Category Archives: Athletics

White House Initiative Names TSU Student 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar for Academics, Leadership

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A top Tennessee State University student with dreams to change his Kentucky neighborhood has been named a 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Jailen Leavell, a sophomore mass communications major with a concentration in broadcast journalism, will serve as an ambassador of the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication with his fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource.

Jonathan M. Holifield, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, right, congratulates Jailen Leavell in Washington, D.C. (Submitted Photo)

Selected for his accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement, Leavell was among 63 undergraduate, graduate and professional students chosen from 54 HBCUs. They were recognized for successfully preparing to “compete for top opportunities that improve long-term outcomes.” Each student was nominated and endorsed by their institution’s president.

Leavell, the third TSU student selected by the White House Initiative in the last five years, is a member of the TSU Honors College with a near 3.6 grade point average. He is also president of the sophomore class.

“We are very excited to learn of Jailen Leavell’s selection as a White House 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar,” said Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president for Academic Affairs. “Mr. Leavell is a very engaged student who exemplifies academic excellence. He is engaging in national dialogue about promoting peace as a fellow with the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center, and as a proactive member of our Student Government Association.”

According to a release from the White House Initiative, Leavell and his fellow Competitive Scholars will serve for one year, during which they will learn and share “proven and promising practices that support individual and HBCU competitiveness, with the goal of strengthening prospects for career and life success.”

Leavell grew up in West Louisville, Kentucky, with high crime, violence and poverty. He wants to change that. He calls the White House honor “a representation of me, my community and my environment.”

“Growing up in West Louisville, the narrative is, ‘You will not make it outside of Louisville,’ and going after this award is all part of my effort to change that,” said Leavell, who grew up about eight blocks from the boyhood home of the late boxing champion Mohammad Ali.

“If Mohammad Ali can grow up eight blocks from me and become the greatest of all time and …change the world, I can do that eight blocks down the road. I love Louisville. I just have a lot of pride in my city and ultimately I just want to change it, with black people doing positive things, black businesses flourishing, stopping violence and just changing the narrative.”

Leavell thanked TSU President Glenda Glover for recommending him, and Charles Jennings, director of the TSU Career Development Center, for helping him through the “rigorous process.”

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

2018 TSU Homecoming Concert, Gospel Explosion to Feature Big Name Artists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University welcomes rap icon Gucci Mane for Homecoming 2018.

The Billboard Music Award winner, known for hits like “I Get the Bag,” “Wake Up in the Sky,” and “Kept Back,” will headline this year’s Homecoming concert in the Gentry Center Complex on Thursday, Oct. 18. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 for students, and $35 for the public.

Homecoming week runs from Sunday, Oct. 14 and culminates on Saturday, Oct. 20 with the parade along Jefferson Street, and the football game between TSU and Tennessee Tech at Nissan Stadium.

The concert, one of several entertainment events for the week sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and SUBG, will also feature big name recording artists like rappers NBA Youngboy and Jacquees, and R&B superstar Layton Green.

“We are really excited for the entertainment lineup for Homecoming 2018,” says Mon-Cherie Robinson, assistant director of student activities.  “We have an amazing lineup of entertainers that’s going to blow minds.”

According to Robinson, the week will kick off on Oct. 14 with the Homecoming Gospel Explosion featuring gospel superstars Earnest Pugh, Jonathan McReynolds, and The Walls Group. The Gospel Explosion will also be held in the Kean Hall. Show starts at 6 p.m. Admission is free for the Gospel Explosion.

Organizers say this year’s Homecoming Step Show on Friday, Oct. 19, will be the biggest ever, with all nine Greek organizations participating. They will be competing for a $1,500 grand prize, says Robinson. The step show will be held in the Gentry Center Complex beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets for students are $15, and $25 the day of. General admission is $20 in advance, and $25 the day of.

Tickets for all events can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, or the TSU Box Office in the Gentry Center Complex.

Like last year, and in addition to these student activities, Tennessee State University is gearing up for another spectacular Homecoming with a stellar group of grand marshals and honorees.

