Category Archives: EVENTS

Tennessee State University’s Big Blue spirit part of NFL Draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is showing its Big Blue spirit in the NFL Draft.

The university’s renowned Aristocrat of Bands was in a promotional advertising the draft in the Music City, and the band performed on the Draft’s red carpet, as well as appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” sports talk show.

Another showing of TSU spirit will take place on Saturday, April 27, when Tigers linebacker Christion Abercrombie announces the fifth-round pick for the Tennessee Titans.

Christion made national news last season when he suffered a life-threatening injury in a football game against Vanderbilt University. Doctors didn’t think he’d survive. But Christion has made a miraculous recovery since the Sept. 29 incident. On April 13, he attended the annual Blue and White scrimmage game at TSU.

On April 25, TSU President Glenda Glover hosted a luncheon and tour for the Professional Football Players Mothers Association and friends. The event followed a “Salute to Greatness” reception/dinner on April 12 that celebrated former TSU football players who competed in the pros.

Over the years, more than 150 TSU players went on to compete in the National Football League, Canadian Football League, and other professional leagues. Twenty-one former Tigers played in Super Bowls.

“it’s part of the TSU football legacy,” said Glover of the event celebrating the former players. “They came here as students, and left here as greats.”

One of those greats is Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who appeared in three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. The defensive lineman was their No. 1 overall pick in the 1974 NFL Draft. Jones said he can relate to the anticipation and nervousness draft hopefuls are likely experiencing.

“I was a big Cowboy fan growing up,” said Jones, who will announce Dallas’ pick at the draft. “To be the first overall pick, go to the team of my choice, it was mind-boggling.”

To view the Aristocrat of Bands NFL Draft promotional, visit https://player.vimeo.com/external/330512639.hd.mp4?s=687f1a06fe39ec760f3d30476ee760a9c2b3c55c&profile_id=174.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, premier historically-black land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU’s graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus boasts a top-notch Executive MBA Program. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Hosts Successful Spring Preview Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Over 1,000 high school students from across the nation descended upon Tennessee State University on April 13 for Spring Preview Day 2019.

The day started with check in and a student organization fair in the Gentry Center Complex where student leaders, campus administrators, faculty and staff welcomed the students and their parents to campus.

Terrance Izzard (Submitted photo)

 “We are elated that you have chosen to spend today with us here at Tennessee State.  We already know that you are on one of the most phenomenal campuses in the United States of America,” said Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success  “The HBCU experience is an experience like none other, and I want to say to each parent and grandparent and aunt, thank you for bringing your student here.”

The high school students and their parents departed the Gentry Center in groups led by TSU students eager to serve as their guides for the day. Activities for the visitors, according to organizers, included meetings with academic departments, TSU student organizations, campus tours, and other forms of educational entertainment.

Future TSU Tiger Brandon Jones (center), with his mom, Sadera Baker (left), and his step-father, Stephen Baker (right), moments before heading to the Blue and White Spring scrimmage in Hale Stadium. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Like many other students visiting for Spring Preview, Brandon Jones, a student at Georgia Military College, has already committed to Tennessee State University.  A football player, Jones had the opportunity to meet former NFL cornerback and TSU football player Randy Fuller during his campus tour.

“I already signed, and I report June 1,” Jones said.  “I really like the family atmosphere at TSU. It feels like home. So really, it’s the best fit for me.”

Mikaylah Abercrombie, a junior at New Manchester High School in Atlanta, said although she has not committed to TSU, she is impressed by the university.

“My cousin, Christion attended TSU, and I liked it when I saw him playing football.  And I just want to check it out,” she said.

Atlanta-native Mikaylah Abercrombie with her mother, Freda Abercrombie at TSU Spring Preview Day 2019. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Abercrombie’s mother, Freda Abercrombie, who joined her for Spring Preview Day, said the university’s response after her nephew, Chistion Ambercrombie, suffered a life-threatning injury during a game against Vanderbilt University on Sept. 29, really touched her heart.

“Actually I just got a good vibe from his experience here, and after the accident, all of the love and support that the school gave was awesome.  We  just fell in love with TSU, and I wanted to make sure my daughter at least checked out the school for herself.”

Mikaylah, who hopes to study early childhood education or musical theatre, said she would like to work as a pre-school teacher once she completes her academic studies.

Javon Jones, TSU associate director of Undergraduate Recruitment, said Spring Preview Day should definintely play a role in boosting enrollment for the fall. She said students who missed Spring Preview, can attend a similar day in the fall.

