Category Archives: FACULTY

Legacy of TSU alum, adjunct professor Getahn Ward continues through scholarship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A year after his death, Getahn Ward continues to be remembered, and those who were close to the Tennessee State University adjunct professor do not expect him to be forgotten.

Sunday, Dec. 16, was the one-year mark of Ward’s death. He was a longtime adjunct in TSU’s Department of Communications and a proud alum of the university. He was also a business reporter at The Tennessean for nearly 20 years.

Shortly after his death, a scholarship in the Communications Department was set up in Ward’s name, and the department’s multimedia newsroom was also named after him.

The new scholarship is the first endowed scholarship in the history of the department.

“This scholarship represents a man who devoted much of his life to the field of journalism and to the education and success of students at Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Tameka Winston, Communications Department chair, and associate vice president of Research and Institutional Advancement.

Dr. Karen Dunlap, a former TSU adjunct professor and colleague of Ward, said the impact he had in the classroom and in the community as a reporter is “lasting.”

“He left an excellent impression,” said Dunlap. “The scholarship is important because it is a name that will remain before students. And they will learn about him; they will have a model in him as they go forward as journalist.”

Dwight Lewis, a former Tennessean editor who worked with Ward, agreed.

“He gave his all,” said Lewis. “I hope students will look at his life and say, I want to be like Getahn Ward.”

To contribute to the Getahn Ward Endowed Scholarship Fund, visit

https://epay.tnstate.edu/C20204_ustores/web/classic/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=401&SINGLESTORE=true.

 

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.

High achieving sophomore seeks to help others obtain success, excellence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When she was in high school, Amiya Ingram motivated her peers to be successful. Come graduation time, she wanted to find a higher education institution that would do the same, and Tennessee State University won her heart.

“I felt the family-oriented environment as soon as I came to tour TSU,” says Ingram, now a sophomore. “I knew it was the place for me.”

Amiya Ingram

A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Ingram fully embraces TSU’s tagline: “Excellence Is Our Habit.” The mechanical engineering major has a 3.3 grade point average, and she’s also a member of the Aristocrat of Bands’ Royal Elegance Flag Corp. Her freshman year at TSU, Ingram was selected to be a member of the Ron McNair Scholars Program, as well as the Blue Scholars Entrepreneurship program.

She says what she likes most about TSU is the care and concern she receives from administrators and faculty. Despite their busy schedules, they make time to listen to students, to mentor them.

“I have a good relationship with my dean,” says Ingram, who is a former president of the TSU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. “You get to have one-on-one relationships with people that are usually hard to get to.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, says there’s more to students’ “education than in the classroom and laboratory.”

“We hope to develop a more complete TSU graduate, one that possesses leadership skills, has a global consciousness and awareness, and technical competence,” says Hargrove. “Ms. Ingram demonstrates that educational journey as an engineering student, and we believe she reflects the mission of Tennessee State University … to Think-Work-Serve!”

Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of the famed Aristocrat of Bands, agrees with Hargrove, which is why he sends his students a motivational quote each morning.

“I want them to know that I am like them in that I had a lot of professors/teachers who took interest in me as a person,” says McDonald.

Ingram says she appreciates McDonald’s attentiveness.

“He treats us like we’re his kids,” she says. “He keeps my head up, keeps me going.”

Ingram says such attention by Hargrove, McDonald and others at TSU motivates her even more to do what she can to assist fellow students, like helping them find internships.

“I’ve had a few internships,” says Ingram, who will be traveling to New York City this summer to intern at Bank of America in global information systems technology.

“I like to help people find internships that match them, or research opportunities. I also try to act as an encourager for people.”

Ingram says she also enjoys community activities similar to the prom dress drive she initiated her senior year in high school.

“We basically got everyone to bring in their old prom dresses, and we gave them back to the community,” says Ingram, adding that such events also serve as a recruitment tool by “creating a personal relationship with individuals who are thinking about attending Tennessee State University.”

Ingram is among a new recruit of high achievers the university is targeting to attract the best and brightest students, since TSU raised its admission standards about two years ago. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

Ingram says she loves the changes TSU is making, such as recent groundbreakings that include construction of two new residence halls and a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building.

She says she constantly boasts about the university because she wants prospective high school graduates to experience the “excellence” that she now does.

“Tennessee State University has been a stepping stone to success,” says Ingram. “I brought my hard-work mentality to the university and they provided the opportunity, and for that I say thank you.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Engineering, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/.

