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Scotts recognized for devotion to chemistry department (+VIDEO)

More than a half-century of devoted service and giving to the university at which they attended, worked and still love as alumni has come full circle for Dan and Margaret Scott.

MTSU honored the longtime contributors and Murfreesboro residents with the naming of the “Dr. Dan and Margaret Scott Chemistry Department Office” May 29 during a ceremony attended by dozens of supporters on the second floor of the Science Building’s Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium.

MTSU officials said the Scotts were chosen because of their significant contributions of both time and money to MTSU and because of their impact on the university. Following the ceremony, a sign with their name was unveiled in the chemistry department’s office area on the third floor.

Dan and Margaret Scott, Murfreesboro residents, MTSU alumni and retired university faculty members in chemistry and the James E. Walker Library, respectively, unveil the sign placed in their honor on the third floor of the Science Building naming the “Dr. Dan and Margaret Scott Chemistry Department Office.” (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Murfreesboro residents Dan and Margaret Scott, MTSU alumni and retired university faculty members in chemistry and the James E. Walker Library, respectively, unveil the sign May 29 that was placed in their honor on the third floor of the Science Building naming the “Dr. Dan and Margaret Scott Chemistry Department Office.” (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Dan Scott served as department chair for 11 of his 37 years in higher education before retiring as professor emeritus in 1992. Margaret Scott retired as an associate professor in collection management – acquisitions in the James E. Walker Library in ’92.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Dan and Margaret for their service and many years of support to the university,” said Joe Bales, vice president for university advancement.

“Naming the department office is a fitting tribute to a couple who have given so much to MTSU, the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and the chemistry department.”

Joe Bales

Joe Bales

Dan Scott, a 1950 graduate of then Middle Tennessee State College, said he was very thankful for the recognition.

“It makes me think everything I did all 37 years was recognized,” he said. “It’s quite an honor, and I appreciate it and thank everybody involved. I just enjoyed my years at MTSU, and I tried to help in every way I can.”

Margaret Scott, who earned her bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from MTSU, said it is “an honor to be recognized for contributions we’ve made in the past.”

Former MTSU President Sam Ingram recognized the couple for their academic and philanthropic efforts and their friendship through the years.

“Here are two people that have given the better part of their productive careers helping MTSU become what it is today. And they’ve done it gladly, happily,” said Ingram, who led the university from 1979 to 1989. “They are both responsible people. You give them a job to do, then just get out of the way … and the job will be done.

“They’re student-oriented. They understand that higher ed is not about what the institution can do for faculty and administrators,” Ingram continued, “but whether or not it can achieve the mission it has, and that is to take students who are eligible to attend and give them the information, skills and knowledge they need to be more successful adults and human beings in life.”

From left to right, former MTSU President Sam Ingram, chemistry department Chair Greg Van Patten, Margaret and Dan Scott, and Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer pose for a photo following a ceremony honoring the Scotts’ contributions to the MTSU chemistry department through the years. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Former MTSU President Sam Ingram, left, chemistry department chair Greg Van Patten, Margaret and Dan Scott, and Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer pose for a photo following a May 29 ceremony honoring the Scotts’ contributions to the MTSU chemistry department through the years.

College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer said the college “is grateful for the Scott family’s longtime generosity to the chemistry department and looks forward to continuing our relationship with them.”

“The unique combination of excellence and selfless service by our partners, like the Scott family, is what sets Middle Tennessee State University apart as a unique institution in America,” Fischer added.

Reflecting back on his university career, Dan Scott recalled that the former Soviet Union’s October 1957 Sputnik 1 launch pushed the U.S. government and the National Science Foundation to strengthen science education.

MTSC accelerated its science education efforts through NSF-funded grants.

Scott and his fellow faculty members moved into Davis Science Building in 1967; “Us old-timers still call it the ‘new science building,’” he said.

An alumnus and a retired department chairman and faculty member, he witnessed the opening of the $147 million Science Building last August. The Scotts assisted with the Department of Chemistry’s move-in expenses.