“We would love to see anyone who couldn’t come out today for Spring Preview Day,” she said. “We are about energy, about educating our students, and most of all we want them to have fun and be prepared for their future.  We will make sure they have all of  their admissions documents together, and that they have everything ready to go and if they ever need anything, the office of admissions and records is available to help.”

For more information on admission to Tennessee State University, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/.

Editor’s Note: Featured photo by Erynne Davis

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

Alum Jazmin Ghent continues to soar with NAACP Image Award for new jazz album

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The name of TSU alum and musician Jazmin Ghent continues to resound.

The jazz phenom recently received an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Jazz Album category for “The Story of Jaz.” In 2017, she was voted Best New Artist by the Smooth Jazz Network.

Jazmin Ghent

Ghent earned a master’s degree in music from Tennessee State University in 2014. She said music has always been a part of her life.

“If I didn’t have music, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she said. “Music distracted me from getting off track and being something I’m not.  It really allowed me to express myself and find my way in life.”

Nicknamed “Jazzy Jaz” by her grandfather Fletcher Gaines, who also played saxophone, Ghent grew up listening to jazz standards from his music collection, as well as the music of Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum and Brian Culbertson.

 Jazmin credits TSU for playing a major role in her success.

She said Dr. Robert Elliot, head of the Department of Music at TSU, her residence life coworkers Gregory Williams and Brent Dukhie, and various members of the TSU family, provided direction and support during her time at the university.

“I found out about the program at TSU through the Bobby Jones Show,” she said.  “I performed on his ‘Show Your Talent Show,’ and went to do an interview with Dr. Elliot. He didn’t have to give me a chance and an opportunity, but I am beyond thankful that he did.”

Elliot, who served as chair of Ghent’s thesis committee, said that as a musician, Jazmin brings the “total package.”

“She is very much a modern saxophonist, but she is well-grounded in the music of those greats who came before her, and she has built upon that legacy,” he said. 

For more about Jazmin Ghent, visit https://www.jazminghentmusic.com.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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 celebrates former football players with a ‘Salute to Greatness’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The NFL Draft will highlight the future of professional football in a couple of weeks. However, on April 12, Tennessee State University will celebrate former TSU players who competed in the pros, including 21 in Super Bowls.

“Salute to Greatness-Excellence on the Gridiron” will take place at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. A reception is scheduled for 6 p.m., followed by a program/dinner at 7 p.m.

The event leading up to the NFL Draft in Nashville on April 25 is part of TSU’s annual Coming Home-Legends Weekend, which will feature the Blue and White Game on April 13.

“Our history of sending students to play on the professional level of football is special,” says TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. “Those who competed on the highest level were and are great representatives of the university and should be recognized. The ‘Salute to Greatness’ event seeks to bring these stars together to celebrate their collective successes.”

Over the years, more than 150 TSU players went on to compete in the National Football League, Canadian Football League, and other professional leagues.

Those players who did and will be at the April 12 event include Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent, MVP of Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears; Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who appeared in three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys; and two-time Pro Bowler Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who played in Super Bowl XLVIII with the Denver Broncos.

“When I first learned of the event, I was very excited,” says Jones. “Tennessee State has always had a rich athletics program, even before I got here. This is not a championship team that will assemble, it is all the players coming back to support this as well. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the guys.”

Grant Winrow is the event’s chairman and special assistant to TSU President Glenda Glover. He says it’s great to “welcome our former players back to the school that gave them their start.” 

“We thank President Glover for allowing us to carry this vision of celebration during our Coming Home weekend,” says Winrow, who is also director of special projects.

Chris Hope, a former Tennessee Titans Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be the event’s keynote speaker. The master of ceremony is Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Hope Hines, considered a Nashville legend in sports coverage.

“For over six decades, players from Tennessee State University have been cornerstones of the National Football League,” says Hines, who covered TSU sports extensively. “In fact, only a very few colleges and universities have sent more players to the NFL than TSU. The ‘Salute to Greatness’ night is the perfect opportunity to celebrate over 60 years of the brotherhood of Big Blue players who have made Tennessee State University synonymous with the NFL.”

Traci Otey Blunt, a TSU alum and senior vice president of corporate communications for the NFL, agrees.

“I think it’s so dynamic what TSU has done for the sports community, business community, and beyond,” says Blunt. “I scream from the mountaintops that I’m a proud Tennessee State University graduate.”

In 2016, TSU was recognized at the John Wooten Leadership Awards in San Francisco for the number of players who competed in Super Bowls. The university’s football legacy dates back to Super Bowl I in 1967, when former TSU Tigers Willie Mitchell and Fletcher Smith made their appearance as teammates with the Kansas City Chiefs. More than 20 players have followed them over the years.

