Tag Archives: Scholarship Gala

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.

TSU Scholarship Gala aiming for $1 million to help students succeed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Keirra Ware feared she might not be able to return to Tennessee State University, but a scholarship put her mind at ease.

“Without the scholarship, I would have had to stay home because I wouldn’t have had enough money to come back to school,” Ware said. “When I saw it, I almost cried.”

Ware, a junior majoring in biochemistry, is among countless students who breathe easier thanks to funds raised through TSU’s Scholarship Gala held Homecoming week.

TSU’s Homecoming this year is on Oct. 14, when the Tigers will take on the Governors of Austin Peay State University at Nissan Stadium. The gala will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, at the Music City Center. Nationally syndicated radio show host, actor and comedian, Rickey Smiley, will be the gala’s master of ceremony.

The gala provides critical funds necessary to meet the significant need for student scholarships and ensures access to the relevant academic programs required to successfully educate and prepare students for the global marketplace.

Last year, the gala generated over $600,000, and the goal this year is $1 million.

“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.”

 Nashville Mayor Megan Barry is the gala honorary chair this year. Also, the chair of the TSU Board of Trustees, Dr. Joseph Walker, III, and vice chair, Dr. Deborah Cole, are serving as honorary gala co-chairs.

In addition, the gala will recognize a “stellar group” of honorees and grand marshals. They include Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, who will receive a Special Presidential Recognition. 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 are: 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.

“We have a stellar group of 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.”

For more information about the gala and how to donate, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/gala/.

To find out more about TSU’s overall Homecoming this year, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/documents/HomecomingSchedule.pdf.

 

About Tennessee State University

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.

 

R&B Legend Melba Moore to Highlight TSU 2015 Homecoming Celebration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Grammy-nominated and Tony Award winner Melba Moore is coming to the Music City. The R&B singer will be a part of Tennessee State University’s 2015 Homecoming activities. Events are October 11 – 17.

2014 Gala
President Glenda Glover and gospel legend and TSU graduate Bobby Jones, greet former TSU great and Football Hall of Fame inductee Claud Humphrey, sitting right, and his daughter, Claudia Humphrey, at last year’s Scholarship Gala in downtown Nashville. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Moore, noted for her Billboard #1 hit singles “Falling,” and “A Little Bit More,” a duet with Freddie Jackson, will have a special performance during TSU’s annual Scholarship Gala. Her performance is Friday, Oct. 16 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville. Tickets are $150 and available by calling 615-963-5481.

Also, making his second straight appearance as celebrity host of the Gala is comedian, actor and entertainer Jonathan Slocumb.

Jonathan Slocumb 2
Jonathan Slocumb

“We brought in Jonathan Slocumb last year and attendees were very excited, so we decided to bring him back again,” said Dr. Sharon Peters, chair of the Scholarship Gala Committee. “This year, we are fortunate and excited to have Melba Moore to highlight the event. Her involvement takes the Gala to a whole different level in our effort to raise scholarships for our students.”

Other major highlights of the 2015 Homecoming are the parade along Jefferson Street and the football game featuring the TSU Tigers against conference rivals Eastern Illinois on Saturday. Former presidents of the TSU National Alumni Association will serve as grand marshals of the parade.

“TSU: Celebrating 100 Years of Alumni Excellence” is the theme for this year’s Homecoming. According to Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations, the 2015 Homecoming is dedicated to alumni.

“Yes, 2015 marks 100 years that our National Alumni Association has been actively engaged in ensuring the life and legacy of TSU is present for generations to come,” Griggs said. “Through the support of our alumni, we continue to see great things happen here and look forward to 100 more years of involvement and support.“

Michelle Viera, former director of Alumni Affairs and chair of the Homecoming Committee, will be among three former alumni directors receiving special recognition during this year’s celebration.

For more information on the 2015 Homecoming Celebration, visit www.tnstate.edu for a complete list of activities and ticket information.

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.

Long-Time Educators to be Honored at 2014 Scholarship Gala

Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, long time educators at Tennessee State University will be honored during 2014 Scholarship Gala, "An Evening of Honors."
Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, long time educators at Tennessee State University will be honored during 2014 Scholarship Gala, “An Evening of Honors.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A chance meeting at Wilberforce University in 1942 has led to a lifetime of memories and successes for Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, who spent nearly three decades at the university and who have also been married for more than 70 years.

