Category Archives: Athletics

TSU kicks off football season with John Merritt pep rally

The melodic sounds of Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands filled the campus as the Tigers kicked off a spirited pep rally in preparation of a new football season.

At the pep rally, students, alumni, faculty and staff blasted roaring screams and applause cheering on the Tigers in support of the big opener – the John A. Merritt Classic.

The Classic will be the first home game held Sunday, Sept. 6, 6 p.m. at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. The TSU Tigers will face off with rival Alabama State Hornets. Fans will enjoy the big blue experience complete with the game, the band and a salute to TSU great, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who was drafted by the NFL in 1974 and was one of only three players to ever play 15 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Jones’ successful professional football career includes being named an All-Pro, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XII champion.

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Among those motivating the crowd at the pep rally were student leaders and administrators including Mr. TSU Delvakio Brown and Miss TSU Tyra Laster, along with TSU Athletics Director Teresa Lawrence-Phillips and Head Coach Rod Reed.

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“We really appreciate your support and need you there on Sunday night,” Reed said to the crowd. “We want you to show up and show out because that’s what the Tigers plan to do!”

Psychology major Kenneesha Beckwith was excited to share in the festivities on TSU’s campus.

“This is my first TSU pep rally on campus,” said Beckwith, a freshman from Chicago. “The band is great.”

Also joining in the celebration were TSU alumnae Margo Cain (’61) of Nashville and Renee McCleary (’88), who traveled from Chicago. They fondly remembered the excitement that pep rallies had in building the spirit on campus and the energy at TSU during their years as students when the games were held in the William Jasper Hale Stadium, affectionately known as ‘The Hole.’

“There was a lot of student involvement when the games were in ‘The Hole,’” said McCleary. “The pep rallies were always fund and the band would come from across the campus, and everyone would be ready to win.”

The John A. Merritt Classic was first played in 1999 and honors John Ayers Merritt, the legendary TSU football coach who led the Tigers from 1963-1983. During 21 seasons, “Big John” won four undisputed national championships among historically black colleges ranked by the Sheridan Poll, compiled a lifetime record of 172-33-1, and built a powerful program that produced NFL stars like Richard Dent (Chicago Bears), “Jefferson Street” Joe Gilliam (Pittsburgh Steelers), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (Dallas Cowboys), Claude Humphrey (Philadelphia Eagles) and many others. John Merritt Boulevard in Nashville is named in Coach Merritt’s honor.

Late TSU President Celebrated for Brilliance, Love of Students and Commitment to Black Higher Education; Laid to Rest After Nashville Service

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – In a packed memorial service in Poag Auditorium Sept. 2, speakers remembered former Tennessee State University President James A. Hefner for his brilliance, love of students and his “undying” commitment for quality black higher education.

“He won the respect of his colleagues and peers because he was smart and fearless as an educator, who wanted the best for his students,” said TSU President Glenda Glover, who referred to the late former president as a friend and mentor.

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Dr. Fred Humphries, former president of TSU and President Emeritus of Florida A&M University, was a longtime friend of Dr. Hefner. Humphries described his friend as “a very serious person.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Glover was one of more than seven current and former university presidents who attended the service to pay tribute to their fallen colleague. They joined family members, friends and other dignitaries, including U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper in a standing-room only ceremony featuring traditional African drumbeats, songs and video presentations of Hefner’s views on HBCUs, black economic empowerment and family.

Tributes from across the nation from friends, schoolmates, former colleagues and acquaintances referred to Hefner as a skilled educator who was “serious and all about business.”

“He had a good mind and he cultivated it so others could benefit,” said former classmate and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who attended college with Hefner at North Carolina A&T University. Jackson’s tribute was read at the ceremony.

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Dr. Ivan Davis, director of Student Health Services, left; Dr. Nebraska Mays, former distinguished professor of Education, and vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents: and Dr. Thomas Martin, former vice president of Student Affairs, served at TSU during Dr. Hefner’s tenure. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Hefner, the sixth president of TSU, who led the institution 14 years from 1991-2005, died from cancer Aug. 27 at his home in Brentwood, Tennessee. He was buried in Nashville Sept. 3 after funeral services at Christ Church Cathedral. Hefner was 76.

When asked recently how he would like to be remembered, Hefner said, “As an educator who cared about black higher education and the welfare of students.”

