TSU’s admitted students urged to take the ‘next step’ and enroll

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Allison Bowen and Aysha Mack are coming to Tennessee State University this fall. The two academic standouts from Brewbaker Tech in Montgomery, Alabama, have been best friends and school mates from kindergarten through high school. They decided to stay together and go to the same college after high school but didn’t know where – until they visited TSU. 

Shaquille Dillon, Executive Director of Enrollment Services, congratulates committed students Allison Bowen and Aysha Mack, and their moms. L-r are: Dawneese Bowen, Allison’s mom; Dr. Monica Mack, Aysha’s mom; Dillon; Allison and Aysha. (photo by Aaron Grayson)

The two best friends and their moms, along with 400 other students and their parents, recently attended Admitted Student Day at TSU, where students who had applied, been admitted but had not committed, got a chance to learn about programs and offerings, as well as hear information about the value in attending the institution. 

“I am committed, and I am sure Aysha is, too,” said Bowen, whose older sister, a former Tigerbelle, graduated from TSU two years ago. “I like the things they talked about, like student activities, building character and great family atmosphere. That helped me to decide this is where I want to be.” Bowen will major in interior design.

Admitted students and their parents interact with Terrence Izzard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Mack, who agreed with her friend about committing to TSU, said it is an opportunity to further solidify their bond.

“They said a lot of things that really caught my eye and made me want to come to TSU,” said Mack, who will major in nursing. “I am prepared to be here with my friend. I think that the bond that we have will help us to continue to motivate each other in college and through life to be successful.”

Bowen and Mack are not alone. They are among many who declared their intention to become Tigers in the Land of Golden Sunshine. TSU officials were on hand to welcome them and to remind others about the opportunities a TSU education offers, such as a great learning environment, career readiness, developing leadership skills, building lifelong relationships, and many others.

Hailey Terrell, of Flowood, Mississippi, is committed. She will major in Criminal Justice.

“Congratulations on being admitted to Tennessee State University. You are just a few steps away from becoming TSU students,” said Terrance Izzard, associate vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Success. “As an enrollment officer, I want you to know that the value of what you get from coming to TSU is huge; it’s beyond a piece of paper. It is a life-transforming experience that will get you career opportunities and upward mobility for you and your families, as well as allow you to discover who you really are.”

With Tasha Carson, assistant vice president of First Year Students, moderating different panels, presenters and program coordinators spoke about their own experiences as students and administrators, as well as answered questions on issues from how to present letters of intent to commit, to financial aid. Greeks and other student organizations also spoke about student life on campus and how it has shaped them.

Tasha Carson, Assistant VP of First-Year Students, welcomes students and their parents to Admitted Student Day in Poag Auditorium. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Elliott London, a graduating senior from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kansas, who applied to more than 70 HBCUs, was impressed. He is coming to TSU.

“TSU has my major, a highly rated biology program, and I want to minor in music, and they have that too, plus all that I heard today, I am committed,” London said.

Caleah Childress, of Carnahan High School in St. Louis, who wants to major in nursing, came with her mom, grandmother and cousin, a TSU graduate. She is also committed. With a long history of TSU graduates in her family, Caleah’s mom, Tiffany Childress, said her daughter’s decision to come to TSU “was almost certain.”

Caleah Childress, left, a committed student, joins a long line of family members who have attended TSU. In the photo are her mom, Tiffany Childress, sitting; and cousin Erica McClain, 2008 TSU graduate; and their grandmother, Anita Wilder. (Photo by Davin Latikker)

“I love it that she is coming to TSU,” Tiffany Childress said. “She had nine acceptance letters. So, I told her I think she would benefit the most by coming to TSU. Her great aunt graduated from here and she tried to recruit everybody under her in the family to go to TSU. Her cousins graduated from here and they are all very successful people.”

Aliyah Holmes, vice president of Student Government Association, encouraged the admitted students to take seriously all the information they received.

Elliott London, of Kansas City, Kansas, is committed. He will major in biology.

