Tag Archives: Grant Winrow

TSU announces ‘We Are One’ 2023 homecoming celebration

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With the theme of “Through Resilience and Perseverance, We Are One,” Tennessee State University proudly announces homecoming 2023 is October 8-14.  Homecoming kicks off the with the annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest and Gospel Explosion on Sunday, Oct. 8 to start the weeklong celebration. In addition to the big game between fellow HBCU Norfolk State University and the TSU Tigers, major events will include Mister and Miss TSU Coronation along with the Royal Court, the scholarship gala, the legendary Jefferson Street parade, and numerous alumni and student activities. 

President Glenda Glover

“This year’s theme embodies the spirit of solidarity and unity that defines the university and its local community, said TSU President Glenda Glover. ” There’s no homecoming like a TSU homecoming. We have planned for a celebration that will welcome thousands of alumni back home to our campus, their campus.”

President Glover added that she is pleased to have TSU alumni, former faculty and administrators to serve as the grand marshals and honorees the homecoming. 

The Grand Marshals leading this year’s parade include former Senator Brenda Gilmore, state government administrator Dr. Turner Nashe, and Tennessee Tribune publisher and civil rights activist Rosetta Miller-Perry. The honorees are longtime educator and administrator Dr. John Cade, legal maestro-turned-community leader Sammy Comer, and retired TSU Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and English professor Dr. Gloria Johnson.

Grammy award-winning Aristocrat of Bands during homecoming in 2022 welcoming alumni, family and friends to TSU.

The Special Presidential Honorees, distinguished as lifetime achievement luminaries, include civil rights leader Dr. Xernona Clayton, ambassador and gospel music advocate Bobby Jones, the chair of the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Institute, Dean Barbara Murrell, and former long-time director of Field Services and Extension, and director of Financial Aid Homer Wheaton.

TSU students will continue to benefit from homecoming with the Annual Scholarship Gala, TSU’s signature fundraising event. It will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 13, at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Nashville. TSU homecoming Chair and director of strategic planning Grant Winrow said the gala gives alumni and supporters a chance to party with purpose and give back. 

Grant Winrow

“This is our biggest opportunity to let the world know how TSU has been a presence amongst colleges and universities across the country with our historical accomplishments and achievements,” Winrow said. “We have some of the most illustrious alumni who have stepped foot on this campus.”

Referring to this year’s honorees and grand marshals, Winrow said this is a selection to be very proud of.

“We have an unprecedented number of honorees this year. They are the epitome of dedicated service to the university.”

Student Government Association President Derrell Taylor said this year’s theme is impactful. “It’s a great opportunity to emphasize that we are one. We are part of the same product, goal, and mission,” Taylor said. “It’s meaningful because it is one of the most anticipated moments of the year. Students are excited to be able to put on their flyest outfits and attend some of the best events of the year.” 

Derrell Taylor

Taylor also noted how this is his last homecoming as an undergraduate student and Dr. Glover’s last homecoming as an active president. “This is our president’s final victory lap. It will be nice to see everyone come home and give her her flowers.” 

President Glover announced her retirement in August. 

Director of Athletics Dr. Mikki Allen said homecoming is all about the community honoring the past, celebrating the present, and investing in the future of Tennessee State University. “Homecoming is much more than a single event. It’s a celebration of history, culture, community, and the enduring legacy of Tennessee State University,” AD Allen said.  

“We know a major part of the celebration will be the football game. We’re excited to play Norfolk State University and I know Coach George will have our team ready to perform at a high level.”

Dr. Mikki Allen

The 2023 homecoming will also feature the now Grammy award-winning Aristocrat of Bands, who will be a major highlight of the TSU homecoming parade. Thousands are expected to line up and down Jefferson Street, hours before the big game, to see the trailblazing band. The parade route is from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.  

For more information on all the events for the 2023 TSU Homecoming, visit www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/

TSU Back in Stride for 2022 Homecoming Celebration

By Kelli Sharpe

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – There’s no homecoming like a TSU homecoming as the University gears up for this year’s celebration. The 2022 theme is “Back in Stride Again,” as TSU prepares to welcome thousands of alumni back to the 500-arce campus. Homecoming is October 2-8 and kicked off the week-long celebration with the annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest and Gospel Explosion on Sunday.    