To learn more about TSU football and the university’s other athletic programs, visit http://www.tsutigers.com.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

Community Health and Wellness Fair at Tennessee State University Promotes Healthy Lifestyle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – At least 40 vendors from across the city participated in the Community Health and Wellness Fair at Tennessee State University on April 5.

Chiropractic care, dental screenings and HIV testing were just a few of the free services offered at the fair, which was a partnership between TSU, the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Program, and the Turnip Truck, a natural foods grocer in Nashville.

A participant at the health fair receives dental screening. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Participants also received information on weight-loss management and nutrition, as well as fitness demonstrations and health screenings.

Dolly Patton-Thomas, executive director of the DP Thomas Foundation for Obesity, said the event was intended to motivate people to live healthier lives.

“The expectation was to bring the community together to let them understand the importance of health as well as the availability of nontraditional and traditional medicine,” Thomas said. “The partnership with TSU has been really great because they support us in getting the word out to the community, as well as supply the space. They do a lot for us and they put that message out there for a healthy lifestyle.”

TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, which provided intra-oral screenings at the event, has been one of the main participants over the years.

Leon Roberts II, coordinator of clinics for the department, stressed the importance of taking care of oral hygiene because “it affects an individuals’ whole health.”

“The mouth is the gateway to the body, so a lot of dental diseases don’t just affect the mouth,” he said. “Periodontal disease is connected to diabetes, heart disease, and for women who are pregnant, it is connected to low-birth weight babies.”

Sharronda Broughton is program specialist for Outreach STD/HIV Communicable Disease with Metro Public Health Department. She has been attending the fair for several years and is impressed with how much the yearly event has grown.

“We participate in the health fair to offer STD and HIV screening and awareness for the students, staff and for the community,” Broughton said. “Each year we see more and more participants. It looks like more people are now aware of what this event offers.”

Lalita Hodge, TSU coordinator of public relations and a member of the DP Thomas board of directors, also spoke about the growth of the fair. She announced the addition of Bounce TV-Nashville, Gilead Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as new sponsors for the fair.

“It was important for people to come out to see what’s out there in health care with regards to traditional and nontraditional products and methods to keep us healthy, because our health is our wealth,” Hodge said.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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 Africana Studies Program Partners With Alum to Host US-Africa Business Opportunities and Exchange Conference

The Tennessee State University Africana Studies Program, in partnership with DC Consult International, will host the US-Africa Business Opportunities and Exchange Conference, beginning Wednesday, April 3.

The conference will bring together federal and state government leaders, industry experts, and private business leaders from the Southern region of the United States around the themes of business development and investment opportunities in the areas of green infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture, entertainment and entrepreneurship.

“All eyes are on Africa in regard to future opportunities for business investment. The timing of this conference couldn’t be any better, and I encourage everyone to participate,” said TSU assistant professor of business administration Isaac Addae, who will present at the conference. “Strong relationships are a major aspect of achieving business success on the continent, and this conference provides a great opportunity to forge partnerships with individuals currently doing business across Africa.”

Isaac Addae

Diana C. Onyejiaka, founder of DCCI and an alumna of TSU, said attendees can expect panel sessions to include: Civil Rights, Pan Africanism, and Decolonization: Making the Connection; Agribusiness with Africa; Entertainment: Africa’s Next Export; Female Empowerment For Economic Growth and Sustainability; Healthcare Systems and Primary Care; Green Infrastructure for Urban Development in Africa; and  Blockchain Technology for Developing Nations.

“I graduated from TSU with plans to go to law school, come out, and only practice law in the United States,” said Onyejiaka, who obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in political science with minors in philosophy and psychology in 2007 and a master’s in public administration from the university in 2013. “However, when I started learning about the different types of business engagements that many international firms engaged with Africa, I was determined to create something similar. I wanted to participate in those business engagements too.”

Onyejiaka, the main organizer of the conference and a speaker for the “Entertainment: Africa’s Next Export” session, also obtained her Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center in 2014. Addae and Samuel O’Sesin, digital and marketing strategist and owner of Gadgetivo, an online “gadget mall,” will serve as speakers for the “Millennials, Capital and Opportunities” session.

Samuel O’Sesin

The Culture & Creative Industries Council (CCIC) Awards Gala at 7:30 p.m. on April 5, will honor men, women, and organizations that heavily impact Africa and its diaspora. The gala, themed “A Night Dedicated to People of African Descent,” will include a dinner catered from Pole’ Pole’, a local mobile and catering food service that offers gourmet cuisine from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a traditional dance performance from Nigeria, West Africa, and live music from Uzoma Obiora and The Path to Freedom.

