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MTSU closes May 30 for Memorial Day holiday; classes resume May 31

MTSU will be closed Monday, May 30, for the Memorial Day holiday. All offices will be closed and no summer term classes will be held.

Army-monument72

An American flag decorates one of the concrete planters representing U.S. Army veterans at MTSU’s Veterans Memorial. Each of the military branches are represented at the site in front of the Tom Jackson Building.

Offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 31. All summer term classes will resume at their regular times May 31; June term classes will begin that day.

The Student Union, Campus Recreation Center, Student Health Services, Campus Pharmacy, Keathley University Center and James Union Building will be closed Saturday through Monday, May 28-30, for an extended holiday weekend.

The James E. Walker Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 28, but closed May 29-30. It reopens at 7 a.m. May 31.

For ARAMARK/MT Dining hours of operation, visit http://mtsu.campusdish.com and click on “Locations.”

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

Stay safer this summer with MTSU’s free rape-defense classes

Safety-conscious women on and around the MTSU campus can have a RAD summer — and future — by taking the MTSU Police Department’s newest five-week session of free Rape Aggression Defense classes.

This summer 2016 course is set each Monday beginning June 6 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is open to all female MTSU students, faculty and staff, along with the general public.

A Rape Aggression Defense Systems instructor, wearing the red protective gear, tangles with a student during a RAD course after she knocks another instructor to the ground. The MTSU University Police Department has set a new five-week RAD course beginning Monday, June 6. (Photo courtesy of R.A.D. Systems)

A Rape Aggression Defense Systems instructor, wearing red protective gear, tangles with a student during a RAD course after she knocks another instructor to the ground. The MTSU Police Department has set a new five-week RAD course beginning Monday, June 6. (Photo courtesy of R.A.D. Systems)

The course concludes Tuesday, July 5, after one Monday off for the July 4 holiday. Organizers say that participants must attend all five sessions to ensure that they receive proper training.

The Rape Aggression Defense System is a comprehensive program of realistic defense tactics and techniques for women that emphasizes awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training.

Nationally certified RAD instructors teach MTSU’s free course.

RAD color logo webThe program is designed for women age 13 and older with no previous experience or background in physical skills training. Instructors will work to accommodate any physical impairment a participant may have.

Class size is limited for this new summer course, so the MTSU Police Department is encouraging interested parties to enroll as soon as possible.

Participants should email their names and contact information to rad@mtsu.edu. Instructors will call or email participants with more details about enrollment and the class location.

For more information about MTSU’s RAD classes, send an email to rad@mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

 

MTSU, University of Memphis to shine 1st spotlight on 1866 massacre

MEMPHIS — MTSU and the University of Memphis will co-sponsor the first public recognition of the historic impact of the 1866 rampage against African-Americans in Memphis.

This illustration depicting the 1866 attack on black Memphians was published in the May 26, 1866, edition of “Harper’s Weekly” magazine. MTSU and the University of Memphis s co-sponsoring the first public discussion of the "Memphis Massacre" in a May 20-21 symposium.

This illustration depicting the 1866 attack on black Memphians was published in the May 26, 1866, edition of “Harper’s Weekly” magazine. MTSU and the University of Memphis s co-sponsoring the first public discussion of the “Memphis Massacre” in a May 20-21 symposium.

“Memories of a Massacre: Memphis in 1866, a Symposium Exploring Slavery, Emancipation and Reconstruction” will take place May 20 and 21 at the University of Memphis in the University Center Theater, located at 499 University St. on the Memphis campus.

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area is providing partial funding for this free public event.

MTSU’s Teaching with Primary Sources program, which is administered by the university’s Center for Historic Preservation, joined with the University of Memphis to lead a teacher workshop on the subject in April.

CHP logo webHistorians will examine a three-day siege of murder, rape and property destruction that devastated black Memphians from May 1 through May 3, 1866. White police officers, firefighters and businessmen initially targeted former Union soldiers, but the violence expanded to encompass schools, churches and houses.

By the time federal military authorities declared martial law across Memphis, at least 46 blacks and two whites were dead. Another 70 to 80 others were wounded, and at least five black women had been raped.

More than 100 people had been robbed. Four churches, 12 schools and 91 houses had been burned.

Lydia Simpson

Lydia Simpson

Dr. Antoinette Van Zelm

Dr. Antoinette Van Zelm

Robert K. Sutton

Robert K. Sutton

“As part of our mission to tell the whole story of the Civil War in Tennessee, the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area recognizes the Memphis massacre as one of the defining moments in Civil War history that changed the course of Reconstruction policy and the shape of American citizenship,” said Lydia Simpson, programs manager for the CHP.

The Memphis massacre and similar violence a few months later in New Orleans convinced the U.S. Congress to enact tougher measures to protect civil rights in the aftermath of the Civil War.

