Tag Archives: Dr. Glenda Glover

TSU Inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Lecture Features Accomplished Microbiologist George Hill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University recently held its inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Homecoming Lecture on its main campus in the Robert N. Murrell Forum.

Dr. George C. Hill, who formerly served as head of the Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D. Professor in Medical Education Chair at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, provided the talk on Oct. 18, encouraging students to persevere in spite of skeptics.

The lecture series, a component of the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Institute, was established to honor Watkins, a 1966 alumnus of TSU and the first African-American to be accepted into and graduate from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. It features prominent speakers who address areas in health care and STEM to prepare students for the medical field. The late Watkins is known worldwide for being the first surgeon to successfully implant an automatic heart defibrillator in a human patient.

“You too can be exactly like Dr. Watkins. If he were here today he

Dr. George C. Hill

would show you that it is just an example of what Tennessee State University produces,” said Hill, an accomplished molecular biochemist. “Less than 10 years after Dr. Watkins graduated from Vanderbilt, in February 1980, he assisted in putting the defibrillator in a patient.”

Hill, distinguished professor emeritus and past vice chancellor at Vanderbilt University, shared old photographs of Watkins as well as insights about the life of a man who transformed the educational landscape for African-American students pursuing careers in the medical field.

TSU President Glenda Glover greeted the crowd and explained the purpose of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute.

“We established this institute to assist students who aspire to attend medical school. We established this institute for students to join the pre-med society. We established this institute to provide leaders from around the world,” she said. “We established this institute to provide scholarships for students for their education here at TSU. “

TSU President Glenda Glover gives greetings at the inaugural Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., Lecture.

Glover thanked the Watkin’s family for donating $500,000 to fund the institute.

“We thank Dr. Annie Marie Garraway for your contribution to carry out the vision of the genius himself, Dr. Levi Watkins Jr.,“ she said.

Dr. Garraway is Watkin’s sister. She and her husband, Ira Deep, along with Watkin’s cousin, Beverly Sheftall, attended the lecture.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, director of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute, said the university was honored to have Hill as the event’s featured lecturer.

“Dr. Hill is well renown in his field,” Sharpe said. “The students got to see someone of color who has done very well in terms of looking at diseases and trying to find cures for them. He has done a great job in terms of trying to get students to go into the medical field.”

The event also featured the induction of 19 students into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society, an organization comprised of students who aspire to attend medical school.

Students recently inducted into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society with members of the Watkin’s family and organizers of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., Institute.

“We are trying to enhance the education of our students by getting more of them to go into medical fields,” said Sharpe, who serves as interim dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences. “Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., did a great job in terms of being an example for our students, so we are looking forward to many more of our students attending graduate school and following in his footsteps.”

TSU alum Brandon Van Leer showcases his portrait of Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. which was unveiled during the program.

Barbara Murrell, a 1960 alumna of TSU, was the director of Student Activities in 1965 when Watkins served as president of the student government association president.

“Levi started his preparation for his journey here at Tenneseee State Univeristy in the ‘Land of Golden Sunshine by the Cumberland fertile shore,’” she said.“To us he was Levi. To the world he became a a renowned cardiac surgeon, a game-changer, an unrelenting advocate for the disenfranchised, a drum major for justice and a history maker.”

In addition to the lecture series, the institute also consists of a pre-med society and an endowed scholarship.

Students inducted into the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Society include Malcolm Finlay, president, a senior, biology/psychology major; Hitesh Vaishnav, vice-president, a senior, chemistry major; Christian Bond,secretary,  a junior, biology/pre-health major; and Anthony Moreland, treasurer, a senior, biology major.

Other students inducted into the society include Farah Ismail, a junior, chemistry major; Danielle Borlay, a senior, biology major; Joshua Borlay, a freshman, biology major; Autumn Brunson, a sophomore, biology major; Tyona Caldwell, a senior, chemistry major; Ashli Earl, a sophomore, biology major; Sahra Gabure, a sophomore, chemistry major; Jayvonna Gambrell, a sophomore, biology major, Cameron Holifield, a senior, chemistry major; Sara Jamal, a senior, chemistry major; Kimberley Laporte, a sophomore, biology major; Rodney McCracken, a freshman, biology major; Larry McNary II, a sophomore, biology major; Aliyah Muhammad, a junior, biology/pre-med major; and Habiba Mwechiwa, a sophomore, biology major.

