Category Archives: NEWS

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.

R&B Legend Melba Moore to Highlight TSU 2015 Homecoming Celebration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Grammy-nominated and Tony Award winner Melba Moore is coming to the Music City. The R&B singer will be a part of Tennessee State University’s 2015 Homecoming activities. Events are October 11 – 17.

2014 Gala
President Glenda Glover and gospel legend and TSU graduate Bobby Jones, greet former TSU great and Football Hall of Fame inductee Claud Humphrey, sitting right, and his daughter, Claudia Humphrey, at last year’s Scholarship Gala in downtown Nashville. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Moore, noted for her Billboard #1 hit singles “Falling,” and “A Little Bit More,” a duet with Freddie Jackson, will have a special performance during TSU’s annual Scholarship Gala. Her performance is Friday, Oct. 16 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville. Tickets are $150 and available by calling 615-963-5481.

Also, making his second straight appearance as celebrity host of the Gala is comedian, actor and entertainer Jonathan Slocumb.

Jonathan Slocumb 2
Jonathan Slocumb

“We brought in Jonathan Slocumb last year and attendees were very excited, so we decided to bring him back again,” said Dr. Sharon Peters, chair of the Scholarship Gala Committee. “This year, we are fortunate and excited to have Melba Moore to highlight the event. Her involvement takes the Gala to a whole different level in our effort to raise scholarships for our students.”

Other major highlights of the 2015 Homecoming are the parade along Jefferson Street and the football game featuring the TSU Tigers against conference rivals Eastern Illinois on Saturday. Former presidents of the TSU National Alumni Association will serve as grand marshals of the parade.

“TSU: Celebrating 100 Years of Alumni Excellence” is the theme for this year’s Homecoming. According to Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations, the 2015 Homecoming is dedicated to alumni.

“Yes, 2015 marks 100 years that our National Alumni Association has been actively engaged in ensuring the life and legacy of TSU is present for generations to come,” Griggs said. “Through the support of our alumni, we continue to see great things happen here and look forward to 100 more years of involvement and support.“

Michelle Viera, former director of Alumni Affairs and chair of the Homecoming Committee, will be among three former alumni directors receiving special recognition during this year’s celebration.

For more information on the 2015 Homecoming Celebration, visit www.tnstate.edu for a complete list of activities and ticket information.

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.

In One-On-One Interview, TSU President Discusses Successes, Challenges of Her Administration

Courtesy of the Tri-State Defender

Firmly anchored in the present, Tennessee State University President – and Memphis product – Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover takes a look back to her January 2013 start and peeks forward in a sit-down exclusive with the “Tri-State Defender.”

Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover took over as president of TSU in January 2013 with a five-point plan: (1) academic progress and customer service, (2) fund raising and partnerships, (3) diversity and inclusion, (4) shared governanceand (5) business outreach.

Interview
Eloise Abernathy Alexis, the new associate vice president for Institutional Advancement, left, and President Glenda Glover talk to Karanja Kajanaku, editor of The New Tri-State Defender during an interview in the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“It’s an honor to have grown up in Memphis and then to attend TSU and then to come back as president. It’s such an awesome blessing and I don’t take that lightly. I don’t for any reason think that that is a given,” said Glover during an interview at The Peabody Hotel as the Southern Heritage Classic Weekend of activities unfolded. “I know there are expectations. You asked if there was something the alumni expected. They demand accountability and rightly so. … I am enjoying it, embracing it,” she said, tipping her hat to a quality team of administrators.

Together, and with the support of alumni, the team has managed to increase enrollment, even as enrollment at the other five Tennessee Board of Regents universities stayed the same or declined. And it has done so against the challenge presented by the Tennessee Promise initiative, which offers two years of tuition-free community or technical college to Tennessee high school graduates beginning with the Class of 2015.

Karanja A. Ajanaku: On a macro level, what do you see as the purpose of a university?

Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover: A university exists for more than one reason. It exists first to educate students, to impart the knowledge they will need to function in their daily lives in a professional arena. Then secondly, it is to improve the wellbeing, the overall well roundedness of our students. That’s what a university is for.

KAA: So coming down to the micro level and looking at Tennessee State, how well do you say you are doing?

