Category Archives: EVENTS

TSU President Announces Aggressive Push To Enhance Campus Safety

Tennessee State University is leaving no stone unturned as the campus begins an aggressive push to enhance safety measures. In a press conference held this morning, President Glenda Glover announced a plan that included new initiatives while upgraded others to assure students, parents, alumni, and the public TSU is a safe and secure campus.

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TSU President Glenda Glover announces the University’s 10-Point Safety Enhancement Plan at a news conference Friday, as State Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr, and State Sen. Thelma Harper, both TSU alumni, watch. (Photo by John S. Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Glover laid out a 10-Point Safety Enhancement Plan developed in consultation with security and law enforcement experts, including Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson, Metro Police North Precinct Acting Commander Gregory Blair, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Director, Mark Gwyn, and a cross-section of individuals who represent the university in various capacities, to develop additional strategies for safety improvement. The plan addresses key concerns such as increasing visibility and patrols by police officers, strict enforcement of TSU’s ID policy, an active tip hotline, more frequent room inspections, and enhanced campus surveillance measures, among other crucial steps.

“The administration is taking a multifaceted approach to further enhance safety measures that strategically address the issue of insuring that there are no weapons or other illegal activity on our campus,” Glover said. “Having a weapon on campus is immediate grounds for expulsion from the university.”

Joining President Glover at the news conference were leaders from the University family including the student representative from the Campus Safety Commission Tarence Rice, Faculty and Staff Senate Chairs Jessica Gabriel and Dr. Michael Catanzaro, TSU Police personnel, members of TSU’s National Alumni Association, TSU Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Dwayne Tucker and Kevin Williams, alumni Senator Thelma Harper and Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and other community leaders.

“This plan calls for action, accountability and assessment by all, and all three are equally as important. And it starts with me,” Glover said. “Police, staff, faculty and students as well as the President will be held accountable for ensuring that this plan is implemented in a timely and professional fashion. This plan goes into action, not next week, not next month, and not next year, but now.”

The 10-Point Safety Enhancement Plan birthed out of two Town Hall meetings held with students who voiced their concerns about the TSU Police Department and other campus activities. Effective immediately, the TSU Police Department now reports to Glover.

“Metro police, particularly the North Nashville Precinct officers, have been a tremendous help in providing resources that will assist with our safety enhancement plan. The university is also grateful for the outpouring of support for our students and TSU as a whole, from alumni and supporters across the country.”

Below are the components of Tennessee State University’s 10-Point Safety Enhancement Plan:

  1. Increased visibility of the TSU police force.

We have a partnership with Metro Nashville Police, who have already joined with TSU PD in providing increased patrols on campus. We have also begun the process of hiring more TSU Police and Security Officers to fully implement the increased activity.

 2. The opening of a new TSU Police satellite office in the Floyd Payne Campus Center, near the courtyard area.

This satellite office will be fully operational beginning November 1, 2015. 

  1. Strict enforcement of the TSU ID policy, requiring students, faculty, and staff to wear IDs at all times.

We will strictly enforce TSU’s ID policy, which requires students, faculty, and staff to wear their campus-issued ID at all times. IDs must be worn visibly and not contained in a pocket, book bag or handbag. Fines will be imposed for individuals not wearing IDs. (The first time there will be a warning or referral. The second time is a $25 fine, and the third time is a $50 fine). The same policy will also apply to parking. Students and employees must show a campus-issued decal and ID to come on campus. Special IDs and parking passes will be issued to campus visitors. 

  1. The incorporation of a tip hotline, through our Red Flag System, that will allow individuals to report information anonymously. We also have a mobile TSU Safety App which can be downloaded to cellular phones.
  1. We are offering cash awards to students as a part of our See Something Say Something

This initiative encourages students to report suspicious activity to the TSU PD.

  1. The initiation of a Student Safety Patrol staffed by volunteers from male student organizations—which include fraternities, service organizations, and other related campus groups—to accompany individuals across campus.