 

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.

New AKA International President donates $50,000 earmarked for TSU and other HBCUs

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Newly installed Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated International President Dr. Glenda Glover has sent a clear message that education will remain a priority for the service organization, especially supporting the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Dr. Glover unveiled her vision that she believes will take the sorority’s efforts to greater heights, for greater impact during AKA’s international conference held recently in Houston, Texas. Her administration’s new initiative, HBCU for Life: A Call to Action and signature program College Admissions Process, also known as #CAP, will promote and market HBCUs, and encourage students to attend HBCUs. The college president donated $50,000 to the sorority‘s Educational Advancement Foundation to further emphasize her commitment. The funds are earmarked for Tennessee State and other HBCUs.

“I believe the best and most effective way to lead is by example,” said Glover. “My donation was two-fold. One, it emphasized how serious I am about the sustainability of HBCUs, not just as the president of Tennessee State, but also as an alumna. Two, I wanted to energize the membership about our new initiative. A call to action indicates something must happen immediately.”

“As the president of Tennessee State University, an HBCU, I witness first-hand the challenges our students and institutions face because the revenue streams once available have been systematically decreased or eliminated altogether, and they need our financial support more than ever to remain thriving and sustainable. HBCUs are a prominent part of this country’s DNA.”

Dr. Glover added that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority being established on an HBCU campus as the nation’s first African American female Greek-lettered organization makes the new HBCU initiative even more special.

Glover began her tenure as International President under the theme of “Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service,” which will run from 2018-2022. Members will implement the following initiatives for the next four years:

Target 1: HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. We will continue our emphasis on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We will promote and market HBCUs, encourage students to attend HBCUs, and provide financial support to HBCUs.

Target 2: Women’s Healthcare and Wellness. We will raise community awareness about critical health issues impacting the quality and longevity of the lives of African-American women. The primary focuses will be Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition and Wellness, and Care for the Caregivers.

Target 3: Building Your Economic Legacy. We will emphasize financial planning, asset accumulation, and wealth building including savings and investment, managing debt, and improving credit. We also will focus on supporting and encouraging African-American businesses through entrepreneurship and “The Black Dollar 365,” where we will be intentional in patronizing African-American businesses all year long.

Target 4: The Arts! We will expose students to arts enrichment and culture by focusing on the arts and celebrating the contributions of African-American artists. Program initiatives will showcase talent through the exploration of writers, entertainers and various other visual and performing artists and media.

Target 5: Global Impact. Through global partnerships, we will collaborate with organizations that provide assistance in international areas populated with people of color, including supporting organizations engaged in initiatives that assist refugees and their families integrate into American life.

Signature Program, #CAPSM, which is the abbreviation for the College Admissions Process, focuses on motivating and assisting students through the college entry process. It is a hands-on approach designed to facilitate college admission from researching various institutions and submitting applications through the completion of the enrollment process.

Nashville will be the host city for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Leadership Conference under Glover. The conference averages  between 8,000 to 10,000 attendees.

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 receives $20,000 in Scholarship funds in honor of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover as 30th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has begun to reap the benefits of its president’s dual role of leadership for the university and as international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Glenda Glover was presented a $20,000 check for the Glenda Baskin Glover-Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated 30th International President Scholarship fund at TSU during her installation activities in Houston, Texas.

The scholarship was established to celebrate Glover taking the helm of AKA, the nation’s oldest African American female Greek-lettered service organization, and to highlight her role as TSU’s first female president.

“I am so grateful to the members of our great sisterhood that work at Tennessee State, along with the current and former members of our Alpha Psi Undergraduate chapter for creating this scholarship fund for deserving students here at the university,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

“The generous donations from sorority members for the scholarship fund align with Alpha Kappa Alpha’s new initiative HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. I’ve charged chapters to donate $10 million to these institutions over the next four years. Of course this is personal for me as the president and alumna of an HBCU. HBCUs are an essential part of this country’s DNA. The new leadership of AKA is committed to the sustainability of all our HBCUs.”

Dr. Glover donated $50,000 to the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation for the sorority’s HBCU initiative during her installation ceremony. She made that same commitment of a $50,000 donation to TSU when she became president of the university in 2013.

