NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is gearing up for another spectacular Homecoming with a stellar group of grand marshals and honorees.
This year’s Homecoming begins Oct. 14 with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest. The football game between the Big Blue Tigers and the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech will take place on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Nissan Stadium at 4:30 p.m.
For just the second time, TSU has a Special Presidential Honoree: James Shaw, Jr. The other honorees are Dr. Calvin Atchison, retired vice president of development/Foundation Office; Mrs. Dorothy Lockridge, retired vice president of student affairs; Coach James Bass, retired health professor and swimming coach. The grand marshals are Mr. Robert Covington, NBA player with Philadelphia 76ers; Dr. Richard Lewis, TSU Board of Trustees member and owner of Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors; and Mrs. Delorse Lewis, former executive director of TSU Development/Foundation Office.
“As we reflect on many memorable moments that helped to shape our lives while matriculating at our beloved institution, our alma mater charged us to go forth and serve,” said Homecoming Chairman Grant L. Winrow. “Thus, it is only fitting that we honor another outstanding group of individuals who epitomize what Excellence and Success really look like.”
Shaw became a worldwide hero following an incident on April 22, 2018, when a gunman opened fire at a Waffle House in a Nashville suburb. Shaw wrestled the rifle away from the man and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door.
Four people were killed and several others wounded in the shooting. However, authorities have said there probably would have been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions. Immediately following the incident, Shaw started a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $240,000 for family members of the shooting victims. Shaw has also started a foundation that seeks to address mental illness and mass community violence.
“We can only make real progress if we work together, stand collectively and care for one another,” said Shaw. “I will never let my life, or those lives we sadly lost, be in vain.”
Besides the big game, another highlight of this year’s Homecoming is the Scholarship Gala on Oct. 19. The gala, part of TSU’s weeklong Homecoming activities, is the biggest single event by the university to raise scholarship money. Contributions swelled from $600,000 in 2016 to more than one million dollars last year.
This year, the gala welcomes back comedian Jonathan Slocumb as the master of ceremony. Special entertainment will be provided by legendary jazz artist Roy Ayers.
“The Homecoming Scholarship Gala serves as Tennessee State University’s signature fundraising event,” Gala chairs Cassandra Griggs and Iris Ramey said in a statement. “It provides an opportunity for the university to partner with alumni, friends, employees, corporations and organizations to raise annual and endowed scholarship dollars for the outstanding students at TSU.”
Other Homecoming activities this year include the Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 17; official groundbreaking of new Health Sciences Building on Oct. 18; the Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 19; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 20.
The parade will be from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.
For more information about Homecoming activities, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/documents/HomecomingSchedule.pdf