NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University welcomed a historic incoming freshman class to campus on Wednesday.
More than 1,500 first-year students were inducted during the 2017 freshman convocation in Kean Hall. It was the largest freshman class in the university’s history, and a 17 percent increase over last year’s freshman enrollment, according to TSU officials.
“I am extremely proud to welcome you to Tennessee State University,” said President Glenda Glover. “It is my honor to stand before the Class of 2021 today, not only as your president, but as a fellow TSU Tiger. You have embarked on an incredible journey. I encourage you to do your best. Do not just strive to make an A, but strive to be an A.”
Incoming freshman T’ona Lott, of Memphis, said the induction ceremony was “a very humbling experience, that makes me already feel at home.”
“I have always been a very serious student and I plan to continue that here,” said Lott, an industrial engineering major who is entering TSU with a 3.8 GPA. “TSU is a great school and I expect it will give me an education to adequately prepare me for a career anywhere I choose.”
Like Lott, TSU officials say the class of 2021 also comes in as one of the most academically qualified classes in the university’s history. Incoming freshmen average a 3.07 GPA and 18.1 score on the ACT.
“Madam President, it is my pleasure to present these young people who have satisfied all the requirements for admission to Tennessee State University as freshmen and students with advance standing,” said Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment and Student Success.
With each student holding a lighted candle symbolizing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge, administered by the Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Hardy.
Females were dressed in white and males in white shirt and blue pants, sporting a TSU-supplied blue tie. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”
Thomyonne Shannon, a math major from Nashville, said he took the pledge very seriously.
“I am committed to being a very good student in all areas for as long as I am here,” Shannon said.
In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Dr. Achintya Ray, chair of the Faculty Senate; and the President of the TSU National Alumni Association, Joni McReynolds.
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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.