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Tennessee State University Year-In-Review


Dear TSU Family and Friends,

Our institution has had an incredible year of noted accomplishments and achievements that could not have been possible without the dedication of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, community and corporate partners. It gives me great pleasure to share some of those highlights with you in our TSU Select Year-In-Review issue. Also, you may visit the link below to view each issue from 2016:

Again, thank you for your continued love and support of our beloved Tennessee State University. Wishing you all the best during this holiday season and throughout the New Year! 

                                             ~ President Glenda Glover




TSU wins Andrew Heiskell Award for international education

Tennessee State University received the prestigious Institute for International Education’s Andrew Heiskell Award.

For the first time, IIE presented a special award in the category of internationalizing Historically Black Colleges and Universities with the inaugural award going to TSU for its Diversity and International Affairs initiatives.



Former TSU offensive guard and alumnus Robert "Snacks" Myers was part of the winning Denver Broncos team that hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy beating the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016. Myers joined the Broncos’ active roster Dec. 30, 2015.


TSU receives prestigious award for the number of football players sent to Super Bowls

Tennessee State University received the prestigious John Wooten Leadership Award in recognition of its football legacy dating back to the first Super Bowl in 1967 when former TSU Tigers Willie Mitchell and Fletcher Smith appeared as teammates in Super Bowl I for the Kansas City Chiefs. More than 20 others have followed them over the years, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent, MVP of Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears; Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who appeared in three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys; and Claude Humphrey, a 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee who played in Super Bowl XV with the Philadelphia Eagles. More recent Super Bowl participants include Dominic Rogers-Cromartie (2014); Anthony Levine (2011); and Lamar Divens (2010).



MARCH 2016

TSU students, faculty delve into Governor's FOCUS Act

TSU students and administrators kept a close eye on legislation designed to restructure higher education governance in Tennessee. President Glenda Glover, along with students, faculty, administrators and alumni, attended hearings at Legislative Plaza to hear lawmakers discuss the Focus on College and University Success Act. 

The legislation, pushed by Gov. Bill Haslam, rapidly moved through the legislative process. Glover, along with students, faculty and alumni, expressed concerns about the legislation and worked with the Governor’s administration to find workable solutions.  


(L to R): TSU President Glenda Glover; Black Girls Rock! founder Beverly Bond; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

Black Girls Rock! founder encourages women to lead, innovate, serve

Black Girls Rock! founder Beverly Bond gave a message of empowerment on March 22 during Tennessee State University’s 9th Women of Legend and Merit Awards program sharing, “Anybody can be a voice to make a difference.”

Bond, who is also CEO of the global nonprofit mentoring organization, was the keynote speaker for the event held during Women’s History Month. 



APRIL 2016

Astronomer helps discover extrasolar planet

Tennessee State University’s Dr. Gregory Henry is part of a team of astronomers who discovered an extrasolar planet that scientists say has the most eccentric orbit ever seen.

The new planet is referred to as HD 20782 b and is about 117 light-years from Earth. It appears “elliptical or oblong” as it orbits around its star, astronomers say, which is unlike other planets in the solar system that have nearly circular orbits. At its closest approach, scientists say the new plant ventures as close as 6 percent of the Earth-sun distance, which is much closer than Mercury orbits the sun. 

This new planetary discovery is just one of many involving TSU in the past. For more than 25 years, Tennessee State University astronomers have been developing and operating a fleet of robotic telescopes in the mountains of southern Arizona. In 1999, one of TSU’s robotic telescopes discovered the first transiting (eclipsing) exoplanet, providing the final evidence needed to prove the existence of other planetary systems.



Eloise Alexis, TSU Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement; Damon Lee III; TSU President Glenda Glover; and TSU Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Dwayne Tucker.

MAY 2016

Brother and sister honor parents' legacy with over half million in donations

The children of two prominent Tennessee State University alumni donated $250,000 in honor of their parents who attended TSU 80 years ago. Damon Lee III, a 1967 graduate with a Business Administration degree, made the donation in the names of Dr. Damon and Mrs. Rachel Lee at TSU’s 2016 Scholarship Appreciation Reception April 7. His sister, Kimberly Lee-Lamb, also contributed to the gift, which will benefit TSU’s College of Business and provide scholarships to out-of-state juniors and seniors majoring in business.

The Damon and Rachel Lee Scholarship Endowment Fund was established in 1999 with an initial $200,000 donation to TSU. The family donated $50,000 to the university in 2005, and with this latest donation, their total contributions to the university exceed $500,000.



JUNE 2016

Former Tigerbelles among U.S. Olympic Track and Field honorees

Former Tennessee State University Tigerbelles Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice and Madeline Manning Mims were among Olympians honored during the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon. The women participated in the opening ceremony at Hayward Field and joined other Olympians who were recognized for their achievements throughout the trials held July 1-10.


Madeline Manning Mims

Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice



Markeith Price

JULY 2016

Graduate and former track standout finishes 2nd at Paralympic Games in Rio

Markeith Price, a 2012 Tennessee State University graduate, was one of 66 athletes chosen for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, finishing 2nd overall. 

