Tag Archives: Al Sharpton

Tennessee State University Commencement Speaker Michael Eric Dyson Tells Graduates to Continue to Learn and Appreciate the Difference in People and Culture

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “Receiving your degrees does not mean classes are over,” the keynote speaker at Tennessee State University’s spring commencement told more than 700 undergraduate students who received degrees in various disciplines Saturday.

President Glenda Glover and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson enter the Howard C. Gentry Complex for the 2019 Spring Undergraduate Commencement. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, bestselling author and professor of sociology at Georgetown University, said to impact the world graduates must be literate, interconnected and transformative.

“You must be ‘LIT,’” he said, attributing the acronym to the young generation’s reference to something fun, good or exciting. “You might think classes are over so you don’t have to read. But you have to be literate in the world we live in because it is important. When you go into the world as proud Tennessee State University graduates they know you come from a great place. You got to be morally and psychologically literate.”

Before Dyson gave his speech in the Howard C. Gentry Complex, TSU President Glenda Glover congratulated the graduates, parents, relatives and friends for their support.

“I applaud you for having reached this milestone,” said Glover. “Today is only a stepping stone. We thank you. We salute you.”

Dyson, also known as a preacher and radio host, has authored or edited more than 20 books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marvin Gaye and Hurricane Katrina. He has received several awards for his literary work, including three NAACP Image Awards and the Southern Book Prize.

Graduates prepare to receive their degrees at the Spring Undergraduate Commencement. (Photo by Charles Cook, TSU Media Relations)

“You must be interconnected,” he said. “You are going into a world that ain’t reading your same book, not listening to your same culture, and not reared in your home, but you got to make a way to get along with people who don’t look like you or act like you.”

The undergraduate ceremony followed the graduate commencement also in the Gentry Complex Friday evening. Civil rights leader and activist the Rev. Al Sharpton, was the speaker.

Dyson also urged the graduates to be about change and improvement in their communities.

“That means you can’t just leave it the way you found it. You got to make something better where you show up,” he said.

More than 700 students participated in the Spring Undergraduate Commencement in the Howard C. Gentry Complex. (Photo by Charles Cook, TSU Media Relations)

Charles Alexander Hill, who received his bachelor’s degree in business, had not heard much about Dyson, but he thinks the speaker gave him and his fellow graduates “just what we needed to hear.”

“I am very prepared to face the world,” Hill said. “TSU has given me all the tools I need to succeed in my life, and the speaker was very dynamic with his words of encouragement and wisdom.”

Following his speech, Dyson was presented an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his body of work.

Civil rights leader and activist Al Sharpton inspires graduates to keep achieving , receives honorary degree

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Civil rights leader and activist the Rev. Al Sharpton urged Tennessee State University graduates to continue to build on their achievement.

Sharpton gave the address at TSU’s graduate commencement ceremony Friday evening in the Howard C. Gentry Complex. On Saturday, bestselling author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson will address undergraduate students in the Complex. The ceremony will begin at 8 a.m.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and TSU President Glenda Glover. (TSU Media Relations)

Before Sharpton’s speech, TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed attendees and lauded the graduates.

“I applaud you for having reached this milestone,” said Dr. Glover. “Today is only a stepping stone. We thank you. We salute you.”

Sharpton, a community leader, politician and minister who serves as the host of PoliticsNation on MSNBC, challenged graduates “to be the head of your own fan club.”

“Tonight, you have shown you can achieve something,” he said. “Only you know … what you went through to get here. But through it all, you got here tonight, which proves that you can achieve something, and it proves that you can keep achieving if you use the same discipline and determination you did to graduate here tonight. You can keep going higher and higher if you push yourself to do that.”

Following his speech, Sharpton, who is a longtime friend of Dr. Glover, was presented an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, an honor he said he will always cherish.

Sharpton’s address, which was interrupted with applause several times, seemed to move the audience.

Georgetta Harris-Wyatt received a doctorate in psychology. She said Sharpton’s speech was motivational, that it “encouraged all the graduate students to see beyond where they are now.”

2019 TSU Graduate students .(TSU Media Relations)

She said Sharpton’s words inspired her even more to use her degree to help youth.

“Ultimately, I hope to work with children and adolescents in the juvenile justice system, and help them to rewrite their stories,” said Harris-Wyatt.