The TSU Student Safety Patrol will consist of uniformed volunteers that will be strategically located across the campus for added patrol and provide assistance to students when requested. Recruitment has begun and will continue throughout the semester.

  1. More frequent room inspections in campus housing.

Room checks are randomly conducted if there is reasonable cause to believe that a student is using a residence facility for purposes that are illegal, constitute a hazard, or would seriously interfere with campus discipline.

  1. Enhanced surveillance on campus, including cameras and lighting will continue.
  1. Increased access control on campus through proximity readers.

We began this initiative with our classrooms and expand the program to include the Floyd Payne Student Center in approximately 3 weeks. Other campus buildings will come on-line throughout the year.

  1. The completion of Phase II of the fence project on TSU’s campus.

Phase I is approximately 75% complete. It is the existing fence with gates and access control from Kean Hall on 33rd to Hale Hall on Albion. In Phase II – we will continue the fence to other parts of the campus. It will start from the existing chain link fence behind the Torrence Hall Engineering Building to the TSU steam plant area.

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 receives $1 million commitment from health care giant, HCA

Tennessee State University is adding more funds to its scholarship coffers thanks to a generous gift announced by HCA today.

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HCA Chief Operating Officer Samuel N. Hazen, left,; TSU Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Eloise Abernathy Alexis; TSU President Glenda Glover; and HCA Chairman and CEO R. Milton Johnson.

As part of the company’s annual Caring for the Community campaign, TSU President Glenda Glover joined with hundreds of HCA employees in Nashville’s Centennial Park to celebrate the company’s commitment to partners and projects across the city. The gift of $1 million, which will come in intervals of $250,000 over the next four years, will support scholarships for students in health sciences disciplines.

“It is not unusual for us to announce gifts to city and local institutions, and this year we are pleased to announce a four-year commitment to Tennessee State University of $250,000 annually totaling $1 million in schol
arships to benefit students in the College of Health Sciences,” said R. Milton Johnson, HCA’s Chairman and CEO. “We are proud to support our neighbor, TSU, and we have many graduates who have done an outstanding job for us.”

President Glover said the scholarship support is needed as the university continues its efforts in producing well-educated and trained students to work in the health care arena. The College of Health Sciences currently offers degrees in 11 disciplines.

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Nashville Mayor Meagan Berry, Left; CEO R. Milton; and President Glenda Glover.

“Tennessee State University thanks HCA for their support and for consistently recognizing the talented young people we produce by investing in them,” Glover said. “This is not the first time HCA has backed TSU, and we appreciate yet another generous donation that will provide us the opportunity to recruit, graduate and prepare students for employment as top-notch health care professionals who deliver quality services across the country.”

HCA’s campaign encourages the elevation of four key pillars – learn, serve, give and lead – and has engaged 64 percent of HCA employees as volunteers with various organizations and causes, and 66 percent in giving, according to Johnson.

“HCA is woven into the fabric of communities,” Johnson said. “We are in the relationship business with our patients, physicians, vendors, each other and in our communities.”

Also, joining Johnson and Glover at the event were HCA Chief Operating Officer Samuel N. Hazen and Nashville Mayor Meagan Barry.

 

 

 

 

 

TSU Honors Students Prepare for Research, Networking Opportunities at NAAAHP Conference

Students from Tennessee State University will join more than 400 top Honors students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the country to share their research and engage in networking opportunities during the 24th Annual Conference of the National Association of African American Honors Programs to be held Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Nashville.

TSU, along with Fisk University, will host this year’s four-day event, which will bring together HBCU representatives at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Under the theme, “The Audacity of Vision: Dare to Dream,” the conference will feature a debate, quiz bowl, model U.N., and scholarly research presentations.

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Chase Richard

Chase Richard, a sophomore from Little Rock, Arkansas, will be among the students who plan to present research at the conference. He has worked with mentoring support and collaboration from TSU professor, Dr. Michael Ivey, on research focused on the feeding behaviors of sea anemone, for nearly two years.