The celebration will be highlighted with a scholarship gala, the legendary TSU parade, and of course the homecoming football game between the Tigers and Bethune-Cookman University out of Florida.   

From the legendary Homecoming Parade to the Annual Scholarship Gala, students, staff and faculty look forward to getting Back in Stride Again for the 2022 homecoming celebration.

“TSU homecoming is always a special and exciting time of year for the University as we welcome alumni and friends to our campus,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.   

“This marks the second year we’ve held in-person activities to highlight student achievement and showcase our accomplishments as an institution. It is also a time to celebrate alumni and supporters who have left an indelible mark on TSU.”  

This year’s honorees are: Grand Marshals Entrepreneur, Ms. Andrella Kenner, Global Warming Ambassador and Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley. Honorees are Communications and Public Relations Executive, Dr. Harold Jackson and Former TSU first lady, Mrs. Edwina Hefner.

Grant Winrow

In addition to the big game against Bethune-Cookman at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 8 and the parade that morning, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the Annual Scholarship Gala, TSU’s signature fundraising event. It will take place on Oct. 7 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Nashville.    

TSU Homecoming Chairman Grant Winrow added that this year promises to be even more exciting, but safety will remain a priority even as the pandemic has tapered off.   

“Homecoming week officially begun with an array of events, to kick off the annual celebration,” said Winrow.   

“Last year certainly lived up to the hype and was indeed a homecoming for the record books. So, get ready and come prepared this year, as we are “Back in Stride Again,” picking up where we left off. The health and safety of everyone is our number one priority. We will adhere to all safety protocols that are still in place and ask that you practice social distancing throughout the weekend. Although wearing a mask is no longer mandatory, it is encouraged when inside among large groups.”    

Kenneth Rolle II., said TSU students are looking forward to getting Back in Stride for homecoming this week.

Student Government Association President Kenneth Rolle II., said for students, TSU’s homecoming can be summed up in two words, ‘get geeked.’

“That is all that needs to be said. TSU alumni and friends from near and far will know it’s homecoming week by those two simple words.”   

Other homecoming activities this year include the Ralph Boston and Dr. Catana Starks golf tournament in the morning on Oct. 6; followed by the Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. Institute White Coat Ceremony that afternoon at 2 p.m. and the homecoming concert featuring upcoming rappers Glorilla, Nardo Wick, Est Gee, Babyface Ray and the Ying Yang Twins later that day; the Breakfast of Champions, the homecoming pep rally, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show all on Oct. 7; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 8. The parade will be from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.   

For more information about TSU’s 2022 Homecoming, visit www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/index.aspx .

Grammy awarding-winning artist Howard Hewett, rapper Chief Keef to headline TSU 2021 Homecoming ‘The Return’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Legendary R&B crooner Howard Hewett and rapper Chief Keef will headline Tennessee State University’s 2021 Homecoming, the first in-person celebration in over a year.

TSU President Glenda Glover

The COVID-19 pandemic forced TSU to have a non-traditional virtual homecoming last year. But, appropriately themed “The Return,” this year’s celebration Oct.24-31 is pretty much back to normal.

“This is an exciting and special time at Tennessee State University. After a year without a homecoming because of the pandemic, we have returned!” says TSU President Glenda Glover. “This homecoming is extra special because of what we have all endured over the last two years. This is a time for us to come together, and celebrate, as one big family. So, it’s with extra enthusiasm that I salute this year’s honorees, grand marshals, and special presidential grand marshal. May this homecoming be spectacular!”  

This year’s honorees are: Herman Brady, educator and U.S. Army veteran; Dr. Dorothy Granberry, higher ed. administrator and columnist; Dr. James Haney, retired history professor; and Dr. Sandra Holt, educator and ordained elder.  

Tennessee Rep. Harold Love, Jr. is this year’s Special Presidential Grand Marshal. Other grand marshals are: Dr. Alvin Crawford, a world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon and U.S. Navy veteran; Celestine Lowe, educator; and Alvin Marley, CPA.

