NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Jacea Jones and Caterria Newsom have been friends since the eighth grade. They were determined to go to college and pledged to stick together, study hard and enter the same university.
Today, even though their parents could not make the trip, the two recent graduates of Memphis’ Booker T. Washington High School checked themselves in residence halls at Tennessee State University, where, for the next fours years they have again pledged to persevere and graduate on time.
“We have been good friends, like sisters, and we both believe in hard work, and plan to make our parents proud,” said Jones, who will major in communications. “We decided in our junior year (of high school) to come to TSU, and from everything we have heard and seen, we made a good choice.”
So are nearly 900 other first-time freshmen and new students who, along with Jones and Newsom, received keys to their rooms as part of “Freshmen Move-In Day.”
Hundreds of relatives, including parents, grandparents and other siblings were on hand to help their children and loved ones settle in their new homes.
The transition was made much easier, as more than 200 volunteers including student organizations, alumni, staff and friends helped to move luggage, boxes of personal belongings and other items, while others pointed out directions and manned water and refreshment stations for the new residents.
Leading in the move-in effort was TSU President, Dr. Glenda Glover, who made the rounds to all new student residence halls to greet, welcome and ensure adequate support was being provide to make the newcomers’ transition comfortable.
“This is really going well and I am very impressed,” the President said. “I appreciate the commitment and dedication of our staff, students and volunteers. Everybody is busy and making sure our new students settle in well. That’s really impressive.”
But while all the celebration and adult activities were going on, 7-year-old Jacaia Anderson, of Memphis, was not doing too well.
“I am sad to see my brother go,” said Jacaia, as she helped her father James, mother Mary and older brother Jarrius arrange things in the room belonging to Jamarian, her (Jacaia’s) oldest brother, a first-time freshman, who will study business at TSU.
But parents James and Mary Anderson are not worried. They know their firstborn will do well.
“He is a good kid, a no-problem child,” said James. “I am sure he will progress well,” added Mary.
Retired Air Force veteran John W. Jones, of Blytheville, Ark., is just as optimistic about his granddaughter, Essence Terry’s chances in college.
“She was an all-A’s student in high school, and a very good child,” said John W. Jones about his granddaughter, who will study nursing at TSU. “She will do very well. She has no choice but to do well if she must cope in this world.”
And coping is just what friends Jacea Jones and Caterria Newsome plan to do at TSU, although they already face a slight set back. Their plan to live in the same residence hall did not materialize. Newsom is in Wilson Hall, while Jones is in Rudolph.
“That’s not going to separate us,” said Newsome, who will major in nursing. “It’s just a matter time before I am either in her (Jones) room or she in my room.”
TSU will welcome returning and transfer students to campus on Friday, Aug. 23.
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With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu
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