Sharpton is no stranger to TSU. In 2014, he came to the university to take up the cause to have TSU’s 1957- 1959 Men’s Championship Basketball Team, the first-ever to win three national titles back-to back, inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

He joined university officials and staff, including President Glover, state officials, community leaders and stakeholders, as he presented his cause during a ceremony in Kean Hall.

As a result of Sharpton’s efforts and that of many others, including TSU alumnus Dr. Richard “Dick” Barnett, a member of all three teams, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced last month that the Tennessee State men’s basketball championship teams of 1957-59 will be one of 12 honorees in this year’s Class of 2019. The class will be celebrated at this year’s enshrinement festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Renowned Activist Takes Up Charge to Have TSU Championship Team Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

The men's basketball team (pictured) from TSU won their second NAIA championship in 1958. The team went on to win a  unprecedented third straight  championship in 1959.
The men’s basketball team (pictured) from TSU won their second NAIA championship in 1958. The team went on to win a unprecedented third straight championship in 1959.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Reverend Al Sharpton is widely known for taking up the fight on behalf of the underdog in his pursuit of justice and equality. Sharpton’s stance on an array of issues has taken him across the country and around the world.

Now, he is on his way to Tennessee State University. His cause, to have TSU’s 1957- 1959 Men’s Championship Basketball Team, the first-ever to win three national titles back-to back, inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Thursday night, Sharpton will be joined by University officials and staff, including President Glenda Glover, state and local officials, community leaders and stakeholders, as he presents his cause during a ceremony in Kean Hall on the TSU main campus beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Shortly before the ceremony, Sharpton will address the media during a press conference in the Athletics Lobby, also in Kean Hall, at 6:15 p.m.

Sharpton became friends with TSU alumnus Dr. Richard “Dick” Barnett, a member of all three teams, and was compelled by the achievements of Barnett and his teammates. They were the first in collegiate history to win three consecutive national championships, and the first historically black institution to win a title. Despite Texas Western, the team depicted in the movie “Glory Road,” being recognized as the first all-black starting five to win a college national title, TSU won their title nearly a decade earlier.

Both men believe it is time for the team to become a part of basketball history, and that the University is the perfect place to begin the campaign for the hall of fame. Sharpton will also address other current social issues.

In 1957, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament became the first tournament to have seeded teams, making it the first to have an upset. The unseeded TSU Tigers had four upsets in the tournament, with the most important victory being over Southeastern Oklahoma State in a 19-point blowout (92-73), thus winning the school’s first NAIA Championship. With the win, Tennessee State became the first historically black institution to win a collegiate basketball national championship.

The 1958 Men’s NAIA Division I Basketball Tournament saw defending champions Tennessee State return as the #3 seed. The team’s closest win came in the championship finals against the #1 seed and tourney favorite Western Illinois (85-73). With the win, the Tigers became only the third team to have back-to-back championships. That year, Coach John McLendon was selected “Coach of the Year,” while player Dick Barnett received the “Chuck Taylor Most Valuable Player Award.”

With back-to-back NAIA Championships, Tennessee State entered the 1959 Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament as the top seed. The team had an opportunity to accomplish a feat no other team had done, win a third consecutive title. TSU breezed through the tournament. The finals pitted the Tigers against #3 seed Pacific Lutheran University. Again, Tennessee State prevailed beating Pacific Lutheran 97-87 to capture the title. It was the first time any school had won three tournaments in a row. Barnett received his second “MVP Award.”

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame recognized the team last spring during its annual ceremony. They were honored for Significant Historical Achievement.

Barnett will appear with Sharpton during the ceremony in Kean Hall. The community event is free and open to the public.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 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.

Noted Civil-Rights Activist Al Sharpton to Visit TSU October 23

al_sharptonNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Community leader, politician, minister and civil-rights activist the Reverend Al Sharpton is scheduled to visit Tennessee State University Thursday, Oct. 23.

Sharpton will speak at a forum about disparities in sports, business and politics and other social issues.

The presentation will be held in Kean Hall beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Sharpton serves as the host of PoliticsNation on MSNBC. With more than 40 years of experience as an advocate, he is one of America’s most renowned civil rights leaders. Sharpton has held such notable positions as the youth director of New York’s Operation Breadbasket, director of ministers for the National Rainbow Push coalition, and founder of his own broad-based progressive civil rights organization, the National Action.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 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.