The couple will share yet another memory during Tennessee State University’s Homecoming as the two are saluted as the 2014 Honorees for their outstanding contributions to the university. Both long-time educators as well as NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Claude Humphrey will be honored Friday, Sept. 26 during an “Evening of Honors.”

Both made TSU the final stop on their professional journey. Dr. McDonald Williams spent 30 years at the university serving as director of the Honors Program and as a professor of English before retiring in 1988. His wife, Jamye, retired just a year earlier ending her tenure as head of the Department of Communications, a position she held for 14 years.

The Williams’ have made advancing education and student success a priority in their careers. The many years spent at Tennessee State University afforded them an opportunity to see some of the university’s most talented students graduate and excel. Dr. Jamye Williams’ brings interesting perspective on how they positively shaped the lives of TSU students – particularly one of her most famous students, Oprah Winfrey.

“Her father wanted her to have a good education and a successful career,” Williams said. “He knew that having that [college] degree would continue to open doors for her.”

Dr. Jamye said Winfrey’s father encouraged her to call Oprah to convince her to finish what she started. So, in 1987, she made contact with Winfrey who, by this time, had established herself as a national talk show host.

“She sent me a check to pay for the three course hours and completed a documentary for her senior class project,” Dr. Jamye said. “That same year, she was the Commencement speaker, and I remember her holding up her degree and saying ‘see Daddy, I amount to something.’”

Since retiring, the Williams, who now reside in Atlanta, still make time to come back to TSU. They returned in 2012 for the university’s Centennial Celebration, in 2013 for the inauguration of President Glenda Glover, and in March 2014 for the Honors Program’s 50th anniversary celebration, in which Dr. McDonald Williams was honored for his years of dedication to the growth of the program.

In 1963, then-Tennessee State University President, Dr. Walter S. Davis, appointed a committee charged with studying Honors Programs and the feasibility of establishing one at the University. After completing its investigation, this committee recommended that Tennessee State University keep pace with many other universities throughout the country. As a result, an Honors program for freshman students was established in Fall 1964 followed by sophomore through senior level course work in 1968 marking the first year for students to be recognized for graduating with “University Honors.”

“This really is a time to celebrate the program and the most instrumental person behind it,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, current director of the Honor Program. “Dr. Williams, while not the original founder, laid the cornerstone of academic excellence and the standard of which this program was built upon.”

The program, said Jackson, has gone through many changes throughout the years, which includes growing to more than 400 students enrolled in the program, 145 of which are first-time freshmen, and transitioning to a possible college in the near future. But the foundation built by Williams still holds true today, she said.

“He had a vision for where the program needed to go and subsequent directors including Jane Elliott and Sandra Holt have carried that vision forward,” said Jackson. “We really are in his debt.”

Because of his contributions to the success of the Honors Program, the Tennessee Board of Regents granted the university approval to name the Honors Program after Dr. Williams in 1988. The University Honors Center was named the McDonald Williams Honors Center.

Ironically, while the event was designed to honor Dr. McDonald’s work, the couple again showed selfless gratitude becoming the first major contributor donating $10,000 toward an Honors College initiative.

“I wish we could have given more,” Dr. McDonald said, adding that by establishing an Honors College it will raise the level of the program. “When the program first began, it was in a single room in the Agriculture building before it moved to the first floor of the old library (now the Student Success Center) in the back on the ground floor.”

The 46 years the Williams’ spent in Nashville, they played an active role in the life of the university and in the community. The myriad of professional and civic affiliations, honors and publications they have amassed are too numerous to mention. They were active in the NAACP with Dr. Jamye serving as Life Membership Committee Chairman for 20 years and Dr. McDonald serving the civil rights organization as vice president. Currently, they are members of Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and he is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

In addition to their support of TSU, the Williams provide scholarship support to other universities, including Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce University and through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

“I would recommend anyone who wants to go to college to consider Tennessee State University with no hesitation at all,” Dr. McDonald said. “So many students there have done well over the years.”

Call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala for more information on the 2014 Scholarship Gala. The gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at Music City Center and tickets are available now to purchase.

 

 

 

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.