“If they take it serious they will be successful here at Tennessee State University,” Holmes said. “Know that whenever you get here, this will be your home, this will be your life, this will be the school that will take care of you and nurture you to be the best you want to be in the future.”

Shaquille Dillon, executive director of enrollment services, is the coordinator of the Admitted Student Day program. He said four of the events are held each year with the “goal of getting you from admitted students to committed students.”

“We are very intentional about Admitted Student Day so that parents know what’s their next step to get their students from admit to commit,” Dillon said.

In addition to student organizations and representatives, panelists included Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Dr. Johnny Smith, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs; Dr. Coreen Jackson, dean of the Honors College; and Lalita Hodges, coordinator of the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Institute.

For more information on admission, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/

TSU alums, Slim & Husky’s founders among semifinalists for coveted culinary award 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The blue print all started in Watson Hall dormitory seven years ago. Now three TSU alum who are founders of a major national restaurant chain, has been nominated as semifinalists for the esteemed James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur Culinary Award. The semifinalists were announced on January 25.

Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria owners Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore and Emanuel Reed are nominated in the category of Outstanding Restaurateur. The award recognizes exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system.

“To be nominated for a James Beard award within our industry is the equivalent to an Oscars or Grammy nomination,” said Gray, speaking on behalf of his partners. “The best part is knowing that we are representing more than just Slim & Husky’s. Our entire community and culture are behind us, and we can feel the energy.”

Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria has been nominated as semifinalists for the esteemed James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur Culinary Award.

During an event at TSU last Fall, the trio spoke to incoming freshmen about a dream they had in their college dorm, kicking off their business with $3,000. Something that grew into a multi-million-dollar company with branches across the country.

“Slim & Husky’s was born right here at TSU, in these dorms,” Gray reminded the students during the event.

“As freshmen and college students, we had the same dream as most of you to make a difference, but we had a plan and we worked on it.”

Slim & Husky’s opened its first restaurant in North Nashville just minutes away from the TSU campus. They now have a chain of restaurants in Memphis, Chattanooga, Atlanta and Sacramento. The pizza beeria will also open a location on Morehouse College campus in Atlanta, GA, in February.

James Beard Foundation nominees will be announced on March 29, with the winners being honored at a ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

TSU hospitality program places graduates at iconic Las Vegas Resorts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Las Vegas Strip, with its posh hotels and unlimited attractions, is always a top destination for tourists. The next time you plan your trip, check-in, or have fine dining at the popular location, a Tennessee State University graduate could be your customer service representative. That’s because two recent TSU grads are now a part of the world-renowned Wynn Resorts after completing the university’s new Hospitality and Tourism Management program in partnership with the iconic company.  

Monique Darvin and Tavion McCullough will soon start their new careers in the hospitality industry as managers in training for one of the leading high-end casino and hotel resorts. Darvin, who graduated Dec. 3, will work in hotel operations, while McCullough, who graduated in spring 2022, will be assigned to fine dining and food and beverage. 

Monique Darvin

“This is a very huge accomplishment in my life,” said Darvin, a business administration major with concentration in hospitality, from Nashville. 

“I have found a huge passion in the hotel industry.  So, to now be a part of the most vibrant hospitality city in the country is truly a blessing.” 

TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management is offered as a concentration with the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in the College of Business. The program includes courses in the following areas: hotel management, restaurant management, country club management, convention and event planning, corporate travel management, and catering management. The curriculum is taught by TSU faculty with top industry experience and includes classroom and hands-on field experience. 

McCullough, who received his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a hospitality concentration, credits his professors and TSU training for his success, which he said has led to several job offers since his graduation. 

“I love my university for this, and for opening new doors of opportunity for me,” said McCullough, of Atlanta.  

Tavion McCullough

“This is the epitome of why people come to TSU. My personal connections with Dr. (David) Baker and Dr. (Chunxing) Fan provided me with the tools to succeed that opened the door for so many opportunities after I graduated.” 