To read more about the Aristocrat of Bands, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/aristocratofbands/.

 

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.

 

 

 

Nearly 2,000 Children Benefit in Toy Distribution at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As the holiday season takes hold, Tennessee State University is making sure children in the area have something to cheer about.

On Saturday, nearly 1,000 parents walked away with at least two toys each for their children during the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve Toys for Tots distribution on the TSU main campus. Organizers said nearly 2,000 children were served – on an average of two kids per parent.

Thousands of toys of different sizes and shapes, for boys and girls up to age 12, were collected and distributed. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Volunteers, including TSU students, staff, alumni, and representatives from area charitable organizations and churches, helped with the distribution in Kean Hall.

This was the result of a partnership between TSU and the Marine  Corp Reserve in its annual toy distribution program. Prior to Saturday, TSU served as the official drop-off center for donated toys.

Alexandra Wescott, a junior child development major from Akron, Ohio, and Dwight-Christopher Terry, a senior electrical engineering major from Memphis, Tennessee, were among volunteers helping parents to gather and secure toys for their children.

“This was just a humbling experience for me,” said Wescott, her first volunteer work outside her Akron hometown. “It feels great and very fulfilling to do something that brings so much joy to children and it is just nice to be involved with my school in such a wonderful exercise.”

Volunteers at the Toys for Tots distribution included TSU students, staff, alumni and representatives from charitable and church organizations. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

For Terry, volunteering in the community is not new. His Generation of Educated Men, a student community service group, which he heads as president, has been involved in food, clothing and other drives in the area. The group was also involved with bringing the TSU-Marine Corp partnership to fruition, along with Simply United, a non-profit that coordinates the pickup of donated toys from Toys for Tots.

“I am full of joy and feel a big relief that we are finally able to give out the toys to the community because it took so much energy to put it together, as far as donation, volunteers and so forth,” Terry said. “Although we are a student organization, the TSU administration, especially (associate dean) Dr. William Hytche, took us very seriously when the discussion started to bring the Toys for Tots program on campus.”

Associate Dean, Dr. William Hytche, coordinator of the Toys for Tots program for TSU, speaks to a News Channel 2 reporter. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As part of the partnership with the Marine Corp – the first with a university in the Nashville, Davidson County area – TSU received unwrapped toys for children up to age 12 through December 14.

“This has been quite a rewarding experience for our students, staff and all who volunteered in this great effort,” associate dean Hytche said. “The Tennessee State University family is so excited to partner with the Marine Corp and Simply United, through its local representative, Ms. Benetta M. Sears and her volunteers. We are just so thankful.”

Sgt. C. J. Bowling, Marine Corp training chief, is the coordinator for Toys for Tots. He said other institutions in the area have helped in the past with the toy drive, but TSU is the first university the Marine Corp has partnered with in its distribution effort.

“I like the opportunities that TSU offers,” Bowling said. “TSU was selected because it has the facilities to handle our traffic flow both for toy donation and access to people to be served. Moreover, people at TSU have been so gracious. From the associate dean, to the people in your facilities management and the Air Force unit, they have done everything we have wanted and requested.”

For more information on Toys for Tots at TSU, call Dr. William Hytche at 615-963-5069.

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 hosts Opportunity Zone training session

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Business partnered with the state Department of Economic and Community Development on Wednesday to educate local stakeholders on the benefit of Opportunity Zones.

Mayor David Briley welcomed prospective investors to the Opportunity Zone training session in the Avon Williams Campus auditorium and encouraged them to take advantage of the legislation, particularly in Nashville.

The Qualified Opportunity Zone community development benefit was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed last year. The federal benefit is designed to encourage long-term investment in low-income communities through Qualified Opportunity Funds.

There are 176 tracts in Tennessee that are approved Opportunity Zones. Twenty of the zones are in Nashville, and TSU’s main campus is located in one of them.

“This Opportunity Fund concept gives us another vehicle to attract investors, so that we can do targeted developments in our communities,” said Isaac Addae, an assistant professor in TSU’s College of Business.

Isaac Addae, assistant professor in TSU’s College of Business, thanks Mayor Briley for attending session. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Investors choosing to re-invest their capital gains into opportunity funds can earn three types of federal capital gains tax benefits: temporary deferral, a step-up in basis, and permanent exclusion on capital gains accrued after the initial investment. Additionally, Opportunity Zone investments can be paired with almost any federal, state or local incentive. Qualifying investments include multifamily housing, industrial development, brownfield redevelopment, retail development, operating businesses and a variety of other investments.