This year’s Homecoming begins Oct. 14 with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest. The football game between the Big Blue Tigers and the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech will take place on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Nissan Stadium at 4:30 p.m.

For just the second time, TSU has a Special Presidential Honoree: James Shaw, Jr. The other honorees are Dr. Calvin Atchison, retired vice president of development/Foundation Office; Mrs. Dorothy Lockridge, retired vice president of student affairs; Coach James Bass, retired health professor and swimming coach. The grand marshals are Mr. Robert Covington, NBA player with Philadelphia 76ers; Dr. Richard Lewis, TSU Board of Trustees member and owner of Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors; and Mrs. Delorse Lewis, former executive director of TSU Development/Foundation Office.

Besides the big game, another highlight of this year’s Homecoming is the Scholarship Gala on Oct. 19. The gala is the biggest single event by the university to raise scholarship money. Contributions swelled from $600,000 in 2016 to more than one million dollars last year.

This year, the gala welcomes back comedian Jonathan Slocumb as the master of ceremony. Legendary jazz artist Roy Ayers will be the celebrity entertainer.

Other Homecoming activities this year include the Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 17; official groundbreaking of new Health Sciences Building on Oct. 18; the Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 19; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 20.

For more information on Homecoming 2018, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/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 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, Metro Schools Partnership Brings More than 5,000 on Campus for Area’s Largest College Fair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – High school seniors PatriĆyonna Rodgers and Jaida Dunlap have made up their minds: they’re going to be Big Blue Tigers.

Rodgers and Dunlap say TSU’s close proximity to home, the HBCU family experience, and strong academic programs make TSU “number one” in their college selection.

“I am very interested in TSU,” said Rodgers, a top student at John Overton High in Nashville with a 4.27 grade point average who wants to study pre-law and journalism. “My mom’s best friend went to TSU. She really loved the college experience, and I heard that TSU has a very outstanding communications program.”

TSU President Glenda Glover talks to a student and her mother at the MNPS College Fair in the Gentry Complex. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

For Dunlap, a track star at East Nashville High School, she wants to bring her talent to TSU.

“I hear you have a very good track program, and I want to join the track team,” said Dunlap, who plans to major in political science with a minor in criminal justice. “I have a lot of friends who come here and they tell me it is a real good place to come to if you want to be close to home. It is a family-oriented school.”

Rodgers and Dunlap were among more than 5,000 middle and high school students and their parents who attended the annual Metro Nashville Public Schools College Fair in the Gentry Complex at TSU on Sept. 20. This is the second straight year TSU has hosted the fair. It is also the first university or college to host the fair in its decades-long history, according to TSU and MNPS officials.

More than 180 colleges, universities and post-secondary institutions from across the nation took part in the fair to offer students the opportunity to review information on admissions and financial aid, as well as college life and programs to help them decide their choice of college or university.

PatriĆyonna Rodgers, a top student at John Overton High School, and her mother, Shenell Gilliam-Rogers, inquire about programs in the TSU Honors College, at the MNPS College Fair. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover was among TSU and metro school officials who attended the fair. She said hosting the fair at TSU highlights the partnership between the university and MNPS.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Tennessee State University,” Glover said. “Having this at TSU gives us an opportunity to showcase the campus and what we have to offer. I am excited to see our various colleges and departments here participating.”

MNPS Chief of Schools, Dr. Sito Narcisse, said the Metro schools are excited to partner with TSU to host the college fair. He said TSU has been a major partner and the biggest pipeline for teachers in the entire system.

“TSU has been a great partner, and we appreciate how the university has supported us like today with thousands of kids and their parents attending this fair,” Narcisse said.

Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of High School Relations, helped to coordinate the fair, along with Dr. Megan Cusson-Lark, MNPS’ executive director of school counseling.  Clark said the university is excited to welcome so many institutions from across North America.

“TSU and metro public schools have done it once again,” Clark said. “This is an excellent recruitment opportunity. In particular, the opportunity to see this many students in our house at one time is outstanding.”

For information on admission at TSU, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Student Employment Fair Offers Opportunity for Work-Study, Part-Time Job Seekers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Koseyona Scott and Michelle Williams are only freshmen, but they are already looking for jobs to help with college costs and other needs.