Glover’s theme for the next four years, 2018-2022, with AKA is “Exemplifying Excellence Through Sustainable Service.” She will lead the prestigious 110-year old organization, of nearly 300,000 members and over 1,000 chapters located throughout the world, with a platform comprised of five program targets, a signature program and seven international community service impact days designed to advance AKA and underscore the organization’s commitment to service.

Target 1: HBCU for Life: A Call to Action. We will continue our emphasis on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We will promote and market HBCUs, encourage students to attend HBCUs, and provide financial support to HBCUs.

Target 2: Women’s Healthcare and Wellness. We will raise community awareness about critical health issues impacting the quality and longevity of the lives of African-American women. The primary focuses will be Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention, Heart Health, Nutrition and Wellness, and Care for the Caregivers.

Target 3: Building Your Economic Legacy. We will emphasize financial planning, asset accumulation, and wealth building including savings and investment, managing debt, and improving credit. We also will focus on supporting and encouraging African-American businesses through entrepreneurship and “The Black Dollar 365,” where we will be intentional in patronizing African-American businesses all year long.

Target 4: The Arts! We will expose students to arts enrichment and culture by focusing on the arts and celebrating the contributions of African-American artists. Program initiatives will showcase talent through the exploration of writers, entertainers and various other visual and performing artists and media.

Target 5: Global Impact. Through global partnerships, we will collaborate with organizations that provide assistance in international areas populated with people of color, including supporting organizations engaged in initiatives that assist refugees and their families integrate into American life.

Signature Program, #CAPSM, which is the abbreviation for the College Admissions Process, focuses on motivating and assisting students through the college entry process. It is a hands-on approach designed to facilitate college admission from researching various institutions and submitting applications through the completion of the enrollment process.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Glover’s higher educational development began as a student at TSU where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with honors. She earned her Master of Business Administration Degree in accounting at Clark Atlanta University and her Doctor of Philosophy in business and economics business from George Washington University. Glover earned her Juris Doctor Degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a certified public accountant, a licensed attorney, and one of a handful of African-American women to hold the Ph.D.-CPA-J.D. combination in the United States.

Professionally, Glover has amassed over 25 years of success in the academic and business arenas. Since assuming the leadership helm at TSU in 2013, the University has attained increases in academic program offerings, corporate and community partnerships, as well as alumni giving. While dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University from 1994 to 2012, Glover led the college through the accreditation process and spearheaded the implementation of the nation’s first Ph.D. program in business at a HBCU. From 1990 to 1994 Glover served as the chairperson of the Department of Accounting at the Howard University School of Business. She has also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of an engineering firm, a tax manager at a major public utility company, and an accountant with a Big-Four CPA firm.

Glover was initiated into the Alpha Psi Chapter at TSU in 1971. A committed life member of AKA with over four decades of leadership and service, Glover has served in several capacities, including International Vice-President, International Treasurer, and Treasurer to the Educational Advancement Foundation. She also has served as president, vice-president, and treasurer of Beta Delta Omega Chapter in Jackson, Mississippi, and as president and vice-president of Alpha Psi Chapter as an undergraduate student.

 

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.

Burnece Walker Brunson, TSU alumna and ABC Nightly News ‘Person of the Week,’ dies at 102

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Burnece Walker Brunson, a TSU alumna who was featured as ABC World News Tonight’s “Person of the Week,” has died at the age of 102.

TSU President Glenda Glover introduces Ms. Burnece Walker Brunson at the Scholarship Gala during Homecoming. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Family members said Brunson passed away Sunday at her home surrounded by family and friends.

“They actually were having prayer and holding her hands when she passed,” said Dawn Dopson, Brunson’s great-niece.

TSU President Glenda Glover said TSU has lost a “jewel.”

“Ms. Brunson truly embodied the spirit of TSU,” said President Glover.  “We were blessed to have her with us for so many years, and especially as a symbol representing the legacy and proud tradition of the university. In 2016, we were honored to have her serve as our homecoming grand marshal, which was highlighted by her selection as ABC’s Nightly News ‘Person of the Week.’ She will always be in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

Picture of a young Burnece Brunson (standing, far left) and her father, mother, brother and three sisters. (Submitted Photo)

A native of Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, Brunson moved to Chicago for a better education. There, she got her first taste of cheerleading while in high school.