“Reconstruction has gotten short shrift over the years, and this symposium will help to rectify that,” said Dr. Antoinette van Zelm, assistant director of the CHP.

Univ of Memphis wordmark webRobert K. Sutton, chief historian of the National Park Service, will deliver the keynote address at 6 p.m. Friday, May 20. Topics to be discussed during the two-day event include “Urban Battlegrounds: Reconstruction in Southern Cities,” “Race, Gender and Sexual Violence During the Memphis Massacre” and “From Emancipation to Abolition in Civil War Tennessee.”

For more information, contact Simpson or van Zelm at 615-898-2947 or visit www.memphis.edu/memphis-massacre.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

High school journalists: Register for summer ‘Innovation J-Camp’

High school journalists have a great opportunity to tackle hands-on assignments in the field by attending the 2016 “Innovation J-Camp” July 11-15 at the Center for Innovation in Media in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment.

Casey Chahine, left, a summer 2015 MTSU graduate and a former host at WMTS Radio, gets the in-studio paparazzi treatment from several members of the July 2015 Innovation J-Camp in the university's Center for Innovation in Media. J-Camper Eric Goodwin, who's now a senior at Murfreesboro's Central Magnet is next to Chahine, while J-Camper Hannah Tenpenny, now a junior at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, moves in for a close-up. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Innovation in Media)

Casey Chahine, left, a spring 2015 MTSU media management graduate and a former host at WMTS Radio, gets the in-studio paparazzi treatment from several members of the July 2015 Innovation J-Camp in the university’s Center for Innovation in Media. J-Camper Eric Goodwin, who’s now a senior at Murfreesboro’s Central Magnet, is next to Chahine, while J-Camper Hannah Tenpenny, now a junior at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, moves in for a close-up. (Photos courtesy of the Center for Innovation in Media)

Now in its second year, the weeklong workshop will teach young journalists to become innovative digital storytellers who are able to produce stories for multiple platforms, including video, Web, mobile and print.

Participants who’ll be in ninth through 12th grades this fall are eligible to attend. They’ll learn daily about news basics and new media platforms, then tackle assignments in the field with camp instructors.

By week’s end, each camper will post stories — complete with photos and videos —on a special website they’ll build and manage to showcase their multimedia project.

The cost of the five-day camp is $150 person, which covers all materials, equipment and lunches. The Center for Innovation in Media is located inside the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building on campus; a searchable campus map of MTSU, complete with parking details, is available at tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

The center, also known as the CIM, opened in 2012 and combines the newsrooms for Sidelines, MTSU’s student news site; WMTS-FM, the student radio station; Match Records, the student record label; and MT10 News, the student-operated cable television station. WMOT-FM, MTSU’s 100,000-watt National Public Radio affiliate, also is housed in the center.

Click the logo for registration information.

Click the logo for registration information.

The CIM enables students from all media disciplines to hone their skills under the same roof in a state-of-the-art facility. Center Director Val Hoeppner, who’s worked in digital, mobile and multiplatform journalism for more than 15 years, will serve as lead instructor for Innovation J-Camp.

You can see the 2015 J-campers’ projects at http://innovationjcamp.org/category/stories-from-2015-j-camp.

For information about the 2016 Innovation J-Camp, visit http://innovationjcamp.org or contact Hoeppner at val.hoeppner@MTSU.edu. For more information about MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Michael Vogt, a junior at Central Magnet School, and Haley Perkins, a Blackman High School sophomore, check some of the video they shot on campus during the July 2015 Innovation J-Camp at MTSU.

Michael Vogt, a junior at Central Magnet School, and Haley Perkins, a Blackman High School sophomore, check some of the video they shot on campus during the July 2015 Innovation J-Camp at MTSU.

Register now for fun, 5-day foreign language courses at MTSU

There’s still time to learn to converse in a foreign language in only a week this summer through fun courses again offered at Middle Tennessee State University.

Registration is open now for the 13th annual Summer Language Institute. The classes are taught by MTSU’s Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition, or CALA, which is the language-training center of the MTSU Honors College.

This year’s institute offers five-day accelerated language courses for residents age 13 and up in Chinese, French, Japanese, Spanish, and Tamil, a popular language in India. The courses target those new to a language or those wanting to sharpen their current foreign language skills.

The first courses begin in late May, and courses are offered periodically through mid-August. For a full schedule, costs, registration and to view a video, go to www.mtsu.edu/cala and click on the “See Our Classes” button.