Former colleagues saw him as one who would do whatever it took to make sure students mattered the most.

“He was a very serious person,” said former TSU President and President Emeritus of Florida A&M University, Dr. Fred Humphries. “He was about making his life mean something, and about keeping alive the good works of HBCUs.”

Dr. Everett Freeman, former president of Albany State University and president of Community College of Denver, worked with Hefner at TSU and at Jackson State University, where the late leader served as president before coming to TSU.

He named football, the school band, education and family as Hefner’s biggest passions.

“But his ultimate concern was to make sure students mattered most,” said Freeman, who served as Hefner’s executive assistant at TSU.

Other current and former presidents who paid tribute to Hefner were: Dr. John Wilson, Morehouse College; and Dr. Robert Johnson, Clark Atlanta University. Also sharing tributes was former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, as well as well as former students David Winslow, Tennessee State; Thomas Scott, Morehouse; and Robert Scott, Jackson State.

Under Dr. Hefner’s leadership, TSU saw some of its most significant growth. He managed the end of the Geier desegregation case, in which TSU received an Endowment for Educational Excellence to support scholarship opportunities for exceptional students. He kicked off the university’s first capital fundraising campaign to increase TSU’s endowment, and saw the completion of the new Performing Arts Building, the final building in the $112 million capital improvements project which funded the construction of eight new facilities and renovations of existing structures on campus. See Brief Snapshot of Accomplishments.

Dr. Hefner’s long-standing career as an academician and executive administrator also included teaching and serving as research associate at Harvard University, Princeton University, Clark College, Florida A&M University, Benedict College and Prairie View A&M University. After retiring from TSU in 2005, he accepted a non-resident fellowship at Harvard University in the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research and served as Visiting Distinguished Professor of Economics and Presidential Leadership at Texas Southern University.

Dr. Hefner earned degrees at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, where he obtained his bachelor’s in business administration. At Atlanta University, he received a Master of Economics, and then went on to earn a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

He is survived by his wife, Edwina Hefner; three sons: Christopher Hefner of St. Petersburg, Florida, Jonathan Hefner, M.D. and his wife Katrina of Atlanta, David Hefner, Ed.D. and his wife Tasha of Marietta, Georgia; 11 grandchildren; two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law; and a host of other family and friends.

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.

Tennessee State University Family Remembers the Legacy of Former President, Dr. James A. Hefner

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Dr. James A. Hefner, who served as president of Tennessee State University for 14 years, has died. He was 76. In honor of his life, the university will hold a memorial service Wednesday, Sept. 2, 6:30 p.m. in the Thomas E. Poag Auditorium on the university’s main campus. Funeral services are scheduled Thursday, Sept. 3, 1 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, located at 900 Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Those who knew Dr. James A. Hefner described him as a strong academician and an individual who encouraged and appreciated excellence. (File Photo)

Dr. Hefner made his way to TSU in April 1991 after ending a seven-year presidency at Jackson State University in Mississippi. Prior to Jackson State, he served as provost of Tuskegee University in Alabama. His passion for academic excellence and student success concluded at one of his alma maters, Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University), where he as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs until his death.

“The Tennessee State University family sends its deepest condolences to the Hefner family,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Dr. Hefner devoted his entire adult life to serving others and expanding educational opportunities to all. As educators, we have lost a visionary and one of the best leaders to ever serve this great institution. He loved inspiring students and challenging them.”

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Dr. Hefner’s focus on nurturing minds was not limited to college students. Here he interacts with children during a special program in Nashville. (File Photo)

Those who knew Dr. Hefner described him as a strong academician and an individual who encouraged and appreciated excellence. While president at TSU, his focus on ensuring faculty and staff put students first was evident in the slogan, “Students Matter Most,” which became a part of the culture on campus during his tenure.

Homer Wheaton, a former vice president of University Relations and Development, said Dr. Hefner was a “real good person,” adding that he was a brilliant man who was very academic-focused and results-driven.

“When Dr. Hefner first came to TSU, he promoted me to vice president. It was something completely unexpected for me,” Wheaton said. “He had heard about my relationship with alumni and students, and offered me an opportunity to move up.

“Dr. Hefner was the kind of leader who would let you do what you could do to make a contribution – all he wanted to see was results. He respected people for what they did and was very complimentary of people who did a good job. The fact that he would turn you loose and let you do your work, made it so gratifying to work for him. I appreciated him so much.