Darvin and McCullough completed the Resorts’ Professional Development Training Series held in the College of Business, as part of a partnership between Wynn Resorts and TSU. The initiative began in September 2022, with the Professional Development Series, and provides scholarships for business majors. Davin and Mccullough were part of the inaugural class. 

Dr. David Baker, professor of business administration and head of the hospitality program, said the TSU hospitality program provides students with “unique opportunities to work in Las Vegas, the number one resort capital in the world.” 

“I am proud that an outstanding company such as the Wynn Resorts saw the potential in our students,” Baker said. “This partnership will open numerous work and career opportunities for our graduates that chose Las Vegas to work and advance their careers.” 

For more information about the TSU, Wynn partnership, please contact Dr. Retta Guy, Associate Dean and Wynn Program Coordinator, at rguy@tnstate.edu. To learn more about the TSU Hospitality and Tourism Management program, please visit http://www.tnstate.edu/businessadmin/

The College of Business is among the largest academic units on campus, with approximately 1000 undergraduate and graduate students. 

Road to the Grammys: Band’s TV Appearance Inspires Student to come to TSU, join AOB

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –In September 2016, Logyn Rylander was surfing through her TV streaming service for something good to watch. It was in her living room when she first learned of Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands (AOB) on television.  

Logyn Rylander

“I was watching Cedrick the Entertainer’s special on Netflix, and I saw the band performing,” Rylander said. “I was shocked.” 

Rylander was mesmerized by the AOB’s energy and passion as members marched up the aisles of a Nashville auditorium. The high-octane performance was during their appearance with nationally known stand-up comedian and actor, Cedric Kyles, also known as Cedrick the Entertainer. She didn’t know much about TSUs band at first, but she was very familiar by the time the Netflix special performance was over. 

“I thought, yes, I am going there (to TSU.)” 

Logyn Rylander has been playing the saxophone since the third grade.

The Philadelphia, PA native, who was a sophomore in high school at the time, applied to the university and received a band scholarship to play the saxophone. 

Fast forward to today, Rylander will graduate this Fall with a degree in music technology business. Along with getting her degree, the saxophonist says the other ultimate accolade is being a part of a Grammy-nominated, groundbreaking gospel album The Urban Hymnal.  The historic music project is produced by the Aristocrat of Bands and features several gospel icons in the industry. The AOB is the first collegiate marching band in the history of the Grammys to receive a nomination. 

Rylander has been playing the saxophone since the third grade and picked up the bassoon her freshman year at TSU. She recalls the emotional journey of performing with AOB for the very first time.  

“My freshman year, I cried at multiple performances because I knew someone was watching me, the same way I watched the band on television … it was a full circle moment,” she said. She knew one day her talent was going to take her far. 

AOB band director Reginald McDonald and TSU alumnus, Sir the Baptist watches as Logyn Rylander submits the application to the Grammys.

“This is going to inspire someone the same exact way it inspired me.” 

Rylander also had the honor of submitting the application to the Grammys as her fellow band members looked on anxiously. 

Dr. Larry Jenkins, assistant band director and co-producer of the album, said Rylander wasn’t aware that she would be the person to submit the album, but that she deserved the chance to do so. 

“From the beginning, Logyn’s enthusiasm towards the project showed me that she was a visionary and that she was able to see the big picture,” Jenkins said. 

Logyn Rylander and TSU alumnus, Grammy award-winning producer Dallas Austin

Rylander helped create the soft and mellow notes with her saxophone in the songs titled Dance Revival and Fly. Rylander’s deep, reedy, and woody bassoon sounds can also be heard in the song Blessings

She said she admires the music AOB produces and is grateful to be a part of this musical journey with fellow band members she considers family.  

“I’m very grateful and honored to be in this band,” Rylander said. “What a way to end my school and band career.” 

The Grammys will take place on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California. Listen to The Urban Hymnal album on all music streaming platforms such as Apple Music, YouTube, and or Spotify. 

