Tag Archives: TSU Foundation

Faculty, staff giving shines light on TSU, attracts donors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University officials say faculty and staff giving is attractive to donors outside the institution.

When there’s strong financial support internally, donors are inclined even more to give because they see how much employees value where they work, said Greg Ketteman, prospect researcher with the TSU Foundation.

He said TSU’s College of Engineering recently reached 100 percent giving.

“Donors ask what the giving rate is for insiders and take that into consideration when making their own gift,” Ketteman said. “Being able to say that 100 percent of faculty and staff have given is a powerful statement when raising money from alumni, corporations, and foundations.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, agreed.

“The faculty and staff of the College of Engineering strongly support the leadership of the institution, its college, and more importantly, the students by their contribution to the TSU Foundation,” he said.

TSU student Brandi BeCoats said she appreciates the generosity from TSU’s faculty and staff.

“When people choose to give to the university, what that says to me is that the university is something that’s worth investing in,” said BeCoats, a junior from Nashville.

As of June 19, 2017, Ketteman said 159 TSU faculty and staff have made a donation to TSU, a 31 percent increase over last year. He said this year’s gifts from faculty and staff total $53,043, which is close to last year’s record of $53,565.

 

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, 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.

‘Donor Appreciation’ Gives Scholarship Recipients Chance to Say ‘Thank You’

By Emmanuel S. Freeman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Leona Dunn is finally enjoying college life and stressing less about school fees. She is grateful.

“My first year in college I paid over $1,200 out of pocket from what I saved up over the summer to help me stay in college,” said Dunn, a junior communications major.

Donors Reception-2
TSU President Glenda Glover says scholarship donors help the university stay on the path of excellence. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

That experience was the beginning of some tough times for the Omaha, Nebraska, native who had just come out of foster care. She was barely able to keep up with the payment plan she had worked up, which made registering for the next semester even more difficult.

“My balance was still off,” Dunn said. “I had no one back home to help. And coming from foster care, the system doesn’t exactly just give children owned by the state full ride scholarships to anywhere even if they had an exceptional GPA and ACT score like I did.”

But thanks to some “nice people” and “great organizations,” Dunn is now worrying less about tuition and focusing more on her academics. She received financial assistance from the Links, and the Tennessee State University Women’s Center.

Donors Reception-4
Leona Dunn gave a Spoken Word rendition at the Scholarship Appreciation Program and Reception. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“With all of this help I had to come up with only $200 this year …a huge blessing. I am so grateful,” she said.

On Friday, April 7, Dunn, and fellow students who receive help through scholarship donations, had a chance to say, “Thank You.”

It was the 6th Annual Scholarship Appreciation Program and Reception, or “Donor Appreciation,” held in Kean Hall. The event, organized by the TSU Foundation, allows scholarship recipients to meet face-to-face with donors to thank them for their generosity.

TSU President Glenda Glover said scholarship donors help the university to stay on the path of excellence by ensuring that students receive quality education through their gifts.

“Because of you, our students are able to matriculate,” Glover said. “They get to come, they get to stay and they get to graduate because of your dollars. We are just so grateful.”

Donors Reception
Scholarship recipients enter Kean Hall with cheers and songs of appreciation for donors who have helped them stay in school. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

This year, nearly 280 people, including students, donors and special guests attended the program featuring songs, recognition of donors and a special toast. Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement, provided remarks.

Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement, said the program gave the students a “unique opportunity” to interact with the donors.

“We send out postcards, letters and notes to donors to show our appreciation for their gifts, but this is the moment when donors and students really get to come together face to face to give and receive appreciation,” Alexis said.

Dr. Darlene Harris-Vasser, assistant director of Donor Relations, coordinates the reception each year. She said it is exciting to see the joy on donors’ faces when they meet the students in person.

“They are just so elated to see all of those students speaking about their educational goals, future plans and how their (donors’) contributions are making it possible for them to achieve their goals,” Harris-Vasser said.

The Women’s Center, one of the donors that offered Dunn financial assistance, develops and sponsors programming that enhances the skills of women and assists in their development as scholars and professionals.

