Tag Archives: Emmanuel S. Freeman

TSU expert says U.S. Travel Ban May Not Affect International Students with Legal Status, but still causes anxiety

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – International students with legal status in the United States should not be worried about the new travel ban, says a public policy expert at Tennessee State University.

Dr. Michael Harris, dean of the College of Public Service and a longtime expert on Middle Eastern politics, said there is “no language in the law that will affect these students.” However, the ban could impact those wanting to enter the U.S. other than to study.

Dr. Michael Harris

“No, students should not be concerned at all,” Harris said. “I don’t believe it (the ban) has any impact on students that are admitted to universities in the United States with an I-20.”

The Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status, also known as the I-20, allows student to stay in the country for the duration of their program. The I-20 is processed in the country of origin and makes it legal for individuals to come to the United States and learn, Harris added.

On December 4, the Supreme Court allowed the ban to go into effect, although legal challenges against it remain. This means that the government can fully enforce its new restrictions on travel from eight nations, six of them predominantly Muslim. For now, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be barred from entering the United States, along with some groups from Venezuela.

Tennessee State University has about 560 international students from 35 countries. (Courtesy photo)

While the ban does not impact current international students studying here, it still causes them great concern. This includes Nahal Jafari, a freshman psychology major at Tennessee State University.

The Iranian native said she cancelled all options to attend college in her country and chose to come to the U.S. for her studies, but thinks the ban may cause her problems in the immediate future.

“I am really worried because this impacts my student visa,” said Jafari, who was planning on going home during the summer break for vacation but thinks it may not be a good idea. “If I decide to change schools or go home to see my family, will I be able to?”

TSU has about 560 international students from 35 countries, with a good number from Iran, Iraq and Somalia, which are on the travel ban.

In most cases, citizens of these designated countries will be unable to immigrate to the United States permanently, and many will be barred from working, studying or vacationing here. For instance, Iran will still be able to send its citizens on student exchanges, though such visitors will be subject to enhanced screening.

Mark Brinkley is the director of international education in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at TSU. Brinkley recommends all international students submit their current I-20 for review prior to departing the U.S.

He said if the I-20 is current, “students may re-enter the country without challenges from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.”

International students in middle Tennessee should go to their designated school official (DSO) to ensure they have all proper documentation and fully understand the new travel ban.

For more information on international studies at TSU go to http://www.tnstate.edu/diversity/.

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 Commencement Speaker April Ryan Tells Graduates to Believe in Themselves

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Renowned journalist and White House correspondent April Ryan left Tennessee State University graduates with one key message Saturday: “Believe in yourselves and ‘stand’ in the face of adversities.”

President Glenda Glover, right, presents a special award to Commencement Speaker April Ryan. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Ryan, also a nationally syndicated radio host, delivered the commencement address at TSU’s fall graduation ceremony in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the main campus. Nearly 500 undergraduate and graduate students received degrees in various disciplines.

TSU President Glenda Glover gave the welcome and thanked Ryan for accepting the invitation to speak at the graduation. She congratulated the graduates and thanked parents, relatives and friends for their support.

“I applaud you for having reached this extraordinary milestone in your academic career,” Glover said. “It does not matter how long it took you; you are sitting here this morning because you are graduating. You have endured.”

About 500 graduates received degrees in various disciplines at TSU’s 2017 Fall Commencement (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In her  address, Ryan told the graduates that receiving their degrees does not guarantee that it will “catapult” them into middle-income status.

“But it lays the foundation,” she said. “There are going to be hurdles; life isn’t a crystal stair. You will be met with issues you have never seen before, but it starts with believing in yourselves.”

As a White House correspondent, Ryan has covered four presidential administrations. But it was her exchanges with President Donald Trump and his then-press secretary Sean Spicer following the last presidential election that thrust Ryan into the limelight. She makes frequent appearances on CNN as an analyst.

President Glover presented Jaquatey Bowens and William Sanders with the Student Academic Excellence Award for achieving the highest grade point average in their various disciplines. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

On race and the current political climate, Ryan pointed to TSU’s “unique role” as an HBCU and its involvement in the civil rights struggle of the ‘50s and ‘60s, when students from the university staged sit-ins in Nashville and across Tennessee. She also made reference to President Trump’s controversial visit to the opening of the civil rights museum in Mississippi, which is being boycotted by many prominent black leaders.

