Tag Archives: TSU President Glenda Glover

White House Initiative Names TSU Student 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar for Academics, Leadership

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A top Tennessee State University student with dreams to change his Kentucky neighborhood has been named a 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Jailen Leavell, a sophomore mass communications major with a concentration in broadcast journalism, will serve as an ambassador of the White House Initiative by providing outreach and communication with his fellow students about the value of education and the Initiative as a networking resource.

Jonathan M. Holifield, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, right, congratulates Jailen Leavell in Washington, D.C. (Submitted Photo)

Selected for his accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement, Leavell was among 63 undergraduate, graduate and professional students chosen from 54 HBCUs. They were recognized for successfully preparing to “compete for top opportunities that improve long-term outcomes.” Each student was nominated and endorsed by their institution’s president.

Leavell, the third TSU student selected by the White House Initiative in the last five years, is a member of the TSU Honors College with a near 3.6 grade point average. He is also president of the sophomore class.

“We are very excited to learn of Jailen Leavell’s selection as a White House 2018 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar,” said Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president for Academic Affairs. “Mr. Leavell is a very engaged student who exemplifies academic excellence. He is engaging in national dialogue about promoting peace as a fellow with the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center, and as a proactive member of our Student Government Association.”

According to a release from the White House Initiative, Leavell and his fellow Competitive Scholars will serve for one year, during which they will learn and share “proven and promising practices that support individual and HBCU competitiveness, with the goal of strengthening prospects for career and life success.”

Leavell grew up in West Louisville, Kentucky, with high crime, violence and poverty. He wants to change that. He calls the White House honor “a representation of me, my community and my environment.”

“Growing up in West Louisville, the narrative is, ‘You will not make it outside of Louisville,’ and going after this award is all part of my effort to change that,” said Leavell, who grew up about eight blocks from the boyhood home of the late boxing champion Mohammad Ali.

“If Mohammad Ali can grow up eight blocks from me and become the greatest of all time and …change the world, I can do that eight blocks down the road. I love Louisville. I just have a lot of pride in my city and ultimately I just want to change it, with black people doing positive things, black businesses flourishing, stopping violence and just changing the narrative.”

Leavell thanked TSU President Glenda Glover for recommending him, and Charles Jennings, director of the TSU Career Development Center, for helping him through the “rigorous process.”

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, 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.

TSU, Nashville State Community College reaffirm agreement to help students get four-year degrees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The presidents of Tennessee State University and Nashville State Community College have reaffirmed an agreement to help students get a four-year degree.

TSU President Glenda Glover speaks at press conference. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover and NSCC President Shanna Jackson held a press conference at NSCC on Tuesday to reaffirm the Dual Admission Agreement the institutions made in 2009, as well as announce new ways to partner moving forward.

The agreement provided certain guarantees to students who committed to Tennessee State early in their college career, such as priority advising and registration, as well as access to TSU’s campus.

However, there have been some changes since the agreement was made. For instance, the Tennessee Board of Regents instituted the Tennessee Transfer Pathways program, which superseded DAAs and provided guarantees to community college graduates statewide.

The reaffirmation focuses on ways to get Nashville State students to commit to TSU as early as possible. Those that do commit early do not have to pay an application fee. Additionally, students who excel academically at Nashville State may be eligible for TSU transfer scholarships, and 100 percent of the courses students take at Nashville State will transfer to TSU.

“We’re just pleased and honored to have this partnership,” Glover said. “We look forward to receiving Nashville State students as TSU students. Simply put, it’s just time to become a TSU Tiger.”

NSCC’s president expressed similar sentiment.

“Nashville State has long enjoyed a partnership with Tennessee State University,” said Jackson, a TSU graduate. “I am grateful to President Glover and her staff for the commitment to strengthening and growing the relationship between our institutions.”

TSU and NSCC are in the process of finalizing several new articulation agreements in the area of hospitality and tourism, as well as teacher education.

“In fact, most recently, there were three much needed new pathways that were created for future high school teachers in the area of biology, chemistry and mathematics (STEM),” Jackson said. “And this is only the beginning.”

On Tuesday, the presidents signed an agreement that would allow articulation from a university parallel associate of science at NSCC to a bachelor of science in biology or mathematics or chemistry with teacher certification/licensure.

