Journey Goes Full Circle for New Tennessee State University President

John Morgan, the Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents (left), places the presidential “Chain of Office” around the neck of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover during her Inauguration ceremony, Friday, Oct. 25 in the Gentry Complex. Dr. Glover becomes the eighth president of TSU and the first female to lead the institution. (photo by by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Officially Accepts Position to Lead Her Alma Mater


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “It is an exciting privilege to stand before you today to accept the presidency of Tennessee State University and I look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

With that statement, Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover officially became the eighth president of Tennessee State University, with thousands watching including family members, state and local dignitaries, alumni, faculty, students and delegates representing more than 50 institutions of higher learning.

The Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, John Morgan, performed the investiture of Dr. Glover, giving her the oath and Chain of Office, which made her the first African-American female to fully lead a TBR institution.

Among other dignitaries participating in the investiture of Dr. Glover were several former TSU presidents, including Dr. Frederick Humphries, Dr. James Hefner, and Dr. Charles B. Fancher, who served briefly as interim president. Also participating in the ceremony was Mayor Karl Dean, of Nashville.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, by way of a video, congratulated Dr. Glover, calling the inauguration “a proud and momentous occasion and an extraordinary milestone” for the state.

“Dr. Glover is well respected by her colleagues and is well suited to oversee this historic institution,” the Governor said. “She has demonstrated professionalism and integrity through her distinguished career and will be a tremendous asset to higher education in her new capacity.”

Dr. Glover, accompanied by Chancellor Morgan (center), and Emily Reynolds, Vice Chair, Tennessee Board of Regents, recess the inaugural ceremony at the Gentry Complex Oct. 25. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Glover, accompanied by Chancellor Morgan (center), and Emily Reynolds, Vice Chair, Tennessee Board of Regents, recess the inaugural ceremony at the Gentry Complex Oct. 25. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Giving her inaugural address on the theme, “Roots and Wings,” Dr. Glover spoke about the possibilities that come with getting a good education.

“Roots and wings are the greatest gift a university can give to its students,” Dr. Glover said, adding that roots can help a student lay the foundation of success, while wings can help them to soar as high as possible.

She recounted her own humble beginning and her experience as a student at TSU, and thanked the University “for giving me the wings and the roots to be the person I am.”

Saying that she grew up in a house with no running water or indoor facilities, the 1974 TSU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics said it does not matter where you come from, it’s how determined one is to succeed that counts.

“I’m living witness that God can do exceedingly abundantly above all you could ever ask, ever hope or imagine”, Glover said. “Here I am today a university president.”

While emphasizing academic excellence, Dr. Glover, who has been in office since Jan. 2, recounted successes, partnerships and collaborations formed since arriving at TSU. For the first time, the President said, no students was turned away for lack of funding, pointing to the “overwhelming” response of community and business partners, alumni, student and staff to an SOS sent out that raised more than $500,000 in just six days and saved 350 students from being turned away or purged for lack of funding.

“Alumni giving has doubled from this this time last year, we are forming more partnerships with the community and businesses not just for fundraising but also to be great academic partners,” the president added.

Meeting and celebrating with hundreds of family members and well wishers amid the buzz immediately following her investiture, Dr. Glover minced at the tasked ahead, but said she was ready for the challenge.

“It is an awesome responsibility to lead the institution that gave me my foundation. I am humbled by the oath I have taken, and take my responsibility very seriously with God’s help to lead this great institution to its highest,” Dr. Glover said.

Support for the new president was infectious.

Dr. Bobby Jones (’59), gospel great, and a platform guest, was one of the first to congratulate Dr. Glover: “This is my alma mater, to come here and to have the honor of sitting on the platform with my new president is a humbling experience. She is a great president.”

State Sen. Thelma Harper, a TSU graduate and a major supporter, who was so excited and could not immediately remember her year of graduation, said: “She (Glover) is ready for the job and TSU is ready for her. We will support her fully.”

Gwendolyn Oatis Neal (’69, ’71): “She (Glover) is on point and just the right person for the job. I know she will move TSU to its highest.”

Dr. Glover, whose inauguration ceremonies coincided with Homecoming, crowned out her celebration with the Inaugural and Scholarship Ball at the Opryland Hotel, the parade along Jefferson Street, and the Homecoming football game.

In a thank-you message to the University Community, Dr. Glover expressed gratitude to students, faculty and staff for a “well done” job.  She said, “The Inauguration and Homecoming activities were superb. We give thanks to God for blessing all of our efforts. This shows what happens when everyone pulls together and strives for a common goal.  Our collaborative spirit helped us to overcome any difficulties. The campus is ‘buzzing’ and the community is proud. Thank you so much for your participation, and all that you did to make the Inauguration and Homecoming a wonderful success!”

Also READ an  op-ed written by Dr. Michael Benson, President, Eastern Kentucky University, on the occasion of the Inauguration of Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Oct. 25. The article is reposted from the Huffington Post: College




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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