TSU moving forward with plans for new alumni welcome center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University already feels like home for many. But now when it is time to return to the university, alumni will have a 10,773 square-foot facility to welcome them. TSU is slated to have a welcome center on campus in the near future to serve as a home away from home for alumni.

Dr. Carletta Harlan, a Welcome Center Committee member and former Foundation Board member, states that the Center will be a facility that alumni will be very proud of when they return to the TSU campus.   

“We have such pride in our alumni,” Harlan, a TSU alumna, said. “Our alumni have set the stage in various areas, and we want to highlight them. The center will welcome alumni from far and wide to come home to the ‘land of golden sunshine.’ 

Rendering image of the backside of the TSU alumni welcome center

Harlan also said she looks forward to this facility drawing in even more alumni to come back home for major events throughout the year, especially homecoming. 

The proposed $4.5 million facility promises multi-faceted meeting and gathering spaces, offices, and creative workrooms for hosting a wide variety of educational and entrepreneurial programs. It will provide opportunities for social and civic interactions, and areas for displaying alumni achievements and University history. The facility will feature a rooftop terrace and deck, offering views of the campus.

“A facility of this magnitude is much needed on our campus,” Dr. Curtis Johnson, vice president for administration and chief of staff, said.  “It aids in the planning for the institution. It will be able to welcome alumni and serve as a beacon to attract alumni as well.”

The TSU alumni Association, foundation board and university established a committee to develop the proposal. Plans for the new alumni center began in 2019 and the physical site will be located off Dr. Walter S Davis Blvd, according to Johnson.

The facility will be funded with donations, with the lead gift of $1 million dollars donated by alumni Amos “Scoe” and Brenda Otis.  Mr. Otis is the founder, president, and CEO of SoBran, Inc. Mrs. Otis is a retired broadcast television production and management professional and published author. This welcome center will be the first privately funded building gifted to TSU by private donors. The Otis’s are partnering with the TSU Foundation in raising additional private gifts to support the creation of a space.

Johnson said the TSU Alumni Welcome Center project will be a testament to the vibrant community and shared history of our alumni.

TSU alumni, along with business and community partners are encouraged to help bring this vision to life, by making a donation to support the welcome center, at www.tnstate.edu/foundation/