TSU Scholarship Gala Offers Entertainment for All

Comedian Jonathan Slocumb Set to Host “An Evening of Honors”

  

Funny man Jonathan Slocumb will server as host for the 2014 Scholarship Gala. Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University
Funny man Jonathan Slocumb will server as host for the 2014 Scholarship Gala. Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is again pulling out all the entertainment stops for the 2014 Scholarship Gala including a university dance ensemble, jazz musicians, an award-winning saxophonist and award-wining R&B, jazz and blues band…all hosted by actor, writer and comedian, Jonathan Slocumb.

Themed “An Evening of Honors,” the Gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26, and will not only pay tribute to long-time educators Drs. Jamye and Mcdonald Williams and Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, but also raise scholarship dollars for students in need attending the University

“We are excited about the Gala as we reach out to our community members, industry partners, friends and alumni from across the state and region,” said Dr. Sharon Peters, Gala co-chairman. “This is an important event for the University and we look forward to a successful event which will raise funds for our students and to support the University.”

Host Slocumb, the ferociously funny, multi-talented nonconformist comedian who has been bringing fun back to the family for more than a decade now, has gone from “tearing up” clubs across the map to hosting award shows for prestigious organizations like the NAACP and the Urban League. For seven years in a row, he has been the main stage host for the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. And he does it all without using any profanity.

“I’m very balanced and very diverse. For years, I was placed in a box and everything was related to gospel and religion,” Slocumb said. “But I’m able to perform for the mainstream and the religious audiences. However, the main thing is that I’m always clean.”

As an artist who appeals to broader audiences, Slocumb’s television appearances include: HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, The UNCF telethon, BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, BET Tonight, Teen Summit, Vibe, The Montel Williams Show, OH DRAMA, Life Today, the NAACP Image Awards, and twice the host of the Stellar Awards.

Not only is he smart, handsome, well dressed and clever, Slocumb brings a level of class like no one else. And he does it all through his faith in God. “I just want to bring good quality entertainment to people,” he said, “because they need it now more than ever before.”

According to Grant Winrow, gala co-chair, the committee and University are thrilled to have Slocumb serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the special event.

“He is sure to have your sides hurting with his brand of ‘clean Christian” comedy,’ said Winrow. “You can expect him to joke and play with the audience to the point they might actually be embarrassed to leave their seat. From talking with him, he is excited to be coming to Nashville and taking part in the Gala.”

A reception kicks off the evening beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Main Ballroom Ballroom of the Music City Center in Downtown Nashville. Jazmin Ghent, a graduate student from Huntsville, Alabama, studying music education, will perform jazz saxophone selections. Ghent, a recent Smooth Jazz Cruise “Opening Act” winner, will be accompanied on piano by James Dunn, a sophomore music student from Nashville.

Dinner entertainment begins at 7 p.m. with the Tennessee State University Dance Experience Ensemble. Choreographed by artistic director and founder Judy Gentry, the 14-member ensemble executes all major dance genres and has performed with the Nashville Symphony, Dr. Bobby Jones, and New Life singers in concert with Dr. Pearl Primus.

The TSU Jazz Collegians, a 21-member group who have played across the country and around the world, will perform dinner music. Under the direction of James Sexton, the ensemble dates back to the early years of the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State Normal College. They have performed in Carnegie Hall, the All-American College Jazz Festival in Orlando, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Student Festival, and the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in South Bend Indiana. They recently performed as part of a university exchange program at the Mompox Jazz Festival in Colombia, South America.

Freddie T. Holt and the After 5 Tux Band rounds out the evening when they provide after-dinner entertainment. The band includes three former members of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands, with all members recording veterans in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area. The band performs hits from country and Blues, to pop, rock, R&R and jazz.

“We are excited about the Gala, which is becoming one of Nashville’s must-attend event,” added Winrow. “Not only do we get the opportunity to showcase the talent of our students, but also honor great educators and one of TSU’s NFL Hall of Fame players. It will be a fun and exciting evening, all with the hopes of raising scholarship dollars for deserving students.”

For more information on the 2014 Scholarship Gala call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala. The gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at Music City Center with tickets available for purchase.

 

 

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.

Honors Program, Former Director to be recognized during TSU Scholarship Gala

Dr. McDonald Williams
Dr. McDonald Williams

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It is a program that has spanned 50 years and has seen the likes of future lawyers, surgeons, engineers, business CEOs, and even the University president, Dr. Glenda Glover.

