Tag Archives: Cassandra Griggs

TSU Students Kick off ‘$1 Million in 1 Month’ Fundraising Challenge at First Annual Great Gatsby Ball

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Student Challenge to contribute to TSU’s historic “$1 Million in 1 Month” is officially underway.

Members of the Pre-Alumni Council and officials of the Office of the Alumni Relations and Annual Giving grace the red carpet at the first annual Great Gatsby Ball. (Submitted Photo)

Organized by the Pre-Alumni Council, the students used the very elegant and elaborate first annual Great Gatsby Ball in Elliott Hall on the main campus Friday evening to kick-off various programs planned to raise funds for the campaign.

“This is one of our many opportunities to give back to this institution,” said Jeffrey Thomas, Jr., a senior fashion and merchandising major from Nashville, who is also president of the Pre-Alumni Council.

TSU students are all smiles as the enjoy the evening entertainment at the Great Gatsby Ball. (Submitted Photo)

“This formal event, with live band, dinner and a host, is an opportunity to get students to meet in a formal setting, interact with alumni, and to energize them for this great campaign launched by President (Glenda) Glover.”

In a historic, long-term partnership with the Nashville Predators, TSU announced the campaign on Feb. 2 to raise $1 million during Black History Month for student scholarships. Since then, activities have included a “TSU Night” at the Bridgestone Arena, with appearances by the Aristocrat of Bands and the New Direction Gospel Choir, as well as a Big Blue Old School Concert at the Gentry Complex.

Other campaign activities include the TSU Alumni Chapter Challenge Feb. 1-7; Faculty/Staff Challenge Feb. 8-14; TSU Divine Nine Fraternity and Sorority Challenge Feb. 15-21; TSU Sunday Day of Giving on Feb. 23; and TSU College and Student Challenge Feb. 22-29.  

Dwight Beard, right, President of the Nashville Chapter of the TSU National Alumni Association, talks to two TSU students at the ball. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

According to officials, the Great Gatsby Ball, themed after the “Roaring Twenties Costumes” and fashion era, gives the university the opportunity to showcase students – how to dress up and socialize and network in a professional manner.

“It is an opportunity to teach them about being in their circle but yet dignified and representing themselves well,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “It’s all about branding yourself. So, having alums and students having fun together is just an exciting evening for us.”

Clara Hyde, left, and Annie Kinzer were among several TSU alums who joined students at the Great Gatsby Ball. (Submitted Photo)

Amid the pomp, glitz and glamour, fitted with a red carpet entrance, interviews and photographing, the students said the ball was something they will not soon forget, because for some, it made up for lost time.

Elijah Poston’s date missed out on her high school prom, the sophomore biology major from Cincinnati said.

“She did not have a prom experience in high school and this gave her an opportunity to dress up and be escorted like it would have been on a prom night,” said Poston, a scholarship recipient from the Cincinnati Alumni Chapter of the TSU National Alumni Association. “I am glad to be by her side at this very elegant program. This is a great cause and I am going to do all I can to help. That scholarship has helped me immensely.”

The sumptuous dinner at the ball was prepared by Nashville’s own Catering Concepts by Timothy. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

During this month, Poston is volunteering with the Honors College to call out to alumni to contribute to the $1 Million in 1 Month campaign.

Deseree Hill, a freshman social work major from Birmingham, Alabama, did not need a scholarship to come to TSU, but she is excited about helping to raise funds to keep other students in school.

“I am glad to be here tonight, have fun and at the same time help in this very worthy cause,” Hill said. 

The Julius Genius Fisher Band provides entertainment at the first annual Great Gatsby Ball. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Among alumni at the ball was Dwight Beard, a Nashville/Davidson County businessman, who is also president of the Nashville Chapter of the TSUNAA. He described the ball as “very beautiful and elegant.”

“This is how we want to teach our students to be professional when they go to the corporate world or in their various career fields,” said Beard.  “They will be going into a lot of places like this. By them participating in this campaign teaches them to give back. This is a start, because once they leave and become successful, they will come back and give to the school that gave them their foundations.” 

 
To donate, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/1million1month or text TSU1MIL to 41444. 

#TSU1million1month, @TSU1million1month

Department of Media Relations

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

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 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.

TSU Scholarship Gala Features Legendary Jazz Musician Roy Ayers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Scholarship Gala will take place on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Music City Center.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception featuring the TSU Jazz Collegians and the TSU String Orchestra. Nationally renowned actor and comedian Jonathan Slocumb will host the annual fundraising event, which will conclude with a concert featuring 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.”

The gala provides critical funds necessary to meet the significant need for student scholarships and ensures access to the relevant academic programs required to successfully educate and prepare students for the global marketplace.

This year, the gala will recognize a “stellar group” of honorees and grand marshals, including ‘Waffle House Hero’ James Shaw, Jr., who received national acclaim after he disarmed a Waffle House shooter in April. Shaw will receive a Special Presidential Recognition.

Other honorees are: Dr. Calvin Atchison, retired vice president of Development/Foundation; Dorothy Lockridge, retired vice president of Student Affairs; and Coach James Bass, retired health professor and swimming coach.

The grand marshals are: Robert Covington, NBA player with the Philadelphia 76ers; Dr. Richard Lewis, member of TSU Board of Trustees and owner of Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors; and Delorse Lewis, former executive director of TSU Development/Foundation.

