NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is HBCU President of the Year, and TSU students are letting everyone know they are proud of her.
The students celebrated Dr. Glover’s accomplishment in a party-like atmosphere on Wednesday in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center with hundreds of faculty, staff and students watching. There was a cake decorated with an image of Dr. Glover, balloons, music, cheerleaders, and even Aristocrat the Tiger made a special appearance. The New Direction Choir, the University’s flagship gospel group, also joined in with a selection to honor the president.
Representatives from campus organizations, including Mr. and Miss TSU, and the student government association president, took turns congratulating the president for receiving the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Education Leadership Award.
The award was presented to Glover at the TMCF’s 31st Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 29. It recognizes Dr. Glover’s commitment to historically black colleges and universities, and her bold leadership and achievements in higher education.
Glover described the students’ “surprise” party in her honor as one of the happiest moments of her life.
“I have been fortunate to receive many accolades and recognitions in my career and life, but this is perhaps one of the best coming from my students,” she said. “My students are always first on my mind. At the banquet when I received the award, the first thing I did was give recognition to the talented students here at TSU, and what it means to be the president of such hard-working students. From the student leaders to the New Direction Choir and to all the organizations, I want you to know I deeply appreciate this. This means so much to me. Thank you for all you do to make my day special.”
Kayla McCrary, the SGA president, said the students are honored to be a part of Dr. Glover’s legacy of excellence.
“We just want to show that we’re proud of her and that we are honored to be a part of the legacy that she’s leaving at TSU,” McCrary said.
Tasha Andrews is the director of Student Activities. She said the preparation, promotion and the honoring ceremony were all the students’ idea.
“As soon as the press release went out that Dr. Glover was named the HBCU President of the Year, the students – the SGA, the Royal Court – were all excited and wanted to do something about it,” Andrews said. “I said, if you are this excited about it, then let’s put together resources and energy to give you guys the opportunity to celebrate her. And they jumped right on it. They pulled together their teams; they took care of the promotion on social media and everywhere. They are just super, super happy to take pride in our president.”
The Dean of Students, Frank Stevenson, called the evening “a tremendous opportunity to honor our president” for her achievement.
“We are so excited to celebrate her,” Stevenson said. “Out of all the more than 100 HBCU presidents, she was selected as President of the Year because of her leadership. It is just fitting that the student body elected to pause to honor and salute her leadership.”
At the gala in Washington, seven top TSU students who participated in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 18th Annual Leadership Institute, a four-day award-winning conference that culminates with the gala ceremony, joined President Glover. The students were among 400 scholars selected from across the nation to learn leadership skills, as well as help them make meaningful connections that will hopefully lead to successful internships, fellowships, and careers at Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.
One of the highlights of the conference was the recruitment fair, where major companies, government agencies, and graduate program representatives identify top talent and offer jobs, internships and continuing education opportunities.
The TSU students were: Robert Turner, Detroit; Giordan Rose, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Hailee Roye, Pittsburgh; Tiara Hudson, Knoxville, Tennessee; Tarence Rice, Detroit; Ryan Smith, Atlanta; and Kristin Day, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Tina Reed, associate director of the Career Development Center, accompanied the students.
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With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.