“I will be sharing how sea anemones react to different stimuli in their environments and how it affects physiological factors such eating habits,” Richard said of his research. The 4.0 Biology major plans to pursue further studies toward his goal of becoming a medical doctor specializing in neuroscience. He is currently active with the TSU Chapter of the American Medical Student Association.

This is not the first time Richard has made conference presentations. He also presented research at the 2015 Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP) Conference, geared toward increasing undergraduate retention and graduation rates of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors. Additionally, he participated in TSU’s annual University-Wide Research Symposium last April. NAAAHP attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about his research finding on Saturday, Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.

“I wanted to meet other people and gain more experience in researching and building on my presentations,” he said. “After this semester, I will probably go more in-depth with studying sea anemones and their reproduction stages.”

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Anthony Moreland

Also joining the NAAAHP conference will be TSU student Anthony Moreland, a sophomore from Knoxville, Tennessee. With a 3.5 GPA, Moreland is also a Biology major who plans to go into the field of dentistry with a concentration on oral surgery. Moreland said he wanted to be involved in the NAAAHP Conference, which brings together Honors students, faculty, staff and professionals, as a volunteer as a way to expand his network.

“I wanted the opportunity to meet other Honors students from the different schools and get to know some new people,” Moreland said.

Founded in 1990, the NAAAHP addresses the “specific” needs of honors education for African-American students. Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of TSU’s Honors College, was elected to head the organization as president last October.

Among a few conference highlights include:

  • Presidential Address – Dr. Coreen Jackson, President, NAAAHP Saturday, Oct. 31, 3:30 p.m.
  • Inspirational Address – Dr. Glenda Glover, President, Tennessee State University
    Sunday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.
  • Career Fair and Graduate Expo
    Monday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m.-Noon
  • Awards Banquet – Dr. Bobby Jones, gospel artist and host of Bobby Jones Gospel, BET Network; and representatives for title sponsor, Kroger Co. through the African American Association Resource Group
    Monday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
    Tickets: $75

“We are extremely excited to be working with TSU and Fisk to bring this conference to Nashville,” Jackson said. “We expect this conference to be one of NAAAHP’s biggest and best because of the various elements we are bringing together. We invite businesses, corporations and graduate schools to participate in the various fairs showcasing some of the best and brightest students in the nation.”

For more information or questions on the 2015 NAAAHP Conference, contact Patricia Grace at (615) 730-1829.

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.

Metro Police Join Forces with Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has increased campus patrol with the addition of Metro Nashville Police officers. This comes following a shooting on campus Thursday night involving two males not enrolled at TSU. The combination of TSU Police Department and Metro law enforcement is part of the on-going relationship between the University and NPD.

“I want to thank Mayor Megan Barry and Metro Police for this

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President Glenda Glover

alliance to help provide a safe and nurturing environment for our students and peace of mind for their parents,” TSU President Glenda Glover said. “The last 48 hours have been a trying time for our University family, especially our students. My first priority is to assure them and their families that they are safe and will remain safe on campus. TSU’s partnership with Metro Police is not new. Chief (Steve) Anderson and I have talked in detail on many occasions regarding a strategic crime prevention initiative and have implemented phases of this plan to enhance what we are already doing on campus.”

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Mayor Megan Barry

Metro PD’s North Precinct began patrol Friday night with three walking teams of two officers under the supervision of a sergeant. The officers provided coverage around the residence halls and the immediate inner campus area. This included the student courtyard where Thursday’s shooting occurred. The increased walking patrol with the North Precinct officers will continue until a definite timetable has been established. The precinct will provide Flex Teams to increase visibility starting next week.

“This additional display of manpower should send a clear message to those individuals not associated with TSU that the University and City of Nashville will not tolerate you coming onto our campus to commit crimes or behave in an unlawful manner,” President Glover added.

TSU continues to assist Metro with the investigation. The University has turned over four-mounted surveillance cameras in addition to a thumb drive with video footage from the courtyard and adjacent areas. Metro released a portion of that video that showed two gunmen firing weapons into an open area near the courtyard. NPD has erected a “Sky Cop” camera until the cameras are returned and remounted.

