Mr. And Miss Tennessee State University Coronation Continues Homecoming Tradition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University continued a Homecoming tradition Wednesday night with the crowning of a new Mr. and Miss TSU.

Hundreds of people — including parents, relatives, friends and fellow students — packed a jubilant Kean Hall to witness the coronation of Alec Forrest and Kayla Smith, and their court.

TSU President Glenda Glover, left, and Dr. Tracey Ford, Vice President for Student Affairs, congratulate Kayla Smith and Alec Forrest, the new Mr. & Miss TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover congratulated the new king and queen after giving them the oath of office. Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president for Student Affairs, followed the president. She charged the two students to take their roles seriously.

“Taking on the responsibility of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU is steep in tradition, as many are looking up to you,” Ford said. “Be reminded that this is serious.”

Forrest, a senior business major from Jackson, Tennessee, is the outgoing Mr. Junior. He said in an interview before the coronation that his goal is to help develop young men with character and vision by leading by example.

“You can’t expect people to do one thing and they see you doing quite the opposite,” Forrest said. “I like to impact people. When I leave this institution, I want to come back and see someone in a leadership position because of an influence I had on them.”

Smith, who becomes the 88th Miss TSU, is from Memphis. She is a senior health science major with a concentration in therapeutic studies and a minor in psychology. She said becoming Miss TSU or “black excellence,” as she puts it, has always been a goal. The journey, she said, began when she “broke the norm” at predominantly white Germantown High School and became the first female African-American senior class president. Her leadership ability and academic success granted her a full-ride scholarship to TSU.

“College for me would be nowhere else but Tennessee State University,” Smith said. “TSU stole my heart with its southern charm and hospitality. I have always been in awe of the rich history and modern culture. I just cannot get enough of it.”

The new Mr. and Miss TSU Court include: Landon McCall, Mr. Freshman; Braxton Simpson, Miss Freshman; Jonathan Miles Hammock, Mr. Sophomore; Sierra Holmes, Miss Sophomore; Darian McGhee, Mr. Junior; Brandi DeCoats, Miss Junior; Andrew Crawford, Mr. Senior; Danielle Perry, Miss Senior.

Outgoing Miss TSU Alicia Jones, crowns the new Miss TSU Kayla Smith. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

In addition to the Mr. and Miss TSU coronation, this year’s Homecoming, which will culminate Saturday with a parade and the big football matchup between the Tigers and Austin Peay, includes a  “stellar group” of honorees, grand marshals and star power.

In keeping with the theme, “The Road to Greatness Begins with Excellence,” the university has selected honorees and grand marshals that exude the excellence TSU strives for. They include Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, who will receive Special Presidential Recognition. Dr. Humphries, TSU’s fourth president, served from 1974-1985.

Other honorees are: Dr. Sterlin Adams, retired, professor and special assistant to Dr. Humphries; Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher, retired, director of libraries; Dr. Raymond Richardson, retired, professor and chair of physics, mathematics and computer science; and William “Bill” Thomas, former head football coach and athletic director.

The grand marshals for the popular Homecoming parade (from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Blvd.) are: Georgette “Gigi” Peek Dixon, senior vice president and director of national partnerships, government and community relations, Wells Fargo; Alfred Gordon, vice president of operations for Frito-Lay North America; State Senator Thelma Harper, 19th District, Tennessee General Assembly; and Roosevelt “Bud” Reese, CEO, CMI Foundation.

Besides the game and parade, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the Annual Scholarship Gala, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Music City Center. This year, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will serve as honorary chairperson. Nationally syndicated radio show host, actor and comedian, Rickey Smiley, will be the gala’s master of ceremony. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships are used to provide financial assistance to students. The goal is to raise one million.

For more information about Homecoming 2017, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/documents/HomecomingSchedule.pdf

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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, 25 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.

 

Tennessee State University’s Brown-Daniel Library Celebrates 45 Years as a Federal Government Depository

Davita Vance-Cooks, Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Brown-Daniel Library is celebrating 45 years as a federal government depository library. The celebration coincides with TSU’s 2017 Homecoming, which kicked off on Sunday.

