TSU surpasses housing capacity, expecting largest freshman class in five years

By Kelli Sharpe

Tennessee State University announced today that the institution is facing an unprecedented demand for student housing and is working to fulfill all housing assignments in the next few days. 

Residence Life staff have completed nearly 97 percent of requests and will have provided housing for over three thousand students when the semester begins on August 16. The news comes as the largest freshman class in five years started moving in today through August 12, followed by returning students later this week. TSU is working to accommodate everyone and asks those still waiting on an assignment to check their student account for updates.

Traditionally, upperclassmen seek off campus housing. However, the high cost of housing in Nashville is prompting them to return to campus. The completion of the new 700-room residence hall will help to ease the University’s housing needs once it is completed in 2022, especially if this trend continues.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.

Baxter International Inc. awards full scholarships to TSU students aspiring to be doctors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two Tennessee State University freshmen aspiring to be doctors have been awarded full scholarships that will also cover their medical school costs, thanks to Baxter International, Inc.

Camille Haskins of King George, Virginia, and George Pickens IV of Miami, Florida, found out at an announcement at TSU on Monday that the global medical products company had awarded them full rides. Haskins and Pickens, both biology pre-med majors, are scholars in the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., initiative.

Last year, TSU and Meharry Medical College announced a partnership focused on establishing a pipeline of African American doctors and dentists who will provide essential care to underserved communities. The initiative 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. 

“This is great,” said TSU President Glenda Glover following the announcement. “We want to have more people in the profession who look like us, who can go into the various neighborhoods, and work and assist, and hopefully save lives.”

The scholarship recipients said the awards are life-changing.

“I’ll be able to graduate not only debt free from undergrad, but debt free from medical school,” said Haskins. “This will definitely assist me in my career, and I am so grateful once again to everyone, TSU, Meharry, and Baxter International for this.”

Pickens also expressed gratitude, and said the scholarships will allow he and Haskins to add to a field in need of more Black doctors.

“Right now, it’s a disproportionate amount of whites in the medical field,” said Pickens. “Just me being able to help reverse that statistic means the world to me.”

Also at the announcement were Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for Admissions and Recruitment; Linda Witt, senior associate vice president for development at Meharry; and Barbara Murrell, chair of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Institute.

“We’re excited that Baxter International has chosen to support the Institute,” said Murrell. “We have some outstanding young people who have outstanding credentials. We’re so lucky to have them, and we look forward to what they will do in the future.”

Witt, a TSU alum, echoed that sentiment.

“The financial aid just levels the playing field for these students,” she said. “We look forward to having other companies look at this model, and also be a part of this process.”

Last month, Baxter announced that TSU and Meharry were among three historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that would receive part of $1.2 million to support Black students pursuing health and science degrees and ultimately help expand the pipeline of Black healthcare professionals.

The scholarships are part of Baxter’s Activating Change Today initiative to advance inclusion and racial justice.

“The lack of diversity in healthcare is a longstanding and multifaceted problem, one that we are focused on helping to address,” said Verónica Arroyave, senior director of Global Community Relations at Baxter. “Creating opportunities that support and empower Black students to pursue medical and scientific careers is one way we can help drive positive change, and we are proud to partner with respected organizations like Meharry, Morehouse, and Tennessee State to expand this effort.”

To learn more about the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Institute, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/watkins/.

NOTE: Pictured in featured photo are (l-r) George Pickens Jr., Linda Witt of Meharry, TSU President Glenda Glover, Institute chair Barbara Murrell, and Camille Haskins.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.

President Glover applauds employees for university’s continued success amid pandemic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover on Monday lauded employees for TSU’s continued success despite challenges caused by the pandemic. For instance, its research funding of more than $70 million is the highest in school history.   

TSU President Glenda Glover

This semester’s Fall 2021 Faculty and Staff Institute was held in a hybrid format.  Some faculty and staff attended in-person, while the entire program was also live streamed.   

“We appreciate how you have responded to this crisis,” said President Glover, who was in-person. “Thank you for making the adjustments in your personal lives to meet the needs of our students. This is a historic year in the life of TSU.  Yes, there are some difficulties, but … despite this pandemic, we continue to move forward. We will continue to do it together, as one TSU.”  

