Tennessee State University Marks 102nd Birthday With Procession, Speeches and Cheers


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is 102 years old today.

President Glenda Glover, accompanied by keynote speaker, State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, led a procession of faculty, staff and students for a Founders’ Day celebration in Kean Hall, amid cheers from the audience and renditions from the University Marching Band.

“This is a great day for Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Glover, as she recounted events in the University’s history from its founding in 1912 to the role it plays today as a major center of education in the nation.

“From 1912 when the then Agricultural and Industrial Normal School for Negroes, built to provide educational opportunity for blacks, opened its doors to the first 247, TSU has maintained a tradition of excellence in education for a diverse population,” Dr. Glover said.

In her keynote address, Rep. Gilmore, a 1984 graduate of TSU, emphasized “Think, Work, Serve,” the University’s motto and its relevance in achieving success, but quickly pointed to pitfalls many face for misusing that success.

“TSU has helped to better the lives of so many and opened doors for countless others,” Gilmore said. “But many, including elected officials and others in key positions have failed because they end up hurting the very people they are supposed to help.”

Gilmore, a noted advocate for abused and special needs children, and a strong supporter of women’s cause, said many officials suffer what she called ethical lapses, either out of greed for power, wealth, disrespect for others or lack of integrity.

“As TSU graduates we are responsible to pass our good fortune to help those unfortunate ones in our community,” said Gilmore, who earned a B.S. degree in Business at TSU, before going on to earn a master’s degree in Human Resource Development at Vanderbilt University.

“Get involved in fruitful endeavors that improve your community; give back to the community that nurtured you; and reconnect yourselves to the TSU motto to make this world a better place,” added the four-term member of the Tennessee General Assembly from the 54th District in Davidson County.

Mr. and Miss TSU, accompanied by their Royal Court, and faculty members dressed in full regalia, added to the pomp in celebration of the founders and birthday of the University, which now boasts more than 9,000 students, up from 247, one hundred and two years ago.


Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
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Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.