“We are hopeful that the release of this video will encourage eyewitnesses to contact Metro Police via their tip hotline,” TSU Assistant Vice President of Public Relations and Communications Kelli Sharpe said. “The TSU Student Government Association organized a town hall meeting on Friday where they asked fellow students to be a part of the University’s crime prevention measures.  This means coming forward with any information regarding this heinous crime and to report any suspicious or unlawful activity when they see it occurring. Like Metro, TSU has confidential systems in place to report suspicious activity before it escalates into something more.”

One of the biggest concerns for the University has been controlling and monitoring non-TSU student traffic coming onto campus, University officials said.  Over the past year, $1 million was spent on surveillance cameras and equipment, lighting, IT and TSU PD personnel, mobile application technology, emergency notification equipment and transportation. The University also erected a new physical barrier, a wrought iron fence, on the east side of campus that begins at Boyd Hall, a male residence, and ends at the Performing Arts Center.

“Reassuring students and parents that we are committed to their well-being is important,” President Glover added. “The University’s collaboration with Metro PD, along with our upgrades, helps us to fulfill that priority.”

Students are asked to install the TSU emergency app on all their mobile devices and program the TSUPD dispatch number in their phones. Any information regarding the campus shooting should be reported to Crimestoppers at 615-74CRIME. There is a $6000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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 Marks 103rd Birthday With Procession, Speeches and Music

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is 103 years old today.

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State Rep. Harold M. Love Jr.

President Glenda Glover, accompanied by keynote speaker State Rep. Harold M. Love Jr., led a procession of faculty for a Founders’ Day celebration in Kean Hall, with cheers from the audience and selections from the University Wind Ensemble.

“This is a great day for Tennessee State University,” said President Glover, as she recounted events in the University’s history from its founding in 1912 to the role it plays today as a major center of education in the nation.

“From 1912 when the then-Agricultural and Industrial Normal School for Negroes, built to provide educational opportunity for blacks, opened its doors to the first 247 students, TSU has maintained a tradition of excellence in education for a diverse population,” Glover said.

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Members of the Student Government Association celebrate during the 2015 TSU Founders’ Day program in Kean Hall. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

In his keynote address, Rep. Love, a 1994 graduate of TSU, reminded administrators, teachers and students that they have a special role to play in maintaining the institution’s legacy of excellence. Teachers, he said, must learn to understand the special needs of each student to help that student succeed.

“Don’t be quick to give up on a student because he or she misses a class or two,” Love said. “That student may just grow up to become a state representative one day,” the Tennessee 58th District representative added, referring to his own path as a student.

Speaking on the theme, “Honor Our Legacy,” Love said those who laid the foundation for TSU, although under tough circumstances and with scarce resources, were determined to ensure that their students were well prepared for the world ahead of them.

“To honor that legacy, university administrators must learn to go the extra mile to help that student who may be late registering or in meeting his or her requirements for class,” said Love who has long ties to the university.

Love earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from TSU before going on to earn a master’s degree in Theological Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Administration at TSU. His late parents, Harold Love Sr., and Mary Y. Love, also attended TSU and was an administrator at the university for many years.

He thanked President Glover, also an alumnae, for the invitation and her own legacy of excellence in earning multiple degrees. He called on students to be more focused and away from the “gadgets.”

“Students, don’t rely on TV and all the gadgets out there. Be focused on your learning as your way of honoring the legacy of this great institution,” Love 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 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.

2015 TSU Homecoming offers Plethora of Exciting Events, activities and Fun

Kappas Unveil, Dedicate Alpha Theta Monument on Campus 

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President Glover, accompanied by several university officials, receives a check for $100,000 from Alpha Theta Network Affinity Chapter President Stephen C. Harvey, third from left, toward the Chapter’s endowment fund. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With thousands expected to watch the parade along Jefferson Street, and the football game in Nissan Stadium against conference rival Eastern Illinois on Saturday, the weeklong 2015 Homecoming celebration at Tennessee State University is offering more excitement each day. There is no shortage of activities to keep the throng of returning alumni, students, faculty, staff and visitors busy on or around campus or in the Music City.