In this 2015 file photo, Dr. Shelley Thomas, kneeling at bottom left, an associate professor of foreign language and founder and director of the MTSU Summer Language Institute, poses for a photo with students learning Chinese through the use of props and role-playing during the accelerated five-day language course. (Courtesy of the MTSU Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition)

In this 2015 file photo, Dr. Shelley Thomas, kneeling at bottom left, an associate professor of foreign language and founder and director of the MTSU Summer Language Institute, poses for a photo with students learning Chinese through the use of props and role-playing during the accelerated five-day language course. (Courtesy of the MTSU Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition)

Classes are held in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

CALA has spent more than a decade researching how the brain learns language best with the experts in the field of psychology and brain research, according to Dr. Shelley Thomas, a professor of foreign language and founder and director of the institute.

Click the image to see class offerings and to register for the 2016 Summer Language Institute.

Click the image to see class offerings and to register for the 2016 Summer Language Institute.

Research shows the best way to learn a language is the same way you learned your native language — with lots of hands-on methods that are enjoyable and take place in a fun, low-stress atmosphere using movement, songs, games and stories.

Thomas noted that while the institute frequently teaches students who are “completely new” to a language, some beginning students who go through two of the five-day courses “have tested out of anywhere from one to four semesters of college-level language classes” on MTSU’s foreign language placement test. One student was so impressed with the results and affordable costs, he actually took three different languages in one summer, she said.

“The classes are fun and effective, so students are highly motivated to continue their language study,” Thomas said.

For more information, visit www.mtsu.edu/cala.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

In this 2015 file photo, students taking the five-day Spanish course in the MTSU Summer Language Institute do a fun role-playing exercise to help them learn the language. Spanish classes are being offered again for this year's institute. (Courtesy of the MTSU Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition)

In this 2015 file photo, students taking the five-day Spanish course in the MTSU Summer Language Institute do a fun role-playing exercise to help them learn the language. Spanish classes are being offered again for this year’s institute. (Courtesy of the MTSU Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition)

MTSU campus tornado sirens will sound May 11 in routine monthly test

MTSU plans to test its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex Wednesday, May 11, at 11:15 a.m.

This will be a brief, routine test of the system, and no safety actions will be required.

In the event of inclement weather, the test will be canceled.

MTSU notifies the campus and surrounding neighborhoods before these tests each month. Tests are conducted on alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays to minimize distractions for classes and neighbors.

The university begins its summer 2016 classes on Monday, May 9.

Members of the campus community can prepare for emergency weather situations anytime by checking MTSU’s list of “safe places” at http://bit.ly/MTSUSafePlaces. You also can make note of the siren-testing schedule by visiting www.mtsunews.com/tornado-siren-testing. Bookmark both sites!

Remember that, in the event of a weather emergency, all students, faculty and staff automatically receive a Rave alert at their MTSU email addresses. If you’re not already receiving text and/or voice alerts too, visit www.mtsunews.com/weather and use the “click here and log in” link to make those notification changes.

MTSU survey: Tennessee’s STEM workforce falling short in size, skills

An inaugural assessment by MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center concludes that moving Tennessee’s STEM employment concentration to the national level would create an economic impact of nearly $4.5 billion and create an additional 16,000 new jobs in the economy.

Under a partnership with the Mind2Marketplace organization and the MTSU Tennessee Small Business Development Lead Center, the BERC conducted a survey to assess the most pressing challenges and opportunities in STEM fields across Tennessee. STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

A survey of businesses, mayors, local economic development officials, and school principals suggests that Tennessee faces significant challenges in the STEM workforce supply, pipeline and infrastructure, the report states.

A long and short version of the full report, as well as a two-page summary, are available at www.mtsu.edu/berc/research.php.

Dr. Murat Arik

Dr. Murat Arik

MTSU BERC logo“The critical takeaway from this study is that Tennessee has significant opportunities to grow by creating synergies among business communities, higher education institutions and the policy makers on STEM workforce issues,” said BERC Director Murat Arik.

“As a research center, we will continue building on this inaugural study by tracking Tennessee’s STEM dynamics annually.”

Among the BERC’s key findings is that Tennessee faces an employment and skills gap in STEM areas. As of 2013, the size of the STEM workforce in Tennessee was an estimated 324,328, but the report characterized that workforce as “an oversupply of a low-skilled STEM workforce relative to the U.S. average.” An additional 16,000 jobs could be created by upgrading the STEM skill set of the current workforce.

The report states that 11.8 percent of Tennessee’s jobs are STEM-related, compared to 13.1 percent for the entire country and 15.9 percent for the state of Massachusetts. And while Tennessee can produce roughly 11,000 STEM-degreed workers each year on average, the demand for such workers will be roughly 19,000.

The chart shows some of the results from the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center's 2015 STEM Workforce Survey.

The chart shows some of the results from the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center’s 2015 STEM Workforce Survey.