“We’re focusing on the STEM majors because we know that employment demands in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math are steadily increasing,” Glover said. “TSU has solid partnerships with certain companies, and Nashville State students will have access to the same companies.”

The NSCC-TSU partnership is a continuing effort by Tennessee State to attract community college students. Earlier this year, TSU partnered with Motlow State Community College to offer an agriculture degree in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

Under the “2 + 2” Ag program, participants get an associate’s degree at MSCC, then have the option of getting a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from TSU, which can be conveniently done at MSCC.

For more about community college initiatives at TSU, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/commcolleges/

 

TSU, Metro Schools Partnership Brings More than 5,000 on Campus for Area’s Largest College Fair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – High school seniors PatriĆyonna Rodgers and Jaida Dunlap have made up their minds: they’re going to be Big Blue Tigers.

Rodgers and Dunlap say TSU’s close proximity to home, the HBCU family experience, and strong academic programs make TSU “number one” in their college selection.

“I am very interested in TSU,” said Rodgers, a top student at John Overton High in Nashville with a 4.27 grade point average who wants to study pre-law and journalism. “My mom’s best friend went to TSU. She really loved the college experience, and I heard that TSU has a very outstanding communications program.”

TSU President Glenda Glover talks to a student and her mother at the MNPS College Fair in the Gentry Complex. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

For Dunlap, a track star at East Nashville High School, she wants to bring her talent to TSU.

“I hear you have a very good track program, and I want to join the track team,” said Dunlap, who plans to major in political science with a minor in criminal justice. “I have a lot of friends who come here and they tell me it is a real good place to come to if you want to be close to home. It is a family-oriented school.”

Rodgers and Dunlap were among more than 5,000 middle and high school students and their parents who attended the annual Metro Nashville Public Schools College Fair in the Gentry Complex at TSU on Sept. 20. This is the second straight year TSU has hosted the fair. It is also the first university or college to host the fair in its decades-long history, according to TSU and MNPS officials.

More than 180 colleges, universities and post-secondary institutions from across the nation took part in the fair to offer students the opportunity to review information on admissions and financial aid, as well as college life and programs to help them decide their choice of college or university.

PatriĆyonna Rodgers, a top student at John Overton High School, and her mother, Shenell Gilliam-Rogers, inquire about programs in the TSU Honors College, at the MNPS College Fair. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

TSU President Glenda Glover was among TSU and metro school officials who attended the fair. She said hosting the fair at TSU highlights the partnership between the university and MNPS.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Tennessee State University,” Glover said. “Having this at TSU gives us an opportunity to showcase the campus and what we have to offer. I am excited to see our various colleges and departments here participating.”

MNPS Chief of Schools, Dr. Sito Narcisse, said the Metro schools are excited to partner with TSU to host the college fair. He said TSU has been a major partner and the biggest pipeline for teachers in the entire system.

“TSU has been a great partner, and we appreciate how the university has supported us like today with thousands of kids and their parents attending this fair,” Narcisse said.

Dr. Gregory Clark, TSU’s director of High School Relations, helped to coordinate the fair, along with Dr. Megan Cusson-Lark, MNPS’ executive director of school counseling.  Clark said the university is excited to welcome so many institutions from across North America.

“TSU and metro public schools have done it once again,” Clark said. “This is an excellent recruitment opportunity. In particular, the opportunity to see this many students in our house at one time is outstanding.”

For information on admission at TSU, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/.

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, 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.

TSU President Glover leads Service Organization in raising over $1.2 Million in Historic One-Day Campaign to Help Nation’s HBCUs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is impacting historically black colleges and universities across the country.

Dr. Glenda Glover

Glover is also the international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, which has raised over $1 million during its HBCU Impact Day initiative to benefit historically black colleges and universities.

Glover announced last week that the organization exceeded the goal.

“I am extremely proud of this historic moment Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has accomplished by not only meeting but exceeding our goal and raising over $1.2 million to assist HBCUs,” she said.

“As leaders in service, sorority members have demonstrated that HBCUs have significant value and deserve to be treated as an essential educational resource. I thank our membership, family members, friends and the community for their generous contributions.”

Donations were made online and by mail during the 24-hour campaign. Glover said the sorority’s goal is to raise $10 million over the next four years to benefit HBCUs.