“It is really something I am concerned about and I don’t want to burden my parents,” says Scott, a business major from Urbana, Illinois, who owes a balance on her first semester tuition.

TSU students Koseyona Scott and Michelle Williams, right, talk to Kroger associate resource managers Matthew Kirby and Marilyn T. Bell. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am looking for a part-time job, even though my parents don’t want me to work in my freshman year,” added Williams, a business major from Memphis, Tennessee.

Scott and Williams may just be in luck. The two friends, who met just recently, were among hundreds of fellow students who attended a student employment fair on Sept. 18 organized by the TSU Career Development Center.

Nearly 30 companies, businesses, organizations and campus offices set up tents, tables and displays in Elliott Hall to discuss part-time and work study opportunities with TSU students.

“Today’s fair is intended to help those students who have work-study funds but have not found a work-study position yet,” says Charles Jennings, director of the Career Development Center. “For those students who are not work-study eligible, we have off-campus employees that are here too to provide our students with part-time opportunities.”

Kroger, which has hired several TSU students and graduates in the past, was one of those looking for part-time employees.

“We have many opportunities across all of our departments,” says Matthew Kirby, a Kroger associate resources manager. “We have 21 stores in the Nashville, Brentwood areas that are looking for cashiers, customer service representatives, as well as stocking and pharmacy clerks. We also have management opportunities for those majoring in management.”

Mitzi Bruner, director of human resources of Tennessee Community Services Agency, says her agency is looking for students to fill five part-time positions.

“We are looking to hire part-time employees for a program starting here in Nashville, with the Department of Correction,” says Bruner.

Among other companies, organizations, offices and agencies represented at the fair were:  Bass Pro Shop, Boy Scouts of America, Burlington, LOFT, Sherwin Williams, At Home Healthcare, Total Wine, St. Luke’s Community House and VF Workwear. Representing TSU were: Police Department, Student Success Center, Research and Institutional Advancement, Student Conduct and Athletics.

For more information on career and employment opportunities, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

For Tennessee State University, Southern Heritage Classic game Cancellation Not a Loss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Although the much-anticipated 29th Southern Heritage Classic football game was canceled due to inclement weather, TSU’s spirit remained high.

The university experienced gains in recruitment, fundraising and community relations – three of TSU’s main goals at the annual gathering.

Emily Greer, Chief Administrative Officer of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, welcomes President Glenda Glover during a guided tour of the world renowned hospital. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The game between TSU and Jackson State University scheduled for Sept. 8 was eventually called off because of inclement weather.

TSU, with a 17-11 SHC record, was looking to extend its current win streak, which stands at 6-0 over JSU. Last year, the TSU Tigers defeated the JSU Tigers 17-15 before more than 47,000 fans in the Liberty Bowl.

While there was obvious disappointment, it did not overshadow positive experiences that occurred during the weekend.

Leading up to the game, TSU officials, administrators and staff engaged in a number of activities around Memphis.  Among them, a life changing experience when TSU President Glenda Glover was taken on a guided tour of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the only facility in the world with a research center and a hospital in the same venue.

The TSU Aristocra of Bands participates in the 29th Southern Heritage Classic Parade in Memphis on Sept. 8. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Accompanied by former Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, and Richard Lee Snow, senior adviser for Multicultural Marketing & Business Development for St. Jude, Glover saw labs and research facilities. She also received the history on the vision of St. Jude’s founder Danny Thomas, the evolution of the hospital, as well as its partnership with African-American communities, institutions and organizations.

Hospital employees who are TSU graduates were among those who greeted Glover. Earlier, Emily Greer, chief administrative officer of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Research Center, received Glover.

“It was phenomenal to see all the research that’s being done to save lives,” Glover said. “I am also amazed to see the generosity of the hospital as it pertains to patients, when families’ only concern is the well-being of their child and not costs. That is truly amazing.”