“I applaud these civil rights leaders for their decision to boycott because it is their right,” Ryan said. “But I also think that the president should go. We need for this president to go and see why the students were sitting in the ’60s. We need this president to understand why Colin Kaepernick took a knee. We need for the president to see the pain from the ‘50s and ‘60s and that slavery was not just a different way of immigrating into the United States with a basket of fruit and seeing Lady Liberty.”

Tennessee State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., who previously earned a bachelor’s degree from TSU, was in attendance Saturday to receive his doctorate in public policy and administration. He described Ryan as the person with the “right tool” to transform the graduates’ thinking.

“As I sit here and think about getting another degree from TSU, I am excited, but also I am concerned about the direction our country is going in with the leadership that we have,” Love said. “I am hoping that our speaker will inspire students to leave from here with their degrees and help transform the world and bring us back to a place of peace, compassion, and responsibility.”

Later, President Glover presented Jaquantey Bowen, a biology major; and Williams Sanders, computer science major, with the Student Academic Excellence Award for achieving the highest grade point average in their various disciplines.

 

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 Hosts Unveiling of ‘Forever’ Postal Stamp Depicting African American Museum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Nov. 28 hosted the unveiling of the U.S. Postal Service’s “Forever Stamp” depicting the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The new stamp is adorned with the image of the 400,000 square-foot building situated near the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In the upper left corner is the wording: “National Museum of African American History and Culture.” “Forever” and “USA” appear in the lower right corner. The first-class stamp is now on sale at postal facilities throughout the country.

Toni Franklin, the postmaster of Nashville, joined TSU President Glenda Glover, faculty, staff, students, postal officials and guests during the unveiling ceremony in the Kean Hall Foyer on the main campus.

TSU and U.S. postal officials join President Glenda Glover and Nashville Postmaster Toni Franklin at the unveiling of the “Forever Stamp” depicting the National Museum of African American History and Culture. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Glover, who was presented with a portrait of the stamp, said it was very significant that TSU was selected for the unveiling because of the university’s “special” connection to the museum.

“We are very grateful to the United State Postal Service for selecting Tennessee State University to unveil this forever stamp depicting a “monument” dedicated to the struggle and achievements of African Americans,” Glover said. “The museum and this unveiling are very special to us. TSU and its rich history are prominently featured in the collection of the museum.”

Among artifacts and collections in the museum, TSU donated gold medals, championship trophies and track cleats, as well as photographs and portraits of trailblazers and coaches from the university’s rich athletic history, including legendary TSU Track and Field Coach Ed Temple.

Franklin said since its opening the museum has become a “sight of remembrance and reflection” and the stamp “conveys the faith, resilience, and hope that the building represents.

“Throughout history, the postal service is proud to have been a part of the African American experience in providing employment, advancement, and opportunity to generations of African Americans,” Franklin said. “Tennessee State University, with its rich history, is a major part of that experience in helping African Americans realize dreams.”

Gregory Clapp is the director of the TSU Post Office. He said he was glad TSU was selected for the unveiling of the new stamp.

“This is a big day for Tennessee State University,” Clapp said. “The TSU post office is glad to be a part of such a major event.”

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 Sate University Students Win Top Awards at National Honors Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students won two first-place awards at the 26th annual conference of the Association of African American Honors Programs held this month at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Kalynn Parks won first place in research presentation for her study on the effects of hypertension. (Submitted photo)

More than 400 honors students, directors and faculty from 33 HBCUs across the nation participated in research presentations, academic competitions, career and graduate fairs, a quiz bowl, a model African Union, and talent competition Nov. 9-12.

TSU’s Kalynn Parks, of Atlanta, a senior biology major, won first place in research presentation for her project on “Sympathoexcitation and Increased Sodium Chloride Cotransporter Activity in Hypertensive Aged Sprague Dawley Rats.”

Leona Dunn, left, Jerry Tibbet and Alliyah Muhammed received a trophy for winning first place in the Model African Union competition. (Submitted photo)

In the Model African Union completion, the three-person TSU team, representing Kenya, walked away with first place. They included Jerry Tibbet, sophomore aeronautical and industrial technology major from Kenya; Leona Dunn, senior communications major from Omaha, Nebraska; and Aliyah Muhammed, freshman computer science major from Memphis.

“This conference provided an amazing opportunity not only to present my scientific research, but to be immersed in an environment with likeminded people who also looked like me,” said Parks, about her research on the effects of hypertension, which affects about one in three American adults.