Dr. Hefner’s push for excellence came from humble beginnings in rural Brevard, North Carolina, where he began to develop a love for learning at an early age. According to a profile article by former TSU history professor, Dr. James Haney, Hefner’s family had no books in their home. He was taken under the wing of his elementary principal who invited him to her home to read her encyclopedias.”

“For eight years,” said Dr. Hefner at the time, “while I was in elementary school, I would stop at her house on the way home and I would read the encyclopedia.”

He made no apologies for being intelligent, and earned his place as valedictorian of his elementary class, salutatorian of his high school, and then soon received scholarship offers to a number of higher education institutions, including Duke University. He ultimately chose to attend the historically black university, North Carolina A&T State University.

Wilson Lee, director of TSU’s Center for Extended Education, recalls his first encounter with Dr. Hefner when applying for a job at Jackson State University. He said he happened to meet and interview with the former president by chance and knew immediately that he wanted the “best around him.” Wilson was hired there by Dr. Hefner and also joined Dr. Hefner when he assumed the presidency at Tennessee State University in 1991.

“He listened more than anything else and you didn’t have to go through a second person, you could talk directly to him,” Lee said. “He recruited and built a team of people to work with him at TSU – people he had known throughout the years and people who were experts in their fields. He was a model president to me.”

Under Dr. Hefner’s leadership, TSU saw some of its most significant growth. He managed the end of the Geier desegregation case, in which TSU received an Endowment for Educational Excellence to support scholarship opportunities for exceptional students. He kicked off the university’s first capital fundraising campaign to increase TSU’s endowment, and saw the completion of the new Performing Arts Building, the final building in the $112 million capital improvements project which funded the construction of eight new facilities and renovations of existing structures on campus. See Brief Snapshot of Accomplishments.

In 1997, Dr. Hefner hired Michelle Viera to lead the Office of Alumni Relations. Viera, who is now assistant vice president of events management and conference services, said Dr. Hefner had a way of making alumni feel special.

“He treated them [alumni] like VIPs regardless of their background,” Viera said.

She said she fondly remembers Dr. Hefner’s stories of encouragement. One, in particular, that he repeated often was the African parable of “The Lion and the Gazelle.”

“As president, he truly believed that ‘students matter most,’” Viera continued. “He encouraged them to keeping running and to never give up and to be their best. He shared that story so often that the students began to join in reciting it with him when he told it.”

Dr. Jacqueline Mitchell also enjoyed a great working relationship with Dr. Hefner, who appointed her special assistant for the Geier Consent Decree. Mitchell now serves as professor and director of Interdisciplinary Studies at TSU.

“Dr. Hefner was on a true wave length of excellence. He didn’t believe in second class status and strived to bring Tennessee State University to the level equal or superior to any school, anywhere,” Mitchell said.

“It was because of Dr. Hefner that Tennessee State was able to receive $4.1 million in reoccurring funds from the state of Tennessee,” said Dr. Stephen H. Kolison, Jr., associate vice president of Academic, Faculty and Global Programs with the University of Wisconsin System. Kolison spent 10 years at TSU serving in the capacities of research director and funding dean in Agricultural and Environmental Research.

“The College of Agriculture at TSU made some significant strides in receiving funding from the state. The Agriculture Information Technology Center and the Biotechnology Building were conceived while working with Dr. Hefner. I give tremendous credit to Dr. Hefner for being willing to engage with the state and not giving up,” he continued. See more Words of Remembrance Honoring the Life of Dr. Hefner.

Among Dr. Hefner’s extensive awards and honors include an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Marlboro College in 1999, and an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree from The University of the South. He was co-author and editor of the book, Public Policy for the Black Community: Strategies and Perspectives in 1976, and wrote and published more than 50 articles in the areas of employment practice and labor-force participation rates of minorities.

Dr. Hefner’s long-standing career as an academician and executive administrator also included teaching and serving as research associate at Harvard University, Princeton University, Clark College, Florida A&M University, Benedict College and Prairie View A&M University. After from retiring from TSU in 2005, he accepted a non-resident fellowship at Harvard University in the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research and served as Visiting Distinguished Professor of Economics and Presidential Leadership at Texas Southern University. He was also a former member of the board of regents at the University of the South and the board of trustees at Morehouse College where he was the Charles E. Merrill Professor of Economics and chair of the Department of Business and Economics.

