By Kelli Sharpe, Alexis Clark
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With the promise of a win, the 34th Southern Heritage Classic was the perfect sendoff for Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover. This year’s classic marked Glover’s eleventh and final one as president of her alma mater. The Memphis native announced her retirement in August.
President Glover was honored with special presentations from Mayor James ‘Jim’ Strickland and classic founder Fred Jones during the 2023 Classic Coaches’ Luncheon held in Memphis. The luncheon was also highlighted with the vow of a win by TSU head football coach Eddie George.
“She is going to retire next year, and I want to send her off with a victory,” Coach George said. “That is the goal.”
George then thanked Dr. Glover for giving him the opportunity to lead the TSU Tigers and assured her that he would bring home the championship title. The coach and team fulfilled that promise with a 24-17 victory of the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.
“It’s my last classic as the president of Tennessee State University, but I will be here every year,” Glover said.
Mayor Strickland declared Friday, September 8 as “Glenda Glover Day” to the delight of the luncheon crowd. The announcement was met with cheers and even longer applause as he presented her with a key to the city. President Glover received a standing ovation as she made her way to the stage.
“She has been an incredible partner with the city on this game and in other ways for the last 11 years at TSU,” Mayor Stickland said.
Classic founder and longtime friend Fred Jones followed Mayor Strickland with the 2023 Classic Founder’s Award presentation for Glover to a standing ovation as well. “It is my pleasure to recognize President Glenda Glover, a native daughter of Memphis and good friend of mine, who has excelled at every level,” said Jones.
“Dr. Glover’s impact in higher education is felt everywhere, from the White House to the State Capitol, corporate board rooms to classrooms, and especially here at the classic.”
President Glover left no doubt that she would return for next year’s classic in her hometown, forever remaining a proud TSU Tiger.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from Mayor Strickland and Mr. Fred Jones,” Glover told the crowd. “Memphis will always be considered home, where I got my start. Serving as TSU president is an honor of a lifetime. We have been able to accomplish so much with your continued support. The City of Memphis, Southern Heritage Classic and my entire TSU family have been with me and my administration every step of the way.”
The classic luncheon also featured UAPB Head Coach Alonzo Hampton, along with guest speaker and Arkansas native Keith Jackson, a former college football and NFL standout.