Grant Winrow, Homecoming chair

Homecoming organizers say while they are excited to once again gather in-person, safety remains a priority amid the pandemic.

“The excitement to reunite again this year has been overwhelming, and for good reason, after having to make the difficult decision to cancel our in-person homecoming last year,” says homecoming chairman Grant Winrow. “However, we have modified a few of our events as we are committed to adhering to all safety protocols. We will have temperature check stations, as well as disposable masks for those who may need them.”

Student Government Association President Derrick Sanders says he’s glad the university is keeping safety in mind, and hopes homecoming participants will be responsible.

“We want everybody to stay safe; to wear a mask, protect one another,” says Sanders, a senior English major from Cincinnati, Ohio. “This is going to be a homecoming to remember.”

Besides the big game against Murray State at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 30 and the parade that morning, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the Annual Scholarship Gala, TSU’s signature fundraising event. It will take place on Oct. 29 at the Music City Center. This year, the gala welcomes Grammy award-winning artist Howard Hewett, and for masters of ceremony, award-winning radio personality Jasmine Sanders and comedian and actor Rodney Perry.

Howard Hewett

“The Gala provides the critical funds necessary to meet the significant need for student scholarships, as well as ensure students have access to relevant academic programs that prepares them for an innovative and global marketplace,” says gala chairwoman Iris Ramey, who is assisted by co-chairs Debbi Howard and Marie Sueing. “We are very fortunate to have a community of donors and friends who have given of their time, energy, and personal resources to invest in Tennessee State University.”

Other homecoming activities this year include the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest on Oct. 24; the Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 27; the homecoming concert featuring rappers Chief Keef, Sada Baby, Dreezy, and Big Scarr on Oct. 28; the Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 29; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 30.

The parade will be from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.

For more information about TSU’s 2021 Homecoming, visit https://bit.ly/3aBoV7M.

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 unveils 500-pound bronze tiger statue on main campus as part of ‘Big Blue’ pride

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Calling it a symbol of strength and a representation of its Big Blue pride, Tennessee State University has unveiled a tiger statue on the main campus to coincide with this year’s virtual Homecoming ceremonies.

President Glenda Glover, administrators, staff, student representatives, alumni and community officials participate in the unveiling ceremony on the main campus. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

The specially commissioned bronze 6-foot long sculpture, weighing in at 500 pounds, was unveiled Oct. 23 in a virtual ceremony. Observing appropriate social distancing, TSU President Glenda Glover led student representatives, administrators, staff, alumni and community officials in an elaborate ceremony to showcase the new campus attraction. 

TSU’s renowned Aristocrat of Bands was on hand to provide entertainment.

The President acknowledges members of the AOB, student leaders and guests moments before she officially unveiled the new campus attraction. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“Today is a special day as we unveil a monument that will represent the spirit of TSU for the next 100 years,” Glover said to a round of applause. “Generations will mark their presence on this campus in front of this great tiger statue. Tigers are resilient, strong and powerful, as we are. Tigers are determined and confident as we are.” 

The Tiger, standing nearly 7 feet and mounted on a custom-made marble base, is located in front of the Floyd-Payne Campus Center across from the McWherter Circle. 

Glover congratulated the leadership of the last Student Government Association for conceiving the idea of the statue created by nationally recognized sculptor David Clark, who created Tom the Tiger at the University of Memphis.  

Outgoing SGA President Katelyn Thompson and members of her administration conceived the idea for the tiger statue. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“I want to thank our very courageous students and the student government leadership for their foresight,” she added, noting the university’s resilience during the pandemic. “This tiger statue is a symbol to the world that TSU is strong.” 

Katelyn Thompson, the outgoing SGA president, who spearheaded the project, thanked President Glover, her fellow students and the office of Student Affairs for their support in making the project a reality. 

“On this historic moment, we have waited patiently for this day. We brought this idea to the table and we all came together to create history,” Thompson said. “I want to personally thank the sculptor, Dr. Glover, Dean (Frank) Stevenson, Dr. (Tobias) Morgan, alumni, faculty and staff, but most importantly, our students. It was you who always kept pushing to keep going and continue on the legacy of tiger pride.” 