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the TSU Honors College, said she was amazed at Parks’ presentation.

“Kalynn was flawless in her poster presentation,” Jackson said. “I watched as the judges rigorously critiqued her methodology and findings. Ms. Parks confidently responded in a respectful manner to every question presented and argument raised by the judges. She held her own because of the depth of her knowledge and understanding of her work.”

Overall, Jackson said the 19 TSU students at the conference were outstanding in every aspects of their participation.

Tibbet, who served as the head delegate on the TSU Model African Union team, said he looks forward to one day participating in a “real United Nations General Assembly.

“It was very honorable and enlightening to represent TSU and to be a delegate to Kenya,” said Tibbet, who grew up in the East African nation. “Winning the award showed me that ideas could be turned into resolutions.”

The NAAAHP Annual Conference brings together Honors students, faculty, staff and professionals from HBCUs and PBCUs throughout the United States. TSU hosted the conference in 2016 with Jackson serving as national president.

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.

Renowned Journalist and CNN Political Analyst April Ryan to Give Fall Commencement Address at Tennessee State University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – April Ryan, a renowned journalist, White House correspondent and nationally syndicated radio host, will deliver the commencement address when Tennessee State University holds its fall graduation ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The commencement will take place in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the main campus, beginning at 9 a.m. Nearly 450 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines.

Ryan, described as “having a unique vantage point as the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House” since the Clinton administration, is also known for her “Fabric of America” news blog syndicated through close to 300 radio affiliates.

She is the Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks, and can be seen almost daily on CNN as a political analyst.

As a White House correspondent, Ryan has covered four presidential administrations. Following the election of President Donald Trump, Ryan gained notoriety after notable exchanges with him and his then-press secretary, Sean Spicer.

She has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Elle magazines, The New York Times, The Washington Post – to name a few.  Ryan is the 2017 National Association of Black Journalist’s Journalist of the Year, and a Terker Fellow with the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs.

A Baltimore native, Ryan has served on the board of the prestigious White House Correspondents Association, and one of only three African Americans in the Association’s over 100-year history to serve on its board. She is also an esteemed member of the National Press Club.

Ryan is the author of the award-winning book, “The Presidency in Black and White,” and “At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White,” where she looks at race relations through the lessons and wisdom that mothers have given their children.

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 choir members part of spirited performance at 51st CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of Tennessee State University’s Choir  joined a Nashville ensemble in a spirited performance at the recent 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville.

Members of the Tennessee State University Choir served as backup singers at the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night. (Submitted photo)

The choral students appeared as backup singers to some of the biggest names in country music, including Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire. The students were invited along with the Portara Ensemble, to kick off the CMA Awards, which was broadcast live on national television from the Music City Center.

“It was an amazing experience with about 20,000 people in the audience cheering us on,” said Dre Pinson, a senior general music education major from Nashville, who is president of the TSU Choir. “Talk about adrenaline rushing out, talk about the pressure. They were very polite and very welcoming, especially when they realized that we were from TSU. They were very honored to have some local people behind them to support them.”

Thomas J.  Taylor III, another member of the choir, said he was glad to have the opportunity to once again showcase TSU’s excellence.

“Thanks to our director, Dr. (Susan Kelly) for putting us out there,” said Taylor, a junior music education major from Nashville. “I was excited that we were going to be in front of all those people on live TV.”

Dr. Kelly described the invitation from the CMA and the experience as “very humbling.”

“We got to not only sing with, but to interact with, some of the greatest Country Music artists alive today,” she said. “Our students are doing great things and I am proud to say that I teach at TSU!”

For more information on the Tennessee State University Choir, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/music/choir.aspx

 

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 Sophomore with Dream to Become a Military Lawyer Receives $18,000 Scholarship from the U.S. Air Force

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Katelyn Thompson’s dream is to be a military lawyer or judge advocate general. The TSU sophomore is well on her way after receiving a $18,000 scholarship from the U.S. Air Force.

On Oct. 25, Thompson, a criminal justice major, signed a contract with the Air Force and was sworn in as a cadet. As part of her contract, she received the scholarship under the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship program, which covers tuition, fees and books. She will train with the AFROTC Detachment 790 at Tennessee State University.

