NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Aria Obay, an aspiring fashion merchandizing major, has fulfilled her long-time dream of becoming a Big Blue Tiger at Tennessee State University. As a legacy student, following in the footsteps of many family members, including her mother, Obay was part of the first group of students to participate in Freshman Move-in on Monday. The day marked the beginning of an exciting new chapter for incoming students as they checked into their dorm rooms and gained access to key resources such as meal plans, IDs, and parking permits.
Choosing TSU was an easy decision for Obay, who expressed her fascination with the university and its renowned fashion program.
“Most of my family members went here, and I have an interest in going into fashion. TSU has a great fashion program. So, the decision was easy, besides, I wanted to go to an HBCU,” Obay said.
Deaderick Jones is a TSU alum and the author of the book “Peace Like Never Before.” He dropped off his son, Josiah Jones, at TSU, expressing his happiness that his son is attending the same institution that helped him “break the barrier” as the first in his family to earn a college degree.
“I grew up here in the project and the first in my family to even think about college,” said Deaderick, whose book is about overcoming the odds. “For me, it was breaking the barrier, and I am making sure I instill that in my son.”
Deaderick’s son, Josiah, a business administration major from Nashville, is coming to TSU on a full scholarship.
Coinciding with the start of Freshman Move-in, August 14-16, TSU President Glenda Glover announced her retirement after 11 years as the first female president of the university. President Glover made the announcement during the annual fall faculty staff institute and later held a press conference with several faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. Reflecting on her accomplishments, which included securing record research funding, doubling the university’s endowment, student success, and infrastructural improvements, President Glover expressed her desire to make a larger impact on the national stage. She emphasized her commitment to addressing vital issues such as protecting access to education and fighting for social justice.
“I am immensely honored to have had the privilege of serving as President of Tennessee State University for the past 11 years. This institution holds a special place in my heart, and it has been a remarkable journey working alongside our dedicated faculty, staff, and students in advancing the mission of TSU,” Glover said.
“I am eternally grateful for the support and accomplishments we have achieved together. As I embark on this new chapter, I remain committed to fighting for access to education and addressing the pressing issues our nation faces. TSU will always hold a special place in my heart, and I have faith that it will continue to thrive and uplift future generations.”
The retirement announcement caught many by surprise, including incoming students and parents who were on campus for drop-offs.
Melanie Curry, an incoming student from Memphis, who encountered the president during visits to TSU, expressed her support for President Glover’s decision.
“It is going to be weird not seeing her around campus. But if she feels this is the best decision for her, I support her regardless,” Curry said.”
TSU officials expressed their gratitude for President Glover’s exceptional leadership while expressing their sadness about her departure. Chief Operating Officer Jason T. Evans, who oversees enrollment management, welcomed the new students and their parents and commended President Glover for her outstanding contributions to the university.
“We warmly welcome all the new students and their families to TSU. We are excited to embark on this journey with you and provide the support you need to excel academically and personally,” Evans said.
“President Glover has been an exceptional leader, and we commend her for her tireless efforts in advancing TSU. We are sad to see her go, but we are grateful for the foundation she has laid for the university’s future success.”
Frank Stevenson, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, acknowledged President Glover’s attentive approach to students’ needs, referring to her as a mother figure to the TSU community.
“President Glover’s announcement may have surprised many of us, but her legacy of care and dedication to our students will forever be remembered. She has truly been a motherly figure, always attentive to the needs of our students,” Stevenson said.
“We extend a warm welcome to all the new students joining our TSU family. Know that we are here to support you, guide you, and help you make the most of your college experience.”
Classes for the new academic year at TSU will begin on August 21. Faculty and staff are actively preparing to provide engaging and meaningful learning experiences for the students.