NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –Women’s History Month is celebrated in March every year to recognize and honor the contributions that women have made in society throughout history. Tennessee State University honors its women with gratitude for their historic impact and achievements accomplished dating back to 1912.
This month represents acknowledgement of previous and current contributions of women working towards a more equitable society.
From multi-media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who is one of the richest self-made women in America, to the University’s first-ever sitting female president Dr. Glenda Glover, who is one of two African American women to hold the Ph.D-CPA-JD combination in the nation, to Wilma Rudolph who became the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics.
TSU has a variety of distinguished women with many accolades.
“There are so many amazing women at Tennessee State University,” said Seanne Wilson, who has served as the director of the University’s Women’s Center since 2015. Wilson said many of TSU’s alumna paved the way for Black women in Nashville and beyond. “Often times we are overlooked,” Wilson said. “We’ve never had the shine we deserve. Now women are starting to be seen and we are operating in power.”
Wilson knew she wanted to be a part of the efforts to create a tranquil environment for female students on campus when she became the director.
TSU’s Women’s Center’s mission is to provide vital and comprehensive services that address needs by hosting programs and workshops that speak to the emotional, intellectual, physical, and financial well-being of the TSU woman.
Something that Tamar Williams, who is a student ambassador for the center, said she appreciates. “It is extremely important for TSU to have a Women’s Center because women should have a safe space to be authentically themselves.” Williams, a sophomore studying mass communications, expressed how important it is to celebrate women not only during the month of March but year-round.
“Women’s History Month is highlighting all women who have done extraordinary things,” Williams said. “Black women are visionaries that push the envelope every time and I think this month really does showcase that.”
Faith Ware, who is also a student ambassador for the Women’s Center, said she stumbled across the center her freshman year and never looked back. “You guys welcomed me in, and I haven’t left,” Ware smiled as she spoke to Ms. Wilson and other students in the center. “The environment gets better and better every year. It’s a safe space and a lot of help is offered here.”
Gabrielle Mosby, a sophomore who serves as the center’s Vice President, told the University that this month is an expression of women. “The light is on us to showcase our beauty, talent, and excellence.” Mosby said distinguished women of the University have already set the tone for her after college. Along with Dr. Glover, she noted Dr. Tasha Andrews-Carson as an ‘amazing expression.’ Dr. Andrews-Carson serves as the assistant vice president of First Year Students and was a speaker during last year’s women’s conference, something that Mosby and Williams both said resonated with them.
Williams also noted how the student body has campus leaders like Miss TSU who help embrace her authentic self.
Sa’Mariah Harding, a senior from Indiana currently serving as the 93rd Miss TSU, said she is proud to be a woman setting examples while serving the student body and appreciates the support from fellow female Tigers.
“They may have not all known me personally, but the love and togetherness that they had by wrapping their arms around me at a time that I felt like I couldn’t stand on my own, gave me more hope and ammunition that I never knew I could have until they stood beside me, hand and hand,” Harding said. “I love the women on Tennessee State University’s campus, and they are the reason that I continue to fight every day.”
From the annual Women of Legend and Merritt event to the Women’s Center Women’s Conference, the University celebrates its women with several events not only in March, but throughout the entire school year.
Here is a list of 16 notable women in TSU history whose stories highlight their legacy and commitment to excellence.