TSU, Baxter International Inc. to continue partnership aimed at producing minority healthcare professionals 

Global medical products company will fund $200,000 in scholarships for TSU nursing program 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University students aspiring to become nurses one day could be one step closer to achieving that goal thanks to a $200,000 gift from Baxter International Inc.  The global medical products company will award four TSU nursing majors academic scholarships for fall 2023.

Baxter’s ongoing financial support is a part of its partnership with the university to inspire and assist African Americans to become healthcare professionals in a field where minorities are underrepresented. The funds will be split into 4-years for each student.  

Last year Baxter International Inc., awarded four TSU students $200,000 in scholarship funds to help fulfill their dreams of becoming nurses. Meah Frazier, a freshman nursing major who received the Baxter scholarship last semester, said she was grateful for the opportunity and is pleased to know the company is continuing its commitment to TSU. 

“Having a scholarship from Baxter has helped me reduce any financial burdens and has allowed me to pursue my long-term aspiration of becoming a nurse practitioner,” Frazier said. “From a long-term perspective, this will also assist me serving patients in need and giving back to my community.” 

She noted that the TSU, Baxter partnership will encourage fellow students to pursue careers in the healthcare industry.

“I believe African American representation in health care is vital as it can assist in eliminating disparities in the medical field such as cultural ignorance and common misconceptions about ‘Black patients’ health.” 

Baxter’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Angela Lee, said she is honored to be a part of this commitment.  

“Through Baxter’s Activating Change Today (ACT) initiative, we are proud to continue our relationship with TSU in support of important programming that increases the pipeline of Black students in health and sciences fields,” Lee says.  

Dr. Ronald Barredo, Dean of the College of Health Sciences, said the Baxter scholarships will change the personal and professional trajectories of its recipients.  

“For one, the burden of financial support throughout their matriculation is lifted as recipients matriculate through the nursing program,” Barredo says.

“Additionally, these recipients are able to focus on their education and training, allowing them to become nurses who, in turn, affect the health trajectories of the patients they touch.” 

Baxter International Inc., began their partnership with the university in 2021, in support of the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Medical, Dental and Accelerated Pathway Program, a shared initiative between TSU and Meharry Medical College. TSU was one of three HBCUs that received part of $1.2 million to support Black students pursuing health and science degrees.

The program is named after one of TSU’s most distinguished graduates, Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon who holds an honorary degree from Meharry. The accelerated pipeline program prepares qualified TSU students for early acceptance to Meharry, where students spend three years in pre-medical courses of study at TSU before being admitted to and enrolling at Meharry to study medicine or dentistry.

The university look forward to a continuous partnership with Baxter International Inc., to develop and invest in future Black doctors, nurses and dentist from Tennessee State University.

There are currently 41 students enrolled in the university’s BSN undergraduate nursing program. As of Fall 2022, there were over 800 nursing major students. For more information about the nursing program, visit www.tnstate.edu/nursing/. To learn more about the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Institute at TSU, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/watkins/.

TSU’s Tasha Carson selected to present at the national conference on ‘The First-Year Experience’

Tasha A. Carson, assistant vice president of First Year Students in the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success, has been selected to present at the 42nd Annual National Conference on The First-Year Experience in Los Angeles Feb. 2-5. Carson will present to higher education professionals who work with first-year experience and students in transition from colleges and universities throughout the nation.

Tasha A. Carson

Her proposal, “Begin on TENN: Why Your Welcome Week Matters,” is based on a preview of the TSU model she created along with empirical data on student engagement impact during the first week of college.

“I am very happy to have been chosen to present at this conference,” says Carson. “I’m proud of the work we do here at TSU and feel honored to share that good work with so many other leaders in this field. I am also extremely excited to represent an HBCU on a platform such as this that includes Big 10 schools and Ivy League institutions.”

The Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience provides an ongoing forum where higher education professionals share experiences, concerns, and accomplishments related to supporting student learning, development, and success in their first year of college.