Onyejiaka hopes to attract millennials to the conference so they can become more informed about the vital role Africa will play in the future of the global economy.

“I want students to be informed about the shift currently happening. The United Nations projects that by 2050, 1 in 4 people on Earth will be African and that Africa will likely be the only region that will continue to grow after 2050,” she said. “I would say that the average American student today should expect that he or she will likely engage in business with or in Africa at some point of their career. It is inevitable.”

Uzoma Obiora

The TSU Africana Studies Program offers an 18 credit hour Minor designed to complement a student’s major in one of the university’s degree granting programs. The program’s curriculum and pedagogy are designed to prepare students for success in a diverse and increasingly interdependent global economy and job market.

For more information about the US-Africa Business Opportunities and Exchange Conference visit http://www.dcconsultintl.com/usafricaboe-2019

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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 initiative Engages Kindergarteners at Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary in Day of Activities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A group of Tennessee State University freshmen recently visited Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary and posed this question to curious kindergarteners: “What is College?” 

On March 22, about 20 students from the Freshman Innovation Council visited the elementary school and engaged four kindergarten classes in activities around the question, as part of a TSU Student Activities outreach initiative.   

Students in four kindergarten classes at Kipp Kirkpatrick Elementary participated in the TSU “What is College?” initiative. (Submitted Photo)

Organizers said the goal was to be able to give the young kids an early feel about going to college.

“Putting on this program for the kindergarteners about college was an amazing experience for us, just as much as it was for them,” said Malik Meadows, a freshman early childhood education major from Atlanta, who is the chair of FIC. 

In a full day of events, the group taught the kids TSU chants, vocabulary words, and lessons on studying, making friends, and having good behavior.  Activities also included a puppet show of a lost Tiger who meets new friends, as he finds his way across the Tennessee State University Tigers’ campus.

Meadows said preparation for the visit and activities started in January with several meetings among FIC members in consultation with Kipp teachers and staff “to ensure excellence in our presentation.”

Tasha Andrews, TSU director of student activities, who organized the visit, said the interaction between FIC students and the kindergarteners was very educational and entertaining.

“Our students really shocked me with their presentation to the kindergarteners at Kipp Kirkpatrick,” Andrews said. “I was so impressed with how they used the school mascot and created their own coloring sheets, storyline, and games that incorporated so many things about the TSU culture, but on a level for the children to understand.”

According to Andrews, Dean of Students and Associate Vice President Frank Stevenson kicked off the “What is College” initiative for first-year students, with the creation of Freshman Innovation Council.  The group is comprised of students who formerly served as class or student government association presidents at their respective high schools, or are a part of the freshman class council here at TSU.

FIC is scheduled to take their kindergarten presentation to two more local elementary schools before the semester ends, Andrews said.

For more information on TSU Student Activities, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/activities

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

STEM Tour gives visiting high school students a taste of TSU excellence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 200 prospective STEM majors from three local high schools got a taste of Tennessee State University’s excellence on Wednesday.

Students from Antioch High, Cane Ridge and Hunters Lane participated in the 2019 TSU STEM Tour. They arrived on campus early and spent half the day visiting several of the university’s Colleges, as well as enjoying some TSU spirit.

High school students listen to Engineering instructor. (Photo by Charles Cook, TSU Media Relations).

Highlights of the day included a visit with TSU President Glenda Glover, and a special pep rally featuring the famed Aristocrat of Bands.

While many of the high school students are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), they are also considering other majors and fields.

Ninth-grader Erick Guzman plays trumpet in the band at Cane Ridge and said he enjoyed the energy of TSU’s band.

“Man, I was hyped,” said Guzman, adding that he’s seriously considering TSU when he graduates because of the band.

Zybria Holliday wants to be a pediatrician, but the 15-year-old said after visiting TSU, she’s considering it for undergrad.

“I had a wonderful time,” she said. “TSU is great!”

The Colleges the students visited were Agriculture, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Liberal Arts.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, talked to the students before they viewed some of the College’s research. Even though they still have a few years before graduation, he said now is the time to be thinking about attending a higher education institution.

“I’m sure all of you are bright students,” Hargrove said. “Now is the time to be thinking about what you want to do when you graduate. And I hope it’s engineering.”

High school students enjoy TSU pep rally. (Photo by Charles Cook, TSU Media Relations).

The students, who were accompanied by guidance counselors from each of their schools, also heard from other TSU officials and faculty, including Mr. Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for enrollment management, and Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College.