Faculty Senate Chair Kimberly Triplett shared a similar sentiment.   

“Even though we are under challenging times, we are moving forward providing one of the greatest services of all, and that is to educate the minds of students who will continue to impact change,” she said.   

Early in her presentation, Dr. Glover highlighted steps the university is taking to make sure employees and students are safe, like continuing to closely monitor COVID-19, the Delta variant, and any other emerging variants.   

TSU officials announced a few months ago that the university will be open and fully operational for the fall 2021-22 academic year, with continued enforcement of federal and state health and safety regulations. All students, faculty, staff and other campus community members are asked to wear face coverings while indoors, and social distancing will continue to be stressed. Classes start Aug. 16.   

Faculty are being asked to be prepared to change to online operations during the fall semester if pandemic conditions require it. They are also asked to have both in-person and online office hours to minimize added in-person interaction.   

TSU officials are also strongly stressing vaccinations for all employees and students, with on-campus vaccinations each day for the first four weeks. Additionally, the university is offering incentives for individuals that can show proof of receiving a full COVID-19 vaccination. Students can receive a gift card up to $150, while employees get $100.

Regarding enrollment, Glover noted there would be a slight increase, and that first-year enrollment is up for both undergraduate and graduate students. She also pointed out the announcement TSU made last week that is paying off account balances of students returning this fall using federal funds from the CARES Act also resulted in an enrollment boost.   

One of the main highlights of Glover’s presentation was the university’s record-breaking research funding of more than $70 million for fiscal year 2020-2021. TSU ranks in the top five historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in receiving research funding.   

“This increase in research awards received shows the commitment of our faculty, staff, and students to their scholarly activities,” says Dr. Frances Williams, associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs. “These efforts demonstrate the university’s research competitiveness, which is also evidenced by TSU’s Carnegie Classification as an R2: Doctoral University.”   

Also noted in the presentation is that TSU’s endowment and reserves have climbed to an all-time high, and that the university is expected to receive $150 million to $540 million in accrued land grant funds. Discussions are continuing with state lawmakers to determine an exact amount.   

Campus construction was also highlighted, such as the recently-opened new Health Sciences Building, and the current construction of two new residence halls scheduled to open in fall of 2022.   

Despite the challenges, TSU officials said they are optimistic about what lies ahead.   

“We’ve always prevailed, we’ve always moved forward,” said Dr. Michael Harris, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “The reason is because of each one of you sitting here today.”  

For more information on COVID-19 and campus operations, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/covid19/.

TSU public health expert discusses seriousness of COVID-19 Delta variant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With evidence mounting about the dangers of the COVID-19 Delta variant, a TSU public health expert is urging the public to take the warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seriously and get vaccinated. 

Dr. Wendelyn Inman

“This is no time for hesitancy,” said Dr. Wendelyn Inman, an infectious disease expert and professor and director of the public health program in the College of Health Sciences. ”The vaccines work. This Delta variant is nothing to brush off; it is very serious.” 

Reminding the public about the need to take necessary precaution, including wearing masks, and how the CDC arrives at its conclusions, Inman said the agency looks at “all of the data – the bigger picture.” 

“They look at anecdotal information, they look at statistics, they look at the obvious and they look at the things that really are in the background that we really don’t see,” said Inman, who was previously the chief of epidemiology for the State of Tennessee. 

“So, it will take them days to explain things to us. But what they have digested in offering solutions for us as the prime directive is to save lives. A lot of times we don’t understand that and a lot of times we don’t agree with it. But if they have chosen to make a recommendation to wear mask again, even in-doors, even if you have been immunized that means our situation is taking another level of seriousness.” 

In its recent recommendation urging people in COVID-19 hotspots like Tennessee to resume mask-wearing in indoor public spaces, the agency laid out what is known about the delta variant, which now accounts for most of the COVID-19 cases in the United States. 

Dr. Felicia Tinuoye

“The Delta variant is showing every day its willingness to outsmart us and be an opportunist,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “In rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others. This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations.” 