Cadet Katelyn Thompson’s family attended her swearing-in ceremony in AFROTC wing on the main TSU campus. From left are: Lt. Col. Sharon Presley; Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather; Clarese Brown, grandmother; sister Bria Ingram; and auntie Barbara Brown. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, the Detachment Commander, conducted the swearing-in ceremony in the AFROTC wing on the main campus. She said Thompson, who is the Honor Guard commander, has been with the program since her freshman year.

“Cadet Thompson has got an incredible track record of success since coming to us as a freshman,” Presley said. “As far as academics, physical fitness and leadership among the cadets, she has proven herself to be quite capable.”

Thompson said her passion for becoming a military lawyer goes as far back as her freshman year in high school. She said she enjoys arguing and debating.

“The reason I want to be a JAG is an aspiration I have had for law since I was in high school,” said Thompson, whose family has a rich military history. “Additionally, my family is definitely military. I have a stepfather that’s in the Army; I have a grandfather that was in the Air Force. It (military) runs in the family and I want to keep that tradition going.”

Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather, who was a member of the AFROTC as a student at TSU, attended the swearing-in ceremony with Thompson’s grandmother Clarese Brown, sister Bria Ingram, and auntie Barbara Brown.

“Katelyn is very special and the family is here to support her dream,” Morris Brown said. “I am extremely proud that she is getting this scholarship.”

Presley said Thompson will compete for an enrollment allocation for field training this coming summer.

“If she successfully completes that training, then she will go on two more years with ROTC and be commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Air Force,” Presley said.

Thompson is thankful to TSU and the Air Force for her scholarship.

“It is always my dream to strive for excellence, and if it were not for TSU, I wouldn’t have this opportunity. I am very thankful,” she said.

Also attending the swearing-in ceremony was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association; and June Michaut, president of the TSU Veterans/Military Alumni Chapter.

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 Students’ Research Focus on Finding Cure for Heart Disease, Cancer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University students and their professors have embarked on research projects that could lead to prevention, and possibly a cure, for the nation’s deadliest diseases: cancer and heart disease.

Orica Kutten is a sophomore biology major. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Jaquantey Bowen, a senior biochemistry major, and Orica Kutten, a sophomore majoring in biology, presented their projects to fellow students and faculty on Friday during the inaugural Honors Ted Talk, a forum organized by the Honors College to give students and faculty an opportunity to present their work to the campus community.

Motivated by personal tragedies in his family, Bowen, of Fishers, Indiana, has made it his life mission to put an end to heart disease, which is responsible for nearly 610,000 deaths in America each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

His research project, “A Potential Avenue to Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease: An Analysis of the Effect of Genetically-Induced Hypercholesterolemia on Zebrafish,” has also been presented at Harvard and the Brigham Young Women’s Hospital, where it received rave review.

Near his 18th birthday while a freshman at TSU, Bowen’s maternal grandfather died from heart disease, the same disease that claimed his paternal grandfather’s life and several others in his family.

“From that day forward, I vowed to put an end to heart disease,” said Bowen, a graduate of the highly competitive Harvard BWH Stars Program for Summer Research. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and has done field research with “some of the best and notable experts in cardiology.”

“The science behind my research is basically to look at the fundamental mechanisms that lead to heart disease, especially the connection between high cholesterol and atherosclerosis,” said Bowen, who will receive a bachelor’s degree with concentration in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry.

For Kutten, her research project, “Microtubule Actin Crosslinking Factor 1 a Target in Glioblastomas,” or MACF1, aims to identify new and novel targets for the treatment of cancer and to improve therapies for a variety of different cancers.

A native of Cape Coast, Ghana, Kutten said growing up in Africa, much of the discussions were around malaria, a tropical infectious disease.

“But when I learned that cancer was the second cause of deaths, I knew it was an area I would like to study,” Kutten said. “During my time in the lab I have actually learned a lot of concepts that I didn’t actually know before, and which have been very helpful in my research.”

Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College, said the importance of Bowens’ and Kutten’s research topics and the participation in the forum are some of the reasons why Ted Talk was established.

“Ted Talk is a wonderful opportunity for all students from all areas to share their research, to share their inventions and creations with the TSU community,” Jackson said. “It is one thing to do all this wonderful research and it just sits on the desk or it is published in the book and no body hears about it. So anyone who has something to share is invited to Ted Talk.”

Mariel Liggin, a freshman biochemistry major, was one of the many students who attended the forum. She said she was impressed by the two presentations, which encouraged her to get more serious about developing her own projects.

“I am glad I came,” Liggin said. Coming here and listening to Jaquantey and Orica gave me an idea of what to do when I start my own research.”