This year’s conference is sponsored by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition University of South Carolina, which supports and advances efforts to improve student learning and transitions into and through higher education.

For more information on first-year experience at TSU, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/orientation/

Road to the Grammys: Father and son share TSU band legacy 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Kedrick Malone Sr., visits his alma mater to watch his son march onto the field with TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands, he can’t help but feel a sense of pride.  The father says seeing Kedrick Malone Jr. dressed in a band uniform, like he was decades ago a as drum major for the famed AOB, is priceless.

Kedrick Malone Jr., right, said his father’s support and band legacy are what made him decide to follow in his footsteps at TSU. 

For Malone Sr., being in the band during his college years had been a defining experience. For Malone Jr., his father’s support and band legacy are what made him decide to follow in his footsteps at TSU. 

Now Malone Jr., a finance major, can be heard playing his saxophone on the Grammy-nominated, groundbreaking gospel album The Urban Hymnal, produced by the Aristocrat of Bands. 

“I never thought being in the band could take us this far,” Malone Jr., said. “The main reason why I decided to come to TSU and be a part of the band is because of my father. Growing up, all I’ve known was TSU band,” the Memphis native said.  

“My dad has taken me, my younger sister, and mom to the home opener game and the Southern Heritage Classic every year.” 

Kedrick Malone Sr., who played the saxophone with AOB, was a drum major in 1994-95 at TSU.

Malone Jr., notes flow effortlessly from the instrument as a part of the production for the songs Fly, Dance Revival, and Alma Mater, on the 10-track album.

The historic album also features several gospel icons in the music industry. The AOB album is the first collegiate marching band in history of the Grammys to receive a nomination.

Malone described the production of the album as ‘unbelievable.’ 

It was surreal,” he said. “All the different icons and getting to work with them. Being able to say that we are the first … we are making history. This is something no one can take away from us.” 

His father Malone Sr., who was an AOB drum major in 1994-95, said seeing his own son carrying on the tradition, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of legacy.

Kedrick Malone Jr., performing in Fall 2022 parade with AOB.

“It was perfect to pass what I learned and experienced to him and talk about the tradition, our sound and who we are,” Malone Sr., said. 

Malone Sr., who also plays the saxophone, noted that performing with the band was one of his best experiences. He is proud of the quality sounds the band has produced over the years and for being recognized for a Grammy nomination.  

The Grammys will take place on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California. Listen to The Urban Hymnal album on music streaming platforms such as Apple Music, YouTube, and or Spotify.

TSU unveils plans for historic $250 million from State, model for other HBCUs

By Kelli Sharpe, Alexis Clark

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – On the day the nation celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK Day, Tennessee State University shared its plans for the historic $250 million from the State of Tennessee. It is the largest one-time investment to a historically black university by a state. The funds come at a critical time as states across the nation are being held accountable even more for underfunding HBCUs. The funds are for capital improvement projects only as outlined by the State.  

University officials say long overdue repairs and upgrades are now on the way, citing many of the campus structures have gone without improvements for decades. 

TSU president, student and university leaders, local lawmakers during an unveiling for historic $250 million campus-wide infrastructure projects. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

TSU President Glenda Glover says the much-needed funding will cover expenses for upgrades to several academic and student services buildings, in addition to the electrical and HVAC systems. 

“We are excited to share with you our plans for using this historic funding that will assist with TSU’s continued growth and campus development as we provide students with the best academic environment possible.” Glover adds. “This will allow us to enhance our campus for further sustainability as we continue our service to our students.” 

A total of six structures will see improvements, including: Boswell Science Complex, Davis Humanities Bldg., Elliott Hall, Jackson Hall, Harold Love, Sr. (LRC), and McCord Hall. University officials say they are beginning with buildings that have reached or are near their life expectancy. 

TSU student leaders spoke about the excitement of announcing the improvements to their campus as they reflected on the day honoring civil rights icon, Dr. King. 

Boswell Science Complex is one of six buildings that will be apart of structures that will see improvements at the university.