Both love the Blue Raiders. With season tickets, he attends all football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball games. The Dan D. Scott Endowed Scholarship for chemistry majors was established in 2008.

Margaret Scott received the King-Hampton Award in 1993 for significant contributions to the advancement of women at MTSU. She is a member of the longstanding Dames Club and bridge and sewing groups.

“Margaret was a very kind mentor to me when I started at MTSU in 1984 and helped me to get involved both on and off-campus,” said Sharon Parente, Walker Library assistant professor. “I remember her being a member of numerous campus and civic organizations. She was highly professional and an excellent role model.”

In addition to MTSU administrators, staff and faculty, a number of Scott family members and friends attended the event. The Scotts have three children and four grandchildren.

Currently chaired by Dr. Greg Van Patten, the Department of Chemistry is one of 11 departments in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. Learn more at www.mtsu.edu/programs/chemistry.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu) and Jimmy Hart (Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu)

http://youtu.be/HhVS_81TD04

Alumnus takes agricultural life abroad on ‘MTSU On the Record’

An MTSU alumnus who is trying to help drought-stricken farmers in India will be the guest on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Aaron Shew

Aaron Shew

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Aaron Shew will air from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, June 1, and from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 7, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Shew, a Murfreesboro, Tennessee, native who graduated from MTSU in 2011 with bachelor’s degrees in global studies and international relations, has received a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship as a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas.

The three-year grant will support Shew’s research into changing drought patterns across India and the implications for agriculture production and agrarian communities. Shew said his work will include several trips to India.

Aaron Shew, who graduated from MTSU in 2011, enjoys lunch with colleagues in Mazar, Afghanistan, in this file photo. Shew worked for SALT, a nonprofit organization, teaching the Kurdish people how to grow soybeans, and has received a three-year National Science Foundation research grant to help farmers in India. (photo submitted)

“I just spent a year in India studying Hindi,” Shew said. “For me, graduate school is research. It is a lot of data and computer work. But all of that, to me, seems useless if I can’t talk to the farmer on the ground and have some impact at that level.”

At MTSU, Shew received an MTSU study-abroad grant in 2008 and a critical languages scholarship in 2009 and 2010, as well as the Harry Horne International Relations Scholarship. While at MTSU, his studies took him to Thailand, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Mexico and India.

Upon graduating from MTSU, Shew worked for SALT International, a nonprofit organization that assists farmers in developing countries. He helped farmers in northern Iraq and Afghanistan learn how to grow and process soybeans.

In 2013, Shew received the Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Arkansas to pursue a doctoral degree in environmental dynamics. He completed his master’s degree in geography, learning about the applications of geographic information systems in assessing food insecurity issues.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

Study-abroad group honors fallen MTSU alumnus in Vietnam (+VIDEO)

Members of an MTSU study-abroad course remembered a fallen alumnus recently on the site where he gave his life during an infamous battle in the Vietnam War.

History professor Derek Frisby and a small group of students in his course, “Warfare and Public Memory in Vietnam,” visited Hill 937 in Vietnam’s A Shau Valley just days before American’s remembered fallen soldiers during Memorial Day observances.

Dr. Derek Frisby

Dr. Derek Frisby

It was nicknamed “Hamburger Hill” in the media for the seemingly futile nature of the assault by the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Fought May 10-20, 1969, the Battle of Hamburger Hill was a direct assault against what turned out to be a strategically insignificant hill heavily defended by the North Vietnamese. The result was more than 400 U.S. casualties and outrage back home.

“It was a major turning point in the war both militarily and politically,” said Frisby, whose course is taught through the MTSU College of Liberal Arts’ Global Studies and Cultural Geography program and the Office of International Affairs.

One of the soldiers who died in the battle was U.S. Army Spc. Jerry Michael Lovell, a 22-year-old from Shelbyville, Tennessee, who was killed May 18, 1969. Frisby and five students climbed the hill recently to pay tribute to Lovell, who attended MTSU in 1964.

http://youtu.be/pK26XgKChA4

“Students in this class do more than just learn about conflicts and culture, they experience it,” Frisby said. “I can tell you that during the arduous ascent of Hill 937 … everyone has a new found respect for those in the 101st Airborne who made that assault.”