Dr. Glover: We are doing an outstanding job of educating students. Over the years I can give you the names of TSU alums who have done well and made their marks on life. We continue to carry out our mission of serving a population that really needs us. We serve largely Tennessee students but we are open to all students who apply and meet the standards and criteria we have set for TSU and approved by our governing boards.

KAA: Coming in, you had something in your mind, like a baseball manager with a three to five year plan. A few years in, where do you see that you are relative to the plan that you came in with?

Dr. Glover: We are on track, maybe a little bit ahead of schedule. When I came, I had a five-point vision. I knew it would take three to five years. First and foremost was student progress, make sure students are progressing as speedily as necessary through the academic system. (And) to improve the customer service as it related to students. Students who go to TSU deserve the right and opportunity and support they need to graduate. And that is our mission. To get the students the proper amount of knowledge and understanding so that when they are deposited back into the larger community, the larger world, they will be able to function and excel.

KAA: So you had plan and you come in. Did you find anything that you didn’t expect and you said, “Wow, I’ve got to adjust my plan?”

Dr. Glover: There were some things that caught me off guard. The quietness of the faculty and staff, initially there was not much communication. I’m not sure if there was some reason perhaps that they thought they might be penalized for speaking with the president, for being open and candid. So I wanted to make sure that they understood that I am here because the students are here. Whatever it takes to advance the students, I want to hear that. I want to know if there is an issue that has come up obstructing the path. We want to be open, honest and transparent. There are no hidden agendas when it comes to this administration. We are totally focused on students and making sure that students get a better life when they graduate. And the professional world they are looking for, we make sure they are ready for that. The second amazement to me …one of the rules that we have in Tennessee is that as you grow and need new buildings, somehow TSU is responsible for 25 percent of that. That was a shocker. I’ve never been in a system where the actual administration was responsible for a fourth of the funding of a facility. That was quite new, but again, once I learned the rules, I have to function within those rules and we function very well within those rules.

KAA: You get a lot of Memphis students historically. They have been trying to raise the standards here. I am curious as to what (caliber) you are receiving and what, if anything, special you have to do to help students that are sort of academically challenged.

Dr. Glover: Actually, Memphis students are no different from students across the country that we admit. We have excellent students from Memphis and we have some others who have some challenges. We want to make sure that we serve the students and service the students and meet their needs where they are. Everybody is not cut out to be an engineer major or a CPA. On the other hand, they might be cut out to be music majors. We help students find their proper pursuit and then move in that direction.

KAA: Are there any new programs or initiatives that you are bringing on board this year, or soon?

Dr. Glover
: Yes. We know that STEM and health care, those two areas, are probably hottest in the academic arena, in the professional arena…. So we combined the life and physical sciences – biology, chemistry, math, physics – so we could have a better focus on the STEM areas and keep those students who are really STEM oriented and make sure that we provide an education for them that is conducive to what they need…We have engineering by itself and put the others together.

KAA: We ran a story in our newspaper this week where a couple of HBCU graduates were really making a plea for alumni to not forgot the schools and to step up, particularly from a financial standpoint. What are you experiencing with your alumni?

Dr. Glover: I have the person with me (Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement) who is over alumni affairs.

KAA: What are you experiencing relative to working with your alumni from a contribution standpoint? And what are you asking of them? And how are they responding?

Eloise Abernathy Alexis: Later this afternoon, we will be gathering our alumni and friends for that purpose; to say thank you to those who have been supportive of the institution. Tennessee State has a solid foundation of alumni who are connected and committed, giving of their talent and time. But also to let them know the current state of the university and the opportunities to invest even more significantly…. Corporations and foundations are asking us now, “Do the people that are closest to your institution support you?” …We know of the wonderful affinity that TSU alumni have for the university. So we are simply going to work together to make sure that love translates into gifts to the university.

KAA: Are they, the alumni, asking anything of you?

EAA: They are, meaningful engagement. They want to be connected and be able to come to events like the Southern Heritage Classic and to see us here and have access to the president. They also want to have engagement with students. TSU alumni come to campus and they get engaged in the general life of the college. They are mentors to our students.