In July, Glover was presented a $20,000 check for the Glenda Baskin-Glover Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated 30th International President Scholarship fund at TSU during her installation activities in Houston, Texas.

The scholarship was established to celebrate Glover taking the helm of AKA, the nation’s oldest African-American female Greek-lettered service organization, and to highlight her role as TSU’s first female president.

Glover donated $50,000 to the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation for the sorority’s HBCU initiative during her installation ceremony. She made that same commitment of a $50,000 donation to TSU when she became president of the university in 2013.

 

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, 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.

 

TSU President Glenda Glover solidifies relationship with Regions Bank and other corporate partners during HBCU Braintrust meeting

By Kelli Sharpe

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover is promoting HBCU partnerships with corporate America.

TSU President Glenda Glover

Earlier this month, she attended the National HBCU Braintrust in Washington, D.C., meeting with companies to express the importance of diversity and how historically black colleges and universities can bridge the gap.

“As HBCU presidents, we continue to applaud the visionary leadership of Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, of North Carolina, and the members of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus for creating a platform that allows me and my colleagues the opportunity to network with corporate leaders,” said Dr. Glover, who moderated a panel with chief diversity officers from top corporations, including Amazon, Pinterest, GM Financial and Dell.

“All are fully committed to strengthening relationships between HBCUs and their companies. This is an enormous victory for our students, who are some of the best and brightest in the country.”

TSU President Glenda Glover with top diversity and inclusion executives at the HBCU Braintrust Town Hall: “The Power of Black Women: Reshaping, Redefining & Diversifying America’s Workforce.” President Glover served as moderator for discussion on the important role HBCUs play in building the workforce. (Submitted photo)

Last year, the Caucus issued the HBCU Partnership Challenge, an effort to promote corporate engagement with HBCUs and the students they serve. Following the challenge, the Caucus conducted a survey to assess current HBCU engagement with corporations. The group then worked with industries to determine how to best recruit and retain diverse talent.

The goal was to identify 10 corporate partners within the first year. Amazon, AnitaB.Org, Dell, Inc., GM Financial, Nielsen, Pandora, Regions Bank, and Volvo Group North America are additional partners that have helped the Caucus exceed its goal.

“Regions Bank is the epitome of a good corporate partner and does an outstanding job of integrating TSU students into various levels of the company,” added Dr. Glover.

The National HBCU Braintrust, Sept. 12-14, included corporate giving, STEM innovation, and scholarships. The Bipartisan HBCU Caucus was founded by Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D during the 114th Congress. The Caucus is comprised of 74 members from both chambers and both sides of the aisle.

 

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, 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.

For Tennessee State University, Southern Heritage Classic game Cancellation Not a Loss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Although the much-anticipated 29th Southern Heritage Classic football game was canceled due to inclement weather, TSU’s spirit remained high.

The university experienced gains in recruitment, fundraising and community relations – three of TSU’s main goals at the annual gathering.

Emily Greer, Chief Administrative Officer of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, welcomes President Glenda Glover during a guided tour of the world renowned hospital. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The game between TSU and Jackson State University scheduled for Sept. 8 was eventually called off because of inclement weather.

TSU, with a 17-11 SHC record, was looking to extend its current win streak, which stands at 6-0 over JSU. Last year, the TSU Tigers defeated the JSU Tigers 17-15 before more than 47,000 fans in the Liberty Bowl.

While there was obvious disappointment, it did not overshadow positive experiences that occurred during the weekend.

Leading up to the game, TSU officials, administrators and staff engaged in a number of activities around Memphis.  Among them, a life changing experience when TSU President Glenda Glover was taken on a guided tour of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the only facility in the world with a research center and a hospital in the same venue.

The TSU Aristocra of Bands participates in the 29th Southern Heritage Classic Parade in Memphis on Sept. 8. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Accompanied by former Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, and Richard Lee Snow, senior adviser for Multicultural Marketing & Business Development for St. Jude, Glover saw labs and research facilities. She also received the history on the vision of St. Jude’s founder Danny Thomas, the evolution of the hospital, as well as its partnership with African-American communities, institutions and organizations.

Hospital employees who are TSU graduates were among those who greeted Glover. Earlier, Emily Greer, chief administrative officer of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Research Center, received Glover.