“It fulfilled my desire to stay physically active since there were not many sporting activities for girls during those days,” she said.

After high school, Brunson decided to attend TSU (A&I College) in 1933. The following year she joined the cheerleading team.

In 1936, Brunson received her teaching certificate and eventually went back to Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Chicago Teacher’s College, and a master’s degree from the National College of Education in Evanston, Illinois.

While in Chicago, Brunson was the first female hired there to serve as a lifeguard.

Brunson would later return to Tennessee and make Nashville her home; the place where she developed unforgettable collegiate memories.

Ms. Brunson with members of the Alumni Cheerleader Association and President Glover during a ceremony at Hale Stadium. (Photo by Jon Cross, TSU Media Relations)

As a member of the TSU Alumni Cheerleader Association, she was a fixture at Homecoming parades and football games, still shaking her pom-pom to cheer on her home team. A retired school teacher, Brunson returned and performed with the team at age 87 during the 2003 Homecoming, and did so nearly every year after.

“Cheering for your favorite players and entertaining your fans feel like you are also part of the game,” Brunson said in a recent interview. “It is home; it is family. My love for TSU has no end.”

Last year, Brunson was featured on the popular ABC evening show for her longevity and TSU team spirit.

“She’s still cheering; proving to us all what it means to be forever young,” said David Muir, the anchor of ABC World News Tonight, and Person of the Week host.

Brunson was co-grand marshal at the 2016 TSU Homecoming, where she was honored at several events, including a scholarship that was established in her name. During the festivities, a film crew shot footage for a PBS special on HBCUs, and Brunson was included.

A prolific writer, Brunson tried to spread her wisdom in one of about a dozen books she wrote, including Food for Thought: Nourishment for the Soul, which gives tips on how to navigate life’s challenges.

When asked what advice she would give people today, especially youngsters, she smiled, then replied:

“Do the right thing, in every way.”

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 welcomes new Tigers to the Big Blue family on freshman Move-In Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Lamonjae Romey got several offers from colleges and universities, but after learning about Tennessee State University and visiting its campus, the Big Blue sealed the deal.

TSU President Glenda Glover greets new freshmen. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

“When we came here the first time, I just fell in love with the campus,” said Romey, an Indianapolis native who plans to major in nursing. “Right then, I decided that this is where I want to be.”

Romey was among about 1,500 new freshmen that arrived at TSU on Wednesday for Freshman Move-In Day.

“It’s always a pleasing sight to see new students and their families join our university family as they come to us as freshmen,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

President Glover greeted many of the new students personally as she stood at the entrance of several residence halls during the move-in.

“It’s very important for these students to have a good start to the best college experience possible. I want them to study hard and do their best. Our move-in event is the first step to that experience. It’s a family thing like the slogan on our volunteer T-shirts read (display),” Glover said.

New TSU freshman Lamonjae Romey (center) with her mother, Latochia Rice (left), and grandmother, Doris Rice. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Freshman Shelby Sellers said she’s looking forward to attending TSU. She and her family drove about nine hours from Wisconsin on Wednesday. Sellers, who plans to major in biology, said what really attracted her to TSU was the kindness she was shown by faculty and staff when she visited the university.

“They seem to want to help you in everything; give guidance,” she said. “I really like the culture.”

Freshman Megan Davis of Knoxville, Tennessee, agreed.

“I could tell that the professors really care about students’ success,” said Davis, who plans to major in occupational therapy. “And I like the overall community.”

During the move-in Wednesday, a number of parents praised the helpfulness and organization of TSU’s staffers. Megan’s mother, Denise Davis, said she believes her daughter will be in good hands.

“My daughter just kept saying, ‘Mom, I really want to go to Tennessee State,’” Denise Davis said. “We came up for a couple of visits, and TSU sealed the deal.”

New TSU freshmen and their families enjoy some tasty barbecue. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president of student affairs at TSU, said the university wants students and their parents to know that good customer service is a priority.

“We’re very excited … to welcome new Tigers into our family,” Ford said.

In addition to the university’s great faculty and staff, a number of TSU freshmen said they want to be part of the unique experience only a historically black college or university can offer.

