NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will kick off this year’s Homecoming with the 31st Annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest on Sunday.
The event, which is free and open to the public, starts at 3 p.m. in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center on the main campus. Cash prizes of $1,200, $800 and $500 will be awarded respectively for first, second, and third place winners in freshman and upperclassman divisions. There are 23 participants this year.
The contest, established in 1988, is named in honor of the late Robert N. Murrell, a longtime administrator and dean of men at TSU. It encourages students to develop skills in research, writing and oratory.
In 1993, the TSU Homecoming Committee incorporated the oratorical contest into the official Homecoming schedule of activities, and established the Homecoming theme as the theme for the contest. This year’s theme is: “Visions of Excellence with a Spirit of Success.”
Dr. Jacqueline Mitchell, chair of the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Committee, said the contest is a good recruitment tool.
“These students work hard,” Mitchell said. “They’re going to show people around the country that TSU is quality, and our students are quality. When you hear our students speak, there are other students and parents in the audience who say, ‘I want my child to come to TSU.’”
Following the oratorical contest, TSU’s Homecoming events continue with the Gospel Explosion in Kean Hall gymnasium at 6 p.m. The concert, which is free, will feature hit artists Jonathan McReynolds, Earnest Pugh, and The Walls Group.
Other Homecoming highlights throughout the week include the Coronation of Mr. and Miss TSU, Oct. 17; Ralph Boston Golf Tournament, Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Symposium, and Homecoming Concert, Oct. 18; and the Greek Step Show and the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, Oct. 19.
On Friday evening, TSU has planned a stellar Scholarship Gala at the Music City Center. 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. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships are used to provide financial assistance to students.
Homecoming will conclude Oct. 20 with the Homecoming Parade from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard, and the big football matchup between the Tigers and the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech at Nissan Stadium.
For more information about Homecoming activities, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/
Department of Media Relations
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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.