“It was phenomenal to see all the research that’s being done to save lives,” Glover said. “I am also amazed to see the generosity of the hospital as it pertains to patients, when families’ only concern is the well-being of their child and not costs. That is truly amazing.”

TSU sophomore Rachelle Brown. (Submitted photo)

The rain also didn’t stop Tennessee State University sophomore Rachelle Brown from winning big at the Classic. Brown received the first of four $10,000 McDonald’s “True to the HBCU” scholarships, facilitated by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. While maintaining a 3.8 grade point average, the Memphis native was active in her community: sorting and packaging food at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville, Tennessee; collecting supplies for homeless women and victims of natural disasters in the Virgin Islands; and serving as a reading volunteer with Smart Baby, an organization promoting childhood literacy to children.

“I chose to attend an HBCU, for the rich education, both inside and outside the classroom,” Brown said. “I wanted to go to a college that would encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone and provide me with an atmosphere designed to promote excellence.”

Memphis WANTV Local 24 reporter Jeané Franseen interviews President Glover Sept. 7 during a morning show outside the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As for recruitment, officials said a number of top graduating high school seniors who attended TSU’s Memphis Recruitment Reception on Sept. 7 have signed on to attend the university next fall. They said nearly 80 percent of the students who attended the reception in the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel have already met “scholarship requirements.”

“We have already received their scholarship applications, transcripts and ACT scores,” said Dr. Gregory Clark, director of high school relations and NCAA certification at TSU. To be considered for a scholarship, a candidate must have at least a 3.0 GPA and 21 or higher on the ACT.

More than 200 high school seniors from the West Tennessee area and their parents attended the standing-room-only program in one of the hotel’s reception areas.

Jovon Jones, associate director of recruitment at TSU, talks to students and parents about scholarship requirements and deadlines at recruitment reception. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

According to officials of the Office of Institutional Advancement, this year’s Alumni Mixer – a key fundraising event of the Classic week – was a big success. With President Glover and Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement leading the charge, more than $20,000 was raised and nearly 20 new individuals joined the President’s Society. These are individuals who commit to contributing $1,000 or more a year.

“We just want to say thank you for all that you do for Tennessee State University to help keep needy students in school,” Glover said. “Your continued financial, material and other support and gifts are making a big difference in our students’ lives. We are thankful beyond measure for your support.”

During the week, Glover, accompanied by several senior university officials, also visited Power Center Academy High School and Whitehaven High School where she spoke to students and administrators, and answered questions about the importance of a college education and the programs and offerings at TSU.

Earlier on Saturday, Glover, the TSU Aristocrat of Bands, student organizations, including Mr. TSU and Miss TSU and their court, lead the 29th Southern Heritage Classic Parade in Memphis, with thousands along the route cheering on parade participants.

Next year’s Southern Heritage Classic football game is scheduled for Sept. 14.

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, 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.

TSU High Achieving Freshman Sets Sight on National Exposure, Engineering Entrepreneurship

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Kennedy Marie McCurry is aiming high. The incoming freshman wants to be known as one of the best softball players of all time, and to own an architectural engineering firm. She believes TSU is the best place to prepare her for success.

“My goal in life is to eventually play in the National Pro Fastpitch League for a couple years and then move on to owning my own architectural firm,” says McCurry, an architectural engineering major, who will play softball for TSU.

Kennedy Marie McCurry

A Gallatin, Tennessee, native, McCurry says she is no stranger to TSU. Her father, Dr. Charles McCurry, is a longtime professor of electrical engineering at the university.

“I have been around TSU almost all my life,” says the 18-year-old. “My dad was a really strong influence on me. He really pushed me toward TSU. Also, I really like the softball team, and I always knew I wanted to do something in architectural engineering. And I know that TSU has a very strong engineering program. So all signs pointed toward TSU.”

Kennedy comes to TSU with outstanding academic and athletic credentials. She enters the university with a near 3.7 grade point average, and 28 on the ACT.  At Beech High School, where she graduated last May, she was a star player on the softball team. She was twice named to the All-District Team, she made the district tournament team and earned MVP. She played on the Middle Tennessee All-State Team her sophomore year, and was named to the MaxPreps All-American Second Team her senior year.

“I have always wanted to play D-I softball. I am proud to bring my educational and athletic skills to TSU,” she says. “I chose to attend Tennessee State University because of its rich heritage, sports legacy and nationally ranked College of Engineering.”