Dr. Glover: One of our tenets was to excite the alumni. An excited alumni is a giving alumni. …I came in and led the pledge myself. …The first day I made a contribution of $50,000 because I wanted to be sure they understood my commitment. …We have an increased enrollment this year largely because of the alumni efforts. They send their own children to TSU, go out and help us recruit and tell the TSU story. We are having such a good time with this because there are six universities in the Tennessee Board of Regents system and of that six one had an increase, one stayed the same and four had a decline in enrollment. Of course Tennessee Promise, we believe, had a great effect on that. … We put together a mechanism as to how we would get around that. … I personally visited high schools and community colleges and met with Greek organizations and met with alumni around the country; asked them to help us to recruit talented students. …That’s what we did and it worked.

KAA: Tennessee State historically has been all African American. Over the years there has been a change in your population. I would like to know the breakdown. Even more, how has the change affected the idea of you being an HBCU?

Dr. Glover: TSU will always be an HBCU. I don’t want people to panic and say, “Oh they are admitting so many non-African Americans.” We’ve always had our doors opene, our arms wide open to students who met our standards. When students in Tennessee could not get into the University of Memphis, Vanderbilt or UT, we never had a prejudice of that sort that kept out students. We’ve always had an admission policy that was inclusive. …Having said that, non-African Americans see the value that they get, there is a value proposition they see. For less money they can get the same quality education. That’s what people are seeing. (About) 12 percent of our students are international students. That is tremendous growth. The African-American population is about 70 percent. I think the white population appears to be about 18 percent. And we embrace all students. …

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.

Prominent Educator and Author Gloria Ladson-Billings to Hold Two Lectures at TSU

UnknownNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Renowned educator and author, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, popularly known for engaging educators in dialogue about improving schools for urban children, will be a guest of the College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership at Tennessee State University on Tuesday, Sept. 29. More than 200 area educators, including principals, faculty, school district and university administrators will hear Ladson-Billings talk about the nation’s “education debt” and race theory relative to current education policy, during two lectures.

TSU President Glenda Glover is expected to welcome Ladson-Billings at a luncheon in the Executive Dining Room.

“We are excited to host Dr. Ladson-Billings at TSU because of her ability to contribute to a discussion that will inevitably benefit K-12 students and the men and women who teach them,“ said Dr. Kimberly King-Jupiter, Dean of the College of Education. “Dr. Ladson-Billings, across her career, has engaged educators in critical discussions about how to inspire diverse students to excel academically.  Her focus has been on the need for teachers to know their students, to identify and elevate students’ gifts amidst the challenges associated with urban schooling.”

Best known for her groundbreaking and influential book, “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children,” Ladson-Billings will also discuss what schools and colleges are doing about the increasing drop in the number of racially diverse teachers, even though PK-12 student demographics reflect an increase in racial and ethnic diversity.

“This is precisely why the department extended the invitation to Dr. Ladson-Billings,” said Dr. Trinetia Respress, chair for the Department of Educational Leadership.

Dr. Ladson-Billings will lead two discussions. The first, “When My Teacher Doesn’t Look Like Me: The Crisis in the African-American Teaching Force,” in the Executive Dining Room at noon on the main campus. The second lecture will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., on “Hip Hop/Hip Hope: The (R)Evolution of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy,” on the Avon Williams Campus.

Ladson-Billings, a pedagogical theorist and teacher educator, is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education. She is also a researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

For more information on the lecture or on how to register, call 615-963-5450.

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 $447,000 Federal Grant to Mobilize Students Across 10 HBCUs in MLK Day of Service Activities

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A group of TSU students plant trees as part of their assignment during a community service day in metro Nashville. (Submitted photo)
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Dr. Linda Guthrie

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students will be part of newly established collaborations that will engage more than 50,000 student volunteers and stakeholders, and 17,000 community members in service activities during the observance of the MLK Day holiday. This is the result of a $447,000 grant that the TSU Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement received from The Corporation for National and Community Service to undertake programs geared toward the Day of Service held each year across the nation in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The total amount of the grant is a combination of federal and matching funds.

Established in 1993, the CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through different programs each year. The funding is intended to mobilize more Americans to observe the MLK Federal Holiday as a day of service in communities. The goal is to encourage those who serve during the holiday to make a long-term commitment to community service, and to bring people together to focus on service to others.

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Shirley Nix-Davis

According to Shirley Nix- Davis, director of the Youth Empowerment Program- College Access Now at TSU, and one of the project directors for the grant, the funding will be used to implement a one-year Spread the Service Mini Grant Competition through collaboration with the Center for Service Learning and the HBCU Coalition, beginning in October.