In Tennessee, the state’s Department of Health rates 85 of the state’s 95 counties with “high” or “substantial” transmission ratings. The remaining 10 have “moderate” ratings. Davidson County, which includes Nashville, is rated “substantial.” 

Inman described the COVID-19 microbe as “an enemy that takes advantage of us touching, breathing, and seeing each other.” 

“So, why we may not understand how microbes are transmitted, you need to know that the variant is more transmissible than its last existence. It has mutated. This happens in the microbial world every day. That’s why we have the Delta variant,” Inman said.

Dr. Tatiana Zabaleta

In June, TSU, in collaboration with the Nashville Metro Public Health Department, started offering vaccines to residents 12 years old and up at the university’s Avon Williams Campus. The next vaccine event will be on Aug. 30 in Kean Hall on the main campus, from 9 a.m. – noon. To register, visit www.signupgenius.com/go/tsu

Dr. Felicia Tinuoye and Dr. Tatiana Zabaleta, international public health professionals, are part of the MPH, or Master’s in Public Health program at TSU. They said in addition to their medical disciplines, they have learned so much in the TSU program to help them better understand the seriousness of the need to get protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant. 

“The program gives students exposure on how to be proactive,” said Tinuoye, of Nigeria, who completed her MPH degree in April. “TSU is doing what it is supposed to be doing. We need to ensure that the public gets the right message to help people make up their minds about available preventive measures.” 

Zabaleta, from Colombia, who graduates in December, agrees. 

“This program has given me the opportunity to learn more about global health and how to help solve the problem of health disparity in my own country,” she said. “TSU’s MPH program empowers students to really get involved in helping people, especially during this pandemic.” 

To learn more about the university’s COVID-19 protocols, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/covid19/ 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.

TSU to pay off balances of returning students, lifting financial burden

TSU President Glenda Glover

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Returning Tennessee State University students can spend more time focusing on their studies and less time worrying about finances after TSU announced it will be paying off their account balances. Instead of visiting the financial aid office, desperately seeking funds to cover previous school debt, the institution is wiping the slate clean. School officials say this will allow students to return to campus with their full attention on academics and campus life since being away because of COVID-19.

It’s important to note that this account balance forgiveness initiative applies only to returning students who were enrolled Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021. It will also cover Summer 2020 and 2021.  

Douglas Allen II, vice president for business and finance

“We are keenly aware that the number one reason that students do not return to college is lack of funds,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Paying off account balances for our students will relieve some of the financial stress that they have and allow them to focus on studying and completing their degrees. At TSU, we pride ourselves in going that extra mile to assist our students. And that’s precisely what we are doing by paying student balances.”  

Douglas R. Allen II, TSU’s vice president for business and finance, said funds to pay off the balances will come from the federal CARES Act, which was passed in March 2020. Earlier this year much needed additional funds were provided to educational institutions.  

Jeia Moore

“At the end of the day, it’s about the commitment to our students and the University,” said Allen. “This is one of several initiatives we are implementing to assist them.”

“This is really good,” said seniorJeia Moore, a business information systems’ major from Memphis, Tennessee. “It shows this is more than just a school, it’s a family. If something happens, and I need help, then the school has my back. I love it!” 

Grad student Tramon Jones agreed.  

“TSU clearing my balance has been the best thing to happen to me all year,” said Jones, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Psychology. “No longer having a balance will allow me to focus on becoming a school counselor in my community.” 

Tramon Jones

Grad student Kiaya Caine of Nashville said she’s grateful for the pay off, which will allow her to pursue her master’s in sports psychology.

“I actually wasn’t going to get my master’s, but now I’m grateful for the opportunity,” said Caine. “This initiative is going to help a lot of students.”

This is not the first time TSU has used the CARES Act funding to assist students. In May 2020, the University used federal funds to assist students and support institutional needs due to COVID-19.   

TSU announced it will be fully operational for Fall 20201 and is expecting its largest freshman class in five years. Freshmen are scheduled to move in August 10-12, with returning students doing so the latter part of the week.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.

TSU to be fully operational this fall with continued safety measures, students urge peers to return

As Tennessee State University approaches the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, students currently enrolled have a succinct message for their peers pondering whether to return: Join us!   