Kennedy could not have chosen TSU at a better time. She is among a new recruit of high achievers the university targets to attract the best and brightest students, since TSU raised its admission standards about two years ago.

Saying, “TSU is no longer a school of last resort,” President Glenda Glover in 2016 announced sweeping changes that raised admission standards to attract better students. Minimum requirements for incoming freshmen went up from a 2.25 GPA to 2.5, while the ACT score remained at 19.

““Excellence remains our top priority, but we can’t be the school of last resort,” Glover said.

For Kennedy, she says TSU’s emphasis on producing well-rounded students was another attraction.

“TSU had already laid the foundation to help me get a quality education by engaging me in activities to prepare me for my college work even before classes started,” she says.

Last summer, Kennedy was among 11 high school graduating seniors who participated in the Engineering Concepts Institute in the College of Engineering at TSU. ECI is a four-week pre-college, residential program intended to prepare participants for academic success in the mathematical sciences or engineering disciplines.

“ECI also helped me to make new friends. I am excited and looking forward to the many more accomplishments I plan to have at TSU,” says Kennedy.

For more information on the engineering program at TSU, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/

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, 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.

Tennessee State University Welcomes Class of 2022 at Freshman Convocation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Friday welcomed first-year students during the 2018 freshman convocation.

More than 1,300 incoming freshman students were inducted during the ceremony in Kean Hall.

Incoming female freshmen were dressed in white for their induction. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I am extremely proud to welcome you to Tennessee State University,” said President Glenda Glover. “It is my honor to stand before the Class of 2022 today, not only as your president, but as a fellow TSU Tiger. You have embarked on an incredible journey. I encourage you to do your best. Do not just strive to make an A, but strive to be an A.”

Porsha Hernandez, an economics and finance major from Nashville, said the induction ceremony made her feel at home.

“I have always been a very serious student and I plan to continue that here,” she said.

More than 1,300 first-year students were inducted during the 2018 Freshman Convocation. Male students wore white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue ties. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. John Cade, vice president for Enrollment and Student Success, presented the students for the induction.

“Madam President, it is my pleasure to present these young people who have satisfied all the requirements for admission to Tennessee State University as freshmen and students with advance standing,” Cade said.

With each student holding a lighted candle symbolizing “knowledge and truth,” they took the TSU Freshman Pledge, administered by the interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alisa Mosley.

Females were dressed in white and males in white shirts and blue pants, sporting TSU-supplied blue ties. They pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts” and to deport themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”

Trinity Young, a math major from Indianapolis, said he took the pledge very seriously.

“I am committed to being a very good student in all areas for as long as I am here,” Young said.

In addition to student representatives, speakers at the convocation included Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association.

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, 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.

Johnson Sworn In As Public Defender, Becomes Sixth TSU Alum To Currently Serve as First African American In Position In Metro Nashville Government

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alum Martesha L. Johnson has reason to celebrate. She is the first African-American Metropolitan Public Defender for Nashville-Davidson County.

Her swearing-in ceremony, which was held Aug. 28 in Poag Auditorium in the Walter S. Davis Humanities Building, represents the crowning achievement of years of service Johnson has provided since she set her sites on being a public defender when she served as an intern with the Nashville Public Defenders Office in 2007.

“It was during that summer internship that I sort of decided, that’s exactly what I want to do! I knew that I had an interest in criminal law. I knew that I had an interest in being a trial lawyer. I learned that I was passionate about those things while I was at Tennessee State,” she said. “So when I had the internship in 2007, it sort of changed the course of what I wanted to do as a lawyer, and I immediately knew then I wanted to be a public defender.”

Johnson with TSU President Glenda Glover.

After graduating Summa Cum Laude from TSU in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in English, Johnson immediately transitioned to law school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she graduated in August 2008.

Johnson began volunteering as a licensed attorney at the Nashville office in August 2008 and worked nights at Macy’s to support her career. Her determination paid off when her predecessor, Dawn Deaner, offered her a position in January 2009, and she hasn’t looked back.

Johnson receiving special gift from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Swearing-In Ceremony.

