Tag Archives: Lt. William McBryar

TSU Alums Publish Children’s Book To Honor Fellow Alum and Buffalo Soldier William McBryar

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Alums Deontae Henderson and Brandon Van Leer recently collaborated to produce a children’s book honoring the life and legacy of fellow TSU Alum, Buffalo Soldier and Medal of Honor Recipient Lt. William McBryar.

The children’s book, Young William, provides a poetic depiction of McBryar’s journey from childhood to becoming a military hero.

McBryar, who served with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba, also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

Henderson, the book’s author and a 2018 graduate of TSU, said McBryar’s story is a tale that should be shared with all children.

TSU Alum Deontae Henderson at his book signing at the Southern Methodist University Barnes and Noble in Dallas.

“William McBryar, if you look him up, is one of those guys you don’t believe existed. He was a real superhero. He fought through disease. He graduated in his 70s. He was in the war until his 60s. He got in the war at a young age. He fought in three wars. He survived them. He got a Purple Heart, and he saved his regiment,” Henderson said. “We have Iron Man, the Hulk and Batman and all these guys, but if you want a realistic superhero, he is the perfect example of that.”

In 1934 at the age of 73, McBryar graduated from TSU, then known as Tennessee Agriculture and Industrial State College, with an agriculture degree. He died in 1941 at the age of 80, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Last spring a number of lawmakers, military officials, and TSU officials gathered for a special ceremony for the unveiling of a historical marker honoring McBryar. The marker is located outside Kean Hall on the university’s main campus.

Van Leer, the book’s illustrator, said he felt honored to be part of such a meaningful project.

“We wanted this book to be one of those books that children remember from when they were in kindergarten and preschool, where they can enjoy a fun story and learn about their history at the same time,” he said.

TSU Alum Brandon Van Leer will display his art Thursday at the Main Street Gallery for Black Excellence: The Art Show.

Also a 2018 graduate of TSU, Van Leer’s work often reflects his love for culture as well as his alma mater. He has produced portraits of TSU luminaries, such as pioneering heart surgeon and civil rights activist Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr., and Tuskegee Airman Lt. Joseph White.

“I was honored in both approaches to be commissioned by my alma mater to have the opportunity to spread my talents in a way that will forever live on at TSU,” he said.

Henderson, who became a “#1 International Best Selling Author” with the success of his second book, The Hungriest Pirate,” said Young William will soon be available at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, Texas, where he spoke about the project in December. He said because of the historical nature of Lt. McBryar’s story, he wanted to make sure it rhymed and was fun for children to read.

“Your child is going to go to class anyway and learn about George Washington, Christopher Columbus and all these people who are a part of American History. Young William is just as important as them,” he said. “The only difference his name got pretty much covered up because he happened to be a black man during a time period when we weren’t celebrated.”

Van Leer, owner of the graphic design company, Rezilient Media, will share a collection of his work this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Street Gallery. The event, Black Excellence: The Art Show, is free and open to the public. He said it will feature portraits of inspiring African-Americans, as well as the unveiling of new art.

Although Van Leer comes from a family of artists, he credits the TSU Art Department for playing a huge role in his success.

“My professors in the art department really helped me grow. They helped me think outside the box and draw bigger using different techniques,” he said. “They are like a family over there so I still go back and talk to them.”

Henderson’s newest book, Kid Smoove, features a 14-year-old superhero with the ability to teleport who is forced to balance life as an iconic hero with doing school work and being an everyday teenager.

Henderson echoed Van Leer’s sentiment that Tennessee State University provided a rich environment for his development.

“Anyone at TSU is fortunate because being at an HBCU is a different environment,” he said. “You see President Glenda Glover. You see NBA Player Robert Covington come through. You see yourself who is a writer who gets to write for the paper for the school. Just seeing all that, that was an inspiration for me.”

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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.

 

Historical marker ceremony set for March 20 to honor TSU alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A historical marker will be unveiled at Tennessee State University on March 20 to honor alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. William McBryar.

The event will take place at 1 p.m. in front of Kean Hall on the main campus. A number of lawmakers, military officials, and TSU officials are expected to attend the ceremony.

TSU President Glenda Glover will give the welcome, and Lt. Col. Paul Coakley, a U.S. Army veteran and president of the Nashville Chapter of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers, is the keynote speaker.

McBryar, a Buffalo Soldier, was posthumously honored at a special Veterans Day program at TSU last year. He was awarded America’s highest military decoration for his actions on March 7, 1890, during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory. According to his citation, McBryar was distinguished for “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” while his 10th Cavalry troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache warriors.

Dating back to the Civil War, there have been 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients. Of that number, 90 are black – and Lt. McBryar is one of them.

“Medal of Honor recipients … are some of the most outstanding people in all of our nation’s history,” Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper said at the Veterans Day program. “I’m so proud that a TSU graduate received that medal.”

McBryar went on to serve with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba. He also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

In 1906, after leaving the military, McBryar moved to Greensboro, North Carolina as a civilian and there he married Sallie Waugh, a nurse. Three years later, he worked as a watchman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a military instructor at what is now Saint Paul’s College.

In 1933, with a desire to complete his degree, McBryar attended Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University. He graduated the following year, at age 73, with an agriculture degree, finishing a college education that started at Saint Augustine’s University before he enlisted in the military.

McBryar went on to write for “The Bulletin,” a publication at Tennessee State, addressing issues related to social justice and developments in Germany.

McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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 honors alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient at Veterans Day program

Dr. Mark Hardy, TSU’s vice president of academic affairs, addresses Veterans Day attendees. (Photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Public Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper joined community leaders and other lawmakers at a special Veterans Day program at Tennessee State University on Friday that posthumously honored an alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient.