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The new Alpha Theta Monument, called the Kappa Colonnade, was dedicated on the main campus Oct. 16. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

The festivities kicked off on Sunday, Oct. 11 with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest, followed by a gospel concert in Keane Hall. On Monday, student housing held their annual Battle of Residence Halls. Tuesday was the much anticipated “Blue Sapphire Awards,” the students’ version of the Emmy Awards. Wednesday’s highlight was the coronation of the new Mister TSU and Miss TSU. That honor went to Delvakio Brown, a senior Mass Communications major; and Tyra Laster, also a senior Mass Communications major, respectively. The coronation followed the Non-Greeks Organizations Yard Show.

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The TSU Alumni Cheerleaders perform during the 2015 Homecoming Student Pep Rally at Hale Stadium. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Class reunion, a key aspect of Homecoming, saw the reuniting of returning students from the Classes of 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. The reunion, along with the invitation-only Miss TSU Reception, and the Homecoming Concert with hip-hop superstar “Future,” rounded out the activities for Thursday.

On Friday, with the Ralph Boston Gold Tournament concluding after an early start, attention shifted to the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Its Alpha Theta Network Affinity Chapter of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Chapter unveiled and dedicated their new Alpha Theta Monument on the main campus.

Nearly 200 people, including TSU President Glenda Glover, other university officials and staff, as well as members of the 84-year-old chapter, were on hand to dedicate the monument called the Kappa Kolonade.

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Crowd estimated at more than 5,000 packed Hale Stadium Friday for the Homecoming Student Pep Rally. (Photo by Courtney Buggs).

Recognizing President Glover, a TSU alum herself, for her commitment to excellence and helping deserving students stay in school, Stephen C. Harvey, president of the ATN Chapter, said the monument is more than a “granite and concrete edifice.”

“it is a tribute to the hundreds of men initiated through the Alpha Theta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. since the chapter’s founding in 1931,” Harvey said. “It is also a continuation of our primary mission as a TSUNAA Affinity Chapter to grow our membership and raise money in support of TSU and its students.”

As part of their continuing financial commitment to scholarship and student support at TSU, the group presented a check for $100,000 to President Glover and thanked her for her vision to make TSU the best it can be. They also presented scholarships of $2,000 each to three students who are members of the chapter.

President Glover thanked the Kappas for their generous contribution to TSU over the years and for their dedication to helping students stay in school.

“We gather here to thank you for doing so much for TSU,” President Glover said. “We see you as dedicated people who, through this monument, have expanded their vision on this campus to ensure the continuing growth of this university and its students.”

As the dedication ended, attention shifted to the Student Pep Rally at Hale Stadium, where nearly 5,000 had gathered for music, dancing and a show like no other. The Charles Campbell Fish Fry on the President’s Lawn, another regular of Homecoming, went on simultaneously with the pep rally.

The evening rounded out with the annual Scholarship Gala at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville. Grammy-nominated and Tony Award winner Melba Moore was the featured guest, along with comedian, actor and entertainer Jonathan Slocumb, who was making his second straight appearance as celebrity host.

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.

Excitement Grows Over Top Hip-Hop Artist “Future’s” Appearance at 2015 Homecoming Concert

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With more than 3,000 tickets sold, the biggest presale for a student concert at TSU in the last three years, anticipation is growing for an appearance by one of the hottest hip-hop artists in the nation.

Future

Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, better known by his stage name “Future,” a BET Hip-Hop Award winner for “56 Nights,” will be the featured artist at the Homecoming Concert in the Gentry Complex Thursday. The concert starts at 7 p.m.

“Future,” also known for such albums as “Hottest” and “DS2,” which earned him his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in July, will be one of two major acts coming to TSU for the 2015 Homecoming celebration.

Grammy-nominated and Tony Award winner Melba Moore is also coming to the Music City. The R&B singer will be the featured guest at the Scholarship Gala Oct. 16 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville.