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 Homecoming 2017 a ‘Tremendous Success’; Scholarship Gala Exceeds $1 Million Goal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will be able to help more students get a quality education after it exceeded its goal of raising $1 million at this year’s Scholarship Gala.

Former TSU President Frederick S. Humphries receives a Special Presidential Recognition from President Glenda Glover at the 2017 Scholarship Gala. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“We are pleased to announce that our goal of $1 million was met and exceeded in a big way,” said TSU President Glenda Glover following the Oct. 13 gala. “Alumni giving and sponsorships also increased. This means more financial support for our students.”

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 last year to more than one million this year. Initially planned for 1,300 guests, the event was sold out with additional seats brought in.

“The scholarship gala is the most important event other than the football contest,” said Homecoming chairman Grant Winrow. “This is by far the biggest effort by the university to raise scholarship money and we are glad that not only did we raise the million, we exceeded our goal.”

President Glenda Glover joins thousands in the 2017 Homecoming parade along Jefferson Street to the main campus. (Photo by Courtney Buggs, TSU Media Relations)

Earlier this year, Glover challenged the gala committee, a subset of the Homecoming committee, to exceed previous performances.

“With that mandate,” gala chairwoman Barbara Murrell said, “We knew we had a job to do. We knew this would be a community effort. We talked to and got the cooperation of the city of Nashville, the TSU Board of Trustees, corporations, Foundation board members, National Alumni Association, the president’s cabinet, faculty, staff and students. What we ended with was an exceptional gala with a stellar group of individuals and an evening to remember.”

According to Murrell, the more than 1,300 “friends of TSU” were greeted at various intervals in the Music City Center by student musicians who entertained the attendees as they proceeded through the venue to the night’s “stellar event” in the grand ballroom.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry waves to the crowd as she participates in the TSU Homecoming parade along Jefferson Street. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Jasha Keller, of St. Louis, and Kayla Daniels, of Atlanta, are two scholarship recipients who helped to escort guests at the gala. They were impressed by the “elegance of the evening,” especially interacting with alumni who helped to raise funds to keep them (students) in school.

“I really loved the program, the atmosphere and that we were able to be a part of the event,” said Keller, a sophomore integrated marketing major. “Alumni were very engaging with us, letting us know, ‘this is all for you. We are invested in your education.’”

Mr. TSU Alec Forrest, and Miss TSU Kayla Smith greet TSU fans and supporters at the 2017 Homecoming game between the Tigers and the Governors of Austin Peay, at Nissan Stadium. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Daniels, a sophomore business administration major, added: “I really like the fact that they had two scholarship recipients speak on our behalf to let the alumni know that their scholarship dollars are going to students like us, and how grateful we are for their support.”

The gala also highlighted the contributions of a “stellar group” of honorees and grand marshals whose lives and legacies exemplify the best of TSU, most notably former TSU President Frederick S. Humphries, who was awarded a special Presidential Recognition by Glover.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry served as Honorary Chair of the Scholarship Gala.

Other honorees were: Dr. Sterlin Adams, retired, professor and special assistant to Dr. Humphries; Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher, retired, director of libraries; Dr. Raymond Richardson, retired professor and chair of physics, mathematics and computer science; and William “Bill” Thomas, former head football coach and athletic director.

The grand marshals were: Georgette “Gigi” Peek Dixon, senior vice president and director of national partnerships, government and community relations at Wells Fargo; Alfred Gordon, vice president of operations for Frito-Lay North America; State Senator Thelma Harper, 19th District, Tennessee General Assembly; and Roosevelt “Bud” Reese, CEO of CMI Foundation.

Special Presidential Honoree Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, along with grand marshals and honorees wave to the crowd during the Homecoming parade. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“These are very accomplished individuals with proven track records of successes in their respective career fields,” Winrow said. “I think their selfless commitment of service and helping others is the commonality they all share.”

Prior to the Homecoming parade and football game the next day, the Scholarship Gala capped a week of activities that started with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest, followed by a gospel explosion featuring gospel singers Deitrick Haddon, Earnest Pugh and the New Direction Gospel Choir.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people — including parents, relatives, friends and fellow students — packed a jubilant Kean Hall to witness the crowning of Mr. TSU Alec Forrest, and Miss TSU Kayla Smith, and their Royal Court.