Lt. William McBryar, a Buffalo Soldier, was awarded America’s highest military decoration for his actions on March 7, 1890, during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory. According to his citation, McBryar was distinguished for “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” while his 10th Cavalry troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache warriors.

“Medal of Honor recipients … are some of the most outstanding people in all of our nation’s history,” Cooper said after the program. “I’m so proud that a TSU graduate received that medal.”

Dating back to the Civil War, there have been 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients. Of that number, 90 are black – and Lt. McBryar is one of them.

Wreath honoring veterans. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

“We are acutely aware of the paucity of African Americans who have received such an honor,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, TSU’s vice president for academic affairs.  “We are very excited to be one of the institutions to have been a part of the educational experience our Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. William McBryar, received many years ago.”

Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, Air Force ROTC Det 790 commander stationed at TSU, echoed Hardy’s sentiment.

“From the perspective of a military officer, to know of someone who achieved the nation’s highest honor, is awe-inspiring,” Presley said. “He was a soldier’s soldier.”

Dr. Learotha Williams, an associate professor of history at TSU, gave a tribute to McBryar during the program. He lauded McBryar for overcoming racial barriers, and for his bravery.

“This is the kind of guy who was running toward gunfire, rather than seeking cover,” Williams said.

Dr. Learotha Williams, associate professor of history at TSU, gives tribute to Lt. William McBryar. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

McBryar went on to serve with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba. He also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

In 1906, after leaving the military, McBryar moved to Greensboro, North Carolina as a civilian and there he married Sallie Waugh, a nurse. Three years later, he worked as a watchman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a military instructor at what is now Saint Paul’s College.

In 1933, with a desire to complete his degree, McBryar attended Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University. He graduated the following year, at age 73, with an agriculture degree, finishing a college education that started at Saint Augustine’s University before he enlisted in the military.

McBryar went on to write for “The Bulletin,” a publication at Tennessee State, addressing issues related to social justice and developments in Germany

Dale Rich, a nationally recognized Medal of Honor researcher, began collecting information on McBryar more than 30 years ago after seeing his name on a list of Medal of Honor recipients at the National Archives and Records Administration. When he discovered McBryar graduated from Tennessee A&I, he made copies of the documents he gathered about McBryar and sent them to TSU where they are in special collections in the university’s library.

Medal of Honor researcher Dale Rich with portrait of Lt. William McBryar. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Rich attended Friday’s Veterans Day program at TSU, and said he’s glad to see McBryar being honored.

“We should never allow any of our heroes to be forgotten,” Rich said. “He was an outstanding person.”

Keshawn Lipscomb is NCOIC of administration management in TSU’s AFROTC program. He said the university is fortunate to have the materials Rich collected on McBryar.

“That’s what’s really allowed us to honor him (McBryar) here today,” Lipscomb said.

Tennessee Rep. Harold Love, Jr., said McBryar’s story should encourage non-traditional students considering completing a degree, or pursuing one..

“For him, education at 73 was not about getting a job, but it was about completing something he had started,” Love said. “And so, for students out there, we say, keep pushing, keep striving, let this story inspire you.”

McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A Tennessee Historical marker honoring him will be unveiled at TSU early next year.

 

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 plans special Veterans Day program on Nov. 10 to honor alumnus and Medal of Honor recipient

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will honor its veterans on Nov. 10 and pay special tribute to a university alum and Medal of Honor recipient.

Lt. William McBryar, a Buffalo Soldier, was awarded America’s highest military decoration for his actions on March 7, 1890, during the Cherry Creek Campaign in the Arizona Territory. According to his citation, McBryar was distinguished for “coolness, bravery and marksmanship” while his 10th Cavalry troop was in pursuit of hostile Apache warriors.

McBryar died in 1941 at the age of 80, but he will be honored posthumously at TSU’s Veterans Day program. McBryar was 73 when he got his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from then-Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University.

Dating back to the Civil War, there have been 3,498 Medal of Honor recipients. Of that number, 90 are black – and Lt. McBryar is one of them.

“We are acutely aware of the paucity of African Americans who have received such an honor,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, Tennessee State University’s vice president for academic affairs.  “We are very excited to be one of the institutions to have been a part of the educational experience our Medal of Honor recipient, Lt. William McBryar, received many years ago.”

Lt Col Sharon Presley, Air Force ROTC Det 790 commander stationed at TSU, echoed Hardy’s sentiment.

Display honoring Lt. William McBryar in TSU library (Submitted photo)

“From the perspective of a military officer, to know of someone who achieved the nation’s highest honor, is awe-inspiring,” Presley said. “He was a soldier’s soldier.”

McBryar went on to serve with the 25th Infantry in the Spanish-American war and fought at El Caney, Cuba. He also saw action in the Philippine Insurrection before demobilizing in San Francisco.

In 1906, after leaving the military, McBryar moved to Greensboro, North Carolina as a civilian and there he married Sallie Waugh, a nurse. Three years later, he worked as a watchman at Arlington National Cemetery and as a military instructor at what is now Saint Paul’s College.

In 1933, with a desire to complete his degree, McBryar attended Tennessee A & I. He graduated the following year, finishing a college education that started at Saint Augustine’s University before he enlisted in the military.

McBryar went on to write for Tennessee State’s publication, “The Bulletin,” addressing issues related to social justice and developments in Germany.

McBryar is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A Tennessee Historical marker honoring him will be unveiled at TSU early next year.

 

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.