According to Frisby, his course “is an interdisciplinary course comprised of students exploring warfare and culture from their major field of study as well as the long-term struggles for Indochina. The students travel alongside veterans to the war’s battlefields and historic sites and get firsthand accounts of the veterans experience during the war.”

The program’s goal is to broaden students’ perspectives on global warfare and conflict, and when possible, students visit the sites where MTSU alumni fell. To date, Frisby’s course has taken students to Iwo Jima, Peleliu, Guam, Western Europe and Vietnam. It will travel to Sicily and Italy in July.

This map shows the location of the Battle of Hamburger Hill during May 1969 on Hill 937 in Vietnam.

This map shows the location of the Battle of Hamburger Hill during May 1969 on Hill 937 in Vietnam.

“We have taken over 150 students and members of the campus community to locations around the world to explore the connections between conflict and culture in the initiation, conduct and remembrance of warfare,” Frisby said.

He added that his course also attempts to make local connections by researching surviving and fallen veterans and visiting the places where they served. His class sometimes travels with veterans, particularly on the Vietnam excursions.

On several occasions, his groups have encountered the former enemy veterans and discussed their experiences as well. For example, his group again met a group of former North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong veterans at Khe Sanh this year.

“We do more than just learn about events in these programs, we experience the culture and history of these areas as well,” he said.

Any students, veterans or campus community members interested in participating can contact Frisby via email at Derek.Frisby@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU history professor Dr. Derek Frisby, at right holding sign, is leading a study-abroad group in Vietnam. From left to right, students Tim Chitpanya, Jonathan Essaff, Nathan Abelt, Frisby, and student Austin Duke pose for a photo on Hill 937, known as ÒHamburger HillÓ in Vietnam's A Shau Valley. MTSU alumnus Jerry Michael Lovell of Shelbyville, Tenn., was killed May 18, 1969, during the Battle of Hamburger Hill in which members of the U.S. ArmyÕs 101st Airborne Division assaulted the hill against stiff enemy resistance. Frisby said Lovell was killed about 800 meters behind where the group is standing. (MTSU photo by Sean Martin)

MTSU history professor Dr. Derek Frisby, at right holding sign, is leading a study-abroad group in Vietnam. From left to right, students Tim Chitpanya, Jonathan Essaff, Nathan Abelt, Frisby, and student Austin Duke pose for a photo on Hill 937, known as ÒHamburger HillÓ in Vietnam’s A Shau Valley. MTSU alumnus Jerry Michael Lovell of Shelbyville, Tenn., was killed May 18, 1969, during the Battle of Hamburger Hill in which members of the U.S. ArmyÕs 101st Airborne Division assaulted the hill against stiff enemy resistance. Frisby said Lovell was killed about 800 meters behind where the group is standing. (MTSU photo by Sean Martin)

MTSU recognizes top mass comm alumni, students with honors

Top students past and present were the focus of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication April 24 awards ceremony as leaders added three prominent alumni to the college’s “Wall of Fame” and presented student scholarships and awards for this academic year.

Mass Comm logo croppedElectronic media communication alumnus Lewis Harkness, recording industry graduate Lacy Privette and journalism alumnus Jim Ridley joined 76 fellow mass communication leaders on the college’s Wall of Fame. Almost 100 current students also were recognized for their scholastic accomplishments.

The program for the celebration, which includes a complete list of all student honorees as well as full bios of the Wall of Fame inductees, is available here.

The Wall of Fame honor began in 2000 as a way to honor successful mass-communication graduates and inspire current students to continue working toward their goals. Each of the college’s three departments submits an honoree for consideration each year, and the Wall of Fame ceremony then becomes a part of the college’s annual awards day for students.

Lewis Harkness

Lewis Harkness

Harkness, currently a director for ESPN, began his broadcasting career during his senior year at MTSU, 1993, when he began working as an intern for WKRN-TV in Nashville. Since then, he’s won five Emmy Awards for his news, special events and technical direction.