“I am very pleased to see our students so excited and happy with the events of Homecoming this year,” said Dr. Jame’l Hodges, assistant dean for Student Life, noting the students’ excitement about “Future” coming to their campus. “’Future’ was selected as the top choice by our students. Since then we have sold over 3,000 tickets for this event, which is the largest ticket sales we have had since my arrival in 2012. Each event has been standing room only and it truly embodies the spirit of homecoming.”

Tickets for the Homecoming Concert are $25 in advance and $40 at the door for students with valid college ID. General public tickets are $35 in advance and $50 at the door. For information call (615) 963-5644.

Tickets for the Scholarship Gala are $150 and available by calling 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.

TSU Honors Student and Environmental Activist Named 2015 HBCU All-Star For Academics, Leadership

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Lauren Wiggins’ goal is to make sure recycling bins are in the rooms of every residence hall on campus.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Lauren Wiggins, a Tennessee State University senior Health Sciences major with a passion for protecting the environment, has been selected a 2015 HBCU All-Star by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She was selected for her accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.

Wiggins, an Atlanta native with a 3.7 GPA, was among 83 All-Stars selected from more than 450 undergraduate, graduate and professional students who completed applications, transcripts, resumes, essays and letters of recommendations for consideration. The students represent 70 HBCUs from across the nation.

The All-Stars will serve as ambassadors of the White House Initiative providing outreach and communication with fellow students about the value of education and networking resources. Through social media and relationships with community-based organizations, the All-Stars will also share “proven practices” that support opportunities for young people to achieve their education and career potential, according to a White House release.

“As an All-Star I feel the White House Initiative saw something in me that I can use to further my university,” Wiggins said. “I love TSU and I have a great desire to do everything possible to promote the need for a clean environment.”

In announcing Wiggins and her fellow All-Stars, the White House Initiative said “the Obama administration is committed to promoting excellence, innovation and sustainability across our nation’s HBCUs.”

“This year’s class of All-Stars has distinguished themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate and noble ambassadors of their respective institutions,” said Ivory A. Toldson, WHIHBCUs’ acting executive director. “We are confident these impressive students will help the White House Initiative on HBCUs meaningfully engage with students, showcase their talent and advance our agenda to further academic excellence at HBCUs.”

Wiggins, whose musical talents led her to a full scholarship at TSU, switched majors to a concentration in Public Health with a minor in International Affairs. She developed an interest in the environment following a National Student Exchange program that took her to Towson University for a semester in 2013.

“This experience propelled my interest in the environment and provided a gateway to opportunities for advocacy,” she said. Since then, Wiggins has interned with the global environmental group, Greenpeace USA, during which she published an article, “Human Rights Abuses in the Seafood Supply Chain.” Currently, Wiggins serves as an executive member for Diversity Outreach for the Sierra Club of Middle Tennessee and recently completed an internship at the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation in New Hampshire to study people’s perceptions of ecosystem services.

In addition to her environmental work, Wiggins is a residence assistant in Ford Hall at TSU. Her goal is to make sure recycling bins are in the rooms of every residence hall on campus.

“Recycling bins are currently in the halls in general areas like the first floor reception area or outside the front door, but I actually want to make sure they are in the rooms to be sure students recycle,” said Wiggins, who is seeking ways to fund her project. “I feel fortunate to be an HBCU All-Star and use that as a platform to advance my cause.”

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 Celebrates Former National Association Presidents and Alumni Directors During 2015 Homecoming

By K. Dawn Rutledge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – In 2012, Tennessee State University celebrated the milestone of its 100th birthday. It was a special time for the university’s alumni, students, faculty, staff and the community at-large. Now, the university’s alumni have something else to celebrate – a century of excellence – recognizing the achievements of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association and those who have led alumni efforts over the past 100 years.

Robert Smith
Robert Smith (1998-2002)

Established in 1915 in Nashville, the TSUNAA has undergone a number of changes in direction and leadership – all leading to the growth of the association with members across the globe.

