NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Actress Vivica A. Fox has a message for Tennessee State University students: make the right choices.
Fox was the keynote speaker at the Women of Legend and Merit Awards on March 21, which also featured a performance by entertainer Angela Winbush.
With an extensive body of work that includes television, stage and film credits, Fox talked about her career, at times drawing laughter from attendees, and striking a more serious note when discussing her mother and her faith.
But Fox, who is also a producer and accomplished businesswoman, probably had the strongest message when she focused directly on TSU’s students, who participated in some capacity throughout the program.
“You all are our future,” Fox said. “The choices you make today will shape your tomorrow.”
First held in 2007, the WOLM awards is designed to bring awareness and raise funds to support the TSU Women’s Center, which offers student-focused programming to empower individuals and student organizations, as well as help students make the right choices.
At the awards dinner, TSU freshman Kayla Daniels was given a $1,000 scholarship to pursue her degree in business. The scholarship dollars are available mainly because of money raised at the WOLM awards through ticket sales and sponsorships.
Women’s Center coordinator Seanne Wilson said the awards dinner is also an opportunity for the TSU family and the Nashville community to be introduced to “dynamic, successful, and positive women who impact their community,” as well as society.
This year’s honorees were Dr. Stephanie Walker, Vanderbilt University/First lady Mt. Zion Baptist; Cheryl White Mason, Vanderbilt Law School; Teresa Phillips, TSU athletic director; Yvette Boyd, R.H. Boyd Publishing; and Vicki Yates, WTVF Nashville news anchor.
In particular, Wilson said the event seeks to expose the university’s “female student population to positive role models, networking opportunities and resources to assist in their academic, personal and professional growth as women.”
But its main objective is to help the Women’s Center, which assists students with issues that range from financial needs to domestic abuse, Wilson said. It also has programs like “Wisdom Speaks,” in which alumni return to the campus to engage students in empowering discussions, as well as a clothing boutique.
“Some of our students are first generation college students and have a very limited wardrobe,” Wilson said. “Some young ladies, if they’re interviewing or doing internships, will come to the center looking for something to wear.”
The center is also sort of a home-away-from-home where students, not just females, can visit and do homework, or just hang out and debate the latest topics with friends, Wilson said.
Senior Kourtney Daniels said the center is a “vital resource to all students on campus.”
“It’s not just for the female population,” said Daniels, an agriculture science major with a concentration in food science and technology.
“Guys come in all the time, and we’ll have debates about everything from politics, to family issues we might have.”
For more information about the Women’s Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/womenscenter/.
Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
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.