NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee legislative leaders got a chance to see Tennessee State’s excellence up close during TSU Day at the Capitol.
University administrators, faculty, students and alumni converged on Legislative Plaza and the Hill on Wednesday, Feb. 1, to showcase the university’s research and other innovative initiatives at the annual event.
TSU President Glenda Glover started the day with a ceremony in the Senate chamber. She was joined by legislative leaders that included Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Sen. Thelma Harper, and Reps. Brenda Gilmore and Harold Love, Jr.
“This is our day, this is TSU day,” Glover said. “It gives us a great opportunity to share with our lawmakers, our leaders, the success of TSU, and the needs of TSU, as we continue to nurture some of the best and the brightest minds of this generation, our TSU students.”
Lt. Gov. McNally welcomed the TSU visitors to the state Capitol and shared a personal experience at the university. When he was a state representative, he said he and several other lawmakers took a public administration course at Tennessee State.
“I really enjoyed my experience at TSU,” McNally said. “On behalf of the Senate, we really honor our relationship with TSU, and look forward to what you do, and the great students that you produce for the state of Tennessee. It really makes a difference in our state.”
House Speaker Harwell said she enjoyed seeing all the Tiger Blue throughout the Plaza and Capitol.
“All this blue looks beautiful; I love it,” she said. “I was presiding this morning and I had a TSU pen in my hand as I was making notes, I want you to know that.”
TSU Student Government Association President Aarian Forman also spoke at the kick-off ceremony, and said TSU’s students were excited to be at the Capitol.
“We’re so glad to be here today to show you why TSU is the true blue, and we’re the best blue in the state of Tennessee,” Forman said.
Displays from the school’s various colleges and departments lined both sides of the hallway in the Legislative Plaza. Robotics, red maple trees, research presentations and goats were among the booths showcasing the university’s diverse academic offerings.
One of the main attractions was a life-size robotic tiger designed and built by TSU’s College of Engineering.
“TSU Day at the Capitol is a day to demonstrate the work that’s being done here in the state of Tennessee, and the legislation and the support the state gives to universities, in particular TSU, and the rate of return by producing outstanding graduates that actually work in the great state of Tennessee,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of TSU’s College of Engineering.
Also on display at the Capitol was nationally recognized goat research in TSU’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Sciences. Its 15-year study of goats and how to address the demand for goat meat in the U.S. is one of the most extensive on that particular topic in the country.
“I probably give 10, 12 talks a year across the country on the research,” said Dr. Richard Browning, who leads TSU’s goat research. “We have a lot of ethnic groups that have goat as a main part of their diet, and that’s why there’s a demand for goat meat. But we don’t produce enough here. A lot of it is imported from other countries.”
Rep. Harold Love, Jr., whose district includes TSU, said he was glad his colleagues got a chance to see the excellent work going on at the university firsthand.
“Oftentimes you can’t see it in a booklet, or a pamphlet, you need to see it face to face,” Love said.
In wrapping up the ceremony, Glover told the legislative leaders that the university appreciates the funding its received over the years, and that it’s been used in an efficient and strategic manner. But she said TSU still has “tremendous needs.”
“Excellence is our habit, but excellence is not cheap; excellence is costly,” Glover said. “So we’re here today to ask you to support our excellence.”
Sen. Harper, whose district also includes TSU, said she and other lawmakers who have been staunch supporters of the university will continue to advocate on its behalf, and will encourage others to do the same.
“We come here to do business, and we do business for TSU,” Harper said.
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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, 25 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.