The Harriman, Tennessee, native’s ESPN credits include “Sport Center,” “Mike and Mike,” “NBA Tonight,” “The Herd” and “SVP & Rusillo,” and in 2014 he directed the launch for ESPN’s new SEO Network in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he continues today.

Lacy Privette

Lacy Privette

Privette, a 1997 recording industry graduate, has spent most of his career with Yamaha Corp. of America, where he’s moved up the ranks from an award-winning district sales manager in the Pro Audio and Combo Division to serve as director of the company’s Steinberg North America department.

At Steinberg, Privette markets music production software, including Cubase 4, VST instruments, Nuendo and WaveLab, used in digital audio workstations and software synthesizers to clients in the United States and Canada from Yamaha’s Yorba Linda, California, offices.

JIm Ridley

JIm Ridley

Ridley, a Murfreesboro native who earned his MTSU journalism degree in 1989, was writing movie and book reviews for local newspapers even before he graduated high school. His talent led to a freelance film-reviewing job for the fledgling alternative weekly Nashville Scene and regular contributions to The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, Variety and other publications.

The Scene soon brought Ridley on full time, where he rose to the positions of senior editor and managing editor before the publishers named him editor in 2009.

During the afternoon event inside MTSU’s James Union Building, MTSU’s School of Journalism also honored Sharon Fitzgerald with its top teaching award, the Ed Kimbrell Excellence in Teaching Award. Fitzgerald, a former reporter and public relations professional, has taught at MTSU since 1999.

One of the largest communication programs in the nation, the MTSU College of Mass Communication offers degree concentrations in 14 major areas — ranging from journalism to digital media and media management to recording industry management — and is accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

For more information about MTSU’s College of Mass Communication, visit www.mtsu.edu/masscomm.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Leadership principles strike right chords with MTSU students

A native of Brazil, where the official language is Portuguese, MTSU freshman transfer Barbara Popwell speaks English fluently.

MTSU alumna and guest speaker Paula Mansfield truly was speaking Popwell’s “language” when it comes to women in the business world April 10 during the Omicron Delta Kappa True Blue Leadership Day in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

The ODK True Blue Leadership Day highlights the core values of the “True Blue Pledge” by educating participants about multiple aspects of leadership.

The University Honors College invites noted representatives from a variety of professions to share their leadership experiences with more than 100 MTSU students.

MTSU alumna and Murfreesboro businesswoman Paula Mansfield shares about successful strategies for women in the workforce April 10 during the annual Omicron Delta Kappa True Blue Leadership Day in the Simmons Amphitheatre of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. Mansfield is a senior vice president with First Tennessee Bank. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

MTSU alumna and Murfreesboro businesswoman Paula Mansfield shares about successful strategies for women in the workforce April 10 during the annual Omicron Delta Kappa True Blue Leadership Day in the Simmons Amphitheatre of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. Mansfield is a senior vice president with First Tennessee Bank. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

In addition to Mansfield, other speakers included Keith M. Huber, MTSU’s new senior adviser for Veterans and Leadership Initiatives; Tara S. Singer, executive director of the Lexington, Virginia-based Omicron Delta Kappa Society Inc.; John H. Henderson, an attorney with the firm Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC in Evansville, Indiana; and Metrick M. Houser, supply chain manager for International Paper.

ODK logo cropped“I have a passion about women speaking,” Popwell, 22, told Mansfield, a Murfreesboro resident and senior vice president in community banking with First Tennessee Bank.

Mansfield had just shared successful strategies for women in the workforce and was about to return to her job when she passed by Popwell in a hallway.

“She talked about career goal-setting,” added Popwell, a management major in the Jones College of Business. “It was very inspirational. Women want to get things done, and the number of things she’s involved in on campus is really amazing. That makes me want to help others.”

Mansfield, the 2014-15 MTSU National Alumni Association president, also advised her audience to develop a network and understand their strengths.