On Wednesday, TSU President Glenda Glover joined a host of federal, state and local officials, as well as former and current staff of the library, for a ceremony that included proclamations from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslem, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, and the Tennessee General Assembly.

Special guest and keynote speaker was Davita E. Vance-Cooks, director of the U.S. Government Publishing office.

Several state and local officials, and former and current staff of the Brown-Daniel Library join President Glenda Glover, and Government Publishing Office Director Davita Vance-Cooks at the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the library as a federal government depository. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Glover said Director Vance-Cooks’ visit and participation was significant to TSU as a historically black university.

“As the first African American and first female to head the Government Publishing Office, we are honored and particularly proud of your accomplishments, and to have you here as we commemorate this milestone is very special,” Glover said. “The Government Publishing Office is very important because it is the keeper of our history. We express our gratitude to the government for 45 years of allowing our institution to be the keeper of such information.”

Vance-Cooks said the 150 federal depository libraries across the nation provide “a very long and continuing tradition of service to their communities” by making federal government information publicly and freely accessible.

Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher was the third head of the Brown-Daniel Library.

“This tradition of publicly and freely accessible government information supports, in my opinion, the TSU vision of preparing leaders for global societies,” Vance-Cooks said. “Forty-five years of partnering with the Government Printing Office in the federal depository of library program is certainly a milestone worthy of commemoration. On behalf of the GPO, I extend heartfelt congratulations on this achievement.”

Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher, the third head of the TSU library, during whose tenure the library underwent a number of changes including relocation and name change, provided reflections. She also hired Dr. Murle Kenerson, the current head of the library, whom she described as a “dashing young man from Chicago.” The partnership with the federal government started during the tenure of Loise H. Daniel, whom Fancher succeeded.

“I enjoyed my work here as director of the library, but the most challenging and interesting part was moving the old 100-year-old library from the old (Harold Love, Sr.) building to its current location,” said Fancher, who will be an honoree at this year’s Homecoming.

In a statement, U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper congratulated TSU and the Brown-Daniel Library for “a very rewarding milestone.”

Also making statements at the ceremony were: State Reps. Harold Love, Jr., and Brenda Gilmore; Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; and Dr. Kenerson, interim dean of Libraries and Media Centers at TSU.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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, 25 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.

Tennessee State University Remembers Founders During 2017 Homecoming

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University took time to remember its founders on Tuesday.

University President Glenda Glover led a gathering of students, faculty, staff and friends in a Founders’ Day celebration in Kean Hall. The celebration was part of activities marking Homecoming week, which kicked off on Sunday.

Members of the Student Government Association hold hands and join in to sing the Tennessee State University Alma Mater during the 2017 Founders’ Day Celebration in Kean Hall. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“This is a great day for Tennessee State University,” said Glover, as she recounted events in the university’s history from its founding in 1912 to the role it plays today as a major center of education in the nation. “Today we celebrate our founders and their contribution. Let us remember that if it hadn’t been for their foresight, we wouldn’t be here.”

The program’s keynote speaker was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association.

Like Glover, McReynolds also reminded students about the contribution of TSU’s founders, as well as the “critical roles” alumni play in the life of the university.

“If it had not been for the founders and alumni who have walked these fertile shores before us, many of us might not be here today,” said McReynolds, who is also a member of the TSU Foundation Board.

She said there are about 50 alumni chapters around the country and called on the students to get involved with local chapters in their hometowns.

“All chapters work to recruit and support the best students like you to attend TSU and be successful,” McReynolds said. “Alumni chapters offer scholarships, internships, and they hold fundraisers to help you go to school. All I ask is that  you don’t forget where you came from and don’t forget to give back.”

At the end of her presentation, McReynolds received a plaque for Dintinguished Leadership from President Glover.