“Don’t allow COVID, or anything, to jeopardize your HBCU experience,” said Maya McClary, a junior mass communications major from Orlando, Florida. “We’ve allowed COVID to rob us of so many things. But college, being young, is something that we can’t take back.”   

 TSU officials announced a few months ago that the university will be open and fully operational for the fall 2021-22 academic year, with continued enforcement of federal and state health and safety regulations. For instance, all students, faculty, staff and other campus community members are asked to wear face coverings while indoors, and social distancing is also stressed.

“We remain resolute in our commitment to provide a top-quality education and productive work environment in a safe and healthy atmosphere,” TSU President Glenda Glover said in a recent message to the campus family. “However, the University is prepared to adjust its course delivery model, including the implementation of a hybrid academic model, as well as other operational changes, at some point during the fall semester, if new or evolving COVID-19 related health and safety concerns warrant such adjustments.  We will continue to monitor Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), as well as state and local guidance, on developments involving COVID-19 and related variants. Federal, state, and local health and safety guidance will continue to drive the University’s actions regarding course delivery and in-person operations affecting the TSU community.” 

All residence halls will be open and in-person student activities will resume, according to TSU officials. Most administrators and staff returned to full in-person operations in July, and faculty will resume in-person classes and academic operations on Aug. 9. However, there will still be some online options.   

Since TSU began remote operations in March 2020 due to the pandemic, the university has maintained stringent safety measures on campus, including the wearing of face coverings and social distancing at all times, as well as regular cleaning and sanitizing of buildings.   

 The attention to safety will not change in the new academic year, said Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s associate vice president and chief of staff.   

 “In preparation for this return to normalcy the university continues to comply with guidelines provided by the CDC and Metro Nashville Health Department recommendations,” said Johnson.   

 That includes mandatory wearing of face masks inside of facilities. Individuals are not required to wear a mask outside unless they are in a crowded environment. The university will also continue to provide COVID-19 testing, and students who test positive will still be isolated and quarantined. TSU is also working with various agencies to assist in providing the coronavirus vaccination.   

“We understand that some students and employees have not received a COVID-19 vaccine because of logistical issues in getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Glover. “We plan to create convenient opportunities for TSU students and employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on campus commencing in August.” 

Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students, said he’s “excited to move towards (some type of) normalcy.”

“However, we will still have several important things in place to protect our students and campus community,” said Stevenson.   

“One tool that we used this year was the telehealth services, and we expect to continue that service for our students in the fall.”  

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is HBCU-5.png

 Additionally, Stevenson said Student Affairs this fall will unveil new student engagement opportunities designed to better meet the goals of the university and divisional strategic plan. They include grassroots programming from student organizations, an increase in weekend and evening programming, and the return of Leadership TSU, a “program design to expose a cohort of TSU students to next level leadership in our city and state,” said Stevenson. 

If safety is a concern, students returning to TSU said the university’s detailed attention to sanitizing the campus and other actions, like providing personal protective equipment (PPEs) to students, faculty and staff, should hopefully alleviate concerns of students on the fence about returning.   

“TSU has worked hard to make sure everyone is safe,” said newly elected student government association president Derrick Sanders, a junior English major from Cincinnati, Ohio. “This year is the return of the Tiger,” TSU’s 2021 homecoming theme.   

 Student Akyra McDougal said being able to attend the first homecoming in-person in a year should be a major incentive for students to return to Big Blue.   

 “That’s something that’s major,” said McDougal, a mass communications major from Atlanta. “You only get to experience so many homecomings as a student in your life. You’re going to regret not coming back. You don’t want to be somewhere, and say, ‘I wish I would have.’”  

 To learn more about the university’s fall return plan, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/return

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.

TSU among select HBCUs going to space with Boeing, items representing schools part of cargo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s excellence is recognized globally, now its name is about to be out of this world – literally.

The legacy of TSU and 13 other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will be onboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner on Friday, July 30, as it embarks on its second mission to orbit for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The launch is scheduled for 2:53 p.m. Eastern/1:53 p.m. Central. To view the launch, visit https://bit.ly/3kXM2zT.