TSU sophomore Rachelle Brown. (Submitted photo)

The rain also didn’t stop Tennessee State University sophomore Rachelle Brown from winning big at the Classic. Brown received the first of four $10,000 McDonald’s “True to the HBCU” scholarships, facilitated by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. While maintaining a 3.8 grade point average, the Memphis native was active in her community: sorting and packaging food at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville, Tennessee; collecting supplies for homeless women and victims of natural disasters in the Virgin Islands; and serving as a reading volunteer with Smart Baby, an organization promoting childhood literacy to children.

“I chose to attend an HBCU, for the rich education, both inside and outside the classroom,” Brown said. “I wanted to go to a college that would encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone and provide me with an atmosphere designed to promote excellence.”

Memphis WANTV Local 24 reporter Jeané Franseen interviews President Glover Sept. 7 during a morning show outside the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As for recruitment, officials said a number of top graduating high school seniors who attended TSU’s Memphis Recruitment Reception on Sept. 7 have signed on to attend the university next fall. They said nearly 80 percent of the students who attended the reception in the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel have already met “scholarship requirements.”

“We have already received their scholarship applications, transcripts and ACT scores,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, director of high school relations and NCAA certification at TSU. To be considered for a scholarship, a candidate must have at least a 3.0 GPA and 21 or higher on the ACT.

More than 200 high school seniors from the West Tennessee area and their parents attended the standing-room-only program in one of the hotel’s reception areas.

Jovon Jones, associate director of recruitment at TSU, talks to students and parents about scholarship requirements and deadlines at recruitment reception. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

According to officials of the Office of Institutional Advancement, this year’s Alumni Mixer – a key fundraising event of the Classic week – was a big success. With President Glover and Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement leading the charge, more than $20,000 was raised and nearly 20 new individuals joined the President’s Society. These are individuals who commit to contributing $1,000 or more a year.

“We just want to say thank you for all that you do for Tennessee State University to help keep needy students in school,” Glover said. “Your continued financial, material and other support and gifts are making a big difference in our students’ lives. We are thankful beyond measure for your support.”

During the week, Glover, accompanied by several senior university officials, also visited Power Center Academy High School and Whitehaven High School where she spoke to students and administrators, and answered questions about the importance of a college education and the programs and offerings at TSU.

Earlier on Saturday, Glover, the TSU Aristocrat of Bands, student organizations, including Mr. TSU and Miss TSU and their court, lead the 29th Southern Heritage Classic Parade in Memphis, with thousands along the route cheering on parade participants.

Next year’s Southern Heritage Classic football game is scheduled for Sept. 14.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU High Achieving Freshman Sets Sight on National Exposure, Engineering Entrepreneurship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Kennedy Marie McCurry is aiming high. The incoming freshman wants to be known as one of the best softball players of all time, and to own an architectural engineering firm. She believes TSU is the best place to prepare her for success.

“My goal in life is to eventually play in the National Pro Fastpitch League for a couple years and then move on to owning my own architectural firm,” says McCurry, an architectural engineering major, who will play softball for TSU.

Kennedy Marie McCurry

A Gallatin, Tennessee, native, McCurry says she is no stranger to TSU. Her father, Dr. Charles McCurry, is a longtime professor of electrical engineering at the university.

“I have been around TSU almost all my life,” says the 18-year-old. “My dad was a really strong influence on me. He really pushed me toward TSU. Also, I really like the softball team, and I always knew I wanted to do something in architectural engineering. And I know that TSU has a very strong engineering program. So all signs pointed toward TSU.”

Kennedy comes to TSU with outstanding academic and athletic credentials. She enters the university with a near 3.7 grade point average, and 28 on the ACT.  At Beech High School, where she graduated last May, she was a star player on the softball team. She was twice named to the All-District Team, she made the district tournament team and earned MVP. She played on the Middle Tennessee All-State Team her sophomore year, and was named to the MaxPreps All-American Second Team her senior year.

“I have always wanted to play D-I softball. I am proud to bring my educational and athletic skills to TSU,” she says. “I chose to attend Tennessee State University because of its rich heritage, sports legacy and nationally ranked College of Engineering.”