Now, Tennessee State University’s Honor Program and one of its most treasured figures will be recognized during The 2014 Scholarship Gala Friday, Sept. 26. Themed, “An evening of Honors,” the celebration will pay tribute to long-time director, Dr. McDonald Williams, and the growth of the program since 1963.

“This really is a time to celebrate the program and one of the most instrumental persons behind it,” said Dr. Coreen Jackson, current director of the Honor Program. “Dr. Williams, while not the original founder, laid the cornerstone of academic excellence and the standard of which this program was built upon.”

Under then University President, Dr. Walter S. Davis, a committee was charged with studying Honors programs and determining the feasibility of establishing one at the University. The committee recommended that TSU keep pace with other institutions throughout the country. As a result, an Honors Program for freshman students started in the fall of 1964. Sophomore through senior level course work was added yearly throughout 1968.

Williams spent 30 years at the University serving as a professor of English, and as director of the Honors Program for 23 years before retiring in 1988.

The program, said Jackson, has gone through many changes throughout the years. Today it boasts more than 400 students; 145 of which are first-time freshmen. The goal is to transition the program into an Honors College in the near future. But the foundation built by Williams still holds true today, she said.

“He [Dr. Williams] had a vision for where the program needed to go and subsequent directors, including Jane Elliott and Sandra Holt have carried that vision forward,” said Jackson.

Former CNN anchor and now Al Jazeera America special correspondent Soledad O'Brien, addressed the student body and faculty March 26 during the University Honors Convocation in Kean Hall. Earlier in the day, O'Brien was the featured speaker at the Honors Program 50th Anniversary Luncheon honoring Dr. McDonald Williams, the first Director of the Honors Program. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Former CNN anchor and now Al Jazeera America special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, addressed the student body and faculty March 26 during the University Honors Convocation in Kean Hall. Earlier in the day, O’Brien was the featured speaker at the Honors Program 50th Anniversary Luncheon honoring Dr. McDonald Williams, the first Director of the Honors Program. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

The yearlong celebration of the Honors Program kicked off earlier this year and was capped by a visit on March 26 by award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien. The former CNN anchor was the featured speaker at the Honors Anniversary Luncheon as well as the keynote speaker during the Honors Day Convocation.

Other events planned include a Black Tie Gala held earlier this year, and an Honors Research Symposium to coincide with the University-Wide Research Symposium. In the fall, the celebration will culminate with a special 50th Anniversary cake-cutting ceremony and an Honors Week observance.

Scholarship Gala Advert 5x8According to Jackson, the primary goal of the celebration is two-fold. The first is to bring awareness to the program that creates and maintains a community of academically bright and talented students who serve as campus leaders and role models. The second, she said, was to raise the necessary funds to transition the program to a college.

“The key objective is the academic enrichment of our students and working with them to achieve their goals,” she added. “We have the opportunity to teach students who are excited about learning and have the freedom to explore issues from multiple points of view. The program not only impacts the students but also the entire University.”

The jubilee celebration kicks off with an “Honors 50 for 50” campaign to raise $500,000 to help the program transition to an Honors College. The new college, she said, will encourage interdisciplinary programs, enhance undergraduate research in all disciplines, advisement for prestigious fellowships and scholarships, mentoring programs, and lifelong learning, including a global perspective through study abroad.

“As a College, we will be able to highlight the importance of offering an enriched honors curriculum and to increase the University’s ability to recruit and retain high-ability students,” added Jackson.  “We have a program that has a national reputation and it already meets the characteristics of an Honors College, as recommended by the National Collegiate Honors Council, the recognized leader in undergraduate honor education.”

For more information on the 2014 Scholarship Gala call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala. The gala takes place Friday, Sept. 26 at Music City Center and tickets are available now to purchase.

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.

Claude Humphrey Named TSU Homecoming Grand Marshal

Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee to be honored at 2014 Scholarship Gala

 

 

After nearly 30 years, TSU great Claude Humphrey took his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio. On September 27, Humphrey will serve as the Grand Marshal for TSU's Homecoming parade, and honored during the Scholarship Gala Friday, Sept. 26. (courtesy photo)
After nearly 30 years, TSU great Claude Humphrey took his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio. On September 27, Humphrey will serve as the Grand Marshal for TSU’s Homecoming parade, and honored during the Scholarship Gala Friday, Sept. 26. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – One of the most celebrated Tigers to ever step on the playing field at Tennessee State University will serve as Grand Marshal for his alma mater’s 2014 Homecoming parade.