As part of the important work of chapters across the country, Tennessee State University is gearing up to salute all alumni for their dedication and support. The university will pay special tribute to those who have given their time in key leadership roles, specifically the former TSUNAA presidents, who will be recognized during 2015 Homecoming as the official Grand Marshals, and the former TSU alumni directors, who will be recognized as honorees.

James Ford
James Ford  (2002-2006)

The idea of an alumni association began to take shape in 1913 when a group of summer-session students anticipated forming such an organization following their graduation. A resolution was drafted formulating the idea of a national organization with elected officers – one president, one general secretary and one treasurer – along with one vice president and one secretary for each town or city. The idea was implemented by 19 members of the 1915 graduation class and 11 members of the 1914 class – all forming the first Alumni Association in June. Meredith G. Ferguson served as the association’s first national president.

After the institution changed from normal school to college status in 1922, President William Jasper Hale established an Office of the Alumni on campus in 1923. R.B.J. Campbell (’18) served as the first executive and corresponding secretary. Under the reorganization, Christopher C. Purdy (’22) became president, leading the association until 1928.

Ada Jackson
Ada jackson  (2006-2008)

“As an alum of Tennessee State, I am excited to celebrate the contributions of our alumni during the 2015 Homecoming celebration” said Cassandra Griggs (’93), director of the TSU Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “Each day I have the opportunity to connect with some outstanding alumni who are making the university proud through their professions, in their communities and around the world.”

Over the years, the TSUNAA has grown into a network of more than 3,000 national members in 40 active chapters. The association has been instrumental in supporting the institution its graduates fondly call their ‘alma mater’ by volunteering their time to recruit students, raise scholarship funds, and help to promote the academic and social advantages of a TSU education.

Leonard Stephens
Leonard Stephens (2008-2012)

Mary Knowles (’54, ’65), served as TSUNAA’s president from 1986 to 1990. She said she never intended to be president, but was “[I]pushed into it. I didn’t have sense enough to say no,” she laughed.

Despite her hesitancy to take on the highest-ranking leadership role for TSU alumni, Knowles’ tenure saw traction with a major focus on increasing membership and making sure people knew the benefits of a TSU education.

“We really tried to encourage chapters to give money to the TSU Foundation for student scholarships,” Knowles said. “We also spent a lot of energy encouraging alumni to recruit students to come to the school.”

Knowles worked at Meharry Medical College as registrar and director of admissions. She left in 1969 and headed to St. Louis and worked with Harry Stokes St. College as registrar and teacher certification before retiring in 2000 after 31 years.

“I know if it were not for my TSU education, I would not have had the life I have had, and the advantages and the opportunities to do what I wanted to do to be successful,” Knowles said.

James H. Ford, Jr. (’69), who served as TSUNAA president from 2002-2006, said under his administration he served two TSU presidents – Dr. James A. Hefner from 2002-2005, and Dr. Melvin N. Johnson from 2005-2006. Ford said that with the university’s Centennial so close at the time, he wanted to focus on preparing for that celebration.

“We put banners up on the campus announcing the countdown to centennial,” he said. “This was important because there are not many African-American businesses and organizations that make it to 100 years old.”

Leon King
Leon King, Alumni Director 1979-1990

Ford also initiated the Millennium Membership level for the TSUNAA, a new concept allowing graduates to join for a 10-year period as opposed to life membership. Also under his administration, Ford was instrumental in pushing for Vivien Thomas, a surgical technician who developed the procedure used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s, to be installed into the TSUNAA as an honorary alumni member. Emphasis was also placed on fundraising for scholarships and student recruitment under Ford’s administration.

Dr. Ada Jackson followed Ford as national president and focused on building regional attendance and membership. She was in tune with regional concerns due to her experience as the association’s Mid-South Regional vice president two years prior.

Chris Whitfield
Margaret Whitfield, Alumni Director 1990-2000

“Dr. Jackson worked closely with the university president to ensure that the national association provided the greatest level of support to program and events,” said Dr. Darlene Harris-Vasser, TSUNAA’s current executive secretary. “Dr. Jackson can be recognized for hosting one of the most successful National Alumni Association conventions in its history.”