“I chose TSU because of my heritage and the history I can learn here,” said Memphis native Tavion McCullough, who will be majoring in business administration.

Activities were planned throughout Move-in Day for the new freshmen, including orientation and a barbecue for them and their families. Before they start class on Aug. 21, students will have an opportunity to participate in an open house to learn about their colleges and academic departments.

 

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 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 Announces Updates From Its 10-Point Safety Enhancement Plan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University continues to implement its 10-Point Safety Enhancement Plan by working with a consultant to review and make recommendations about the campus police department.

August Washington
August Washington

August Washington, a longtime law enforcement expert, will serve as a consultant to the university’s police department for 60 days.  Washington is charged with developing an attainable policing plan and providing guidance on personnel, training and organizational restructuring.

“The university is pleased to have an individual of Mr. Washington’s caliber and level of expertise in this capacity to assist us with such an important area as public safety,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.  “In addition to Mr. Washington’s experience, he is familiar with local law enforcement and works with the same agencies as our police department in his current role.”

“One of my first actions will be to bring in a team of law enforcement professionals to review current policies, procedures, and practices of the TSUPD,” explained Washington. “This group will be responsible for developing a strategic plan of goals and objectives by utilizing best practices in IACLEA  and CALEA standards.”

President Glenda Glover
President Glenda Glover

Washington, currently chief of police and associate vice chancellor at Vanderbilt University, previously served as police chief for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He was selected the 2015 Middle Tennessee Chief of the Year by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. The Louisiana native holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Grambling State University. He has 36 years of experience in law enforcement working in higher education at seven universities.

“Tennessee State University is taking the necessary steps to enhance safety with the 10-point plan that calls for immediate action and accountability,” said Chancellor John Morgan of the Tennessee Board of Regents. “President Glover has sought out and received assistance from local law enforcement agencies to move the institution forward in the area of public safety, and TBR supports this effort.”

TSU also continues to increase staffing with police officers and security guards. More personnel have been added through the Metro Nashville Police Department Secondary Employment Unit, while additional security personnel have been hired through the security firm Allied Barton for 30 days while the consultant review takes place.

The additional staffing helps to fulfill the component of the 10-Point Safety Enhancement Plan that calls for more visibility and increased manpower.  Earlier this month, TSU opened a police satellite office in the student center and established a Student Safety Patrol.

Visit  http://www.tnstate.edu/police/safety/washington.aspx for a comprehensive list of the safety plan and a complete bio on August Washington.

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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.

In One-On-One Interview, TSU President Discusses Successes, Challenges of Her Administration

Courtesy of the Tri-State Defender

Firmly anchored in the present, Tennessee State University President – and Memphis product – Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover takes a look back to her January 2013 start and peeks forward in a sit-down exclusive with the “Tri-State Defender.”

Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover took over as president of TSU in January 2013 with a five-point plan: (1) academic progress and customer service, (2) fund raising and partnerships, (3) diversity and inclusion, (4) shared governanceand (5) business outreach.

Interview
Eloise Abernathy Alexis, the new associate vice president for Institutional Advancement, left, and President Glenda Glover talk to Karanja Kajanaku, editor of The New Tri-State Defender during an interview in the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“It’s an honor to have grown up in Memphis and then to attend TSU and then to come back as president. It’s such an awesome blessing and I don’t take that lightly. I don’t for any reason think that that is a given,” said Glover during an interview at The Peabody Hotel as the Southern Heritage Classic Weekend of activities unfolded. “I know there are expectations. You asked if there was something the alumni expected. They demand accountability and rightly so. … I am enjoying it, embracing it,” she said, tipping her hat to a quality team of administrators.

Together, and with the support of alumni, the team has managed to increase enrollment, even as enrollment at the other five Tennessee Board of Regents universities stayed the same or declined. And it has done so against the challenge presented by the Tennessee Promise initiative, which offers two years of tuition-free community or technical college to Tennessee high school graduates beginning with the Class of 2015.

Karanja A. Ajanaku: On a macro level, what do you see as the purpose of a university?

Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover: A university exists for more than one reason. It exists first to educate students, to impart the knowledge they will need to function in their daily lives in a professional arena. Then secondly, it is to improve the wellbeing, the overall well roundedness of our students. That’s what a university is for.