According to state officials, the goal of the training session (one of several across the state this month) is to educate stakeholders on how Opportunity Zones can be implemented throughout the state. Each session pairs potential investors with projects, reviews various use case scenarios and provides time for open discussion.

Jack Armstrong, a commercial real estate broker, attended the session at TSU and said it was beneficial.

“It’s a good opportunity for us brokers and people in the real estate world to get a better understanding of what’s out there and how we can better service our clients,” said Armstrong.

To learn more about Opportunity Zones, visit https://www.tn.gov/ecd/opportunity-zones.html

To learn more about TSU’s College of Business, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/business/.

 

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 marks historic milestone during fall commencement with Executive MBA Program graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University added another page to the institution’s historical achievements when its first Executive MBA class walked the stage at the 2018 fall commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 8.

The 22-member group received degrees in August, but wanted to mark the special moment by participating in the graduation exercise.  The significance of their achievement was highlighted when TSU President Glenda Glover acknowledged the class and asked them to stand.

“It was extremely exciting and gratifying to see the first cohorts of the TSU executive MBA culminate this historic journey by participating in fall commencement,” said TSU President Glover. “TSU is Nashville’s only 4-year public institution and it just made sense that we have a business program tailored for the corporate community, the working professional. Our executive MBA has national and global appeal, as evident from some of the students that were from as far away as Colorado, and also internationally, representing Italy.”

The 12-month program, which started last fall, was delivered in a hybrid format consisting of both in-person and online course offerings. One local student was Dr. Anita Sykes-Smith. Dr. Sykes-Smith has a long and successful career as a dentist and medical school professor. However, she felt something was missing professionally, and looked to Tennessee State University to fill that gap.

Last August, she joined the 21 other cohorts of career professionals, industry executives, a college dean and independent consultants for the inaugural class of the newly launched TSU Executive MBA program. Like Sykes-Smith, they were also looking for that missing link with the desire to move their careers to a higher level of success — and TSU provided it.

“The opportunity to attend a 12-month MBA program that provided a world-class management education while continuing my career is priceless,” said Sykes-Smith, a general dentist and assistant professor at Meharry Medical College.

“I believe the program accomplished its goal of inspiring participants to be constantly learning, building new skills, and stretching to take on new challenges.”

Sykes-Smith added that the program helped enhance her skills and knowledge by providing insight into management strategies and analysis for problem solving, which she believed will be extremely beneficial to her career.

Business professors and seasoned professionals with industry and business background such as current and former company executives, taught the program. Among them was President Glover, a certified public accountant with a high level of experience in the corporate world.

Program participants also had the opportunity to spend 10 days studying outside the United States to broaden their understanding of global leadership.

David Pelton, a member of the graduating class, has been in the business world as an independent consultant in marketing and government relations for more than 20 years. But just like Sykes-Smith, he needed a brush-up in accounting and how to deal with personalities in the workplace. He said the TSU MBA program was just what he needed.

“This program helped me gain knowledge and develop better skills and understanding of things I thought I knew in serving my clients,” said Pelton. “I travel quite a lot in my business and the program design worked perfectly to do class work, as well as serve clients.”

Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, dean of the College of Business, said the goal of the EMBA program was to offer an affordable, convenient, accredited, business curriculum for busy business professionals.

“Congratulations to our first graduating class of outstanding individuals for their achievement,” Lownes-Jackson said. “In one short year, EMBA program participants have acquired critical business knowledge, along with readily applicable global business and leadership strategies that will enable them to make an immediate and profound impact.”

Anis Mnif, director of graduate programs in the College of Business, agreed.

“The Executive MBA provided participants a strong foundation for a thriving career,” Mnif said “It combined cutting-edge research results and theory provided by our renowned faculty and real-life practical examples made available through the rich executive-level experiences of the program’s Executives in Residence.”

Other members of the inaugural EMBA graduating class included: Joyce A. Barbour, Janet E. Blakemore, Rosalyn D. carpenter, JoAnn A. Carter-Almore, Frederick W. Cawthon, Samuel K. Hargrove, Bradley C. Jackson, Debbie Jacobs, Latrisha Jemison, Marrecco D. Johnson, Tonya C. Kilpatrick and Matthew W. Muterspaugh.