Flags, small pennants and other items representing select HBCUs from throughout the U.S. will be part of the hundreds of pounds of cargo inside the unmanned spacecraft for Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2).

“Tennessee State University is proud to be among the 14 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that Boeing is recognizing on the second space flight of its CST-100 Starliner with flags, pennants, and other items,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “We are proud of our partnership with Boeing, which has led to internships and other opportunities that have propelled many of our students to successful careers. This recognition shows Boeing’s commitment to equity and inclusion, and highlights, once again, the importance of HBCUs.” 

Said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun, “closing representation gaps in our company and our industry is a priority for Boeing, and inspiring diverse students to pursue careers in aerospace is an important part of that effort. By representing HBCUs on our Starliner mission, we are demonstrating our commitment to working with these institutions to advance equity and inclusion and help ensure a bright future for their students.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering at TSU, said the university is fortunate to have Boeing’s continued investment.

“Boeing continues to invest in the students and the academic programs in the College of Engineering,” he said. “Their recent contribution will identify high achieving students to receive scholarships as recognized Boeing Scholars.  In addition, funding will help support the student’s professional development in preparing for the workforce.  This includes attending the national NSBE Conference, BEYA Conference, and ongoing campus activities.  Faculty will also use funds to help with course and curriculum development in topics relevant to the aircraft industry.”

Mister TSU Mark Davis said he’s glad to see HBCUs, in general, continue to be in the spotlight.

“It’s awesome,” said Davis, a senior mass communications major from Cincinnati, Ohio. “Including TSU in this speaks a lot about not only our institution, but highlights the national recognition HBCUs are continuing to receive.”

The higher education mementos will be part of the approximately 760 pounds of cargo flying inside the Starliner’s crew module when it launches to the International Space Station for OFT-2. The end-to-end test is a critical developmental milestone on the company’s path toward flying crew missions for NASA.

Besides Tennessee State University, the represented universities with which Boeing also has a recruiting relationship, are Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College, part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium; Alabama A&M University; Florida A&M University; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; Morgan State University in Maryland; North Carolina A&T; Prairie View A&M University in Texas; Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana; South Carolina State University; and Tuskegee University in Alabama.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.

 

TSU offering ‘guaranteed’ $10,000 scholarships to transfer students from community colleges, four-year institutions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Are you a college student thinking about transferring? Continue your journey at Tennessee State University with a $10,000 scholarship.  

Nia Ellison

The university is offering the scholarships to students from two-year and four-year institutions who transfer to TSU this fall semester. In addition to the scholarships, the university has streamlined its transfer process by expanding the enrollment services team, to ensure that the transfer process is seamless.

“The $10,000 guarantee scholarship is an expansion of the effort of our president, Dr. Glenda Glover, who is committed to ensuring that students from the community colleges of Tennessee get an opportunity to complete a four-year degree here at TSU,” says Terrence Izzard, Associate Vice President for Admissions and Recruitment. 

The offer is also extended to students from other institutions outside of Tennessee, says Izzard. 

Nia Ellison, Cedric Williams and James Edgecombe have accepted the scholarship offer and are among many students who have committed to transfer to TSU for the fall. They also like the school’s academic offerings, as well as its “family-like” campus atmosphere. 

Cedric Williams

“I like the way the school is set up,” says Ellison, a sophomore biochemistry major who is transferring from Lawson State Community College. “I am transferring to TSU because of its well-known biochemistry program, one of the few HBCUs that has that major. I had already decided to come to TSU before I heard about the $10,000. I was greatly surprised.” 

For Williams, who has visited TSU in the past, he is coming to the university because of its dental hygiene program. 

“Every time I went to the campus it felt more like it was family oriented. It just seems like everybody knows everybody,” says Williams, a sophomore, who is transferring from Lane College. “Besides, I couldn’t turn down $10,000, that is special.” 

Officials say the guaranteed scholarship is also meant to help ease the financial difficulties and hardships posed by the pandemic. 

“The admission criteria is not different,” says Izzard. “But coming from the pandemic, students have financial barriers from parents losing their jobs due to cutbacks. So, students are really in need of the financial support, and also student support, in transitioning back into school post-pandemic.” 