According to Seanne Wilson, director of the center, Dunn approached the center to inquire about assistance.

“As Leona is a huge supporter of the Women’s Center and its events, the center was happy to assist her with the request,” Wilson said.

In appreciation, Dunn wants to give back to help others.

“Hopefully I want to have my own endowed scholarship when I become an alumna to help others and give back for the help I received,” she said.

For information on how to support the TSU Foundation or make a scholarship donation, please go to http://www.tnstate.edu/foundation/.

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, 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.

TSU Alum Donates $30,000 for Student Support as President Glover Gives Upbeat Report on Progress at the Institution

President Glover, joined by Director of Alumni Relations, Cassandra Griggs, left; and Betsy Jackson, Director of University Foundation, receive a check for $30,000 from Roosevelt Bud Reese as his personal donation to Tennessee State University for student support. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
President Glover, joined by Director of Alumni Relations, Cassandra Griggs, left, and Betsy Jackson, Executive Director of University Foundation, receives a check for $30,000 from Roosevelt Bud Reese as his personal donation to Tennessee State University for student support. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Just minutes after Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover gave a cheerful report of progress at the institution and thanked alumni and friends for their support, a former student stepped up with a sizable individual donation to his alma mater.

Roosevelt Bud Reese, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at TSU, presented the President with a check for $30,000 from his CMI Foundation for student support, and challenged his fellow alumni to follow suit by giving to the University.

“We applaud your generosity and continued support of TSU,” Dr. Glover told Reese during a reception given by the President Friday night at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Memphis. “We are grateful for this gift that will be used to provide quality education for our students.”

In addition to Reese, many of his family members have either earned degrees or are current students of TSU. His brother, Stanley, Business Administration; daughter Candice, Business Administration; and son Chris, Criminal Justice, have all graduated. Grandson Shawn is currently an Aviation Management major at TSU.

“Tennessee State University has educated my whole family, and this is just a way to give back,” Reese said. “As a two-time graduate of TSU, I know what quality education can lead to, and I just want to make sure others get the opportunity I was afforded.”

Earlier, President Glover told the gathering of alumni, corporate and individual supporters, friends, faculty and staff that the University was making tremendous progress from improvements in recruitment, retention and graduation, to enhancements in campus safety and emergency management.

“Enrollment for the new academic year is now more that 9,000, and TSU is the only TBR institution that has not experienced a drop in enrollment for two years in a roll,” Dr. Glover told the gathering to a rousing applause. “We have also initiated programs to help students stay in school and graduate on time.”

As a measure to reduce financial burden on students, Dr. Glover reported on the University’s Book Bundle initiative, a digital cutting-edge program aimed at lowering the cost of traditional textbooks. The plan allows freshman and sophomore students to buy “e-books” (downloaded on a tablet) for general education classes, saving students up to $735 per semester.

On retention and graduation, the President spoke about the University’s new Take 15 initiative that encourages students to take at least 15 credits each semester to graduate in four years, as well as the 3+1 program, a dual (college/high school) enrollment program.

Dr. Glover also announced the TSU Community College Initiative aimed at creating a seamless transition of two-year degree holders to TSU. Through this initiative, Dr. Glover said, TSU is reaching out to all 13 community colleges around the state to develop long-lasting partnerships and relationships through “2+2” or dual enrollment efforts.

“Just yesterday, we signed a Student Transfer Partnership Agreement with Southwest Tennessee Community College right here in Memphis, my home town,” she said

In other areas that also drew cheers from the gathering, including state lawmakers and community leaders, the President disclosed that the University has raised more than $9.5 million in giving to the University since she arrived on campus about 18 months ago.

“Our corporate partners, community stakeholders, alumni, faculty, staff and individuals have been very generous and supportive of our plea for support,” said Dr. Glover, who presented a check for $50,000 to her alma mater as her “first order of business” when she became president in 2012, challenging other alumni to follow suit.

“We thank you for your support and for buying into our vision to make TSU the best it can be,” Dr. Glover added.

 

 

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
Click to Buy tickets today!

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.