Kennedy could not have chosen TSU at a better time. She is among a new recruit of high achievers the university targets to attract the best and brightest students, since TSU raised its admission standards about two years ago.

Saying, “TSU is no longer a school of last resort,” President Glenda Glover in 2016 announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract better students. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

““Excellence remains our top priority, but we can’t be the school of last resort,” Glover said.

For Kennedy, she says TSU’s emphasis on producing well-rounded students was another attraction.

“TSU had already laid the foundation to help me get a quality education by engaging me in activities to prepare me for my college work even before classes started,” she says.

Last summer, Kennedy was among 11 high school graduating seniors who participated in the Engineering Concepts Institute in the College of Engineering at TSU. ECI is a four-week pre-college, residential program intended to prepare participants for academic success in the mathematical sciences or engineering disciplines.

“ECI also helped me to make new friends. I am excited and looking forward to the many more accomplishments I plan to have at TSU,” says Kennedy.

For more information on the engineering program at TSU, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Welcomes Class of 2022 at Freshman Convocation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Friday welcomed first-year students during the 2018 freshman convocation.

More than 1,300 incoming freshman students were inducted during the ceremony in Kean Hall.

Incoming female freshmen were dressed in white for their induction. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am extremely proud to welcome you to Tennessee State University,” said President Glenda Glover. “It is my honor to stand before the Class of 2022 today, not only as your president, but as a fellow TSU Tiger. You have embarked on an incredible journey. I encourage you to do your best. Do not just strive to make an A, but strive to be an A.”

Porsha Hernandez, an economics and finance major from Nashville, said the induction ceremony made her feel at home.

“I have always been a very serious student and I plan to continue that here,” she said.

More than 1,300 first-year students were inducted during the 2018 Freshman Convocation. Male students wore white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue ties. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment and Student Success, presented the students for the induction.

“Madam President, it is my pleasure to present these young people who have satisfied all the requirements for admission to Tennessee State University as freshmen and students with advance standing,” Cade said.

With each student holding a lighted candle symbolizing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge, administered by the interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alisa Mosley.

Females were dressed in white and males in white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue ties. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”

Trinity Young, a math major from Indianapolis, said he took the pledge very seriously.

“I am committed to being a very good student in all areas for as long as I am here,” Young said.

In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Acclaimed Author and Motivational Speaker Eric Thomas Lectures TSU Students About Leadership

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nationally recognized motivational speaker, Dr. Eric Thomas, returned to Tennessee State University August 31 with a message to the student body on  leadership.

“You can’t truly be a leader until you can lead yourself,” Thomas said.  “A lot of people want to be a leader meaning that you want a leadership position.  That doesn’t make you a leader.  A title doesn’t make you a leader.”

Thomas, who was the speaker at the TSU undergraduate commencement in May, returned to the university by “popular student demand,” according to student affairs officials.

TSU President Glenda Glover presents Dr. Eric Thomas with a TSU Tiger basketball jersey. (Photo by Torian Priestly, TSU Media Relations)

“We are really excited for his visit here,” TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson said. “By popular demand, the students responded to bring this distinguished lecturer and motivational speaker to the campus. He has a very unique story about persistence and the importance of getting a degree.”

Thomas spoke to the students during a lecture in Poag Auditorium on the main campus.

Called the “Hip Hop Preacher” for his creative style and high-energy messages, Thomas said getting a degree is not about impressing people.

“It’s about having ownership of yourself.  So each degree, each video, each thing that I do is about having more ownership of Eric Thomas,” the author said.

Dr. Eric Thomas, right, walks across campus minutes before his lecture in Poag Auditorium. Accompanying Thomas is the TSU Dean of Students Frank Stevenson. (Photo by Torian Priestly, TSU Media Relations)

Kennedy McCurry, a freshman architectural engineering major from Gallatin, Tennessee, was in the audience when Thomas spoke. She said the speaker’s emphasis on being able to lead oneself before trying to lead others stood out for her.

“I was really inspired,” McCurry said. “He helped me to realize that I need to start being more of myself and stop trying to fit in.”