Following today’s Founders’ Day celebration, TSU’s Homecoming events continue with the Coronation of Mr. and Miss TSU, Oct. 11; Ralph Boston Golf Tournament and Homecoming Concert, Oct. 12; and the Greek Step Show and Charles Campbell Fish Fry, Oct. 13.

On Friday evening, TSU has planned a stellar Scholarship Gala at the Music City Center. This year, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will serve as honorary chairperson. Nationally syndicated radio show host, actor and comedian, Rickey Smiley, will be the gala’s master of ceremony. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships are used to provide financial assistance to students. The goal is to raise one million.

Homecoming will conclude Oct. 14 with the Homecoming Parade from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Blvd., and the big football matchup between the Tigers and in-state rival Austin Peay State University at Nissan Stadium.

For more information about Homecoming 2017, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/documents/HomecomingSchedule.pdf

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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, 25 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.

 

Tennessee State University Implements Upgrades to Student Living with $1.5 Million Investment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alumni and friends returning for Homecoming this year can expect to see some major changes on their former campus.

The university is investing about $1.5 million to provide new upgrades to student living. Dallas native Justin Moody, a senior exercise science major, is already feeling the impact.

“I like this new look,” said Moody, as he walked into the campus center with its new fixtures. “I think it’s going to make everybody feel good about their school. I really like the direction the university is going into.”

President Glenda Glover, seated, left, is surrounded by students during the unveiling of the new furniture in the Campus Center. Also with the president and the students are TSU administrators including Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Tracey Ford, standing, second from right; Associate Vice President for Administration, Dr. Curtis Johnson, third; and Latane E. Brackett, III, upgrade project director, fourth. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The new upgrades and facelift, a two-phased project the university started this summer, come on the heels of a recent announcement that TSU will build two new residence halls as part of a $75 million expansion.

The campus center, a high-traffic, popular student-gathering area, is one of the places receiving an early upgrade. New lounge chairs and stools with matching tables and armrests in bright, assorted colors blended with matching TSU blue, now adorn the nearly 239,000 square-foot campus center. Some of the new furniture also has electronic fixtures like USB ports and electric outlets for charging phones and powering other gadgets. The layout also includes individual study areas with cubicles and lounges for relaxation.

Before the upgrade, cushionless steel benches provided the only means of seating in the center.

TSU President Glenda Glover, relaxing in a swiveling bonded leather lounge chair in the campus center and surrounded by students, said the decision for the facelift and upgrades had student input “to make sure they like it.”

“Today we unveil changes we have been making to enhance our students’ living condition all over campus,” Glover said. “Our goal is to upgrade their living quarters, study areas and play quarters to ensure that they are comfortable and enjoying their living environment.”

Students say the upgrades provide more environment for interaction and fun. (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president for Student Affairs, said between now and December, the university will complete the first phase of the upgrades, which include new furniture in all six traditional residence halls and two campus apartments, computer labs, game rooms, lobbies, lounge areas, and the career and health centers. Upgrades also include painting some areas, new lighting, floors and solar shades.

“What we are trying to do is create a 21st century living and learning environment where our students feel safe and secure,” Ford said. “So this is not just about having a nice place to live, but one that provides an environment where students can thrive academically and do what they need to do in the classroom in order to be successful and graduate.”

Ford, who has been at TSU since January, said the project is part of President Glover’s vision and a mandate she (Ford) received when she was hired.

“The president and I talked about ways in which we could transform the student experience here at TSU. One of the top things we talked about was our residence halls. In that conversation she really charged me and pushed me to make some improvements in the residence halls to improve the living and learning environment,” Ford said.

As a result, Ford said she met with staff, resident assistants and students in every hall, and facilities management to come up with improvement plans to make the living environment better.

“The first strategy was to improve the common areas of the residence halls. By common areas we are talking about lobbies, lounges, computer labs, and things of that nature. That’s something that everybody can enjoy and everybody can touch and feel. So, what you see going on in the residence halls and other areas now is that plan coming to fruition. We are excited about what we have accomplished so far but realize we have a long way to go to fully execute all of the upgrades,” Ford said.