“Today we are seeing that dream come into fruition as we are seeing six buildings being renovated to uplift TSU,” says Student Government Association President Kenneth Rolle, II. “I am glad to be on this side of history to say I was here when we started this project.” 

SGA Vice President Aliyah Holmes shared the same sentiments and noted that one of the buildings slated for improvements is a major part of student life. 

“As a student … the building I am most excited about, is the Davis Humanities Building. We use that building a lot,” Holmes says. 

“We use that building for classes as well as events, and student engagement at TSU is such an important aspect. That is also another aspect that keeps students wanting to come here. I want to applaud Dr. Glover … and our executive cabinet for being able to advocate and listen to the student body.” 

During the unveiling SGA president Kenneth Rolle, II says he is glad to be on this side of history to say, “I was here when we started this project.” (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Gov. Bill Lee and lawmakers allocated the historic funding package in April 2022 for infrastructure developments and major improvements that also include outdoor lighting, HVAC system upgrades, and interior décor.  

President Glover thanked Gov. Lee and lawmakers and applauded State Rep. Harold Love, Jr. for his work to ensure TSU gets funds that had been withheld for decades. Love, who is also a TSU alumnus, believes the enhancements will play a greater role in attracting world-class students and faculty. 

“This is a start of a multi-year project to make sure we invest in facilities at Tennessee State University. If we are providing a high-quality education, we must provide the facilities that are state of the art,” says Rep. Love. “These upgrades and improvements will help to sure that all of our students are equipped with all they need to be able to be great scholars and our faculty to be able to be great instructors.” 

Rep. Love was joined by fellow Davidson County lawmaker Sen. Heidi Campbell and State Architect Ann McGauran.    

SGA Vice President Aliyah Holmes shares her excitement about buildings slated for improvements during the project unveiling on Jan. 16, 2022. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

TSU officials say the goal of the campus improvements is to eliminate life-safety issues, address deferred maintenance, and invest in academic buildings. 

“TSU is working to extend the life expectancy of our facilities to better accommodate our students and to enhance their college experience while here,” says Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president and chief of staff. 

The historic funding is the result of a joint legislative committee’s research in 2021. It was revealed in April 2021 that TSU could be due $544 million, dating back to the 1950s, because of years of unpaid land-grant matches by the state. President Glover and Rep. Love, Jr., who served as chairman of the committee, commented then that the outcome was critical to the livelihood of TSU.  

Glover told the crowd during her final remarks at the unveiling that she appreciated the hard work from both sides of the political aisle to reach an agreement instead of being embroiled in a lengthy court battle like in Mississippi and Maryland with their HBCUs. 

Shaun Wimberly, who serves as the student trustee for the university, summed it up best when he proclaimed he’s already thinking about his future that will include TSU. 

“I’m excited for TSU’s future and what this funding and these upgrades will do for my school. I will be a proud legacy as my children will come here to get a quality education.”   

NFLPA taps TSU Coach Eddie George to lead 2023 collegiate bowl

NASHVILLE – Tennessee State University head football coach Eddie George will lead a group of draft-eligible college players in the 2023 NFLPA Bowl. George, a Heisman Trophy winner and a former NFL standout, has been named one of the head coaches for this year’s event. The game will take place on January 28 and will continue its tradition of being played at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.

TSU coach Eddie George will lead a group of draft-eligible college players in the 2023 NFLPA Bowl

George will be coaching against his former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, who was also a coach in last year’s event. George was announced as the 22nd head football coach at Tennessee State University on April 13, 2021. George played college football for Ohio State University and won the Heisman in 1995. That season, George rushed for a school record 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns, an average of 148.23 yards per game, while also catching 47 passes for 417 yards and another score. He left Ohio State second in school history in career rushing yards (3,768) and third in rushing touchdowns (44). The Philadelphia native finished with 4,284 all-purpose yards, 45 touchdowns, and a 5.5 yards-per-carry average. 