Tennessee State Sen. Brenda Gilmore, and Davidson County Council-At-Large member Sharon Hurt, two TSU alums and staunch supporters, were among officials who attended the unveiling. 

 “I just want to commend these student leaders who had the vision to even know before the pandemic that we would need a strong symbol that will represent TSU going forward,” Gilmore said. “This tiger captures the spirit of each one of you. I commend you Dr. Glover, the staff and everybody.” 

Also speaking were Grant Winrow, chair of the Homecoming committee, and Dominique Davis, the newly installed president of the SGA. 

Winrow referred to the Tiger statue as “something wonderful that will be on this campus forever.” 

“We are so excited this morning,” he said, citing the sculpture as a major achievement. “When you come here to learn and go forth to serve, this is what you get. You get people who have strived to do great things in this world.” 

Frank Stevenson, associate vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students, who was charged with bringing the tiger project to fruition just before the coronavirus pandemic, also thanked President Glover and the administration for their support. He gave special recognition to individuals in Facilities Management, Student Activities, the AOB and the office of Business and Finance. 

“When the idea was advanced, Dr. Glover instructed us to ‘make it happen’ and we moved right along,” Stevenson said, lamenting the onset of the pandemic just as the project started.  

“By the time they had created the head of the tiger, we sent all of our students home after being introduced to a pandemic that this country had not seen in a hundred years. The tiger kept being developed, the sculptor kept moving forward and with nobody on campus, the tiger was delivered in a box and put in storage. We are so proud of the many people who worked to get it out here today.” 

The excitement about the tiger among students was overwhelming. At a pep rally in Hale Stadium as part of the unveiling ceremony, this is how four students described the new attraction on their campus. 

Historical” – Julien Dooley, senior commercial music major from Atlanta 

Prenominal” – Cameron Brown, Mass Communications major from Birmingham, Alabama 

Legacy” – Tiara Thomas – Junior Political Science major from Olive Branch, Mississippi 

Groundbreaking” – Javia Dycus, junior Health Sciences major from Indianapolis, Indiana

According to Stevenson, a naming competition opened to students, staff, alumni and the community, will be held later to come up with an appropriate name for the tiger.

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 seven 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 planning historic virtual Homecoming celebration amid pandemic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University may not be having a traditional Homecoming this year because of the pandemic, but its Big Blue spirit will still shine through another way – virtually.

TSU’s world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands performs during halftime of the 2019 Homecoming game. (TSU Media Relations)

For 2020, TSU has planned several virtual events Oct. 23-25 under the theme, “Essentially TSU – We’re In This Together!”

“Every aspect of our lives has changed considerably since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic from earlier this year,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “TSU’s ongoing commitment in prioritizing the health and safety of the campus has led us to host an abbreviated schedule of events to celebrate and reflect.”

Here are some of the planned events:

Friday, Oct. 23

  • Tiger Statue Unveiling Ceremony at 10 a.m. CDT
  • Founders Day Program at 10:30 a.m.
  • In the spirit of tradition, a Virtual Pep Rally, “Big Blue Spirit Day”, at noon. Senior football players will be saluted, and there will be a special social-distance performance by TSU’s world-renowned Aristocrat of Bands.
  • First-ever virtually elected Royal Court for the Mister and Miss TSU Coronation at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 24

  • Virtual scholarship gala titled, “An Evening of Jokes and Jazz!” Veteran comedian, Jonathan Slocumb, will host the event featuring TSU alumni trumpeter Melvin Miller and award-winning saxophonist Jazmin Ghent.
  • TSU will recognize some of its alumni who are essential, front line workers and first responders. There will be special acknowledgement of dedicated TSU employees, who keep the University safe and operating effectively during the pandemic

Sunday, Oct. 25

  • The virtual celebration will conclude with a Gospel Brunch at 1 p.m., hosted by TSU alum Dr. Bobby Jones, known in many circles as the Ambassador of Gospel Entertainment.
  • Noted alumni clergy, Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings and Rev. Dr. Tony Evans, will round out the program.