Nhadya Cambridge, a junior health science major, who lives in Rudolph Hall, likes her new surrounding.

“Before hand, the furniture in here was not really that bad but this is definitely an upgrade,” said the Houston native, sitting with a laptop on a new armchair tucked away in a space that two weeks ago was bare. “It’s more modern, comfortable and there is more seating space, especially in the lounges on the various floors. I see a lot more people in those lounges than before. It is a nice setup.”

Student Government Association President JerMilton Woods said the improvements “definitely boost school spirit.”

“It gives the students a little more environment for interaction, and a little more fun environment that is more conducive to student learning,” Woods said.

Latane E. Brackett, III is the director of the upgrade project. He said TSU’s Facilities Management was very instrumental in bringing the project to fruition, as well as in identifying the furniture manufacturer, KI National Business Furniture.

“My role is to bring her (Dr. Ford) vision of 21st Century Living and Learning Communities to life through student-centered process improvements and infrastructure upgrades, and our partners in facilities have helped us make this possible,” Brackett said.

The upgrade in student living comes at a time when TSU is shifting focus in other areas. A year ago, the university raised its academic standards. This fall, the university recorded its largest class of incoming freshmen in school history at more than 1,500. On Sept. 14, the university announced a $75,300,000 expansion as part of a student modernization program.

With the increased expense of off-campus housing and a record-setting freshman class, Glover said the new housing and upgrades to existing facilities are critical in the recruitment and retention of students.

“New residence halls represent a remarkable recruiting tool, and add to the life of any college campus,” Glover said. “The facelift and upgrades are all part of our overall effort to make existing facilities conducive and comfortable for our 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 8,000 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, 25 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 kicks off 2017 Homecoming with 30th Annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University kicked off its 2017 Homecoming with the 30th Annual Robert N. Murrell oratorical contest on Sunday.

The event, which was held in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center, provides cash prizes of $1,200, $800 and $500 respectively for first, second, and third place winners in freshman and upperclassman divisions.

This year’s winners in the freshman division were Jazmyn Bolden, first place; Sharde Dodson, second place; and Justyce Battles, third. In the upperclassman division, Tomale Williams took the top prize, Sydni Daniels was second, and Anyrah Moffett came in third. Also in the upperclassman division, Ashanti Holland received a fourth place award.

Before the speeches, TSU President Glenda Glover told the participants that they’re all winners, whether they win a prize or not, because they had the courage to speak.

“You are champions even before you start,” Glover said. “It’s my belief the best is yet to come for each of you.”

The contest, established in 1988, is named in honor of the late Robert N. Murrell, a longtime administrator and dean of men at TSU. It encourages students to develop skills in research, writing and oratory.

In 1993, the TSU Homecoming Committee incorporated the oratorical contest into the official Homecoming schedule of activities, and established the Homecoming theme as the theme for the contest. This year’s theme is: “The Road to Greatness Begins with Excellence.”

Following the oratorical contest, TSU’s Homecoming events continued with the Gospel Explosion, which featured hit artists Deitrick Haddon and Earnest Pugh, as well as TSU’s New Direction Gospel Choir.

Other Homecoming highlights throughout the week include the Coronation of Mr. and Miss TSU, Oct. 11; Ralph Boston Golf Tournament and Homecoming Concert, Oct. 12; and the Greek Step Show and Charles Campbell Fish Fry, Oct. 13.

On Friday evening, TSU has planned a stellar Scholarship Gala at the Music City Center. This year, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will serve as honorary chairperson. Nationally syndicated radio show host, actor and comedian, Rickey Smiley, will be the gala’s master of ceremony. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships are used to provide financial assistance to students. The goal is to raise one million.

Homecoming will conclude Oct. 14 with the Homecoming Parade from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Blvd., and the big football matchup between the Tigers and in-state rival Austin Peay State University at Nissan Stadium.

For more information about Homecoming 2017, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/documents/HomecomingSchedule.pdf

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 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, 25 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.