TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands, College of Engineering get top honors at HBCU Digest Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands and the university’s College of Engineering received top honors at the recent 2017 HBCU Digest Awards.

(l to r) WDC alumni chapter member Leonard Stephens; Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering; Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of University Bands; WDC alumni chapter president Andrea Warren; WDC alumni chapter members Jocelyn Smith and Nahshon Bigham. (Submitted photo)

TSU was a finalist in 10 categories of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Digest Awards. Its Aristocrat of Bands got Best Marching Band, and the College of Engineering won for Best Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) program.

The winners were announced July 14 at the seventh annual HBCU Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Finalists were selected from more than 175 nominations from HBCUs across the country.

“This is a proud moment in my career,” Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of University Bands, said of receiving the award. “Not only to be recognized as the best HBCU marching band, but to be recognized along with our awesome College of Engineering.”

Former President Barack Obama greets members of TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands at the White House last year. (Submitted photo).

Last year, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands played on the lawn of the White House. The band was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It was the first HBCU band to perform for the Obama administration at the White House.

McDonald said there’s an academic connection between the band program and the College of Engineering in that engineering majors make up the largest group among the 264 members of the 2016-2017 Aristocrat of Bands.

Andrea Warren, president of the Washington, D.C., TSU alumni chapter, said the university’s band has helped the chapter spark interest in TSU with local D.C./Maryland/Virginia high school students following its performance at the White House and at Eastern Senior High School last year.

“As a product of TSU’s College of Engineering, and a lover and supporter of the Aristocrat of Bands, I could not be more thrilled with TSU receiving the Best Marching Band and Best STEM Program awards,” Warren said.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, said the HBCU award his college received recognizes the hard work of its faculty, staff and students.

“The demand for engineers, technologists, and computer scientists still exceeds the supply, and our dedicated faculty and staff are committed to providing a quality education with their engagement in classroom and laboratory learning,” he said.

Also this month, Hargrove received the INSIGHT into Diversity magazine’s 2017 Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award, which pays tribute to those who inspire a new generation of young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Last year, TSU received HBCU awards for: Alumna of the Year, Dr. Edith Mitchell; Female Coach of the Year, Track and Field Coach Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice; and Female Student of the Year, RaCia Poston.


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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 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.