Tiara Thomas, student trustee on TSU’s Board of Trustees, said even though this year’s homecoming will not be traditional, she and her peers are still looking forward to the events.

“I believe all students and alumni alike can agree that our love for TSU is unconditional,” said the junior from Biloxi, Mississippi. “We will not allow COVID-19 to silence our celebration of our beloved TSU and all of its excellence. The Homecoming committee has worked hard to virtually capture the traditions of Homecoming Week.”

“We may not be celebrating in person, but we wanted to host some events to still keep our students and our alumni community engaged,” said Grant Winrow, 

Homecoming chairman and special assistant to President Glover.

Winrow said he hopes alumni and other supporters of the University who traditionally make the trip to Nashville will use those travel funds for a “scholarship of your choice” at TSU.

“Please give a portion of those monies that you would spend coming here to the TSU Foundation,” said Winrow, who offered a glimmer of hope for next year.

“I think that 2021 will be our year to come back stronger than ever before, in the Big Blue spirit of tradition,” he said.

For more information about the TSU Foundation, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/foundation/.

To see the Homecoming activities, visit https://www.youtube.com/user/TSUMedia.

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 seven 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.

‘$1 Million In One Month’ Campaign Gets Major Boost at Celebrity Telethon; More Than $60,000 raised in Four Hours

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With just a few days to go, TSU’s historic push to raise $1 million in February for student scholarships is all but certain, thanks to a huge showing of Big Blue spirit on Sunday.

Jamie Isabel, left, Chairman of the TSU $1 million campaign, talks to NBC local affiliate Channel 4 about the telethon and the overall goal of the campaign. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

A four-hour celebrity telethon, “Dialing for Dollars,” raised more than $63,000. It was well over the telethon’s $25,000 initial goal, bringing total campaign contributions to nearly $938,609. Within two hours of the telethon, volunteers had already surpassed the $25,000 mark, organizers said.

“Today is a good day. This showing of support is very tremendous,” said Campaign Chairman Jamie Isabel, a TSU alum. “We exceeded our goal, which I knew we were going to do. The excitement and sheer commitment to the cause by all who participated are responsible for the success we achieved.”

Volunteers, including prominent local TSU alums, make calls to personal friends and acquaintances to contribute to the telethon. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

In a historic, long-term partnership with the Nashville Predators, TSU announced the campaign on Feb. 2 to raise $1 million during Black History Month for student scholarships. Since then, activities have included a “TSU Night” at the Bridgestone Arena, with appearances by the Aristocrat of Bands and the New Direction Gospel Choir, as well as a Big Blue Old School Concert at the Gentry Complex.

The telethon, live streamed from Jackson Hall on the main campus, included guest hosts and alumni, students, staff, faculty, community leaders and supporters manning telephones and taking contributions from supporters. TSU President Glenda Glover, who was on travel, called in to thank organizers and volunteers.

TSU alums State Rep. Harold L. Love, Jr., and his wife Leah Dupree Love volunteer at the telethon. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Several prominent local TSU alums and supporters stopped by to help man telephones. They included TSU Board of Trustee member Richard Lewis and his wife, Delores, a former TSU administrator; Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry, Jr., State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and his wife, Leah; Barbara Murrell, longtime TSU supporter and former administrator; TSU National Alumni Association President Joni McReynolds; and Vivian Wilhoite, Nashville and Davidson County property assessor, among others.

Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, president of TSU from 1975-1985, who could not be present in Nashville, was among many who joined in from home and made calls to friends and acquaintances to contribute to the telethon.

Miss TSU Jada Crisp, left, and Head Football Coach Rod Reed, middle, were among many students and staff who volunteered at the telethon. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

According to Isabel, some major contributors were:  Dr. William F. Pickard, chairman of Detroit-based Global Automotive Alliance, a supporter of HBCUs, who contributed $10,000; and Nashville businessman Joe Davis, who sent in a check for $5,000.

“We had some large checks, but we also had some small checks and all those small checks added up to get us to where we are,” said Isabel.

Mr. TSU Damyr Moore, a senior mass communications major from Atlanta, and Eukirah Pennyman, a junior film and television major, also from Atlanta, were among many students who volunteered at the telethon. Moore helped with making calls, while Pennyman served as technical director.