Dr. Hefner earned degrees at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, where he obtained his bachelor’s in business administration. At Atlanta University, he received a Master of Economics, and then went on to earn a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

He is survived by a wife, Edwina Hefner; three sons: Christopher Hefner of St. Petersburg, Florida., Jonathan Hefner, M.D. and his wife Katrina of Atlanta, Georgia, David Hefner, Ed.D. and his wife Tasha of Marietta, Georgia; 11 grandchildren; two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law; and a host of other family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that condolences be made in support of the James. A. Hefner Scholarship Award – named in his honor at Tennessee State University and Morehouse College for outstanding students. For more information, contact the TSU Foundation at (615) 963-5481.

 

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.

 

Tennessee State University Mourns Death of Former President James A. Hefner

“We have lost a visionary and one of the best leaders to serve this great institution.” – President Glenda Glover

NASHVILLE, Tenn.– The Tennessee State University family is saddened to announce the death of Dr. James A. Hefner, the sixth president of the University. He died early Thursday morning surrounded by family in his Brentwood home following a long illness. Dr. Hefner was 76. Hefner served TSU as president from 1991-2005.

In a statement on the passing of Dr. Hefner, Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover said:

“The Tennessee State University family sends its deepest condolences to the Hefner family. Dr. Hefner devoted his entire adult life to serving others and expanding educational opportunities to all. As educators, we have lost a visionary and one of the best leaders to ever serve this great institution. He loved inspiring students and challenging them.”

The university’s progress during Dr. Hefner’s tenure was unprecedented. While President of Tennessee State University, Dr. Hefner transformed TSU into a top-tier research university. He was deeply committed to TSU’s land-grant mission. He pursued programs and efforts that aligned the resources of the university with the needs of students. His legacy will serve the university, the nation and the world.

Under his leadership, Tennessee State University saw marked physical, infrastructural and academic improvement, including the implementation of a $112 million capital improvement plan. The improvement was part of the Geier agreement that attempted to end race-based disparity in higher education funding in Tennessee. Several new buildings were constructed, including the Floyd-Payne Student Campus Center, the Ned McWherter Administration Building and the Performing Arts Center.

He was viewed as the students’ president and enrollment reached an all-time high of 9,100 students, an achievement that has only been recently achieved during the 2014-2015 academic school year. The TSU endowment also experienced remarkable growth from $500,000 to more than $25 million (through fund-raising and settling a Federal Consent Decree). He positioned Tennessee State University as a premier institution of higher learning.  TSU was listed in U.S. News & Worlds Report’s “Guide to America’s Best Colleges” for 11 consecutive years (1994-2005).

Dr. Hefner occupied the Thomas and Patricia Frist Chair of excellence in entrepreneurship, a $2.3 million endowed chair at Tennessee State University.  He also established two other endowed chairs of excellence at Tennessee State. An advocate and proponent of African American intellectual achievement throughout his career, Dr. Hefner established two of the nation’s top honor societies, Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi, at Tennessee State University and Clark Atlanta University.

After retiring as president of Tennessee State University in 2005, Dr. Hefner was a non-resident fellow at Harvard University in the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research; Visiting Distinguished Professor of Economics and Presidential Leadership at Texas Southern University; and most recently as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Clark Atlanta University, where he worked diligently as he fought cancer up until the very end.

When recently asked how he wanted to be remembered, Dr. Hefner said: “As an educator who cared about black higher education and the welfare of students.”

He earned his undergraduate degree from North Carolina A&T University, his master’s degree in economics from Atlanta University, and his doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“My father lived a life of service to historically black colleges and universities and the students who attend them,” said Dr. David Hefner, the youngest son of Dr. Hefner and a 1993 graduate of Morehouse College. “He was an intellectual disciple of W.E.B. DuBois – a Fisk University graduate – in that he believed in the liberation that academic excellence promised to those who lived a life of service to the African American community, to truth and to humanity. So his legacy is a living one because there is still much work to do. And my father serves as an example of what service to HBCUs looks like, and we celebrate his life and legacy.”