In 1996, George was the first-round draft selection of the then-Houston Oilers. He won the NFL Rookie of the Year award that season and was the Oilers/Titans’ starting tailback through 2003, never missing a start. He made the Pro Bowl four consecutive years (1997–2000) and assisted the Titans to a championship appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV. 

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is the premier postseason all-star game for any draft-eligible college football player. More than just a game, this week-long experience provides players with the opportunity to showcase their game to NFL scouts and coaches, while learning from the best in the business. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl not only prepares players for the speed and intensity of professional football, but also for the business and lifestyle changes that come with it. 

The event, founded in 2012, gives players the best opportunity to showcase their talents to the NFL. Nearly 200 scouts, player personnel staff, general managers, and head coaches from all 32 NFL teams are expected to be in attendance to watch live practices, conduct player interviews and review tape. 

TSU, faith-based community worship, reflect and connect during presidential prayer service  

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and metro Nashville’s faith-based community came together to celebrate the university through prayer for the new year. Started in 2013 when President Glover took the helm of Nashville’s only public institution, the presidential prayer service was her concept to connect TSU with area churches.

Dr. Glenda Glover’s message for the 9th presidential prayer service is to stay faithful while being ‘up against the wall.’ (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Prominent clergy members and believers from all denominations gather at historic Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church each January for the event.  President Glover is the keynote speaker.   

“This is our 9th prayer service, and we start it with prayer and thanks,” President Glover said. “I am thankful that God has blessed me to lead such a marvelous university. And I thank him for trusting me with such an awesome responsibility.” 

The community hasn’t attended a presidential prayer service since early 2020, due to the pandemic. Glover’s message was one of being faithful when you’re ‘up against the wall’ and the power of prevailing prayer.  

Faith-based community goers during the 9th Presidential Prayer Service at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

“You can stop and give up because it’s too difficult, or you can pray and push forward,” Glover continued during her testimony. 

The TSU family is also a part of the service. This year it included newcomers to the event, TSU freshman class president Sir Ford and Shaun Wimberly Jr., who is the student trustee on the TSU Board of Trustees. 

Ford, a business administration major, says seeing faith-based leaders of various denominations from across Nashville and beyond come together was a great experience. 

Sir Ford

“As a freshman, it just shows how the community can come together,” Ford of Nashville says. “The president had a very powerful message, and I am hopeful to see that message translate this semester. I look forward to TSU showing the state of Tennessee what our HBCU represents.” 

Wimberly noted that the experience was heartwarming to see the community come together in support of TSU’s prosperity, “from the church to the Jefferson Street community, to the Islamic faith, the Hebrew faith and of course our TSU faculty, staff, and students,” he says.

“I think it only highlights the extent in which the university has impacted people.”

Shaun Wimberly Jr.

Rev. Aaron X. Marble, pastor of Jefferson Street presided over the program as the service continued with scriptures from Rev. Cora Alston, soulful singing from TSU’s Renee Craig, and greetings from every faith community by Minister Samuel X. 

Along with members of the clergy and supporters from nearby HBCUs, elected officials also attended in support of TSU. Mayor John Cooper, State Rep. Dr. Harold Love Jr., Metro Council member Sharon Hurt, Davidson County Trustee Erica Gilmore, and many more were present. 

TSU alum Rev. Dr. Love said it’s always a great start to the second semester of the school year to galvanize the community, “to ensure every student and faculty has a wonderful experience at Tennessee State,” he said.

State Rep. Dr. Harold Love Jr.

“The second semester we have students returning and you don’t know what their experience has been like while at home … and we want to give them support and let them know, we are here for them.”

Love says he is grateful for his TSU family and the surrounding community.

“TSU has helped mold me. You can also be shaped and molded by the university.”

The service culminated with moving prayers for the city, its youth and young people, along with TSU students, faculty, and staff. The prayer service concluded with a powerful moment when clergy members surrounded President Glover and asked God to continue to crown her wisdom as the spring semester begins on Jan. 17.