State lawmakers experience wave of Tiger Blue at TSU Day at the Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – State lawmakers got a taste of Tennessee State University’s excellence at the annual TSU Day at the Capitol on Wednesday.

More than 150 TSU students, administrators, faculty, staff and others packed a Senate hearing room in the Cordell Hull Building to hear TSU President Glenda Glover kick-off the event. In another area of the building, lawmakers saw displays of the university’s diverse research and academic offerings, including robotics and giveaways like red maple trees grown on the university farm.

“TSU has a unique history in our state as the only public HBCU and land-grant institution with a history of excellence,” Glover said. “Our need for more increase in assistance is in line with other land-grant institutions. We hope to receive the same assistance as other institutions in the state.”

Members of the TSU Royal Court walk the halls of the Tennessee General Assembly distributing gift bags to legislators during TSU Day at the Capitol. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

She said past and future appropriations have allowed TSU to maintain its longstanding legacy of “providing education for our students.”

“But that is not enough,” Glover said. “We have an aging infrastructure that makes it difficult to implement new academic programs, and give students the quality resources and the environment they deserve.”

House Speaker Beth Howell, in welcoming the TSU visitors, said it is good for students and administrators to come and interact with lawmakers to get a better understanding of “what we do.”

“I want to welcome you all to TSU Day at the Hill,” Harwell said. “We always enjoy Tennessee State University here. You have true friends here in the General Assembly, and thank you for the remarkable job you do for the Nashville community, Middle Tennessee and for the young graduates that come out of your fine university.”

President Glover meets with TSU student interns serving at the Capitol. At 17, TSU has the second largest group of interns working with lawmakers at the Capitol. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

State Rep. Raumesh Akbari, chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus, added that TSU plays a special role in the advancement of Tennessee.

“I am so thankful to be here today,” she said. “It is always a pleasure to see TSU represented on Capitol Hill, not only through your presence here today, but also through many of your graduates who are part of this body and who advocate for you every day, as well as interns on staff here from your fine institution.”

Seventeen TSU interns are currently serving on Capitol Hill, the second largest of any group from institutions around the state.

Dr. Lonnie Sharpe, dean of the College of Life and Physical Sciences, said the STEM program is one area that needs improvement by increasing the pool of students but cannot be accomplished without the help of the Legislature.

“The resources that we need to support students on scholarships are very, very important for all the things we’re trying to do,” said Sharpe. “We want to work with middle schools and high schools to ensure that they’re ready for the STEM discipline once they get here.”

Jermilton Woods, a graduating senior, and president of the Student Government Association, said TSU Day at the Capitol is very significant.

“I think it gives us an opportunity to show the excellence that Tennessee State University is,” said Woods, of Memphis, Tennessee. “It’s an opportunity to get in front of legislators and let them see that there are some bright minds at TSU.”

Also speaking at the program were State Representatives Harold Love Jr., and Brenda Gilmore, and Senator Thelma Harper, all graduates and staunched supporters of TSU.

Department of Media Relations

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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, 25 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