On Saturday, thousands lined Jefferson Street for the highly anticipated Homecoming parade. President Glover, joined by Mayor Barry, headed the parade that ended on the main campus. They were accompanied by other government officials, numerous floats, businesses, and visiting school bands led by the famed TSU Aristocrat of Bands and the Mr. TSU and Miss TSU Royal Court.

The week climaxed Saturday evening at Nissan Stadium when thousands of fans witnessed the TSU Tigers rally from behind, but eventually fall 21-17 to the Austin Peay Governors.

Glover described the 2017 Homecoming celebration as a “tremendous success.”

“It could not have happened without the entire Tennessee State University family working together, students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Glover said. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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.

Mr. And Miss Tennessee State University Coronation Continues Homecoming Tradition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University continued a Homecoming tradition Wednesday night with the crowning of a new Mr. and Miss TSU.

Hundreds of people — including parents, relatives, friends and fellow students — packed a jubilant Kean Hall to witness the coronation of Alec Forrest and Kayla Smith, and their court.

TSU President Glenda Glover, left, and Dr. Tracey Ford, Vice President for Student Affairs, congratulate Kayla Smith and Alec Forrest, the new Mr. & Miss TSU. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover congratulated the new king and queen after giving them the oath of office. Dr. Tracey Ford, vice president for Student Affairs, followed the president. She charged the two students to take their roles seriously.

“Taking on the responsibility of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU is steep in tradition, as many are looking up to you,” Ford said. “Be reminded that this is serious.”

Forrest, a senior business major from Jackson, Tennessee, is the outgoing Mr. Junior. He said in an interview before the coronation that his goal is to help develop young men with character and vision by leading by example.

“You can’t expect people to do one thing and they see you doing quite the opposite,” Forrest said. “I like to impact people. When I leave this institution, I want to come back and see someone in a leadership position because of an influence I had on them.”

Smith, who becomes the 88th Miss TSU, is from Memphis. She is a senior health science major with a concentration in therapeutic studies and a minor in psychology. She said becoming Miss TSU or “black excellence,” as she puts it, has always been a goal. The journey, she said, began when she “broke the norm” at predominantly white Germantown High School and became the first female African-American senior class president. Her leadership ability and academic success granted her a full-ride scholarship to TSU.

“College for me would be nowhere else but Tennessee State University,” Smith said. “TSU stole my heart with its southern charm and hospitality. I have always been in awe of the rich history and modern culture. I just cannot get enough of it.”

The new Mr. and Miss TSU Court include: Landon McCall, Mr. Freshman; Braxton Simpson, Miss Freshman; Jonathan Miles Hammock, Mr. Sophomore; Sierra Holmes, Miss Sophomore; Darian McGhee, Mr. Junior; Brandi DeCoats, Miss Junior; Andrew Crawford, Mr. Senior; Danielle Perry, Miss Senior.

Outgoing Miss TSU Alicia Jones, crowns the new Miss TSU Kayla Smith. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

In addition to the Mr. and Miss TSU coronation, this year’s Homecoming, which will culminate Saturday with a parade and the big football matchup between the Tigers and Austin Peay, includes a  “stellar group” of honorees, grand marshals and star power.

In keeping with the theme, “The Road to Greatness Begins with Excellence,” the university has selected honorees and grand marshals that exude the excellence TSU strives for. They include Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, who will receive Special Presidential Recognition. Dr. Humphries, TSU’s fourth president, served from 1974-1985.

Other honorees are: Dr. Sterlin Adams, retired, professor and special assistant to Dr. Humphries; Dr. Evelyn P. Fancher, retired, director of libraries; Dr. Raymond Richardson, retired, professor and chair of physics, mathematics and computer science; and William “Bill” Thomas, former head football coach and athletic director.

The grand marshals for the popular Homecoming parade (from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Blvd.) are: Georgette “Gigi” Peek Dixon, senior vice president and director of national partnerships, government and community relations, Wells Fargo; Alfred Gordon, vice president of operations for Frito-Lay North America; State Senator Thelma Harper, 19th District, Tennessee General Assembly; and Roosevelt “Bud” Reese, CEO, CMI Foundation.

Besides the game and parade, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the Annual Scholarship Gala, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Music City Center. This year, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will serve as honorary chairperson. Nationally syndicated radio show host, actor and comedian, Rickey Smiley, will be the gala’s master of ceremony. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships are used to provide financial assistance to students. The goal is to raise one million.

For more information about Homecoming 2017, 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, 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.