TSU will be the site of a memorial service on Wednesday, September 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Poag Auditorium of the Davis Humanities Building. A reception will follow immediately afterwards in the Ferrell-Westbrook Building (the Barn). The funeral service will take place on Thursday, September 3, at 1 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, 900 Broadway, downtown Nashville.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial gifts be made to the Dr. James A. Hefner Scholarship Foundation in his honor to the Tennessee State University or Morehouse College Development Offices. You may reach the TSU Foundation at 615-963-5481, for Morehouse 404-215-2660.

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, State Flags Fly at Half-Staff on Campus in Honor of Late Former President James A. Hefner

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University and State of Tennessee flags are flying at half-staff on the TSU campus in honor of the institution’s sixth president, Dr. James A. Hefner, who passed Aug. 27 at his Brentwood, Tennessee home surrounded by family. He was 76. Both flags will remain lowered until Thursday,  Sept. 3 following Dr. Hefner’s burial.

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Dr. James A. Hefner positioned Tennessee State University as a premier institution of higher learning. (File Photo)

Dr. Hefner took over the helm at TSU in  1991 and served the university until 2005. He was regarded as the students’ president and enrollment reached an all-time high of 9,100 students, an achievement that has only been recently achieved during the 2014-2015 academic school year. The TSU endowment also experienced remarkable growth from $500,000 to more than $25 million (through fund-raising and settling a Federal Consent Decree). He positioned Tennessee State University as a premier institution of higher learning.  TSU was listed in U.S. News & Worlds Report’s “Guide to America’s Best Colleges” for 11 consecutive years (1994-2005).

After retiring as president of Tennessee State University in 2005, Dr. Hefner was a non-resident fellow at Harvard University in the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research; Visiting Distinguished Professor of Economics and Presidential Leadership at Texas Southern University; and most recently as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Clark Atlanta University, where he worked diligently as he fought cancer up until the very end.

TSU will be the site of a memorial service on Wednesday, Sept. 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Poag Auditorium of the Davis Humanities Building. A reception will follow immediately afterward in the Ferrell-Westbrook Building (the Barn). The funeral service will take place on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 1 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, 900 Broadway, downtown Nashville.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial gifts be made to the Dr. James A. Hefner Scholarship Foundation in his honor to the Tennessee State University or Morehouse College Development Offices. You may reach the TSU Foundation at 615-963-5481, for Morehouse 404-215-2660.

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 legendary Coach Ed Temple gets due recognition with bronze statue dedicated in his honor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When people use the phrase, “living legend,” it is a perfect fit for describing legendary Olympic track and field coach Ed Temple.

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Nearly 200 people including federal, state and local government officials, as well as family and friends turn out as the city unveils a 9-foot bronze statute honoring legendary TSU track and field Coach Ed Temple. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Temple was honored with a “befitting” tribute among family, friends and an entire community Aug. 27 chronicling his outstanding 40-plus-year career on-and-off the track when a 9-foot bronze statue was unveiled in his likeness at First Tennessee Park in Nashville, Tennessee.

During the ceremony, Temple shared some of his fondest memories as TSU’s head track coach, as well as his experiences with the Olympic team. He also acknowledged and thanked his family, the community, former student-athletes and administrators for their support.

“I’m just glad to be on top of the ground,” said Temple to a crowd of nearly 200, of his ability to see the statue in his honor.

Temple, 87, served as Tennessee State University’s women’s track coach from 1953 to 1994. He led 40 athletes to the Olympics, snagging a total of 23 medals, 13 of which were gold. His athletes also accumulated more than 30 national titles. Temple’s accomplishments are even more impressive coming in the midst of severe racism and discrimination that permeated the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

The idea to erect the statue was the vision of Nashville businessman Bo Roberts. Roberts said the project had been in the works for well over a decade, and he was glad the unveiling could finally take place for one of his long-time heroes.

“The Coach Temple Statue Committee is grateful to those who have given. Each is now part of Nashville’s history and a part of Temple’s team,” Roberts said. “The Coach’s impact on Nashville will forever be immortalized by this statue. We hope locals and visitors will come to this statue to learn about and honor one of the city’s most important citizens.”

According to an Aug. 29 article in The Tennessean newspaper, the effort to erect the statue kicked into high gear in October 2012 after Roberts met with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who hosted the first fundraising event to raise the $80,000 needed to make and anchor the statue. Since 2011, Roberts has diligently organized fundraisers, called on donors and worked with TSU to make the project a reality.