For more information about the gala and how to donate, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/gala/.

To find out more about TSU’s overall Homecoming this year, https://bit.ly/2wYtjJG.

 

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, 24 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 gearing up for spectacular 2018 Homecoming

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

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, 24 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 Toasts Its ‘Points of Pride’ During Ceremony in Downtown Nashville, Launches Website to Engage Alumni

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Calling them its ‘Points of Pride,’ Tennessee State University Thursday night recognized local alumni achievers during a ‘Toast To TSU’ at First Tennessee Park in downtown Nashville.

President Glover toasts fellow Points of Pride at the Toast of TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations.)

Points of Pride are TSU graduates or former students who are prominent and emerging leaders with universally recognized success in their fields, and who have made a positive impact on the TSU brand and community.

The inaugural group of TSU Points of Pride, among them Shannon Sanders, Grammy Award Winning Producer, Songwriter and Music, Retired 4-star General LLoyd “Fig” Newton, and President Glenda Glover, include individuals with achievements in arts and entertainment, athletics, business, education, engineering and science, government healthcare, law and the military.

TSU Foundation Board Chairman Dwayne Tucker gives remarks at the Toast of TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“This is certainly a remarkable event and a memorable way to recognize the outstanding contributions of our alumni to not just TSU, but also to the world and their communities,” said Glover. “I am glad to be a Point of Pride for our great university. I say thank you on behalf of all of us.”

Event organizers say this new category of recognition was created to honor and extend the university’s alumni legacy of achievement.

“Among these individuals are unsung alumni that you don’t hear about who are doing marvelous things in their fields, industries and in their communities,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

Eight of the newly recognized TSU Points of Pride, who were present, were each presented with a poster-size photograph of themselves, and a toast from the audience.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone cares about the fact that you care enough to do your best everyday,” said Kevin Williams, former president and managing director of General Motors Canada, and member of the TSU Foundation Board. “A recognition like a point of pride from the university is something that will go with me for my lifetime, something that certainly gives me a lot of pleasure in knowing that my small efforts are making a difference.”

TSUNAA President Joni McReynolds with her Points of Pride poster at the reception. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Other Points of Pride toasted were Dwayne Tucker, human resource executive and chairman of the TSU Foundation Board; Dwight Beard, owner of Beard Property Management and president of the TSUNAA Nashville Chapter; Dr. Harold Love, Jr., member of the Tennessee House of Representative and pastor of Lee A.M.E Church; and Uchendi Nwani, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, lecturer and author.

Also toasted was Joni McReynolds, retired generalist with the Central Intelligence Agency and president of TSUNAA.

To view the full list of the 50 Points of Pride, go to https://www.tsupointsofpride.com/

At Thursday night’s Toast to TSU, organizers also launched the official Points of Pride website where alumni can “regularly engage,” nominate future Points of Pride, as well as donate to the university.

TSU alumni and friends toast the new Points of Pride. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

The website is an informative and interactive way to provide feedback on alumni experiences and interests, as well as to register for events and make contributions to support the next generation of the university’s students referred to as “rising stars.”

According to Griggs, the Toast to TSU is a partnership between the TSU Foundation, the National Alumni Association, and the Nashville Chapter to encourage the estimated 24,000 alumni in the Nashville metropolitan area to become informed, involved and invested. Thirteen of the inaugural Points of Pride are from Nashville.

This local effort is being spearheaded by the Nashville Chapter and President Beard.    Foundation Board Chairman Tucker is leading the national effort to education alumni and chapters of the importance of directing funds raised in the name of the University to the TSU Foundation.

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 Faculty, Staff Contribute more than $141,000 to Keep Students in School

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University faculty and staff are making sure students stay in school through their gifts.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, before a cheering crowd in Hale Stadium, the group presented President Glenda Glover with a check for $141,451 as part of their commitment to scholarship and student support.

The presentation was made during the halftime show of the game between TSU and Southeast Missouri.

Glover called the faculty and staff contribution “a very personal and strong commitment to our students’ needs.”

“We appreciate the faculty and staff for their commitment to help students remain in school,” Glover said. “It shows dedication from all elements of the university – from the faculty and staff to alumni, students, the community – because we are one big TSU family.”

Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate, said faculty and staff are “solidly behind our students” and their learning needs.

“I am very proud of the faculty and staff commitment to this great institution and what they are doing for our students, so that they can graduate and go on and make great careers for themselves and make us proud,” Ray said.

Linda Goodman, chair of the Staff Senate, agreed.

“We are committed to make all possible contributions that we can to help our students matriculate through to graduation,” Goodman said. “We care about our students and we thank them for choosing TSU, because if they weren’t here, we wouldn’t be here either.”

Participating in the check presentation along with Ray and Goodman were Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement; Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving; and Rosalyn Word, co-chair of the Faculty Staff Annual Giving Campaign.

Alexis said the check from the faculty and staff was part of their 2016-17 commitment.

“Today is an exciting moment because not only do our faculty and staff give of their time, talent and treasure every day in support of out students, but also go into their own hard-earned dollars to give back to the TSU Foundation to support the various programs, scholarships, academic programs and others,” she said. “It says to outsiders that those who are closest to our TSU experience love it enough to sacrifice to give. And so why wouldn’t others?”

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.