At the team trials in Charlotte, North Carolina July 5, Price crossed the finish line ahead of the field in the 100-meter. He came in 2nd in the 400-meter. He represented the United States in both competitions for the visually impaired in track and field.




Tennessee State wins HBCU Digest Awards

Tennessee State University was recognized with three honors at the 2016 Historically Black College and Universities' Digest Awards ceremony July 15. Those receiving awards were Dr. Edith Peterson Mitchell for "Alumna of the Year"; TSU Track and Field Director Chandra Cheesborough-Guice for "Female Coach of the Year"; and RaCia Poston as "Female Student of the Year."


TSU student selected as White House HBCU All-Star

Jeneisha Harris, a junior double major, was among 73 students from across the nation named a 2016 HBCU All-Star by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Aug. 19. This is the third consecutive year that a TSU student has been selected for this prestigious honor. The HBCU All-Stars comprise undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are being recognized for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, and civic engagement.



President Barack Obama greets members of TSU's Aristocrat of Bands.


TSU makes history with band's White House performance and opening of new Smithsonian Museum

Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands made history becoming the first historically black college/university band to perform for the Obama administration at the White House. The band was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture andperformed to an audience of who’s who celebrities Sept. 23 on the south lawn. They included music icon Quincy Jones, former basketball star Kobe Bryant, and Hollywood celebrities Debbie Allen and Samuel L. Jackson, just to name a few. There were also dignitaries and current and former government officials, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. To view highlights of the performance, visit TSU's homepage at www.tnstate.edu

The museum is a 400,000-square-foot building, sitting next to the Washington Monument. It contains artifacts and collections donated by families, individuals, and institutions, including Tennessee State University. TSU donated gold medals, championship trophies and track cleats, as well as photographs and portraits of TSU trailblazers and coaches from the university’s rich athletic history, including legendary TSU Track and Field Coach Ed Temple. Memorabilia was also donated by alumnae Wilma Rudolph's family and current TSU Track and Field Director, Coach Chandra Cheesborough-Guice.


TSU remembers legendary track and field Coach Edward S. Temple

Hundreds of people attended a memorial service for legendary track and field coach Edward S. Temple, a man heavily praised, mainly for being a game changer during a Sept. 30 service in the university’s Kean Hall. 

Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89. Among those attending his service were Temple’s daughter, Edwina; Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; and a number of Temple’s famed Tigerbelles as well as representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the United States of America Track and Field Association.

Temple was head of TSU’s women’s track and field program from 1950 to 1994. Under his coaching, the Tigerbelles won 23 Olympic medals. In all, he led more than 40 athletes to the Olympics. His athletes also accumulated more than 30 national titles.


Tom Joyner partnership to increase STEM teachers

Tennessee's two largest school districts could see an increase in math, biology and chemistry teachers thanks to a partnership between Tennessee State University and nationally-syndicated radio host Tom Joyner.

The initiative encourages community college graduates to attend TSU and teach in Memphis and Nashville after graduation. The partnership seeks to get more students interested in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. It will offer full scholarships to students graduating from five Tennessee community colleges: Southwest Tennessee, Nashville State, Volunteer State, Motlow State, and Columbia State. The Tom Joyner Foundation will provide 75 percent of the scholarship funds, and the rest will come from the NSF funded Tiger Teach Initiative and TSU’s Office of Community College Initiatives.




101-year-old former cheerleader featured as ABC World News Tonight's 'Person of the Week'

Burnece Walker Brunson, a 101-year-old Tennessee State University alumna and former member of the then-Tennessee A&I College cheerleading squad in 1934, was featured as ABC World News Tonight’s “Person of the Week” on Oct. 21. She also served as co-grand marshal during the university's Homecoming festivities in October.

To see the ABC News Person of the Week segment, visit goo.gl/tkUYm7.


TSU, Google partner to help prepare computer science students for the workforce

Tennessee State University and Google partnered to help students prepare for a competitive workforce.   

TSU is one of 10 historically black colleges and universities participating in the Google-in-Residence Program, which uses Google engineers to teach introductory computer science classes, as well as help students further develop soft and technical skills.




Wall Street Journal lists TSU among top 10 HBCUs

The Wall Street Journal listed Tennessee State University among its top 10 historically black colleges and universities.

The WSJ/THE College Rankings, which ranked TSU 10th, was released Nov. 21 and uses categories such as academic resources and graduate outcomes to determine rankings.



TSU nursing students are earning degrees in the nation's No.2 ranked program.


TSU graduate nursing program ranked No. 2 in nation

Tennessee State University's Master of Science in Nursing degree has been ranked No. 2 among the "50 Best Graduate Nursing Schools in America."

Top Master’s in Healthcare Administration conducted the ranking of the 2016 Best Schools, citing flexible scheduling, highly qualified faculty, and extremely reasonable tuition as factors that helped TSU to achieve the high ranking.




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