Telethon hosts Grant Winrow, left, Seanne Wilson and Michael McLendon make a pitch at the four-hour long fundraiser. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“The experience today has been a great one; to be among your peers and alumni toward one good cause that benefits the entire student body is just great,” said Moore. “To give my time and be able to help someone else come to school as I have been fortunate to do is really a great feeling.”

Pennyman agreed.

“I am from Atlanta, and I have been fortunate to have a few scholarships from TSU,” she said. “It was a good experience to have this telethon, which I think should be done every year because it helps to bring in more majors and more students.”

Cassandra Griggs is TSU’s director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, and co-chair of the $1 million campaign committee. She is very thankful to the many alumni who came out to make phone calls.

“They called individuals who were in their personal cellphone contacts, asking them to support TSU,  and that was very admirable,” said Griggs. “I feel very good that not only have we exceeded our goal for today, but we are going to meet our goal for the $1 million.”

Grant Winrow, a member of the campaign committee and one of the hosts of the telethon, called the day a “Big Blue Victory.”

“We went in with the idea of raising $25,000 and we more than doubled it. And that’s a phenomenal success,” said Grant, who helped organize the telethon. “This is in the last few days of our campaign, and we thought having a celebrity telethon by bringing in some of our most notable TSU influencers here to make some calls, was a great idea. It turned out very well.”

The next push to the finish line in the $1 million campaign is a celebrity courtside dining at the TSU men’s basketball game on Saturday in the Gentry Complex.

To donate, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/1million1month or text TSU1MIL to 41444. 

Department of Media Relations

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

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 seven 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 Plans Spectacular 2019 Homecoming with Stellar Group of Honorees, Grand Marshals, Star Power

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Called a “walking miracle,” HBCU Digest Male Athlete of the Year Christion Abercrombie will be among a stellar group of honorees, grand marshals and star power at this year’s Tennessee State University Homecoming Oct. 13-19.

Under the theme, “Unleash the Pride of the Tiger,” TSU is planning a spectacular weeklong schedule of events that will culminate with the big football matchup between the Tigers and OVC rival Austin Peay State University at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 19.

In keeping with the theme, the university has selected honorees and grand marshals who embody the excellence TSU strives for, especially Abercrombie. The TSU linebacker suffered a severe brain injury Sept. 29, 2018, during a game against Vanderbilt. His remarkable recovery was described as a miracle.

TSU President Glenda Glover called Abercrombie’s “perseverance and incredible spirit” an inspiration to anyone going through adversity. “He is proof that you can make it if you just have faith and believe,” Glover said.

Abercrombie will receive a Special Presidential Recognition from Dr. Glover.

Other honorees are Samuel Abernathy, retired assistant professor and assistant track and field coach with renowned Tigerbelle coach Ed. Temple; Howard Gentry, Criminal Court Clerk for Davidson County and former TSU director of athletics; and Edna Overall, former TSU women’s basketball coach.

Grand marshals for the popular Homecoming parade are: Ola Hudson, retired teacher and administrator with the Metro Nashville Public Schools; Obie McKenzie, senior relationship manager for top investment firm BlackRock; and Donald Whitehead, retired journalist and broadcaster.

“We think our theme this year is befitting of our esteemed grand marshals and honorees who are being lauded,” said Grant Winrow, Homecoming chairman and special assistant to President Glover. “We even have a walking miracle, and that is our very own Christion Abercrombie, who will serve as our Special Presidential Grand Marshal.” 

Besides the game and parade, another major highlight of TSU’s homecoming is the Annual Scholarship Gala, TSU’s signature fundraising event, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Music City Center. This year, the gala welcomes back comedian Jonathan Slocumb as the master of ceremony.

“As part of the highly anticipated, annual Homecoming Celebration, the Scholarship Gala is a wonderful opportunity for Tennessee State University to enhance meaningful relationships with alumni, loyal friends and community partners on behalf of our student scholars,” Gala chairs Iris Ramey, Cassandra Griggs and Seanne Wilson said in a statement. “The Gala provides the critical funds necessary to meet the significant need for student scholarships as well as ensure students have access to relevant academic programs that prepares them for an innovative and global marketplace.”