Edgecombe, who is transferring from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, says he heard “great things” about TSU from friends that encouraged him to come to the university. 

James Edgecombe

“High school friends of mine who went to TSU influenced me to go,” says Edgecombe. “I also heard such great things about TSU and so I wanted to experience it for myself. The $10,000 was also a major enticement. I did not get much money coming into my last school, so this is a big help.” 

Admission officials say students applying for the scholarship must be in good academic standing and meet the university’s minimum requirement of a 2.0 grade point average for admission. Registration for summer and fall began March 1 and ends August 20. The university plans to return to in-person classes in July. 

For more information on admission to TSU as a transfer student, please Contact a transfer admissions counselor or schedule an appointment to visit campus today. 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.

TSU President Emeritus Dr. Frederick S. Humphries remembered as a man who inspired others to be ‘extraordinary’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Many turned out for a memorial service in honor of Dr. Frederick Stephen Humphries, a stalwart of higher education and President Emeritus of Tennessee State University and Florida A&M University, who inspired the “ordinary to become extraordinary.”

Dr. Frederick S. Humphries

Dr. Humphries, who was TSU’s fourth president, passed away on June 24 at the age of 85. The memorial service on July 18 was held at TSU’s Avon Williams Campus near downtown.

A number of those who attended recalled his leadership and staunch support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). But they also talked about his role in helping to win the landmark court case that merged Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville, with TSU becoming the surviving institution. The campus where the memorial was held was once a part of UTN.

Historians have said the posture and eloquence of Humphries in court is largely held as being responsible for the court decision, along with the presentation of attorney Avon Williams, and the efforts of Tennesseans for Justice in Higher Education. Between 1980 and 1985, Humphries and his staff gave leadership to the merged TSU, and began serving an increasingly larger portion of the Nashville community.

TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover and FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson (Photo by Andre Bean)

Georgette Dixon attended Sunday’s memorial. Dixon, who became TSU’s first female student government association president (’82-’83) during Humphries’ 11 years (1974-1975) at TSU, was among the grand marshals when Humphries received a Special Presidential Award at TSU’s 2017 Homecoming.

“Dr. Humphries reached the goal of preserving the legacy of Tennessee state university and other HBCUs across the nation that have faced similar challenges of potential merger and hostile takeover when he led the fight and won the landmark court decision resulting in the merger of the University of Tennessee Nashville with Tennessee State University, and we maintained our TSU legacy,” said Dixon, who is currently an executive vice president and head of external engagement for diverse segments representation and inclusion at Wells Fargo.

Dr. Frederick Humphries and TSU alum Georgette Dixon at the 2017 Homecoming celebration at TSU. (TSU Media Relations)

While at TSU, Humphries’ excellent administration skills resulted in recruitment of top faculty, better academic programs, increased enrollment and quality of students, and expanded scholarships and support activities.  

In 1985, Humphries became president of Florida A&M University, where he excelled for six years, gaining increased recognition on the state, national, and international levels. Florida A&M later conferred upon him the President Emeritus title.  

Regardless of where he was, Dixon said Humphries made a difference.

“Every living soul that Dr. Humphries has touched over his lifetime is better today for having been in his midst and benefitted from his legacy,” she said. “Dr. Humphries paved the way for all of us, his family, his friends, and all whom he influenced and inspired, to rise above the ordinary, to become extraordinary, in life and in the pursuit of excellence.”

Bryan Williams, who was also an SGA president (’77-’78) during Humphries’ tenure, agreed. The New York attorney could not attend the memorial service, but he sent a letter to be read, as did others.

“He was absolutely inspirational,” said Williams. “I think he inspired a lot of folks to know just how much they could stand up, and be aggressive, in a way that got things done. I know he inspired me, as a young man looking to the kinds of people that you can be later on in life. He was one of my heroes.”

Humphries was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the American Association of Higher Education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association of Minority Research Universities, just to name a few.  

