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Ninth Alumni Summer College offers attendees ‘Food for Thought’

For former MTSU students and university friends planning to attend the ninth Alumni Summer College in June, the best advice is to come hungry and hurry before the class fills up.

Alumni Summer College graphic

Click on the image for registration information.

The deadline to register is Friday, May 20, but space is very limited, and Rhonda King, alumni relations assistant director, is urging “students” not to wait too late.

This year, the theme is “Food for Thought” — a tasty sampler of production, preparation and consumption of what we eat. Field trips for the 2016 event, which will be held June 22-24, include:

  • The Grove at Williamson Place, owned and operated by alumni John L. (Class of 1974) and Melissa (’75) Batey and Brandon (’02) and Katherine (’01) Batey Whitt at Batey Farms in the Blackman community, located west of Murfreesboro.
  • Cracker Barrel headquarters in Lebanon, Tennessee, where class members will see behind-the-scenes at one of America’s favorite restaurants.
  • Goodness Gracious at the Mill in Readyville, Tennessee, where owner Karen Ford and alumna daughter Danielle Worrell (’04) will discuss their catering and restaurant business.
  • Short Mountain Distillery in Cannon County, where owner Billy Kaufman will introduce attendees to moonshiners from yesteryear.

Hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations, Alumni Summer College has become an annual tradition for bringing alumni and university friends back to campus for fun and “edutainment,” as King calls it.

Short Mountain Distillery near Woodbury, Tennessee, has become internationally recognized in only five years’ time. MTSU Alumni Summer College attendees will meet local legends of moonshine from another era. (Photo from shortmountaindistillery.com)

Short Mountain Distillery near Woodbury, Tennessee, has become internationally recognized in only five years’ time. MTSU Alumni Summer College attendees will meet local legends of moonshine from another era. (Photo courtesy ShortMountainDistillery.com)

Tuition is $250 per person, which includes the classes, field trips, tour admissions, meals and coach bus travel. To learn more, visit www.mtalumni.com or call Alumni Relations at 615-898-2922.

“Alumni Summer College is a highlight of the attendees’ summer,” King said. “It feels like a summer camp atmosphere. My favorite thing is getting to be a part of the relationships built among class members.

“Alumni Summer College is so much more than going to class. You get to share a camaraderie with fellow Blue Raiders. It provides an insider’s view of things not only going on at the university, but with fields and industry surrounding the theme.”

Dr. Doug Winborn, chair of the MTSU Health and Human Performance department, will help kick off the class schedule with “The 12 Primary Ingredients of Health.”

MTSU Alumni Summer College participants will visit the décor warehouse during their field trip to Cracker Barrel corporate headquarters in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo from crackerbarrel.com)

MTSU Alumni Summer College participants will visit the décor warehouse during their field trip to Cracker Barrel corporate headquarters in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo courtesy CrackerBarrel.com)

King said Winborn will share how “feeding your mind, body and spirit are essential to produce a happy and healthy outlook.”

MTSU alumna Tammy Algood of Smyrna, Tennessee, one of the top nutritionists in Tennessee and cookbook and magazine author, will deliver “Grandmother’s Sunday Dinner … Millennial Style (and Minus the Lard for Cooking Fried Chicken)” in another class.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s spokeswoman for its Pick Tennessee Products campaign earned her master’s degree in education from MTSU in 1994.

A third class features Dr. Tony Johnston from the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience bringing “Sizzling Issues in Food Production.”

His segment will feature how to stay safe and healthy when eating prepared foods such as ice cream and in restaurants.

One other field trip will feature the Lane Agri-Park for the Rutherford County Farmers Market, where participants can see, shop and meet vendors from more than 20 Middle Tennessee counties.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)