“The project seeks to align the missions of HBCUs and The Corporation for National and Community Service’s mission with MLK Jr.’s legacy to invest in community solutions, create collaborations that value diversity, and improve educational outcomes for the economically disadvantaged,” Nix-Davis said.

Tequila M. Johnson
Tequila M. Johnson

Tequila Johnson, project assessment coordinator in the CSLCE, who along with Nix-Davis procured the grant, said the project will bring together about 10 HBCUs in the southeast region through community service and capacity building initiatives that strategically address disaster services, economic opportunity, education, and capacity building. TSU students, who participate in several service activities as part of course requirements, and area community participants, will be integral to the implementation of the project, Johnson said.

Last year, through 156 community partnerships, 4,013 TSU students logged a total of 47,316 hours in the classroom and in various activities around the metro Nashville area. Many students say the experience has given them a better outlook on life.

“The Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement has allowed me to connect with the community in many capacities throughout my collegiate career,” said Jalen Hussey, a senior Computer Science major from Memphis, Tennessee. “As a mentor for the YEP/CAN (Youth Empowerment College Access Now Program), I have had the opportunity to assist young at-risk males with college access and academic success. This experience has instilled a commitment to service within me.”

Dr. Linda Guthrie, director of the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, said the MLK Day of Service connects students with their community by challenging them to think critically about issues going on around them.

“Tennessee State University has a long history of service to others, which is central to the institution’s mission and academic curriculum,” Guthrie said. “Our students come to TSU with the expectation to serve. They often find opportunities to do that through day-ofservice events, community organizations or in the classroom. Through events such as this our students have the opportunity to not only serve, but to create and lead projects that change their lives and the lives of others. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to engage several HCBUs in service.”

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 Alumni, Supporters Step Up in A Big Way; President’s Challenge Tops $12 Million in Giving

Memphis Reception
A cross section of alumni, supporters and staff attended the President’s Reception in the ballroom of the Case Management Inc. headquarters in Memphis. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – At the Sept. 12 Southern Heritage Classic where Tennessee State University trounced archrival Jackson State University 35-25, fans were cheering the TSU Tigers to victory on the football field, while others, especially alumni, were celebrating the “good news” about financial support to their alma mater.

At the President’s Reception the night before, hosted by Dr. Glenda Glover as part of the Southern Heritage Classic festivities, the TSU leader reported that alumni and fans’ financial giving to the university has topped $12 million since she launched the President’s Challenge January 2013, just days after taking over as president. Saying that she would lead by example, Glover presented a check for $50,000 and challenged each alumni chapter to “match my gift or follow my lead in giving to TSU.”

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Eloise Abernathy Alexis, the new associate vice president for Institutional Advancement, left, and President Glenda Glover talk to Karanja Kajanaku, editor of The New Tri-State Defender during an interview in the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Since the challenge, which ends Sep. 30, the university has raised $12,446,000 with the Alpha Theta Network Chapter contributing nearly $260,000; Beta Omicron Chapter nearly $183,000; the Nashville Chapter nearly $146,000; the Memphis-Shelby Chapter nearly $138,000, and several other chapters bringing in almost $100,000 each. Glover reported that nine chapters and several clusters had contributed $50,000 or more in giving by June 30.

“Applaud yourselves for this groundbreaking moment in alumni giving,” Glover said, as she thanked those gathered for their support. “We are not done yet. We still have Sept. 30 to make gifts toward the President’s Challenge. We will celebrate the success of the challenge during Homecoming activities.”

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President Glover receives a check for $10,000 from Doug Sanborn, manager of Community Affairs at Miller Coors, as a donation for student support. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

She thanked several individual alumni present for their support, including Bud Reese, a TSU graduate, who donated $30,000 last year from his Case Management Inc. Foundation for student support. She also recognized CMI and its management for hosting the President’s Reception.

Glover applauded the TSU Foundation team, including the staff of the Office of Institutional Advancement, Board members and “all who help each and every day to make this kind of effort possible.” She introduced Eloise Abernathy Alexis as the new associate vice president for Institutional Advancement.

Glover said while the SHC weekend of activities and frenzy about the game was the talk of the town around Memphis, the annual gathering is also an opportunity to talk about scholarship, recruitment, student achievement and giving to the university.