Lihe Jiang, a visiting scholar from China in the MTSU Department of Biology and one of only a handful of men taking in Mansfield’s talk, said he found it “very interesting, instructive and beneficial for my career.”

Hoping to embark on her own military career, Tiffany Graziano, 26, an MTSU graduate student in management from Nashville, totally was taken in during the “Leadership from a Military Foxhole” talk by Huber, a retired U.S. Army three-star general who spent 38 years in service to his country.

Keith M. Huber, a retired U.S. Army three-star general, visits with a married couple who heard him speak at the ODK True Blue Experience Day April 10 in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building’s Simmons Amphitheatre.

Keith M. Huber, a retired U.S. Army three-star general, visits with a married couple who heard him speak at the ODK True Blue Experience Day April 10 in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building’s Simmons Amphitheatre.

“It was very moving and inspirational,” Graziano said. “It inspired me to realize communication is the key and to come at people at the human-interpersonal level, rather than a computer or text message.”

Graziano hopes to become an Army dietician.

A food science major that plans to study pre-med, Nausheen Qureshi, 19, of Murfreesboro, said Huber “gave a very unique perspective of how the military changed his life, both as a civilian and being in the military. Leadership is part of your daily activity.”

“What touched me is that in being a leader, everything comes down to face-to-face human contact,” Qureshi added.

Using movie clips and costumes, Singer provided a special perspective for leadership with “Starships, Ball Gowns and Hangovers: Leadership Lessons from Movies.” She incorporated famous lines from “Star Trek,” “Apollo 13,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Flight” and “The Hangover” into her presentation.

Henderson discussed “Using Passion and Civility to Make a Difference in Your Community.” Houser, a member of the Honors College Board of Visitors, closed the event, discussing “Building True Blue Leadership — A Reflection on Opportunities.”

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

Alumni Spring Weekend is topic of recent ‘MTSU On the Record’ (+VIDEO)

As Middle Tennessee State University’s alumni prepared to renew their relationship with their alma mater, the “MTSU On the Record” radio program outlined the agenda for Alumni Spring Weekend.

Paul Wydra

Paul Wydra

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Paul Wydra, assistant director of alumni relations, first aired April 13 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ). You can listen to their conversation here.

The annual Alumni Spring Weekend, slated for April 16-19, includes numerous activities designed to help MTSU graduates familiarize themselves with the changes on campus and reacquaint themselves with former classmates and professors.

“We want them to be proud of their university and all of the great new buildings and programs on campus,” Wydra said. “I think all that can do is build that relationship back up.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com/ontherecord/.

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

A video clip of the interview is available below.

http://youtu.be/popiOx4nPw8

Event-filled MTSU Alumni Spring Weekend includes variety

Alumni and friends of MTSU have many event options for the fourth annual Alumni Spring Weekend Friday through Sunday, April 17-19, across campus and several off-campus venues.

Now in its fourth year, Alumni Spring Weekend is held to let alumni, their families and MTSU friends return for a weekend of campus activities and discover the university’s growth.

There will be tours and open houses, lectures, reunions, food, meet-and-greets, celebrations and more — plus some football and soccer action added for good measure. Phillips Bookstore’s 20 percent off coupon and the Campus Recreation Center’s one-day pass are available through the alumni office.

In this 2014 photo, MTSU student ambassadors register Don and Hanna Witherspoon for last April’s Alumni Spring Weekend in the lobby of the Student Union Building. (Alumni Relations submitted photo)

In this 2014 photo, MTSU student ambassadors register Don and Hanna Witherspoon for last April’s Alumni Spring Weekend in the lobby of the Student Union Building. (Alumni Relations submitted photo)

For more information and the full schedule of events, visit http://www.mtalumni.com.

It will be a family-friendly atmosphere for all who attend.

“We want alumni and friends of the university to bring their families,” said Paul Wydra, MTSU Office of Alumni Relations assistant director. “It will be a time when they can show off their campus and see new buildings and the exciting things taking place on campus.”