Claude Humphrey, legendary TSU Tiger and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will serve as the official grand marshal during the Homecoming Parade, Saturday, Sept. 27, and honored during the Homecoming game later that evening at LP Field.

Humphrey, who was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame more than 30 years after retiring from football, will also be honored at the 2014 Scholarship Gala Friday, Sept. 26, an event designed to raise scholarship dollars for students in need.

Scholarship Gala Advert 5x8“This is truly a great honor and I am looking forward to returning to the place where my football career started and my life changed,” said Humphrey. “It is a special time in my life to come ‘home’ to Tennessee State University so soon after my induction into the Hall of Fame. Everybody from the current president, Glenda Glover, to the staff have treated me as if I am a student again and that can’t be overlooked.”

Humphrey, the former Atlanta Falcon, who retired with the Philadelphia Eagles, was a three-time All-American defensive tackle at TSU from 1964 to 1967. He ended his collegiate career as the all-time leader in sacks at TSU with 39. He is tied for second behind Lamar Carter along with fellow TSU legend Richard Dent.

His college career also included a 35-3-1 record, two Black Colleges National Championships and an All-American selection in 1967. It all helped make Humphrey one of the earliest small-school prospects to be a top overall selection in the NFL draft.

But Humphrey will quickly say his love for football started purely by accident.

During his acceptance speech recently at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement, he described seeing some kids playing football, running around and tackling each other at the local high school in Memphis, Tennessee, while on an errand to get baking powder and cornmeal from the store for his mom.

When the coach asked him if he wanted to play, he said he had to finish the errand first, and took the stuff home. From there, he went back out and played, which is where his passion for the game presumably began.

He spoke about his time at Tennessee State, and the recruiting pitch from TSU coach John Merritt. The coach visited Humphrey’s house and spoke to his parents, telling them that he’d make sure Humphrey made it to church every Sunday no matter what.

“John Merritt to me was the greatest coach in historic black college football,” Humphrey said. “We lost a total of five games in four years. We lost two my freshman year, and then during my 1965 and 1966 seasons, we won the Black College National Championship.”

But the biggest thing that stuck out in his mind, Humphrey said, was Coach Merritt’s pitch. Coach Merritt actually came to his house and spoke to his parents about how he was going to take care of him at TSU. He would make sure he received his education, would buy his clothes, and feed him in the way he was accustomed to eating. That, he said, sealed the deal.

“Historically black colleges and universities take care of their students and everybody looks out for you,” added Humphrey. “It was an easy choice coming to TSU. It was like moving from one house to another…it was family.”

During his time at TSU, Humphrey’s tenacity on the field made him a first-round selectee during the 1968 NFL draft, going third overall to the Atlanta Falcons. During his rookie season in Atlanta, he was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons (1968-74, 76-77) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1979-81). While with Atlanta, Humphrey was named All-NFL or All-Pro eight times and was selected to the Pro Bowl on six different occasions. Humphrey is only the second Falcon and TSU Tiger to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But none of this would have been possible without the opportunities and nurturing he received at TSU, added Humphrey. From playing at the iconic William J. Hale Stadium, known as the “Hole,” to professors and coaches that took a personal interest in not only the football player, but also shaping the man he would become, it started at Tennessee State.

“I came from very humble beginnings and have been blessed for everything I have accomplished,” Humphrey said. “Life has given me opportunities, including the opportunity to attend TSU. Had I not come her, there is no telling where I would be today.”

Humphrey joins a list of impressive former grand marshals including TSU Tigers Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Richard Dent, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Other past grand marshals include Drs. Bobby Jones and Levi Watkins, Coach Ed Temple, Air Force general, Lloyd “Fig” Newton,” and current president Glenda Glover.

The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. and will again follow its original route through the historic Jefferson Street corridor to the TSU campus. The mile-and-a-half route begins at 14th Avenue and Jefferson Street traveling to the campus through the campus and concludes to 33rd Avenue and Albion Street.

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at 615.963.5831.

 

 

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.