KAA: So coming down to the micro level and looking at Tennessee State, how well do you say you are doing?

Dr. Glover: We are doing an outstanding job of educating students. Over the years I can give you the names of TSU alums who have done well and made their marks on life. We continue to carry out our mission of serving a population that really needs us. We serve largely Tennessee students but we are open to all students who apply and meet the standards and criteria we have set for TSU and approved by our governing boards.

KAA: Coming in, you had something in your mind, like a baseball manager with a three to five year plan. A few years in, where do you see that you are relative to the plan that you came in with?

Dr. Glover: We are on track, maybe a little bit ahead of schedule. When I came, I had a five-point vision. I knew it would take three to five years. First and foremost was student progress, make sure students are progressing as speedily as necessary through the academic system. (And) to improve the customer service as it related to students. Students who go to TSU deserve the right and opportunity and support they need to graduate. And that is our mission. To get the students the proper amount of knowledge and understanding so that when they are deposited back into the larger community, the larger world, they will be able to function and excel.

KAA: So you had plan and you come in. Did you find anything that you didn’t expect and you said, “Wow, I’ve got to adjust my plan?”

Dr. Glover: There were some things that caught me off guard. The quietness of the faculty and staff, initially there was not much communication. I’m not sure if there was some reason perhaps that they thought they might be penalized for speaking with the president, for being open and candid. So I wanted to make sure that they understood that I am here because the students are here. Whatever it takes to advance the students, I want to hear that. I want to know if there is an issue that has come up obstructing the path. We want to be open, honest and transparent. There are no hidden agendas when it comes to this administration. We are totally focused on students and making sure that students get a better life when they graduate. And the professional world they are looking for, we make sure they are ready for that. The second amazement to me …one of the rules that we have in Tennessee is that as you grow and need new buildings, somehow TSU is responsible for 25 percent of that. That was a shocker. I’ve never been in a system where the actual administration was responsible for a fourth of the funding of a facility. That was quite new, but again, once I learned the rules, I have to function within those rules and we function very well within those rules.

KAA: You get a lot of Memphis students historically. They have been trying to raise the standards here. I am curious as to what (caliber) you are receiving and what, if anything, special you have to do to help students that are sort of academically challenged.

Dr. Glover: Actually, Memphis students are no different from students across the country that we admit. We have excellent students from Memphis and we have some others who have some challenges. We want to make sure that we serve the students and service the students and meet their needs where they are. Everybody is not cut out to be an engineer major or a CPA. On the other hand, they might be cut out to be music majors. We help students find their proper pursuit and then move in that direction.

KAA: Are there any new programs or initiatives that you are bringing on board this year, or soon?

Dr. Glover
: Yes. We know that STEM and health care, those two areas, are probably hottest in the academic arena, in the professional arena…. So we combined the life and physical sciences – biology, chemistry, math, physics – so we could have a better focus on the STEM areas and keep those students who are really STEM oriented and make sure that we provide an education for them that is conducive to what they need…We have engineering by itself and put the others together.

KAA: We ran a story in our newspaper this week where a couple of HBCU graduates were really making a plea for alumni to not forgot the schools and to step up, particularly from a financial standpoint. What are you experiencing with your alumni?

Dr. Glover: I have the person with me (Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement) who is over alumni affairs.

KAA: What are you experiencing relative to working with your alumni from a contribution standpoint? And what are you asking of them? And how are they responding?

Eloise Abernathy Alexis: Later this afternoon, we will be gathering our alumni and friends for that purpose; to say thank you to those who have been supportive of the institution. Tennessee State has a solid foundation of alumni who are connected and committed, giving of their talent and time. But also to let them know the current state of the university and the opportunities to invest even more significantly…. Corporations and foundations are asking us now, “Do the people that are closest to your institution support you?” …We know of the wonderful affinity that TSU alumni have for the university. So we are simply going to work together to make sure that love translates into gifts to the university.

KAA: Are they, the alumni, asking anything of you?

EAA: They are, meaningful engagement. They want to be connected and be able to come to events like the Southern Heritage Classic and to see us here and have access to the president. They also want to have engagement with students. TSU alumni come to campus and they get engaged in the general life of the college. They are mentors to our students.

