Gov. Bill Haslam to be TSU Commencement Speaker May 10

Governor Bill Haslam

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Bill Haslam, the 49th Governor of the State of Tennessee, will deliver the keynote address during Tennessee State University’s spring commencement exercise on Saturday, May 10.

The ceremony begins at 9 a.m. in Hale Stadium, with the Gentry Center serving as an alternate location in case of inclement weather. This is the second year the ceremony has taken place at the newly renovated stadium with more than 1,000 candidates expected to receive diplomas.

According to TSU President Glenda Glover, Gov. Haslam has been a steadfast supporter and welcome friend of the University, as well as higher education.

“Our graduating students will be very fortunate to have the opportunity to hear him speak about his experience and can benefit from his advice,” said Dr. Glover. “His successes in both the private sector and the political arena will be invaluable to the Class of 2014 as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives. We are honored to welcome the governor to our campus.”

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tenn., Haslam began serving his current term as governor on Jan. 15, 2011. A graduate of Emory University, he began his career in business, joining his father managing a small chain of gas stations. He later rose to the rank of President of Pilot Corporation, one of the fastest growing independent energy logistics companies in North America, now employing more than 24,000 people at over 650 retail locations.

In 2003, he entered into a career of politics at the urging of friends, and successfully ran for Mayor of Knoxville. Haslam served two terms from 2003 until 2011. In January 2009 he declared his candidacy for Governor. He was elected November 2, 2010, with 65 percent of the vote – winning 90 of 95 counties and securing the largest victory of any non-incumbent gubernatorial candidate in the state’s history.

Having celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary in 2013, Haslam and his wife, Crissy, have three children, a daughter-in-law, two sons-in-law and a new grandson.

For more information about commencement, visit




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With nearly 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, 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 celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at