Also graduating were: Stefania Placentini, Sharon W. Reynolds, Yvonne J. Sanders, Leah Sarnicola, Wilma K. Sharpe, Deborah K. Williams and Grant L. Winrow.

A second class for the TSU EMBA started in August and had 20 cohorts. For more information on the TSU Executive MBA program, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/mba/e_mba.aspx or call 615-963-7295.

NOTE: Featured photo 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.

TSU College of Business hosts Opportunity Zone training session

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Business is partnering with the state Department of Economic and Community Development to educate local stakeholders on the benefit of Opportunity Zones.

An Opportunity Zone training session will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the Avon Williams Campus Auditorium downtown. Nashville Mayor David Briley is scheduled to speak.

The Qualified Opportunity Zone community development benefit was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed last year. The federal benefit is designed to encourage long-term investment in low-income communities through Qualified Opportunity Funds.

There are 176 tracts in Tennessee that are approved Opportunity Zones, and TSU’s main campus is located in one of them.

“This Opportunity Fund concept gives us another vehicle to attract investors, so that we can do targeted developments in our communities,” said Isaac Addae, an assistant professor in TSU’s College of Business.

Investors choosing to re-invest their capital gains into opportunity funds can earn three types of federal capital gains tax benefits: temporary deferral, a step-up in basis, and permanent exclusion on capital gains accrued after the initial investment. Additionally, Opportunity Zone investments can be paired with almost any federal, state or local incentive. Qualifying investments include multifamily housing, industrial development, brownfield redevelopment, retail development, operating businesses and a variety of other investments.

According to state officials, the goal of the training session is to educate stakeholders on how Opportunity Zones can be implemented throughout the state. The session will pair potential investors with projects, review various use case scenarios and provide time for open discussion.

“We place a heavy emphasis on attracting and expanding businesses to Tennessee’s low-income communities, and with the assistance of the Opportunity Zone benefit, these communities will have another advantage to grow and create more jobs and opportunities,” said TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe.

To learn more about TSU’s College of Business, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/business/.

 

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.

Siblings Establish Endowed Scholarship At TSU To Honor Parents

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will soon offer a new scholarship opportunity for residents of Columbia County, Georgia, thanks to Helen Young and her siblings.

The John and Adline Starks Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund, named in honor of Young’s parents, will provide financial assistance to a student from Columbia County who wishes to attend TSU.

Young, a graduate of the University of Georgia, said they chose to establish the scholarship at TSU because of positive experiences with the university.

“I have been fortunate over the last six or seven years to attend a number of the TSU scholarship galas. I’ve been able to attend some of the homecoming festivities, and actually been able to meet some of the folks who are graduates of Tennessee State, and I have been so impressed with knowing their dedication to TSU,” she said. “They have a sense of family, and they really have a caring, it-takes-a-village approach to their education of students at TSU.”

Helen Young with her daughter Georgeanna A. Young, who graduated with a master’s of public health from TSU in August 2018.

Although John and Adline Starks are not TSU alums, Young’s daughter, Georgeanna A. Young, earned a master’s of public health from the university in August. Helen said she witnessed first hand the “vested interest” Georgeanna’s professors played in her success.

“It was just overwhelming to see that kind of emphasis put on my child,” Helen said. “I think it’s just an incredible testament to the administration at Tennessee State University, as well as the alumni.”

Betsy Jackson Mosley, executive director of the TSU Foundation, said the endowed scholarship will be awarded to students beginning in 2021.

“Endowed scholarships like this one will help students for years to come. And then they also leave a legacy for family,” Jackson said. “It’s really good that particular families who have members to attend or deep connections to TSU are able to recognize their loved ones this way and know that it will always be here.”

Helen, who along with her sister Roberta integrated the Columbia County School System in the 1960s, said her parents would have been proud to be connected to the legacy of an institution like Tennessee State University.

“I know my parents would have never been able to get into the University of Georgia when they were of age to go to college because of the color of their skin,” she said. “The only options they would have had would have been a historically black university or some small community college, maybe.”

John Henry and Adline Beatrice Starks were born and reared in rural Edgefield County South Carolina. John served in the military during WWII and was a Baptist minister. Adline, a homemaker, was a devoted wife and mother who taught her children how to work hard and lead productive lives. Helen said her parents taught them to “speak up when they saw injustice and not back down in the face of adversity.”