Dr. Glover: One of our tenets was to excite the alumni. An excited alumni is a giving alumni. …I came in and led the pledge myself. …The first day I made a contribution of $50,000 because I wanted to be sure they understood my commitment. …We have an increased enrollment this year largely because of the alumni efforts. They send their own children to TSU, go out and help us recruit and tell the TSU story. We are having such a good time with this because there are six universities in the Tennessee Board of Regents system and of that six one had an increase, one stayed the same and four had a decline in enrollment. Of course Tennessee Promise, we believe, had a great effect on that. … We put together a mechanism as to how we would get around that. … I personally visited high schools and community colleges and met with Greek organizations and met with alumni around the country; asked them to help us to recruit talented students. …That’s what we did and it worked.

KAA: Tennessee State historically has been all African American. Over the years there has been a change in your population. I would like to know the breakdown. Even more, how has the change affected the idea of you being an HBCU?

Dr. Glover: TSU will always be an HBCU. I don’t want people to panic and say, “Oh they are admitting so many non-African Americans.” We’ve always had our doors opene, our arms wide open to students who met our standards. When students in Tennessee could not get into the University of Memphis, Vanderbilt or UT, we never had a prejudice of that sort that kept out students. We’ve always had an admission policy that was inclusive. …Having said that, non-African Americans see the value that they get, there is a value proposition they see. For less money they can get the same quality education. That’s what people are seeing. (About) 12 percent of our students are international students. That is tremendous growth. The African-American population is about 70 percent. I think the white population appears to be about 18 percent. And we embrace all 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 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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 President Glenda Glover Announces Creation of Two New Colleges in State of the University Address

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover gave an upbeat assessment of the state of the university Monday announcing the addition of two new colleges for the coming academic year, but said much work needs to be done in the areas of retention and graduation.

At 60 percent, the 2013-2014 first-time freshman retention rate showed a 1 percent increase over the previous academic year. The 2015 graduation rates are still pending, but she said a 1 percent increase in graduation in 2014 is not where the university wants to be.

Faculty I-4
Faculty and staff listen as President Glenda Glover gives her State of the University address in Kean Hall Monday. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“We have to do better than that,” Glover said as she announced several new initiatives to improve retention and college completion. “We must do everything possible to help students do better and make them want to stay and graduate. This is fundamental to why we are here not to mention that graduation and retention are key to our funding.”

President Glover announced the addition of the College of Life and Physical Sciences, acting upon recommendations from faculty and students with the approval of the Tennessee Board of Regents. The new college brings all of the STEM degree courses under one umbrella. The new college will include biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, the only non-degree program.

LSharpe7
Dr. Lonnie Sharpe is the dean of the newly created College of Life and Physical Sciences at Tennessee State University. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, a long-time TSU professor and Massie Chair of Excellence, has been named interim dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences. Sharpe is also the executive director of the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, which recently won a $987,000 National Science Foundation award to increase the number of minority students who earn Ph.D., in STEM education.

Glover also announced the elevation of the TSU Honors Program to a college level program. Like all the other academic units, the Honors College will exist as an equal collegiate unit within the university structure, with a dean reporting to the vice president for academic affairs.

In another move, the president announced the change in the name of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs to the College of Public Service, while Early Childhood Education is moved from the College of Agriculture to the College of Education.

“The recommendations for these changes have been reviewed by us and found to be appropriate and sound academic steps, and with the approval of the Tennessee Board of Regents, we are implementing them,” Glover said.

On other institutional achievements, the president touted recent national accolades TSU has received, such as the no. 1 ranking among the Top 10 HBCUs that Produce Teachers; no. 1 among Most Affordable Colleges Online in Tennessee; and no. 34 of the 100 Most Affordable Universities. She also spoke about the university’s expanded marketing campaign through billboards, social and print media promoting its programs, offerings, community college and distance learning initiatives.

Glover announced upgrades in dining with the adding of Starbucks on the main campus and POD and coffee shop on the Avon Williams campus, which received a rousing chant of approval. A 2-percent across-the-board salary increase retroactive to July was also announced.

With nearly 1,400 new freshmen expected, Glover called on faculty and staff to “join hands” in making sure the new students receive all the support necessary to make their fall freshman move-in Tuesday successful.