Harris-Vasser added that many of the TSUNAA presidents were instrumental in trying to increase communications to and among alumni chapters and worked hard to strengthen the programs and activities of the national organization.

Michelle Viera
Michelle Viera, Alumni Director 2000-2011

The Grand Marshals for the 2015 Homecoming who will attend the Oct. 16 Scholarship Gala include:

  • Robert Smith, Esq., 1998-2002
  • James H. Ford, 2002-2006
  • Ada Jackson, Ph.D., 2005-2008
  • Leonard Stephens, 2008-2012

Former TSU alumni directors who will be honored are:

  • Leon King, 1979-1990
  • Margaret C. Whitfield, 1990-2001
  • Michelle Viera, 2001-2011

“One hundred years is a milestone that we should embrace and be proud about,” Griggs said. “I challenge all alumni to give a little more time and resources to support the education of future alumni years to come.”

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.

Tom Joyner Foundation Selects Tennessee State University October School of the Month

Nationally Syndicated Radio Show to Award Scholarships, Highlight TSU Accomplishments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is The Tom Joyner Foundation School of the Month for October. The designation was announced recently by the foundation, founded nearly 20 years ago by syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The TJF supports Historically Black Colleges and Universities with scholarship, endowment, and capacity building enhancements. Donations to the School of the Month scholarship campaign can be made through the Tom Joyner Foundation website at tomjoynerfoundation.org.

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Tom Joyner

“I’m so excited that the Foundation is partnering with the Tigers this month,” Joyner said. “You know, HBCUs are part of my DNA, and I’m glad that Tennessee State is working overtime to make sure that their students have a chance to get the scholarships they need to complete their education.  These scholars are the future leaders of this country. Let’s do all we can to help them succeed.”

TSU Dr Glenda Glover Fam Port 090513
President Glenda Glover

“We are pleased to partner with the Tom Joyner Foundation in this fundraising effort,” TSU President Glenda Glover said. “With the national exposure that comes with this designation, we expect to advance our visibility and capacity to help students stay in school.”

With the designation, The Tom Joyner Foundation will award scholarships weekly to TSU students. They will include five “Hercules Scholars,” who are preselected male students with “strong” academic and community service backgrounds. Also during the month, Joyner’s weekly morning program will feature TSU accomplishments, interviews with President Glenda Glover and other officials, as well as spotlight national and local donors who make significant contributions to the university.

Those selected as Tom Joyner Foundation Hercules Scholars are: Jaquantey Bowens, a sophomore Biology major with a 4.0 GPA; Ronald Talley, a junior Accounting major from Chicago with a 3.67 GPA; and Romin Geiger, a junior Psychology major from Sacramento, California, with a 3.80 GPA.

Also selected as Hercules Scholars are Renard Talley, a junior Accounting major from Chicago with 3.74 GPA; and Jordan Price, a sophomore Mass Communication major from Atlanta, with a 3.5 GPA.

Hercules Scholars are males, full-time students with GPAs of 3.5 or higher, exhibit academic excellence, demonstrate leadership skills, and have performed community service.

Eloise Abernathy Alexis, TSU’s associate vice president for Institutional Advancement, said the collaboration with The Tom Joyner Foundation supports the university’s strategy to increase dollars raised toward scholarships for students.

“We are grateful for the opportunities afforded deserving Tennessee State University students through the Hercules Scholarship.  Without the stress associated with financial need, these emerging scholars can focus on academic achievement.  The Tom Joyner Foundation’s support of students through scholarships represents the best in educational partnerships,” Alexis said.

The Tom Joyner School of the Month fundraising campaign coincides with a number of activities at TSU in October. The University is gearing up for its annual Scholarship Gala at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville on Friday Oct. 16, as part of the 2015 Homecoming events Oct. 11-17. Grammy-nominated and Tony Award winner Melba Moore will be the featured guest at the Gala. Also, making his second straight appearance as celebrity host of the Gala is comedian, actor and entertainer Jonathan Slocumb.

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.