Upcoming TSU Gala More Than Glitz and Glamour

Annual event to raise scholarship dollars for students with real needs

 

 

Lauren Wiggins
Lauren Wiggins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Lauren Wiggins says she learned a life lesson in high school that continues to follow her even today. That lesson: people aren’t concerned about your excuses. The Atlanta native recalls a high school teacher telling her, at age 14, that she displayed the actions of a criminal because she skipped classes or arrived late. Wiggins says her explanations fell on deaf ears.

“Whenever I was late or missed class, I would let the teachers know I had been up all night taking care of my brothers or in the emergency room with them,” explains Wiggins. “I have a 19-year-old brother who is severely disabled, and a 15-year-old brother who is diagnosed with Autism and ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder]. I’m the oldest of three, and I have been changing diapers since I was five years old.”

Wiggins says her oldest brother has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a cerebral shunt.

“My brother has the mind of a six-month-old. His body has continued to grow since birth, but his brain hasn’t. At times all I could do was just hold him when he cried. He’s unable to communicate and is completely immobile. My choice was easy in high school, family is first.”

Today, the 21-year-old Wiggins is a rising senior at Tennessee State University with a 3.8 GPA as a Public Health major. She received a full music scholarship to TSU following high school. However, after her sophomore year, she had to make another tough decision regarding her education and family. Wiggins decided to give up the scholarship.

“Dropping out [of college] was never an option, but I was needed at home. This conflicted with my commitment to the marching band and wind ensemble. I enjoyed being in the band, but my parents are older and needed help taking care of my brother. I had to rush home several times when my mom called and said her back was out from getting him in and out of bed or his wheelchair.”

2014 Scholarship Gala
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Wiggins knew giving up the scholarship meant her family would have to struggle to pay tuition, but she was determined to stay at TSU. The University has been a part of her family for three generations. Through persistence, she found out about the TSU Foundation and was awarded a scholarship that covered nearly all her expenses for the upcoming fall semester.

“This scholarship has helped immensely, and heightened my desire to give back to Tennessee State, for other students who deserve a second chance.”

On Friday, Sept. 26, Tennessee State will hold its annual scholarship gala honoring long-time educators Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams. Both have ties to some of TSU’s most notable alumni, including Oprah Winfrey. The event will also honor alumnus and former football player Claude Humphrey, one of the newest members inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dr. Sharon Peters, Gala co-chairman, says while the event will honor these individuals, the primary mission is to raise funds to help students who need money to stay at the University. Students like Wiggins are one of many examples why the gala is so important.

“The gala provides the needed support for students to enroll at the University who may not otherwise have the funds to attend or who may fall short financially,” adds Peters, also director for TSU’s Community College Initiative Program. “A majority of our students need financial aid and without the help of many of our donors, these students would not have the opportunity to attend college.”

This will be TSU President Glenda Glover’s second scholarship gala while serving as the leader of one of the nation’s top HBCUs. Last year’s event had record attendance. According to University officials, more than 600 students were helped with $1.7 million worth of scholarships during the 2013-14 academic year. This represented a 76 percent increase in donations from the previous year and the University was able to award up to $965,000 in private scholarships.

“I am confident that our donors- employees, alumni, corporate partners, and friends of the University will continue to give and partner with us for this year’s scholarship gala,” says President Glover. “We have students with real needs, and the Foundation, along with the Office of Student Enrollment, has done a tremendous job in matching students with dollars. Every dollar counts and will make a difference in a student’s life. It begins with them receiving a quality education at Tennessee State.”

Wiggins says that’s exactly what she’s receiving at TSU – a quality education that has afforded her the opportunity to have internships with environmental watchdog Green Peace and the Centers for Disease Control. She beams with pride when asked what the future holds.

“I’ve lived my life around my brother’s health and wouldn’t change one single thing. I am happy to be alive and not a burden on my parents. I believe my future is bright and I owe it to my future alma mater TSU.”

Following graduation, Wiggins has her eyes set on Yale University where she plans on obtaining master’s degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science. Eventually, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology.

Call 615.963.5481 or visit www.tnstate.edu/scholarshipgala for more information on how you can help students like Lauren Wiggins through the 2014 Scholarship Gala. The gala takes place at Music City Center and tickets are available now to purchase.

 

 

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.