While keeping his grades up, King competed in three sports: golf, baseball and bowling.

He said his motivation is his mother and aunt.

“Even when I’m at the point where I’m like it’s getting hard, she just pushed me, ‘Son you got it,’” King recalled.

As for the next phase of his life, King is headed to TSU to study Physical Therapy.

Dr. John Cade, TSU’s interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services, said King has been admitted to TSU for the 2016 fall semester and that he will be participating in the university’s summer Academic Boot Camp.

“Kevuntez is to be commended for having persevered and for having set goals and objectives … to ensure that he goes to college,” Cade said.

King said it wasn’t easy staying out of trouble and focusing on his books, but he has a message for youngsters who feel like they are fighting against unbearable odds.

“Just chase your dreams,” King said.

TSU Men’s Basketball Coach Ford To Serve on Panel to End Violence Against Women

Courtesy: TSU Sports Information 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State University men’s basketball Head Coach Dana Ford will serve as a panelist for The MEND Experience, an event geared toward engaging men to end violence against women.

Ford, who recently completed his second season as head coach of the Tigers, is one of the high-profile panelists who will share their knowledge and experience about changing a culture that supports violence against women.

The event will be held on Thursday, May 26, at Bridgestone Arena.

MEND is an initiative run through YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee dedicated to ending violence against women and girls through engaging and educating men and boys in the community. The program aims to educate and equip coaches and athletes to serve as positive role models in violence prevention in the greater Nashville area.

Hosted by MEND Director Shan Foster, who starred at Vanderbilt before going on to a professional basketball career, the discussion will include Ford and four other leaders from the Nashville community.

Other panelists include: Sean Henry – Nashville Predators President and CEO; Tony Majors –CEO Supports Services Department of Metro Nashville Public Schools; Derek Mason – Vanderbilt Head Football Coach; David Williams – Vanderbilt Athletics Director.

The free event is set for 9 a.m. – noon at Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators.

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU mourns loss of former Tigerbelle, U.S. Olympian Mamie Rallins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service/TSU Sports Information) – Tennessee State University is mourning the loss of former Tigerbelle and U.S. Olympian Mamie Rallins.

The 74-year-old passed away on Monday, May 16, following a car accident in Ohio.

“It’s a sad day not just for Tennessee State, but for the Tigerbelles,” said TSU Track and Field Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice.

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TSU Director of Athletics, Teresa Lawrence-Phillips, left, presents Mamie Rallins with a plaque at the Breakfast of Champions luncheon marking the TSU Centennial Celebration in 2012. (photo by John Cross)

Rallins, who graduated from TSU in 1976, ran for legendary TSU track and field coach Ed Temple. She competed for the United States in the hurdles during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City as well as the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

The Chicago native went on to serve as head coach of the track and field/cross country programs at Ohio State University, Hampton University and Chicago State University.

She was the first African-American woman to coach at Ohio State and also served as an assistant athletic director for three years.

Helping to start the women’s track and field program at Ohio State, she coached 60 Big Ten champions, 24 All-Americans and one Olympian during her 18-year career in Columbus.

On the national and international level, Rallins was the head coach of the U.S. Indoor World Championship team in 1987 and was an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1996. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Rallins worked as the head manager for the USA women’s track and field team.

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

National Medical Association President, Dr. Edith P. Mitchell, Former U.S. Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., to give spring commencement addresses at TSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The President of the National Medical Association, Dr. Edith P. Mitchell, and Former U.S. Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., will be the keynote speakers at Tennessee State University’s spring commencement ceremonies.

Mitchell, a retired Air Force brigadier general, will speak at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 6, at the graduate commencement in the Gentry Complex. Ford will address the undergraduate class at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, in Hale Stadium.

More than 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines.

“I congratulate all of our graduates and wish them the very best as they enter a new and exciting chapter of their lives,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Commencement is an exciting time for the university because it highlights the academic achievement of our students and the commitment of faculty and staff in their educational and social development. TSU students are prepared to work and serve in the global marketplace.”

Mitchell, a 1969 TSU graduate with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry, is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology, and Program Leader in Gastrointestinal Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, Aerospace Medical Association, Association of Military Surgeons, and the Medical Society of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Last year, she was elected president of the NMA, the nation’s oldest professional society for African-American physicians.

In addition to her medical achievements, the retired brigadier general served as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Command Surgeon for U.S. Transportation Command and Headquarters Air Mobility Command at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. In this capacity, she served as the senior medical Air National Guard advisor to the command surgeon and was the medical liaison between the active Air Force and the Air National Guard.

Ford, a five-term former member of Congress from Tennessee, was chair of the Democratic Leadership Council. He served on the Financial Services and Budget Committees and worked to balance the budget and promote free enterprise for the House Blue Dog coalition, the organization that gave then Governor Bill Clinton his start in national politics.

As president, Clinton once referred to Ford as “the walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century.” Ford is a longtime supporter of small and mid-size businesses, as well as a staunch advocate for fiscal and economic reform. Since leaving office in 2007, he continues to work diligently to promote healthy non-partisan debate on today’s most pressing issues.

Currently, Ford serves as a political analyst and contributor for CNBC and MSNBC, and a professor of public policy at the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Research
Matthew Edwards is graduating from TSU with a degree in Agriculture. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Matthew Edwards is among the undergraduates who will receive their degrees on May 7. He said he’s glad TSU invited Mitchell and Ford to speak, and he believes they will inspire students to continue to strive for success beyond college.

As for his experience at TSU, Edwards said the university has faculty and administrators who really care about students’ success. He said TSU officials provided him with resources to overcome some hardships when he transferred from another university, and he encourages high school graduates to consider TSU as an option for getting a higher education.

“They transferred all the credits, made sure everything was set, and provided me with a work-study scholarship,” said Edwards, who is getting a degree in Agriculture. “I went from not having a place to go, to having a place to call home and a nice steady job in an area that I liked.“

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.