Children will enjoy a special treat as families can attend an after-hours visit to the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, 502 SE Broad St., in Murfreesboro, from 6 to 8 p.m. April 17. This requires an RSVP by calling 615-898-2922 or email alumni@mtsu.edu.

A trip to Murfreesboro Airport, 1930 Memorial Blvd., and the MTSU Flight Operations Center and aerospace technology in the Business and Aerospace Building will be another tour children will be find interesting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 18.

With some exceptions, most events lead to the Blue Raider’ Blue and White spring game at 1 p.m. April 18 in Floyd Stadium. Fans will observe coach Rick Stockstill’s 2015 team for the first time.

In addition to aerospace, tours will include Campus Recreation, the College of Graduate Studies in the Ingram Building, Alumni House, Albert Gore Research Center, the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience milk processing plant, Science Building, Centers for Innovation in Media and Popular Music in Mass Communication, the Baldwin Photographic Gallery and a campus bus tour.

MT alumni logo webEvents will be held to celebrate pending retirements for Ron Ferrara, longtime aerospace faculty member and department chair; and professors Deborah Anderson and Crosby Hunt, veteran faculty members in the Department of Speech and Theatre.

An aerospace alumni cookout to celebrate Ferrara’s retirement will be held starting at 4:30 p.m. April 17 in the Donald McDonald Hangar at the airport. RSVP by April 15 to mtalumni.com/aerospacereunion or call 800-533-6878.

An event to celebrate the retirements of Anderson and Hunt will start at 1 p.m. April 18 in the studio theater (BDA Room 101) in the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building.

April 18 food options include the Land of Milk and Honey Alumni Breakfast for all alumni and guests from 8 a.m. to noon behind the Stark Agriculture Building (call Debbie Strobel at 615-898-2523 or email Debbie.Strobel@mtsu.edu to register) and the Alumni Spring Weekend Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union Building’s Blue Raider Grill (call 615-898-2922 or email alumni@mtsu.edu to register).

The seventh annual Alpha Delta Pi-Athlon — a 300-meter swim, 10-mile bike ride and 3.14-mile run, all on the MTSU campus — and two free School of Music events at 3 and 7 p.m., respectively, conclude the weekend’s activities.

For more information, call 615-898-2922 or visit the alumni website.

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

 

Former student recalls missions during Cuban Missile Crisis (+VIDEO)

The leader of the aviation squadron whose surveillance flights over Cuba helped avert nuclear war told an MTSU audience the previously untold story behind the missions.

With a map showing Cuba’s proximity to the United States in the background, retired U.S. Air Force Col. William “Greg” Gregory explains the mission of his reconnaissance pilots during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis to an audience at MTSU April 2. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

With a map showing Cuba’s proximity to the United States in the background, retired U.S. Air Force Col. William “Greg” Gregory explains the mission of his reconnaissance pilots during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis to an audience at MTSU April 2. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. William J. “Greg” Gregory, a veteran of more than 30 years of military service, spoke April 2 to a packed room at MTSU’s Todd Building.

The 93-year-old Gregory flew his first airplane as an MTSU student in 1940, but World War II interrupted his academic career when he was a junior.

After volunteering for the U.S. Army Air Corps, Gregory flew missions over North Africa and Europe.

Following the postwar creation of the U.S. Air Force, Gregory served as commander of a squadron of U-2 pilots who identified the buildup of Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962. He said the makeup of the squadron was “one of a kind.”

“I had more civilians than I did military, although I did have Air Force officers and NCOs (noncommissioned officers) and enlisted personnel,” Gregory said. “I had a lot of CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) civilians that were in charge of security and communications.”

The rest of the squadron included civilian pilots and Lockheed mechanics, four British officers, a flight planner, a physician and a Navy lieutenant commander.

That “one-of-a-kind” squadron took the photographs that confirmed the presence of Soviet missiles only 90 miles from American soil, prompting an international diplomatic showdown that tested President John F. Kennedy’s leadership.

“President Kennedy deserves a lot of credit for avoiding this war, because we really could have had a terrible situation if we had knocked out those missiles,” said Gregory.

“I think they (the Soviets) certainly would have fired back.”

