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Gospel Legend Dr. Bobby Jones Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at Homecoming Gospel Explosion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University alum and the man considered the father of gospel television was honored Saturday night by his peers, including gospel sensation and Grammy Award winner Kirk Franklin. Dr. Bobby Jones was celebrated for his more than 40 years of contributions to the gospel music industry and received a lifetime achievement award.

Dr. Bobby Jones’ career in gospel music and television spans more than 40 years. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

The special recognition, made in collaboration with the GMA Dove Awards, was a part of TSU’s annual Gospel Explosion in Kean Hall, kicking off the 2019 homecoming week for the university. TSU President Glenda Glover, joined by Franklin and and GMA representatives, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Jones.

Jones won a 1983 Dove Award for his “I’m So Glad I’m Standing Here.”

“On this very stage 60 years ago, I received my bachelor’s degree, and four years later, I received my master’s degree,” Jones recalled. “The strange thing about it is here I am receiving a lifetime achievement award on the same stage. I am so grateful for this honor.”

Franklin, known for such gospel hits as “Love Theory,” ‘Wanna Be Happy,” and “A God Like You,” sent fans in the the packed Kean Hall screaming when he appeared on stage with the TSU New Direction Choir for several selections.

Before appearing with Franklin, New Direction earlier opened the night with with performances that left the crowd wanting more.

Gospel sensation Kirk Franklin performs with the TSU New Direction Choir at the Gospel Explosion. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Other big name stars included JJ Hairston, renowned leader of Youthful Praise choir; Koryn Hawthorne, contemporary gospel singer and finalist in Season 8 of NBC’s singing competition The Voice; and James Fortune, gospel music recording artist, songwriter and producer.

Referred to as the “Ed Sullivan of Gospel Music” and a staunched supporter of TSU, Jones, a Nashville native, is an American gospel music legend. For 36 years, Jones brought gospel music to a national TV audience with his legendary Sunday morning program “Bobby Jones Gospel.” He gave big breaks to rising stars like Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin.

Homecoming week runs through Saturday, Oct. 19, culminating with the parade along Jefferson Street, and the football game between TSU and Austin Peay at Nissan Stadium. For more information on Homecoming go to http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

2018 TSU Homecoming Concert, Gospel Explosion to Feature Big Name Artists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University welcomes rap icon Gucci Mane for Homecoming 2018.

The Billboard Music Award winner, known for hits like “I Get the Bag,” “Wake Up in the Sky,” and “Kept Back,” will headline this year’s Homecoming concert in the Gentry Center Complex on Thursday, Oct. 18. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 for students, and $35 for the public.

Homecoming week runs from Sunday, Oct. 14 and culminates on Saturday, Oct. 20 with the parade along Jefferson Street, and the football game between TSU and Tennessee Tech at Nissan Stadium.

The concert, one of several entertainment events for the week sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and SUBG, will also feature big name recording artists like rappers NBA Youngboy and Jacquees, and R&B superstar Layton Green.

“We are really excited for the entertainment lineup for Homecoming 2018,” says Mon-Cherie Robinson, assistant director of student activities.  “We have an amazing lineup of entertainers that’s going to blow minds.”

According to Robinson, the week will kick off on Oct. 14 with the Homecoming Gospel Explosion featuring gospel superstars Earnest Pugh, Jonathan McReynolds, and The Walls Group. The Gospel Explosion will also be held in the Kean Hall. Show starts at 6 p.m. Admission is free for the Gospel Explosion.

Organizers say this year’s Homecoming Step Show on Friday, Oct. 19, will be the biggest ever, with all nine Greek organizations participating. They will be competing for a $1,500 grand prize, says Robinson. The step show will be held in the Gentry Center Complex beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets for students are $15, and $25 the day of. General admission is $20 in advance, and $25 the day of.

Tickets for all events can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, or the TSU Box Office in the Gentry Center Complex.

Like last year, and in addition to these student activities, Tennessee State University is gearing up for another spectacular Homecoming with a stellar group of grand marshals and honorees.

This year’s Homecoming begins Oct. 14 with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest. The football game between the Big Blue Tigers and the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech will take place on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Nissan Stadium at 4:30 p.m.

For just the second time, TSU has a Special Presidential Honoree: James Shaw, Jr. The other honorees are Dr. Calvin Atchison, retired vice president of development/Foundation Office; Mrs. Dorothy Lockridge, retired vice president of student affairs; Coach James Bass, retired health professor and swimming coach. The grand marshals are Mr. Robert Covington, NBA player with Philadelphia 76ers; Dr. Richard Lewis, TSU Board of Trustees member and owner of Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors; and Mrs. Delorse Lewis, former executive director of TSU Development/Foundation Office.

Besides the big game, another highlight of this year’s Homecoming is the Scholarship Gala on Oct. 19. The gala is the biggest single event by the university to raise scholarship money. Contributions swelled from $600,000 in 2016 to more than one million dollars last year.

This year, the gala welcomes back comedian Jonathan Slocumb as the master of ceremony. Legendary jazz artist Roy Ayers will be the celebrity entertainer.

Other Homecoming activities this year include the Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 17; official groundbreaking of new Health Sciences Building on Oct. 18; the Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 19; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 20.

For more information on Homecoming 2018, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

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.