The guidance counselors lauded TSU for having the tour.

“The students got the opportunity to be exposed to Tennessee State, to see what’s available to them,” said Antioch counselor Tamika Reed. “A lot of times they don’t get that opportunity.”

Hunters Lane counselor Joe Levickis agreed.

“A lot of our kids are going to be applying to college and are going to be first generation students,” Levickis said. “It’s important that they get on a college campus, because it becomes more real to them. It’s also important to see people being successful, to see what their future could look like.”

Earlier this year, President Glover surprised about 20 students visiting the university with full scholarship offers. Most of the students were interested in STEM majors.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

Honors day convocation celebrates university’s best and brightest students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recognized its best and brightest students at the annual Honors Day Convocation on Tuesday.

State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, an attorney and rising political star representing the 29th District, was the keynote speaker at the event in Kean Hall.

State Sen. Ramesh Akbari. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins)

Before her speech, TSU President Glenda Glover greeted the audience of faculty, administrators, and family and friends, who turned out to celebrate the honors students.

“We are proud of the Honors College,” said Dr. Glover. “Honors students, we thank you for your excellence, we thank you for your steadfastness, and your dedication.”

About 2,340 students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher were recognized. Of that number, 283 are on the President’s List. These students have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout their matriculation, according to Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College.

During her speech, Akbari lauded the students, and made several points she hopes will help them continue to be successful.

One bit of advice is to maintain a good reputation, she said, and be truthful. 

“Your reputation and integrity is paramount,” said Akbari, who was invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. “You do not want to have the reputation of being someone who is not reliable, or who does not tell the truth.”

TSU President Glenda Glover and Sen. Akbari. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins)

She also encouraged students to not forget where they came from, to give back, and help others.

“As you continue to excel, it’s important that you send the elevator back down and bring folks along with you,” said Akbari. “While you might not realize it, you are clearing a pathway for the next generation. And so it’s important to keep them in mind as you move forward.”

Mr. TSU Darian McGhee was inspired by Akbari, who wrapped up her speech by telling the students that they are “ordinary people who can do extraordinary things.”

“I believe we will succeed in anything we do,” McGhee said.

For more information on the Honors College, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/.

NOTE: Feature photo also by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

Future music composer says TSU education is paving the way for a successful career

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jakori Hollinger’s career goal is to own an orchestra company to compose music for film, television and artists. He believes he is well on his way at Tennessee State University.

“I am in the right place,” says the junior music education major from Montgomery, Alabama. “Tennessee State University has a great music program with well-rounded professors, and being in the heart of Nashville, a major center for music and entertainment, makes it so much better.”

Jakori Hollinger

Hollinger, a highly recruited and multi-talented student from Jefferson Davis High School, came to TSU with a near 3.7 grade point average. In high school, the first-degree black belt was trumpet section leader and drum major in the marching band.

”Being a part of the band played a heavy role in my decision to come to Tennessee State University,” says Hollinger, adding that his interest in music developed by accident.

“When I was in the 9th grade, I had a choice of going to the marching band or joining some type of club in school. For some reason, the name marching band had a ring to it that appealed to me. I tried it out and it stuck with me. I liked the people; I really liked the atmosphere. After that, my love for music just grew.”

At TSU, Hollinger is a member of the world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands, a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society (with a 3.6 GPA), a member of the student branch of the Tennessee Educators Association, and a member of Eta Xi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America.

Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of bands, describes Hollinger as very mild-mannered and a hard worker who never complains.

“I just have been extremely pleased with him,” says McDonald. “He’s another example of how the Aristocrats don’t take lightly their responsibility as major ambassadors for our university, and also living the true-life student musician. That’s Jakori.”

With a concentration in instrumental music, Hollinger says he plans to go to graduate school to study composition and some day teach music on the secondary or collegiate level. Like most of his professors, who are TSU graduates, he would like to come back to his college alma mater to give back.

“All of them have been in the industry. They have actually done great things and are very successful,” says Hollinger, about his professors. “For most of them to come back and are teaching us the dos and don’ts on how to be successful in the business is amazing.”

Hollinger adds that TSU has been good to him. Many things stand out during his college career, but being a part of the Aristocrat of Bands as a freshman, when they performed for former President Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House, is one “I will never forget.”

“Hopefully, I plan to finish my career by being … an arranger/composer, as a way to give back to my alma mater,” says Hollinger.

For more information on the TSU Aristocrat of Bands, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/aristocratofbands/

Department of Media Relations

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

With more than 7,000 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.