His honors and awards include the Drum Major for Justice Award in Education by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; President’s Award for Excellence in Higher Education by 100 Black Men of America, Inc.; Leadership Grant by the Prudential Life Insurance Company of America Foundation; and many others. Among Humphries’ most memorable awards are the Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh; the United Bicentennial Medal of Distinction by the University of Pittsburgh on its 200th anniversary; the Thurgood Marshall Educational Achievement Award by Johnson Publishing Company for the most outstanding contributions to education; and “Floridian of the Year” by the Orlando Sentinel, the first African American to be honored with the award. 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.

TSU streamlines process for welcoming returning students; program saves time, money

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For Tennessee State University students planning to return for the fall semester, the university has announced new streamlining measures to make the admission process much simpler and easier. The new measures affect housing application, registration, and financial aid processes. Officials say the course of action will save students time, money, and make campus living more accessible.  

Jeia Moore

In Residence Life, for instance, between now and July 22, students with a balance of up to $5,000 are eligible to apply for housing. That’s up from the previous threshold of $400. Additionally, students can now apply for and receive housing assignment immediately, while returning students get the opportunity to select their rooms, using a new, self-serve (RMS Mercury) software that enables housing and residential staff to deliver customized content to students.  

Registration for summer and fall began March 1 and ends August 20. The university plans to return to in-person classes in July.  

Jeia Moore, an information systems major from Memphis, Tennessee; and Michael Forney, a mass communication major also from Memphis, are already enrolled. Moore is returning for her junior year, and Forney, his senior year. Both students say navigating through the system is “so much easier” than years back when they first came to TSU.  

Michael Forney

“This smoother process has really made the procedures so easy and helps students understand what we are registering for,” says Moore. “Being able to select your own room choice and roommate is an exciting privilege.”

“The new housing portal system is very efficient, with step-by-step instructions,” adds Forney. “This is really exciting.” 

For registration and records, the university says it has enhanced the myTSU portal to help students register for classes at a much faster and easier pace. It also provides step-by-step instructions on how to log-on, pay outstanding balances, and how to remove holds – prerequisites to getting fully registered. For upperclassmen and those in doubt about their academic standing, DegreeWorks – a web-based degree audit and academic tool – provides students and advisors with an overview of remaining courses and credit hours required for degree completion.  

“We encourage returning students and all other students to use the myTSU portal. Once they have met with their advisor, it is very efficient in helping them register themselves,” says Dr. Verontae L. Deams, TSU’s registrar. “DegreeWorks is updated regularly, and it lets students know where they stand academically.”   

In enrollment and student success, officials say innovation and strengthening relationships and communication are helping to get the message across to returning and prospective students about the quality learning environment at TSU.  

“There are many things we learned during the pandemic, many of which we will keep as we look forward to serving our students for the 2021-2022 academic year,” says Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for admissions and recruitment.

In financial aid, officials say most scholarship offers are geared toward returning students, but students must act fast.

“Applying for admission and completing all admission requirements timely allows a student to be considered,” says Amy Boles Wood, assistant vice president for Financial Aid and Scholarships.  

Overall, admissions and student affairs officials say with the coming return to in-person learning, everything possible is being done to make the transition easy and seamless for all students – using technology and lessons learned during the pandemic to make “learning and campus life far more exciting.”  

According to Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, the university is establishing a “virtual one-stop space,” equipped to handle students’ concerns.   

For instance, says Stevenson, with the virtual space, if a student has questions about housing, financial aid, or records, they won’t have to go to all three offices physically to get answers.   

“They can visit the one-stop through an appointment and individuals from each of those areas will be available in a virtual space to address the student’s concern,” he says. “Using Zoom or TEAMS, you can get on and schedule a meeting and someone will meet you in that virtual space. That’s exciting!”  

Stevenson also announced that the university will continue its partnership with myURGENCYMD, a national telemedicine firm, that provides 24-hour, seven-days-a-week virtual doctors’ visits at no cost to the university’s student population. The service connects students to doctors via phone, video, and email.  

“We offered telehealth as a trial during the pandemic,” says Stevenson. “We are very satisfied with the services our students were able to receive. So, we are currently preparing to offer that as a full menu during the fall and spring to our students.”

To learn more about TSU’s fall return operations, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/return/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

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 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight 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.