Helen Young serves as the assistant vice president for shared services center operations at Parallon Business Solutions, a subsidiary of Hospital Corporation of America responsible for providing services in the areas of revenue cycle, group purchasing, supply chain, technology, workforce management, and consulting services.

 

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.

Use Education to Inspire Change and Impact Lives, TSU Commence Speaker Tells More Than 700 Graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “As TSU degree holders, you have been equipped with a high-quality education and the power to make a substantive change in the lives of people in your community and the world,” Dr. Shawn Joseph, a longtime educator, told the fall graduating class at Tennessee State University on Dec. 8.

Joseph, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, reminded the graduates of the role TSU students played to bring about social justice and change in Nashville and across the nation during the civil rights movement.

President Glover accompanies commencement speaker, Dr. Shawn Joseph, during the procession in Gentry Complex. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“It was only 58 years ago that brave students, who walked the same halls you have walked on this sacred land, strived to create a more just and equitable America.” Joseph said. “Those students, equipped with the same degree that you are earning today, understood that their lives had a purpose.”

At the commencement ceremony in the Gentry Complex, more than 700 received degrees in various disciplines. They included members of the inaugural class of the TSU Executive MBA program.

In her welcome remarks, TSU President Glenda Glover thanked Joseph for agreeing to be the fall commencement speaker, and congratulated the graduates for their accomplishments.

“You have endured and prepared yourselves to reach this goal which may have seemed unattainable, but you stuck with it,” Glover said. “You must always remember that you did not accomplish this goal all by yourselves. There were parents, relatives, friends and mentors who helped you along the way. Remember to thank them.”

More than 700 graduates received degrees in various disciplines. (Photo by Lalita Hodge, TSU Media Relations)

In his speech, Joseph told the graduates that to be leaders for social justice, they must never be afraid to advocate for what is right, learn to persevere and be resilient, and remember that leaders serve people and purpose.

“Certainly, earning a degree is about educating yourself, and it is also about recognizing that you have a responsibility to help things go right for others,” Joseph said. “ Remember excellence comes from within, not from what you have. TSU has prepared you to find strength through your faith, your family, your friends and you can push forward. It’s not what people call you it’s what you answer to.”

Kelley Williams, a Nashville native, who received a bachelor’s degree in social work with high honors, said she was inspired by Joseph’s speech.

Undergraduate honorees celebrate by moving their tassels from right to  left  indicating their graduation from college. (Photo by Ramona Whitworth-Wiggins)

“I listened to every word keenly and especially what he said about the quality of a TSU degree,” said Williams, who plans on returning to TSU to pursue her master’s degree. “I love TSU and I am glad I came.”

Anthony Moreland, from Knoxville, Tennessee, who received his bachelor’s degree in biology, also with high honors, agreed with Williams on earning a TSU degree.

“Graduating today is a great accomplishment,” said Moreland, whose twin sister graduated from TSU a semester ahead of him. “Graduating for me is a big deal, not only because I had to catch up with my sister, but because I had a lot of family members who came here and did very well.”

Moreland plans on going to medical school, with Meharry Medical College his top choice.

NOTE: Featured photo 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.

TSU professor, students unveil historical marker recognizing victims of Nashville’s slave market

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A historical marker that recognizes victims of the second largest slave port in Tennessee was unveiled downtown Friday thanks to the efforts of a Tennessee State University professor and his students.

Dr. Learotha Williams next to marker. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations).

The marker is located at the corner of 4th Avenue North and Charlotte Avenue.

Preceding the Civil War, the space, which stretched to the city’s Public Square, was the center of slave trade in Nashville.

TSU President Glenda Glover joined state and local officials, historians and members of the community at the unveiling ceremony.

“We gather to honor the memory of hundreds of slaves who helped to build this city and state, laying the foundation for what we have become, one of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan areas,” said Glover.

Dr. Learotha Williams, an associate professor of history at TSU who spearheaded the erection of the marker, echoed her sentiment when he talked about the slaves and what they endured.

“We acknowledge your pain, we recognize your strength, and we honor your sacrifice,” said Williams.

He said the idea for the marker stemmed from a discussion in one of his classes about the history of Nashville’s slave market, and the trauma inflicted upon countless men, women and children when they were torn from their loved ones.

Williams said his students wanted to know why there wasn’t some type of memorial for the slaves. One student suggested to Williams: “Why don’t you write up a proposal; you can be the one to get it done.”

And so he did, with the help of his students and members of the community. The Tennessee Historical Commission approved the marker in June.

