Tag Archives: Homecoming 2022

TSU alum designs groundbreaking sneaker through Nike highlighting university 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The tiger spirit has been embedded in Tennessee State University since 1912. However, a new groundbreaking Nike “Yardrunners” sneaker collection has given alumni and students a new way to strut their school spirit.

“THINK. WORK. SERVE. ” has always been the motto at Tennessee State University. But in this instance, TSU students are ‘serving’ looks this fall as Nike launched a multicolor Dunk Low sneaker displaying the university’s colors designed by TSU alum, Kalynn ‘KT’ Terrell.

TSU alum Kalynn ‘KT’ Terrell is a fashion designer who customized a Nike sneaker this year displaying the university’s colors. (Photo by Hunter Hart photography)

“This was a goal that I always wanted to accomplish and the prototype was my exact design,” Terrell said.

Head drum major of the Aristocrat of Bands Marro Briggs, said he was excited to get his hands on a pair of the sneakers as the historical aspect, is deeper than the aesthetic.

“This is a once in a lifetime … a piece of history,” Briggs, an economics and finance major, said. “I was really excited because I love shoes. This sheds a bigger light on us and our culture. I am happy they (Nike) chose TSU.” 

The TSU themed sneakers feature tiger-printed shoelaces with a “Tiger Pride” branding on the striped insoles. The shoes also feature 1912 embroidered on the heel tabs. The inner tongue highlights the TSU motto with a color scheme of red, blue, black, white, and yellow. 

Terrell, a 2016 TSU graduate, added that the yellow gives the sneaker a special touch. The color symbolizes the land of golden sunshine, another university moniker fondly used by alumni.

AOB drum majors from left to right, Jeremiah Mensa, Joshua Knox, Curtis Olawumi, Marro Briggs, all purchased TSU Dunk Low sneakers. (Photo by Julian Curry)

“For me it (yellow) represents completion,” Terrell said. “It’s not your alma mater until you walk the stage …  so, it symbolizes that I made it. I did it.”

Terrell is a fashion designer, wardrobe stylist and serial entrepreneur from Huntsville, Alabama, who began a partnership with Nike in 2020.

When Terrell was a teenager, she knew that fashion and tennis shoes were more than just a hobby, they were a lifestyle. During undergrad, Terrell said she always had a sense of self as she walked the campus with confidence, graduating with a degree in psychology.

“I became who I am because of Tennessee State University,” Terrell said. “If I had never attended TSU, I probably wouldn’t be comfortable dressing how I dress now.”

Terrell’s style and branding landed her with an opportunity of a lifetime, designing a shoe for Nike.

“This opportunity meant the world to me. It’s groundbreaking and it lets me know that I am on the trajectory of going in the right direction.”

The TSU themed sneakers feature white or tiger-printed shoelaces with a “Tiger Pride” branding on the striped insoles. The shoes also feature 1912 embroidered on the heel tabs, and the TSU motto on the inner tongue with a color scheme of red, blue, black, white, and yellow. ( Photo courtesy of Nike)

This year, Nike Yardrunners class focused on “HBCU alumni who are forging a legacy through fashion that will inspire future generations.” 

Tennessee State University Dunk Low is part of a four-piece HBCU Yardrunners first-ever shoe collection that also highlighted sneakers created by women who attended Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, and North Carolina A&T University.

TSU Nike Dunk Low was released during homecoming week at local retailers like ROOTED and City Gear, and online on SNKRS, selling out within hours.

Former Miss TSU and fellow Alabama native Mallory Moore said she’s thrilled to see her alma mater in the spotlight and proud of the individual behind the design. 

“HBCU’s are finally being showcased for their positive contributions to society and the leaders they produce, specifically Tennessee State University,” Moore said.

“TSU has a big sneaker community, so it feels amazing. I am grateful that the university I once served is being celebrated in a major way.”