Among the supporters at Friday’s unveiling ceremony was TSU President Glenda Glover, Mayor Dean, Congressman Jim Cooper, and former TSU Tigerbelles Wyomia Tyus and Edith McQuire Duvall, who made brief remarks at the event.

“Coach Temple’s accomplishments in track and field at TSU are unparalleled nationally and internationally,” President Glover said before introducing Coach Temple. “He groomed the Tigerbelles for greatness on-and-off the track field. While he receives his accolades for accomplishments on the track field, as an educator and university president, I’m most proud of his coaching away from competition. He and his wife, the late Charlie B. Temple, prepared the Tigerbelles to be winners in life after track. He is truly to be applauded for that.”

“This is a great day for Nashville,” Dean said. “From the racial segregation of the Eisenhower days to the Clinton days, Coach Temple has amassed a career that is difficult for anyone to match.

“He did things the right way. Out of the 40 athletes he got to the Olympics – 100 percent of them received college degrees. Coach Temple is a man of great character, gentle humor and steely determination. He is a great teacher which is one of the best things you can be.”

Tyus, the first person to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter dash, was recruited by Temple in 1963 receiving a scholarship and a spot on his famed Tigerbelles team. She said Coach Temple always pushed them to excellence.

“I never thought I would see this in my lifetime,” said Tyus, considered the fastest woman in the world in 1964 and 1968. “Coach always says he wants his roses while he’s still alive, and I am so happy to see this today.”

Temple was head coach of the US Olympics Women’s Track and Field teams in 1960 and 1964 and assistant coach in 1980. He has been inducted into nine different Halls of Fame, including the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2012, in which he is one of only four coaches to be inducted. He is a past member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the International Women’s Track and Field Committee and the Nashville Sports Council. He also served as chairman of Nashville’s 200-plus member Amateur Sports Committee.

In addition to being part of the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame, Temple’s legacy of excellence continues in such recognitions as the Edward S. Temple Track at Tennessee State University; Ed Temple Boulevard in Nashville, adjacent to the TSU campus; the Edward Temple Award established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Track and Field Coaches Association; and the Edward S. Temple Seminars: Society and Sports, held annually at Tennessee State University.

Temple’s autobiography, Only the Pure in Heart Survive, was published in 1980. The book, along with additional papers and memorabilia from his lifetime of achievement, are part of the Special Collections department in TSU’s Brown-Daniel Library.

“Even the Bible says a prophet is seldom honored in his hometown,” said Congressman Cooper at the ceremony. “But here we are honoring perhaps one of the greatest coaches in all of history.”

Brian Hanlon, the commissioned sculptor of the project said, “This is an historical marker that celebrates the principles of real discipline. It is a huge feather in my hat, not just artistically but for what this stands for in our community.”

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.

Tennessee State University Wellness Center Makes Fitness Fun for Faculty, Staff and Students

Center Plans Aug. 31 Open House to Introduce New Programs,           Activities    

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The Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center, located in a 3,304 square-foot facility, is part of the TSU administration’s effort to promote fitness and healthy habits for faculty, staff and students. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With a facelift and tons of new equipment and added activities, the Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center at Tennessee State University rivals any commercial fitness center in the city, and the TSU facility is free to users.

For Alexis Warner, that’s a big draw. “It is very convenient, you don’t have to pay membership, just show your ID and get a free workout,” said the senior Mass Communications major from Memphis, Tennessee, who visits the center about four times a week while attending summer school.

The center, which is opened to students, faculty and staff with university IDs, sees about 300 users a day, and that number is expected to go up with the new equipment and a new look in this school year, according to center coordinator Felicia Sweatt.

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Alexis Warner, a senior Mass Communications major from Memphis, Tennessee, visits the Wellness Center about four times a week. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“We are here Monday through Sunday about 12 hours on the average a day, and there is never a shortage of students, faculty and staff coming to the wellness center,” Sweatt said.

The redesign is part of the vision of Dr. Michael Freeman, associate vice president for Student Affairs, who rejoined the university about a year ago, according to Gerald Davis, director of the Wellness Center.

“The moment Dr. Freeman came on board he immediately saw the need to do something to make sure students not only had a first-rate facility to work out in but one that was safe for their use,” Davis said, adding that this is the first major renovation since 2003.

“We have been using some creative means to keep it (the center) going, but Dr. Freeman was able to find the money and we are very thankful to him and the administration,” Davis said.