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Hundreds of TSU fans cheer on their team Saturday at the Southern Heritage Classic in the Liberty Bowl. More than 48,000 spectators watched as TSU trounced Jackson State University 35-25 for their fourth straight victory over JSU. (Photo by John Cross)

“As president of Tennessee State University, I take great pride in our student-athletes, cheerleaders and the band members who compete and perform in the Southern Heritage Classic game and the many other students who attend,” Glover said. “We feel it is important that in the midst of fun, food and football, we take time to gather here in Memphis to check in on one another about the well-being of TSU and the students we serve.”

On Thursday evening, the Memphis native was presented with a special gift at the Classic VIP Party hosted by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

“It always gives me a special good feeling and pleasure to welcome Dr. Glenda Glover, one of our own, who is making a big difference as president of Tennessee State University,” Wharton said.

Glover also met with several news organs for one-on-one interviews about the direction of TSU and the university’s role in ensuring quality higher education for all.

At the half-time show of the Southern Heritage Classic, attended by more than 48,000 fans, a representative of Miller Coors  presented President Glover with a check for $10,000 for student support.

The win in Saturday’s game, the fourth consecutive, improves TSU to 15-11 in the Southern Heritage Classic.

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.

Seven Prior Servicemembers Graduate from TSU Veterans’ Training Program as IT Specialists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As a certified “Vet Campus,” Tennessee State University provides programs and support services to ease veterans’ transition from military service to college life, as well as providing them opportunities to learn skills necessary for the workforce. Recently, seven prior servicemembers received certificates as information technology specialists after graduating from a training program offered through the TSU Continuing Education and Workforce Development Unit.

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The recent graduates of the TSU veterans’ training programs are, from left, James McGrath, Darren Cornish, Bobby Panya, Edward Holcomb, Latrina Serrano, Royal Riley and Daniel Noriega. (Submitted Photo)

The Workforce Opportunities Services program, created in 2010 to train and prepare veterans for today’s highly competitive workforce, conducted the 26-week, 10-course training program in partnership with TSU, BNY Mellon, and Workforce Essentials Inc. The WOS program provides veterans with critical professional skills for the corporate work environment while earning academic units.

Those graduating recently were 11-year Army veteran Bobby Panya; former Army field artillery automated tactical data systems specialist Daniel Noriega; former Army intelligence analyst Darren Cornish, who currently attends TSU; and Edward Holcomb, a former Army cannon crewmember, who served 18 years in the military.

Other graduates were James McGrath, an Army National Guardsman, who also served 13 years in the Tennessee National Guard; Royal Riley, a former Air Force aircraft mechanic; and Latrina Serrano, a former Navy interior communications electrician.

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Dr. Cheryl Seay, director of the TSU Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, addresses the graduates during the ceremony on the Avon Williams campus. (Submitted Photo)

According to TSU officials involved with the program, the newly trained veterans will continue to build their technical and workplace skills as full-time WOS contractors for BNY Mellon with the expectation they will transition to full-time employees in the next 12 months.

“We are especially proud of the sacrifice of our veterans and we are equally committed to ensuring their educational experience at Tennessee State University is a success,” said Dr. Evelyn Nettles, associate vice president for Academic Affairs. “As a certified ‘Vet Friendly Campus,’ we provide the necessary resources to make certain their educational dreams become reality. These resources include partnering with programs like WOS and the executive team at BNY Mellon to bring about successful outcomes.”

Russ Yorks, director of veterans programs at WOS, said for the training program to be successful it must include a corporate sponsor that recognizes the value of cultivating talent, a challenging yet nurturing university partner, and a talent pool of motivated individuals eager to transition into a career with a Fortune 500 company.

“We were lucky enough to find all three here in Nashville with Bank of New York Mellon, Tennessee State University, and the extraordinary military veteran talent residing in the area,” York said.

Michael Biedermann, managing director and global head of Recruitment Client Technology at BNY Mellon, said trainers, clients and managers have given positive feedback about the success of the program and the on-the-job performance of the trainees.

“This program has proven to be a successful, uplifting and empowering experience for not only our WOS participants but also for the greater Nashville community,” Biedermann said. “We couldn’t be more excited to have this talented team join our company.”

Other speakers at the Aug. 6 graduation ceremony on the Avon Williams Campus were Dr. Cheryl Seay, director of the TSU Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology; and Jim Grech, executive vice president of BNY Mellon.

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.