Donovan Stewart, a sophomore nursing major from Birmingham, Alabama, has followed Thomas’ teaching and is inspired by the author’s message on perseverance. He likens life to a balloon, looking at Thomas’ example.

“When a balloon has no oxygen it deflates,” says Stewart. “I use that as my personal motivation in life because when you have things to get done and you don’t get them done, you don’t meet your goals. Dr. Thomas makes you get up and move; that’s what I like about him. I couldn’t wait to see him.”

In May, Thomas reminded TSU graduates that each of them is born with greatness, but to achieve it requires work.

For more information on future guest lectures, see http://www.tnstate.edu/campus_life/contact.aspx

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Welcomes New Male Freshmen with Third Annual ‘Tied to Success’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University first-time male freshmen packed Poag Auditorium on the main campus on Thursday evening for the third annual “Tied to Success,” a rite of passage for all incoming male students.

Dwight Beard, President of the Nashville Chapter of the TSUNAA, left, along with Mr. TSU Darian McGhee, greets students and participants at the 2018 “Tied to Success” ceremony in Poag Auditorium. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As a welcome into the “Big Blue Brotherhood,” the young men were given TSU blue ties with the name of the university. For those individuals who needed help tying just the right knot, university officials and community leaders were on hand to provide assistance.

Dwight Beard, president of the Nashville Chapter of the TSU National Alumni Association, was among those demonstrating the art of tying the perfect knot. He applauded the program for helping the new students assimilate into the collegiate culture.

First-time male freshmen learn the art of tying the perfect knot at the ‘Tied to Success” ceremony. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“It’s important for them to understand that wearing of the tie is essential because they will need one for job interviews,” Beard said. “They may end up with a job in the corporate world, like I did, where how you look matters.”

Before the tie tying and male bonding, TSU officials talked to the freshmen about how they should behave on campus, and in general.

“As these students embark on their college careers and prepare for the professional world, we want to help them develop good character and avoid anything that could hinder their future success,” said Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of students. “’Tied to Success’ is a step in that direction; we’re preparing them now.”

As Dean of Students Frank Stevenson makes opening remarks at the “Tied to Success” ceremony in Poag Auditorium, student leaders and upper class men demonstrate the look of a man dressed for business. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Bryon Keith, a human resource management major from Louisville, Kentucky, who had never tied a tie before, said he appreciates the orientation and hopes other institutions will emulate TSU.

“’Tied to Success’ is a great representation at the university, and for us as young men,” Keith said.

For the third year, State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a TSU alum, participated in the “Tied to Success” ceremony. Senior university male administrators, deans, faculty, staff, student government association leaders and upper class students joined him.

The Men’s Initiative Office in the Division of Student Affairs helped to coordinate “Tied to Success.” All together, there are more than 1,300 first-time freshmen enrolled at TSU this fall.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

From Across the Nation, New Students Descend on TSU Campus for freshman move-in day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Release) – As early as age 6, Jeia Moore was fascinated with Tennessee State University and believed she’d one day be a Big Blue Tiger. Today, she’s part of the TSU family.

Moore was among the first group of more than 1,300 first-time freshmen who received keys to their dorm rooms in Wilson Hall during freshman move-in day at TSU on Tuesday. Jeia’s parents, James and Camilla Moore, made the trip from Memphis to help her get settled.

President Glenda Glover, left, joins volunteers to unload students’ luggage during freshman move-in day at TSU. (Photo By Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“TSU was my first choice for college,” said Jeia, who has no previous ties to TSU, except a recent college tour. She will major in marketing. “No one persuaded me to come to this university except my conscience. I love the culture and tradition that I believe will help me to grow and develop into the woman I want to be.”

This year, freshman move-in day took place over the course of two days. Officials say the change was intended to shorten wait time and make processing easier for students, parents and volunteers. The first move-in on Tuesday was limited to all-female Wilson Hall, the largest residence hall on campus. The rest of the move ins took place on Wednesday. During both days’ activities, more than 200 volunteers, including student organizations, alumni, staff and friends helped to move luggage, boxes of personal belongings and other items, while others pointed out directions and manned water and refreshment stations for the new residents.

TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover, who personally unloaded some of the students’ luggage, greeted and welcomed the new Tigers.

Parents James Moore, left, and Camilla Moore, right, spend a moment with their daughter, Jeia, after dropping her off during freshman move-in day at TSU. Jeia will major in marketing. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“This is really going well and I am very impressed,” the President said about the move. “I appreciate the commitment and dedication of our staff, students and volunteers. Everybody is busy and making sure our new students settle in well. That’s really impressive.”

Savannah Williams, who drove in with her parents from Chicago, was also impressed with the atmosphere, but found the sudden realization of leaving home for the first time a little overwhelming.

“Leaving home for the first time is like really hitting me now,” said Williams, who will major in occupational therapy. “I guess it is time to mature. You got to learn to live on your own. It feels good to finally move in because I have been waiting. I am excited.”

Ronald Fenderson, left, who arrived Wednesday, expects to be a walk-on for the TSU Tigers’ Football Team. He was accompanied by his sister, Jakayla Fenderson; mother, Janelle Wilson; and father, Willie Wilson. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Just like Williams, the feeling of sadness and excitement was the same among parents who came to drop their children off. Jeia’s parents said their hearts were heavy, but are excited that TSU is the right school to give her the academic and social nurturing she needs.

“She is leaving home and it is so sad that she is leaving, but I know that my daughter has what it takes to pursue her dreams and to live out those things which she has cherished for a long time,” said Camilla Moore.

“I am sad but I am very excited that my daughter got this opportunity. TSU is a great institution that will give her an opportunity to nurture and grow here not only academically, but also socially,” added James Moore.

Ronald Fenderson, a dental hygiene major from Plymouth, Michigan, was among those who checked in on Wednesday. He will live in Watson Hall. Accompanying him were his older sister Jakayla Fenderson, and their parents, Willie and Janelle Wilson. A standout, all-around player on the football team at Canton High School, Ronald Fenderson expects to be a walk-on for the TSU Tigers.

“I have been in contact with the coaches, and I have been training all year for this and I am ready to go,” said Ronald, who learned about TSU during an HBCU tour. “TSU was the last place we came to and it just stuck with me.”

Members of the TSU Tigers’ Football Team help to move in new students in Wilson Hall. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The Wednesday arrival was just timely for Ronald. Among volunteers helping with move-in were representatives of the TSU athletic program, including members of the football, basketball, volleyball and track teams.

Head football Coach Rod Reed said as students who have been here,  athletes can also help to make the transition process easier for new students.

“It is always good for our kids to get out and help out in the community,” Reed said. “This is a community effort for our athletes to be able to meet new people and help them  break the ice, and maybe develop lasting friendships.”

Incoming freshman Kiana Jones, center, of Huntsville, Alabama, with her mother Tiffany, and her friend, Shawn Burrell. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSu Media Relations

Many community partners, including churches, banking institutions, food vendors, the Army, and WTST, The Blaze, TSU’s student-run radio station,  set up tents and tables with free refreshments, food, giveaways and entertainment for the new students, volunteers and visitors. Among them were 15th Avenue Baptist Church, New Season Church, and Restoration Corner Ministry, which set up water stations and feeding tables in several residence halls.

“We came out to be part of the hospitality,” New Season Pastor Dwayne Lewis said Wednesday. “We were at Wilson Hall yesterday, and today we’re at Watson.”

Like the first day, officials said Wednesday’s move-in was just as smooth.

“The staff of Housing and Residence Life came up with this pilot for a two-day move-in and it has worked perfectly,” said Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president for Student Activities. “Mr. Brent Dukhie, the interim director, is a real strategist. He has been around housing for a long time. He understands and develops processes so things move along more smoothly. He was able to take a look at this process and be able to streamline it in such a way that we haven’t seen before.”

Incoming freshman Kiana Jones moved in Wednesday and said she’s looking forward to her college experience at TSU because her high school in Huntsville, Alabama, was predominantly white.

“I came to TSU because I like to experience different cultures from all over the country,” Jones said. “I really wanted to see what an HBCU would feel like. I’m excited to be here.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.