Gregory served for more than three decades in the U.S. Air Force as a commander and pilot. Even though he did not graduate, he maintains close ties to MTSU, even creating a scholarship for students from Trousdale and Macon counties.

He retired from active duty in 1975 and worked for 15 years as assistant director of workers’ compensation in the Texas attorney general’s office.

Gregory’s visit was part of the College of Liberal Arts Military Lecture Series. For more information, contact Connie Huddleston at connie.huddleston@mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

http://youtu.be/2AWZ9qqEvzg

Attorney alumnus Dagley to answer questions at MTSU roundtable April 9

MTSU alumnus Michael Dagley will discuss his legal career and answer questions from students and the public Thursday, April 9, at the annual Dr. Frank Essex Practitioners Roundtable.

Set from 1 to 2 p.m. April 9 in Room 106, the Simmons Amphitheatre, of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building, the yearly event brings MTSU alumni and other members of the legal community to campus to speak on pre-law career opportunities as well as their own education and experience in the field.

Michael Dagley

Michael Dagley

The roundtable discussion is presented by the MTSU Department of Political Science and is open to students in all majors as well as the rest of the campus community. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Dagley, who is a partner in the Nashville law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims, graduated magna cum laude from MTSU in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1981. During his time at MTSU, he was president of the university Honors Council as well as a member of the MTSU Debate Hall of Fame.

During his 33-year legal career, Dagley has specialized in representing clients in securities litigation, class actions, shareholder derivative actions and merger and acquisitions. He’s most recently worked on behalf of hospital and healthcare systems with software failures and has defended numerous Nashville healthcare companies on contractual disputes as well as advising on healthcare fraud, False Claims Act matters and government investigations.

Dagley has been included in the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” list and has been named among the “Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Lawyers in Tennessee” by the Best Lawyers peer-review publication. In the last five years alone, he’s won eight multimillion-dollar contingency cases, including one of more than $100 million.

The Frank Essex Practitioners Roundtable honors Dr. Frank W. Essex, professor emeritus in political science at the university. He taught at MTSU for 27 years and retired in 1993, serving during his career and continuing to serve as a mentor to many in political office as well as attorneys and judges in Tennessee and elsewhere.

For more information about the annual Frank Essex Practitioners Roundtable, contact the MTSU Department of Political Science at 615-898-2708.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Aviation ace recalls WWII, Cold War service on ‘MTSU On the Record’

A sharecropper’s son who flew into the pages of history will be the guest on the next edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with retired Col. William “Greg” Gregory will air from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Sunday, March 29, on WMOT-FM (89.5 and www.wmot.org ).

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. William "Greg" Gregory, an MTSU alumnus, pauses for a photo near the university's airplane fleet at Murfreesboro Airport in this 2013 file photo. Gregory is the guest on the March 23 and 29 editions of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. William “Greg” Gregory, an MTSU alumnus, pauses for a photo near the university’s airplane fleet at Murfreesboro Airport in this 2013 file photo. Gregory is the guest on the March 29 edition of the “MTSU On the Record” radio program. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

The aviation ace will speak about his extraordinary career at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in Room 204 of the Todd Building on campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Gregory, who flew his first airplane as an MTSU student in 1940, went on to fly missions over North Africa and Europe in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

After the creation of the U.S. Air Force, Gregory commanded a squadron of U-2 pilots who flew reconnaissance missions over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

The photographs these pilots took confirmed the presence of Soviet-made nuclear missiles in Cuba, only 90 miles from the American continent. The pictures and information they obtained helped inform the decisions made by President John F. Kennedy, his cabinet and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“It was really a tense time and hard to realize how close we came to going to war,” said Gregory. “Kennedy’s staff was about equally divided between the half that wanted to knock out the missiles immediately and the other half that wanted to reason with (Soviet Premier Nikita) Khrushchev.”

Though Gregory never graduated from MTSU because he joined the Army in his junior year, he has remained a solid supporter of the university, establishing a scholarship to MTSU for students from either Trousdale or Macon counties.

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