A cross section of city and state officials and residents join TSU President Glenda Glover (8th from left), and TSU history Professor Dr. Learotha Williams (5th from left) for the unveiling of a historic marker honoring the memory of victims of the slave trade. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Patrick McIntyre, executive director and state historic preservation officer for the Tennessee Historical Commission, attended Friday’s ceremony.

“This is the most significant marker to be erected during my years as director,” he said. “It’s a very serious and painful reminder of an everyday fact of life that existed in Nashville.”

The slave traders that lined the thoroughfare provided prospective buyers reliable access to enslaved blacks whom they bought, sold, or traded for their own use or resale in other areas of the Deep South.

“Nashville was the second largest slave port in the state,” said Williams. “So, if you’re looking at a black person from here that has roots in Tennessee, chances are their ancestors came in through that space.”

TSU history student Meshach Adams said the marker unveiling was a proud moment.

“It means a lot, having this recognition of what happened here, especially in remembrance of our ancestors,” said Adams, who is a senior in one of Williams’s classes. “It’s a beautiful moment.”

TSU senior Shayldeon Brownlee, who is also a student of Williams, said the marker will hopefully cause future generations to reflect on what happened there.

“Some people want to forget, especially in this day and age,” said Brownlee. “But it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a part of history, it’s a part of us.”

Chakita Patterson is the founder of United Street Tours, which provides African-American history and cultural walking tours in downtown Nashville. She plans to make the marker part of her tour.

“This is so important because a lot of the missing history and the hidden history in Nashville is now being uncovered,” said Patterson. “A lot of people don’t know how significant black history, and black culture is here.”

Dr. Bobby Lovett is a national historian and former TSU history professor. He said African-Americans arrived at Fort Nashborough (a forerunner to the settlement that would become the city of Nashville) in December 1779 with the first European American settlers. Enslaved and free blacks comprised about 26 percent of Nashville’s population by 1860. The sale of slaves ended once the Union occupied Nashville in 1862.

“A historical marker is appropriate for this sacred part of Nashville’s history, which reminds us that lessons of our past can help with understandings of the present, and guide us toward making better decisions in the future,” said Lovett.

To learn about Dr. Learotha Williams’s other endeavors, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/nnhp/index.aspx

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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 history professor, students get historical marker erected to remember victims of Nashville’s slave market

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A historical marker that remembers the victims of Nashville’s slave market has been erected downtown due to the efforts of a Tennessee State University professor and his students.

Dr. Learotha Williams

The marker will be unveiled at 12 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, at the corner of 4th Avenue North and Charlotte Avenue.

Preceding the Civil War, the space, which stretches to the city’s Public Square, was the center of slave trade in Nashville. The slave traders that lined the thoroughfare provided prospective buyers reliable access to enslaved blacks whom they bought, sold, or traded for their own use or resale in other areas of the Deep South.

“Nashville was the second largest slave port in the state,” says Dr. Learotha Williams, an associate professor of history at TSU who spearheaded the erection of the marker. “So, if you’re looking at a black person from here that has roots in Tennessee, chances are their ancestors came in through that space.”

Dr. Bobby Lovett is a national historian and former TSU history professor. He says African-Americans arrived at Fort Nashborough (a forerunner to the settlement that would become the city of Nashville) in December 1779 with the first European American settlers. Enslaved and free blacks comprised about 26 percent of Nashville’s population by 1860. The sale of slaves ended once the Union occupied Nashville in 1862.

“A historical marker is appropriate for this sacred part of Nashville’s history, which reminds us that lessons of our past can help with understandings of the present, and guide us toward making better decisions in the future,” says Lovett.

Williams says the idea for the marker stemmed from a discussion in one of his classes about the history of Nashville’s slave market, and the trauma inflicted upon countless of men, women and children when they were torn from their loved ones.

Williams says one of his students asked, “Dr. Williams, why don’t we have a marker or something down there for these people?” He says he honestly didn’t know why. Then the student said: “Why don’t you write up a proposal; you can be the one to get it done.”

And so he did, with the help of some of his students. The Tennessee Historical Commission approved the marker in June.

TSU student Shayldeon Brownlee, a senior in one of Williams’ classes, says the marker will hopefully cause future generations to reflect on what happened there.

“Some people want to forget, especially in this day and age,” says Brownlee. “But it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a part of history, it’s a part of us.”

To learn about Dr. Learotha Williams’s other endeavors, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/nnhp/index.aspx

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.