Other Homecoming activities this year include the Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 16; the Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 18; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 19.

The parade will be from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.

For more information on Homecoming, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/

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 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven 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 celebrates former football players with a ‘Salute to Greatness’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The NFL Draft will highlight the future of professional football in a couple of weeks. However, on April 12, Tennessee State University will celebrate former TSU players who competed in the pros, including 21 in Super Bowls.

“Salute to Greatness-Excellence on the Gridiron” will take place at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. A reception is scheduled for 6 p.m., followed by a program/dinner at 7 p.m.

The event leading up to the NFL Draft in Nashville on April 25 is part of TSU’s annual Coming Home-Legends Weekend, which will feature the Blue and White Game on April 13.

“Our history of sending students to play on the professional level of football is special,” says TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. “Those who competed on the highest level were and are great representatives of the university and should be recognized. The ‘Salute to Greatness’ event seeks to bring these stars together to celebrate their collective successes.”

Over the years, more than 150 TSU players went on to compete in the National Football League, Canadian Football League, and other professional leagues.

Those players who did and will be at the April 12 event include Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent, MVP of Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears; Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who appeared in three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys; and two-time Pro Bowler Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who played in Super Bowl XLVIII with the Denver Broncos.

“When I first learned of the event, I was very excited,” says Jones. “Tennessee State has always had a rich athletics program, even before I got here. This is not a championship team that will assemble, it is all the players coming back to support this as well. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the guys.”

Grant Winrow is the event’s chairman and special assistant to TSU President Glenda Glover. He says it’s great to “welcome our former players back to the school that gave them their start.” 

“We thank President Glover for allowing us to carry this vision of celebration during our Coming Home weekend,” says Winrow, who is also director of special projects.

Chris Hope, a former Tennessee Titans Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be the event’s keynote speaker. The master of ceremony is Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Hope Hines, considered a Nashville legend in sports coverage.

“For over six decades, players from Tennessee State University have been cornerstones of the National Football League,” says Hines, who covered TSU sports extensively. “In fact, only a very few colleges and universities have sent more players to the NFL than TSU. The ‘Salute to Greatness’ night is the perfect opportunity to celebrate over 60 years of the brotherhood of Big Blue players who have made Tennessee State University synonymous with the NFL.”

Traci Otey Blunt, a TSU alum and senior vice president of corporate communications for the NFL, agrees.

“I think it’s so dynamic what TSU has done for the sports community, business community, and beyond,” says Blunt. “I scream from the mountaintops that I’m a proud Tennessee State University graduate.”

In 2016, TSU was recognized at the John Wooten Leadership Awards in San Francisco for the number of players who competed in Super Bowls. The university’s football legacy dates back to Super Bowl I in 1967, when former TSU Tigers Willie Mitchell and Fletcher Smith made their appearance as teammates with the Kansas City Chiefs. More than 20 players have followed them over the years.

To learn more about TSU football and the university’s other athletic programs, visit http://www.tsutigers.com.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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 tnstate.edu.

Political Analyst Angela Rye To Speak at TSU Women’s Center Scholarship Fundraising Affair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Political Commentator and Analyst Angela Rye will serve as the keynote speaker for this year’s Women of Legend and Merit Awards Dinner at Tennessee State University on March 19 as part of the TSU Women’s Center’s effort to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Rye, who offers regular on-air commentary for several media outlets including BET, CNN, MSNBC, and TV One, will speak about “Making An Impact Economically, Civically, and Politically.” The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Kean Hall on the main campus.

Seanne Wilson, chairperson of the event, which raises money for student scholarships, said she hopes Rye’s visit will inspire young women at TSU to be more aware of the power of their voice. 

“As we know, this is the year of the woman, and women are being more vocal and we are owning who we are. It’s very important with us attempting to educate these young ladies, that they are aware of opportunities and not afraid to speak out and to speak up for their rights,” said Wilson, who serves as coordinator of the TSU Women’s Center.

Wilson said an increasing number of young women in the Nashville community have expressed interest in attending this year’s event because of Rye.