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Wellness Center Director Gerald Davis, left, demonstrates the proper use of weight bars, to ensure maximum workout benefit. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

New elliptical equipment, including upright and recumbent bikes, as well as several new top-of-the-line treadmills and other cable machines spread out across the 3,304 square-foot facility are for cardio workout. New curl and weight bars adorn the strength and power lifting area. And Davis said, by Labor Day, the center plans to replace all of the bulky CRT (Cathode ray tube) television sets with five new bigger flat screen TVs.

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Tré Tate, a senior Exercise Science major from Columbia, Tennessee, says that coming to the Wellness Center helps him relieve stress and to meet new friends. He has been visiting the center since his freshman year. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I really like the changes they have made in the center,” said Tré Tate, a senior Exercise Science major from Columbia, Tennessee, who has been a frequent visitor since 2011 as a freshman. “I love to workout, it helps me relieve stress, and I have made a lot of friends in this place. It is nice that they have made these improvements which will definitely encourage more students to come.”

Davis added, “The changes we have made in the center are the kinds of enhancements patrons have been asking for. It (the changes) helps them enjoy their workouts better.”

He said to accommodate patrons who want workouts with entertainment value but don’t have free time during the evening hours, the center has introduced midday classes that include yoga and salsa that are drawing a large number of people.

With new students and a new academic year, the Wellness Center will host a free open house from 5 – 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to stop by to see what the facility has to offer.

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A student, right, presents his university ID to Wellness Center Coordinator Felicia Sweatt, as all users must do upon entering the facility. Center Director Davis, and Building Activity Supervisor David Griffin also help with greeting guests. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“The open house will include tours, demonstrations of several fitness classes being offered during the fall semester, including kickboxing, hip pop, boot camp and total body workout for extreme fitness,” Davis said.

The Wellness Center is open Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

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.

John Merritt Classic Press Conference Set for July 24

Courtesy: Tennessee State Sports Information

JMCX_FlyerNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State University will host the 2015 John Merritt Classic Press Conference on Friday, July 24 at Nissan Stadium. The press conference will begin at 11 a.m. in the stadium’s Press Room (Lower Level).

The 17th Annual John Merritt Classic football game on Sept. 6 will see the Tigers face the Hornets of Alabama State for the 13th time in the all-time series history. The game will be a rematch of last season when TSU fell to ASU 27-21, on the road.

Head coaches Rod Reed, of TSU, and Brian Jenkins, of ASU, will join the director of athletics from both schools to address the media and speak on the upcoming contest. The honoree for the annual event will also be announced.

Rudy Kalis, long time WSMV sports newscaster, is set to MC the event.

In last season’s John Merritt Classic, the Tigers defeated Edward Waters College, 58-6, to improve to 11-5 all-time in JMC games.

The press conference will be streamed live on the OVCDigitalNetwork.

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 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Former Tennessee State University Sports Information Director Dooley Passes Away

Courtesy: Tennessee State Sports Information

‪NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Former Tennessee State University sports information director and longtime HBCU administrator Wallace Dooley Jr. died on Tuesday. He was 68.

Dooley served as the associate athletics director for media relations at Tennessee State from 2006-2012.

“We are so saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Wallace Dooley,” said TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. “He and his family have been a prominent part of TSU athletics for decades. He was a treasure chest of information and history for our programs. The TSU family sends our prayers and love to his wife Bridgette and his children.”

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Wallace Dooley Jr. served as associate athletics director for media relations at TSU from 2006-2012. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

In a 28-year span, Dooley held positions in sports information/media relations at several schools and two conference offices. He completed a full circle when he returned to his alma mater, Tennessee State University to finish his career.‪

In 2012, he was honored with the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Lifetime Achievement. After retiring from TSU, Dooley maintained connection to the field working as the media contact (radio/internet) in support of HBCU student-athletes and programs through BoxtoRow and HSRN Radio.

‪His interest in sports information began as an undergraduate student at TSU. He assisted the intramural director with compiling statistics for football and basketball games. In 1978, after working as a part-time sportswriter at The Tennessean and as an assistant in the sports information office at then-Memphis State, he was named the first full-time sports information director at Alabama A&M.

Dooley won 11 CoSIDA publications awards during his career in addition to earning the CoSIDA 25-Year Award. He counted the Lifetime Achievement Award and its recognition as one of his most cherished of his career.