After the ceremony, Johnson became one of six TSU alums who currently serve as the first African Americans to hold their positions in Metro Nashville Government. The other five alums include: Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry, County Clerk Brenda Wynn, Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite, Register of Deeds Karen Y. Johnson and Juvenile Court Clerk Lonell Matthews.

State Rep. Harold Moses Love Jr. (58th District-D), who is a TSU alum and also pastor of St. Paul’s AME Church, said TSU has a legacy of producing public servants.

The Temple Baptist Church Praise Choir perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

“Tennessee State University has always produced leaders that have blazed trails for others to follow. The significance of these six alums serving in Metro Nashville Government at this time points to the preparation that TSU provided for them, the confidence that they each had to seek election and the trust that the voters placed in them,” he said. “They embody our Univeristy Charge of ‘Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.’”

Erica Gilmore, assistant dean of Student Contacts and Council Member at Large for the City of Nashville, shared similar sentiments.

TSU Aristocrat of Bands

“It’s truly unbelievable to have so many firsts to represent a consolidated government in so many different areas,” she said. “It’s significant because African-Americans make up 28 percent of Nashville. That means that these persons who have won have a very broad appeal, which is very important in the political arena. It means that TSU has a strong commitment to the community. When we say ‘Think. Work. Serve.’, I think the graduates are really doing that.”

Public officials from throughout Middle Tennessee attended the ceremony, including Nashville Mayor David Briley, Davidson County Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite, who served as the mistress of ceremony. Musical selections were provided by the Aristocrat of Bands and the Temple Baptist Church Praise Choir, which shared a rousing rendition of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

 

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, 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.

TSU alum and Waffle House hero James Shaw Jr. launches new charity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU alum and Waffle House hero James Shaw Jr. launched his new charity during an anti-violence rally at Tennessee State University on Sunday.

Kids enjoying activities at “Come Together Day” rally at Hale Stadium. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Called “Come Together Day,” the event kicked off at Hale Stadium with vendors and activities for kids before moving into Kean Hall where there was a celebrity basketball game that included TSU alum and Philadelphia 76ers star Robert Covington.

“We’re so proud of James Shaw Jr. for stepping up to the forefront to launch this effort to bring people together,” said TSU President Glenda Glover, who has set up a scholarship at the university in Shaw’s name. “This is very important to this community, and TSU is an integral part of this community. We’re pleased that we can serve in this role.”

TSU alum and Philadelphia 76ers star Robert Covington talks to referees during break in game Sunday. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Nashville Mayor David Briley attended the rally and also lauded Shaw’s efforts.

“James has really shown how strong a man he is, and I look forward to working with him as he moves forward in his life and lifts up this community,” Briley said.

Shaw said the mission of The James Shaw Jr. Foundation is to work with other like-minded organizations and community advocates to eradicate violence and address mental health issues, as well as provide support, tools and resources for individuals and families who have experienced severe violence and trauma.

James Shaw Jr. shows off basketball skills. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

“It’s about accountability and caring for one another,” Shaw said Sunday.

Chelsey Dyer of Nashville said she attended the rally with her 5-year-old son, Jeremiah, because she wanted to support Shaw’s effort to make the community safer.

“I think it’s awesome,” Dyer said. “We need to come together and make Nashville the best that it can be. We need more James’.”

Four people were killed and several others wounded on April 22 when a gunman opened fire in a Waffle House in the Nashville suburb of Antioch.

Family members of Waffle House shooting victims receive check from James Shaw Jr. during ceremony at TSU in May. (photo courtesy of TSU Media Relations)

Authorities have said there would have probably been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions. He wrestled a rifle away from the gunman and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door.

In May, family members of the shooting victims attended a ceremony at TSU to honor those killed and wounded in the shooting. Shaw presented the victims with a check for more than $240,000. Immediately after the shooting, Shaw set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $15,000. He raised much, much more.

Donations to the James Shaw Jr. Scholarship Fund can be paid through the link below or by mail. Please send to: The James Shaw, Jr. Scholarship Fund at Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University Foundation, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd. Box 9542, Nashville, TN   37209. Donors can also call, 615-963-5481.

https://epay.tnstate.edu/C20204_ustores/web/classic/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=415&SINGLESTORE=true

Note: Feature photo of TSU President Glenda Glover and James Shaw Jr. by Jon Strayhorn-Media Arts Collective.

 

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, 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.