“I think that a lot of women, whether they are in politics or not, will feel coached and mentored by her, or feel empowered by her.  And empowering women is something that the Women’s Center attempts to do,” Wilson said. “There are so many people out there who are interested in how we have gotten into this political climate.  How did we get here? And how do we fix the problems that we see?”

According to Wilson, the Women’s Center is a “safe zone” for women at TSU who experience issues such as fear, anxiety and depression, as well as domestic violence, homelessness and the lack of food. She said this year for Women’s History Month, the Women’s Center hopes to inspire students by bringing numerous professional women to campus, including judges, political figures, entrepreneurs, chief executive officers, and international women of distinction.

Several women will be honored during this year’s event including: Veronica Marable Johnson, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce New Member Representative; Dr. Robbie Melton, TSU interim dean of the Graduate School; Karen Johnson, Davidson County Register of Deeds; Attorney Cynthia Fitzgerald; Attorney Joy Kimbrough; Dr. Judy Cummings, Pastor of New Covenant Christian Church; and Zaya Mouto, a sophomore Business Administration major who will receive the “Rising Star” Award.

To purchase tickets for the March 19 awards dinner or learn more about the Women’s Center, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/legendandmerit/.

TSU gearing up for spectacular 2018 Homecoming

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is gearing up for another spectacular Homecoming with a stellar group of grand marshals and honorees.

This year’s Homecoming begins Oct. 14 with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest. The football game between the Big Blue Tigers and the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech will take place on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Nissan Stadium at 4:30 p.m.

For just the second time, TSU has a Special Presidential Honoree: James Shaw, Jr. The other honorees are Dr. Calvin Atchison, retired vice president of development/Foundation Office; Mrs. Dorothy Lockridge, retired vice president of student affairs; Coach James Bass, retired health professor and swimming coach. The grand marshals are Mr. Robert Covington, NBA player with Philadelphia 76ers; Dr. Richard Lewis, TSU Board of Trustees member and owner of Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors; and Mrs. Delorse Lewis, former executive director of TSU Development/Foundation Office.

“As we reflect on many memorable moments that helped to shape our lives while matriculating at our beloved institution, our alma mater charged us to go forth and serve,” said Homecoming Chairman Grant L. Winrow. “Thus, it is only fitting that we honor another outstanding group of individuals who epitomize what Excellence and Success really look like.”

Shaw became a worldwide hero following an incident on April 22, 2018, when a gunman opened fire at a Waffle House in a Nashville suburb. Shaw wrestled the rifle away from the man and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door.

Four people were killed and several others wounded in the shooting. However, authorities have said there probably would have been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions. Immediately following the incident, Shaw started a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $240,000 for family members of the shooting victims. Shaw has also started a foundation that seeks to address mental illness and mass community violence.

“We can only make real progress if we work together, stand collectively and care for one another,” said Shaw. “I will never let my life, or those lives we sadly lost, be in vain.”

Besides the big game, another highlight of this year’s Homecoming is the Scholarship Gala on Oct. 19. The gala, part of TSU’s weeklong Homecoming activities, is the biggest single event by the university to raise scholarship money. Contributions swelled from $600,000 in 2016 to more than one million dollars last year.

This year, the gala welcomes back comedian Jonathan Slocumb as the master of ceremony. Special entertainment will be provided by legendary jazz artist Roy Ayers.

“The Homecoming Scholarship Gala serves as Tennessee State University’s signature fundraising event,” Gala chairs Cassandra Griggs and Iris Ramey said in a statement. “It provides an opportunity for the university to partner with alumni, friends, employees, corporations and organizations to raise annual and endowed scholarship dollars for the outstanding students at TSU.”

Other Homecoming activities this year include the Coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU on Oct. 17; official groundbreaking of new Health Sciences Building on Oct. 18; the Breakfast of Champions, the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, and the National Pan-Hellenic Step Show on Oct. 19; and the legendary Homecoming Parade on Oct. 20.

The parade will be from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard.

For more information about Homecoming activities, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/documents/HomecomingSchedule.pdf

Department of Media Relations

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

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, 24 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 tnstate.edu.