‪His many years in the profession included tenures as SID at the University of District of Columbia (1981-1984), Virginia State (1984-88) and North Carolina Central (1988-92). He served the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1992-96) as public relations director and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (2001-2006) as assistant commissioner for media relations before returning to Nashville.

‪Dooley also supported athletics off campus. In 1996, he worked with the Atlanta Olympics as a venue press chief. He also worked in the sports information office for the Nashville Kats of the Arena Football and assisted with game day operations for the Tennessee Titans.

‪Along the way, he had an opportunity to promote some great teams and athletes, picking up honors and accolades for his work in the process.

‪While volunteering at Tennessee State in 1970, the Tiger football team finished 11-0 and the men’s basketball squad went 24-3. From 1970 through 1975, TSU’s football team was 55-8 with two undefeated seasons and the basketball teams were 111-32 while making four appearances in the NCAA tournament. During Dooley’s second tenure at TSU, the basketball team won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference football titles in 1997-98, including an undefeated regular season, and during his final years, TSU women’s track team won three league titles.

‪In 1982, Dooley joined several other SIDs from HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) to partner with the National Association for Women’s Sports (NAWS) in recognizing female student-athletes as All-Americans.

In 1984 at the CoSIDA workshop in St. Louis, he teamed with 11 other SIDs to form the Black College Sports Information Directors Association (BCSIDA).

‪Dooley worked with and trained a number of former assistants who earned their niche in the profession, including Monique Morgan Smith (former Associate Commissioner, CIAA), Tonya Walker (Athletic Director, Winston-Salem State), Greg Goings (Bowie State SID and President of CoSIDA’s Division II-SIDA group), William Bright (HBCU administrator), Zena Lewis (Washington Redskins PR) and Zekeya Harrison (assistant athletics director for media relations, Tennessee State).

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 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

White House Honors Tennessee State University Alum Gerald Durley as “Climate Champions of Change”

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Dr. Gerald L. Durley was the keynote speaker at TSU’s Centennial Celebration Convocation. Durley, who has testified before the Environmental Protection Agency on the clean power plan, is currently working to eradicate fluoride from toothpaste and drinking water.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University graduate and civil rights advocate, Dr. Gerald L. Durley, has been recognized by President Barack Obama as a “Champions of Change.” Durley, former pastor of Atlanta’s Providence Missionary Baptist Church, who seeks to combine faith, science and civil rights, was among 12 people of faith recognized by the White House Monday for their efforts in fighting climate change.

“These Champions have demonstrated clear leadership across the United States and around the world through their grassroots efforts to green their communities and educate others on the moral and social justice implications of climate change,” a White House statement said about Durley and his fellow honorees.

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President Barak Obama described Dr. Gerald Durley and his fellow “Champions of Change” as “individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.”

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

TSU President Glenda Glover called the White House preferment “a remarkable honor for Dr. Durley” to be recognized by the president of the United States.

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TSU President Glenda Glover called the “Champions of Change” designation a “remarkable honor for Dr. Durley” to be recognized by the president of the United States.

“He is an outstanding example of the great work Tennessee StateUniversity graduates are doing to not only impact their communities but the world,” President Glover said. “We are extremely proud of Dr. Durley. The TSU family joins me in congratulating him on this outstanding achievement.”

As a 1964 TSU graduate, former SGA president and former captain of the basketball team, Durley sees a parallel between faith and science and the lessons he learned as a civil rights advocate of the 1960s. He believes that climate change, global warming, and environmental justice are moral imperatives and civil rights issues.

Durley, who has testified before the Environmental Protection Agency on the clean power plan, is currently working to eradicate fluoride from toothpaste and drinking water. He has worked with several groups on climate change, including Interfaith Power and Light, the Sierra Club, Eco-America, U.S. Climate Action Network, the Environmental Working Group, Green Law, Ambassadors for Clean Air, Moms Clean Air Force, and Water Keeper Inc.

Durley is a former dean at Clark Atlanta University and the former director of the Health Promotion Resource Center of the Morehouse School of Medicine. A highly sought speaker on civil and human rights, Durley serves on numerous boards including the March of Dimes, the NAACP, the Atlanta Union Mission, Vision 2020 of Atlanta, and Healthy Fulton County Initiative, among others.

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 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.