Kalynn Terrell is a fashion designer, wardrobe stylist and serial entrepreneur from Huntsville, Alabama, who began a partnership with Nike in 2020. (Photo by Chrisean Rose)

Everyone is hopeful that the Nike spotlight will bring future endeavors to the university. Terrell said she looks forward to collaborating with her alma mater again. She noted how HBCUs and African Americans move the culture forward in the fashion industry.

“We are the style,” Terrell said. “We are the standard.”

Terrell is the owner of three product base businesses: Nose In The Air, KT Wore It, and Nose In The Air Hair Co. She said operating her businesses and staying true to herself has aligned her with opportunities she was destined for.

“When I am gone, what’s going to be here to keep my name afloat,” Terrell said when asked about leaving a legacy. “I am trying to create something that is bigger than me. I would love to leave a staple.”

About Nike Yardrunners

Nike’s Yardrunners is a series to celebrate the cultural contributions and history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, along with their students and alumni.

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 .

TSU kicks off 2022 homecoming with 34th annual Robert N. Murrell oratorical contest 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University kicked off this year’s Homecoming with the 34th annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest on Sunday. Cash prizes of $700, $500, and $300 were awarded respectively for first, second, and third place winners in the freshman and upperclassman divisions. There were 28 participants in total this year – 10 freshman and 18 upperclassman. 

The freshman winners are Lauren Porter, 1st place; Aaron Anderson, 2nd place; and Tyler Vazquez, 3rd place. 

Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest organizers and President Glenda Glover congratulates winners of the annual event.

The upperclassman division winners are: Aliyah Holmes, who also serves as SGA Vice President, claimed 1st place; Maya McClary, 2nd; and Akyra McDougal, 3rd place. 

Students were required to use the homecoming theme, Back in Stride Again, for their presentation. Dr. Jacqueline Mitchell, Professor of Communications and presiding chairperson for the annual contest, said she was excited about the event turnout and chosen theme. 

“Doing something like this is very motivational and encouraging to students,” Mitchell said. “They (contestants) spoke about the effects of the pandemic and how it stopped us in our tracks. Now that we are recovering, we are back in stride again.” 

Mitchell said the contestants aligned this year’s theme to the pandemic, education, and the point of view of minorities and African Americans. She noted how the freshmen who haven’t even completed their public speaking courses yet, are talents in the making. “The skills that they are going to have as executives, business people, lawyers … it (the event) is motivational to them to have an audience appreciate them and test their skills to get better every year,” she said. 

“They are gifted, well trained and have a bright future.” 

(L to R) President Glenda Glover, SGA Vice President Aliyah Holmes, Dr. Jacqueline Mitchell and Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis after Holmes receives first place cash prize for the upperclassman division of the 34th annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest.

The contest, established in 1988, is named in honor of the late Robert N. Murrell, a longtime administrator and dean of men at TSU. It encourages students to develop skills in research, writing and oratory. The funds afforded to the winners are sponsored by the Nashville chapter of the alumni association, the Robert N. Murrell scholarship fund, and the Department of Communications. 

Following the oratorical contest, TSU’s Homecoming events continued with the Gospel Explosion in the Gentry Center Sunday evening. The free concert featured TSU New Direction Choir, award winner artist Earnest Pugh, Pastor Mike McClure Jr., and gospel artist Detrick Haddon.    

Other homecoming highlights throughout the week include the Ralph Boston Golf Tournament, Dr. Levi Watkins, Jr. White Coat Ceremony and Symposium. The Homecoming Concert featuring artist Glorilla, Nardo Wick, Est Gee and Babyface Ray, the Greek Step Show, and the Charles Campbell Fish Fry.

On Friday evening, TSU has also planned a stellar Scholarship Gala at the Renaissance Hotel. 

Homecoming will conclude Oct. 8 with the Homecoming Parade from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard, and the big football matchup between the Tigers and Bethune-Cookman University at Nissan Stadium. 

To see all Homecoming activities, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/index.aspx