“Let all of us show up and give our new freshmen and their parents a rousing TSU welcome during the freshman move-in tomorrow,” Glover said.

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 38 undergraduate, 22 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 President Glenda Glover Joins Bernice King, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Thousands to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Selma to Montgomery March

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover joined Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights activists Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and others for the “Bloody Sunday” commemorative march in observance of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March.

TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover (right) marches the streets of Selma, Alabama with noted civil rights activist, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others, as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March. (courtesy photo)
TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover (right) marches the streets of Selma, Alabama with noted civil rights activist, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others, as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March. (courtesy photo)

President Glover met presidents from Historically Black Colleges and Universities from around the country in Selma, Alabama to celebrate the historic 1965 event. National leaders including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, head of Rainbow PUSH, and Dr. Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) called for HBCU presidents to make the journey for the anniversary.

“The Selma to Montgomery March is the single most galvanizing moment in our nation’s history in the fight for civil rights, particularly voting rights,” said Dr. Glover. “What happened on the Edmund Pettus Bridge was engrained in the minds of millions of Americans as we watched in horror and disbelief – yet trusting that it would bring about change for all Americans.”

While in Selma, President Glover met with other college presidents, educators, civil rights leaders, students, community organizers, and several service groups. The Selma journey was also significant for Dr. Glover as it gave her the opportunity to memorialize the people and place where thousands of leaders came together to march for the “paramount victory” in the fight for equality.

“I am honored to make the journey to Selma as president of Tennessee State University to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this historical event. This 50th Anniversary has personal relevance for me because of my father’s role in the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee.  I also appreciate the impressionable role of the TSU Freedom Riders in the Civil Rights Movement. I am pleased to go back to Selma in honor of my father’s memory and in dedication of those who fought for freedom everywhere.”

Glover made a contribution in the name of Tennessee State to Brown A.M.E. Church for $1,000. The church was a starting point for the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 and, as the meeting place and offices of SCLC during the Selma Movement.

“We appreciate President Glover’s commitment to advancing education, economics and human rights,” Dr. Steele remarked. “She is clearly a leader in higher education, and brings a unique perspective in engaging students. Glover is dedicated to educating and empowering the next generation of leaders.”

It is estimated that as many as 70,000 people took part in the commemorate march. One of the highlights included President Barack Obama’s address mark at anniversary.

Tennessee State University Marks 102nd Birthday With Procession, Speeches and Cheers

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is 102 years old today.

President Glenda Glover, accompanied by keynote speaker, State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, led a procession of faculty, staff and students for a Founders’ Day celebration in Kean Hall, amid cheers from the audience and renditions from the University Marching Band.

“This is a great day for Tennessee State University,” said Dr. 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.

“From 1912 when the then Agricultural and Industrial Normal School for Negroes, built to provide educational opportunity for blacks, opened its doors to the first 247, TSU has maintained a tradition of excellence in education for a diverse population,” Dr. Glover said.

In her keynote address, Rep. Gilmore, a 1984 graduate of TSU, emphasized “Think, Work, Serve,” the University’s motto and its relevance in achieving success, but quickly pointed to pitfalls many face for misusing that success.

“TSU has helped to better the lives of so many and opened doors for countless others,” Gilmore said. “But many, including elected officials and others in key positions have failed because they end up hurting the very people they are supposed to help.”

Gilmore, a noted advocate for abused and special needs children, and a strong supporter of women’s cause, said many officials suffer what she called ethical lapses, either out of greed for power, wealth, disrespect for others or lack of integrity.

“As TSU graduates we are responsible to pass our good fortune to help those unfortunate ones in our community,” said Gilmore, who earned a B.S. degree in Business at TSU, before going on to earn a master’s degree in Human Resource Development at Vanderbilt University.

“Get involved in fruitful endeavors that improve your community; give back to the community that nurtured you; and reconnect yourselves to the TSU motto to make this world a better place,” added the four-term member of the Tennessee General Assembly from the 54th District in Davidson County.

Mr. and Miss TSU, accompanied by their Royal Court, and faculty members dressed in full regalia, added to the pomp in celebration of the founders and birthday of the University, which now boasts more than 9,000 students, up from 247, one hundred and two years ago.

 

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.