Tag Archives: AC Wharton

Graduation Fulfills Dreams for Many as Nearly 1,000 Receive Degrees at TSU’s 2015 Spring Undergraduate Commencement

Glover Wharton
President Glenda Glover and Commencement Speaker, Mayor AC Wharton, march in the procession during the Spring 2015 Undergraduate Commencement in Hale Stadium

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Michaiah Hinds’ greatest gift for graduating college at Tennessee State University today was for his 82-year-old grandmother to see him go across the aisle to receive his degree.

“When I was in the fourth grade my grandmother told me she wouldn’t be around when I graduated from high school,” said Hinds. He did not only prove his grandmother wrong by graduating high school, the Milwaukee native received a bachelor’s degree with honors as a double major in Computer Science and Mass Communications. He has already been accepted to study theology at Wake Forest University in the fall.

Grandma
Michaiah Hinds proved his grandmother, 82-year-old Wilma Weddle wrong by graduating from college while she is still alive, something she said wouldn’t happen before he graduated high school. Sitting behind, left, is Michaiah’s father Mark, and another relative who came for his graduation.

“I feel joy and blessed to still be here and see him complete college,” said Wilma Weddle, a retired nurse, who led a team of more than 30 people from Milwaukee, including Hinds’ parents and other family members and friend sporting specially designed T-shirts and carrying a congratulatory banner to cheer on Hinds. “Michaiah has always been a good boy who believes in himself just as we taught him when he was growing up.”

For Hinds, the commencement message about “being yourself” was a refresher, as Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, a TSU alum and renowned lawyer told the graduates that the key to success is having confidence and believing in oneself.

“With the advent of modern technology such as social media, there is too much distraction that has taken away our capability to pay attention to each other, and appreciate our own abilities because of gadgets that have taken away our sense of personal touch,” Wharton said. “I am not against technology, but sometime we need to leave our machines and give our full attention to someone who means something to us.”

On his emphasis to “be,” Wharton called on the nearly 1,000 students receiving degrees in TSU’s first undergraduates-only commencement in Hale Stadium to learn to adapt to the changing times and circumstances around them.

“Some of you may have changed majors several times, or life may not have panned as you planned, but you must learn to adapt by being creative, assertive and determined and believing in yourself,” said Wharton, who is in his second term as mayor of Memphis, one the nation’s thriving and fastest growing cities. “Fight to be the best in you than trying to be someone else. Believe in a better world by believing in the possibilities of today. You can be the difference in all the problems that is going on across the nation.”

Lewis
Outgoing Student Government President Markeil Lewis receives thunderous applause as he is acknowledged by President Glover as an outstanding student and leader.

For Wharton, speaking at TSU’s spring commencement is a “homecoming.” TSU is where he got his start in higher education, earning a bachelor’s degree with honors in Political Science in 1962. He did not miss on the opportunity to congratulate Memphis native and TSU President Glenda Glover, referring to her as “the best president” Tennessee State University has ever had.

“You are doing a remarkable job here at our alma mater. Congratulations for being a great leader at this institution,” Wharton said.

Earlier, the president welcomed Mayor Wharton, and congratulated the graduates for their achievement.

“I applaud you for achieving this extraordinary milestone in your life,” President Glover said. “You have endured and in the process you have increased your resources for success. Do not forget to thank your parents, relatives, friends and those who were there to see you through this journey.”

Today’s ceremony was a culmination of TSU’s 2015 Dual Commencement Exercises. On Friday, the University held its first graduate commencement, at which more that 300 received advanced degrees, including master’s, education specialist degrees, Ph.Ds., and Ed.Ds.

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 45 undergraduate, 24 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 Spring Commencement Ceremonies to Feature Two Prominent Speakers

NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock and Memphis Mayor AC Wharton to Inspire Graduates

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The dual spring commencement exercises at Tennessee State University will feature two prominent national figures who will speak to the 1,312 undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees in various disciplines.

Roslyn M. Brock
Roslyn M. Brock

Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, and the youngest person to lead the 106-year-old civil rights organization, will give the keynote address at the graduate commencement ceremony in the Gentry Complex at 5 p.m., Friday, May 8.

On Saturday, May 9, at 9 a.m., the Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, TSU alumnus and renowned lawyer AC Wharton, will address undergraduate students during their commencement in Hale Stadium.

At the graduate commencement, Brock is expected to talk to the graduates about leadership, coping in the workplace, and a vision for the future. Named in Essence magazine’s list of the “40 Fierce and Fabulous Women Who are Changing the World,” Brock is a Diamond Life Member of the NAACP. She has served the organization in various leadership positions starting as a Youth Board Member representing the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

As vice chairman of the NAACP Board Health Committee in 1988, she championed the creation of a standing health committee to advocate for quality, accessible and affordable health care for vulnerable and economically challenged communities.

An expert grant writer, Brock has secured millions of dollars in philanthropic support for the NAACP. From 1999-2010, she chaired the NAACP’s National Convention Planning Committee, in which role she instituted fiscal policies that resulted in the Annual Convention becoming a profit center for the Association.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the George Washington University, the American Public Health Association; American College of Health Services Executives; Association of Healthcare Philanthropy; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and The LINKS Inc. Brock holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Union University, a master’s degree in health services administration from George Washington University, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

She is currently the vice president for Advocacy and Government Relations for Bon Secours Health System, Inc., in Marriottsville, Maryland.

Mayor AC Wharton
Mayor AC Wharton

On Saturday, undergraduate students receiving their degrees will hear words of encouragement and how to cope in the changing word from a man who has achieved many “firsts” in his lifetime, and as mayor of one of America’s thriving and fastest growing cities. A lawyer for nearly 45 years, Wharton is in his second term as mayor of Memphis, having previously served for two terms as the first African-American elected mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee. He is known for initiating a number of programs that have reduced crime, improved city services, enhanced quality of life, and created new good-paying jobs for Memphians. Under Wharton’s leadership, Memphis is part of national conversations about cities, including the Obama White House, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Brookings Institution, CEOs for Cities, and the Mayor’s Institute of Civic Design.

Under Wharton’s leadership Memphis is reinvesting in safe and vibrant neighborhoods, creating jobs and prosperity of all, giving every child a fair start in life through early childhood development, and a high-performing government that fights crime and inefficiency.

For Wharton, speaking at TSU’s spring commencement is a “homecoming.” TSU is where he got his start in higher education, earning a bachelor’s degree with honors in Political Science in 1962. He later entered the University of Mississippi Law School, where he was one of the first African-American students to serve on the Moot Court Board and the first African-American to serve on the Judicial Council.  He graduated with honors in 1971, and three years later, he became the first African-American professor of law at University of Mississippi, a position that he held for 25 years.

At this year’s spring commencements, 925 graduating seniors will receive bachelor’s degrees, while 387 students will receive graduate degrees. Among those receiving advanced degrees are eight Ph.Ds., nine Ed.Ds., and 35 Doctors of Physical Therapy. Eleven others will receive education specialist degrees, and 32 will receive graduate certificates.

 

IF YOU GO:

Friday, May 8, 5 p.m.
Graduate Commencement
Gentry Complex

Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m.
Undergraduate Commencement
Hale Stadium

 

 

 

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 45 undergraduate, 24 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.