Among the challenges in developing an adequate STEM workforce is a “perceived lack of rigor in Tennessee’s K12 education system,” as well as a lack of knowledge about programs, lack of interest and ability, and a lack of emphasis on the necessity of difficult subjects in the educational system, the report states.

To catch up with the rest of the United States in the relative share of the STEM workforce, 36,000 new STEM jobs are needed in Tennessee, the report states, adding that creating these new jobs and addressing skills issues would generate an economic impact of nearly $4.5 billion.

The stakeholders recommend that the government assist in boosting Tennessee’s STEM concentration by connecting educational institutions with workforce needs and aligning and coordinating STEM resources across the state.

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center will continue to provide funding support to BERC to update the benchmark STEM workforce study. The data each year will be used for comparative analysis on the state’s progress in increasing its STEM skilled workforce.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Students thank long-term MTSU donors at 1911 Society Luncheon

For MTSU senior Michelle Kelley of Murfreesboro, receiving the university’s prestigious Buchanan Fellowship opened up the world to her by providing opportunities to travel abroad.

The Siegel High School graduate credits the Buchanan, which is the university’s highest award, and other available scholarships with giving her the freedom to concentrate on academics. That’s important for a physics major who’s also juggling minors in mathematics and aerospace.

From left, Sheila King, Robert Frazier and Mary Belle Ginanni were among the new long-term donors recognized at the 1911 Society Luncheon held April 22 at the MT Center at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

From left, Sheila King, Robert Frazier and Mary Belle Ginanni were among the new long-term donors recognized at the 1911 Society Luncheon held April 22 at the MT Center at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

“These past four years I have been able to focus solely on my education and take advantage of every opportunity,” Kelley told those attending the fourth annual 1911 Society Luncheon held recently at the MT Center on Middle Tennessee Boulevard.

Kelley joined other high-achieving scholars from across the university along with development officers, several MTSU deans and other top administrators in thanking the newest members of the 1911 Society, which celebrates individuals and families who have created gifts to the university through their estate plans.

A trip to the Czech Republic two years ago is now a memorable part of Kelley’s journey toward a December graduation and graduate school next year. An upcoming summer trip to Germany for her honors thesis will add to those memories. Not bad for someone who hadn’t previously traveled outside the Southeast.

“Your funding has opened up the entire world to me,” said Kelley, whose grandfather and uncle are alumni as well as an older sister who is now pursuing her master’s degree and a younger sister finishing up her freshman year at MTSU.

MTSU senior and Buchanan scholarship recipient Michelle Kelley of Murfreesboro thanks donors for their contributions at the 1911 Society Luncheon held April 22 at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

MTSU senior and Buchanan scholarship recipient Michelle Kelley of Murfreesboro thanks donors for their contributions at the 1911 Society Luncheon held April 22 at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

In thanking the donors for their commitment, MTSU Director of Development Pat Branam noted that there were now 183 members of the 1911 Society, which is named in honor of MTSU’s founding year. New members receive a framed rendering of Kirksey Old Main.

This year’s new members included Joni K. and William K. Burke; Frederic M. Crawford; Emily P. and Dale Ellis; Robert A. Frazier; Mary Belle Ginanni; Mark and Sheila King; Helen W. Reed; and Dan and Margaret Scott.

Also recognized at the April 22 luncheon were members of the Signal Society, which honors annual donors who have supported the university in 20 or more years. This group is named for Middle Tennessee Normal School’s first newspaper/magazine, The Signal, which was originally published in 1912. New Signal donors receive an engraved medallion reflecting their years of support.

Signal Society members recognized at this year’s luncheon for 40-plus years of giving were Tommy H. and Milbrey Campbell; Karen Caton; Edward Chappell Jr.; George and Lynn Claxton; Robert and Janice Garrigus; and Sam and Lynette Ingram. And recognized for 50 years of giving were R. Norman and Barbara Martin.

In his welcoming remarks, Joe Bales, vice president for university advancement, thanked donors for their help with the record $105 million-plus Centennial Campaign fundraising drive that will allow the university to continue upgrading facilities and infrastructure, attract top faculty and provide the funding support students need to earn their degrees.

Joe Bales

Joe Bales

Pat Branam

Pat Branam

“Great students — that’s what this institution is about,” Bales said. “You are helping truly transform MTSU into Tennessee’s best institution.”

MTSU senior Sam Hulsey of Lebanon, Tennessee, told the crowd he had just been to Nashville earlier in the day where he attended a meeting of various advocacy groups for immigrants that included former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. He then came back to campus to defend his honors thesis.

It’s all part of an “unconventional” undergraduate education for the global studies and Spanish major that included an honors transfer fellowship Hulsey received his first year on campus that paved the way to other successes and some “wow” opportunities, he said.

Such financial support for students is especially important at a public university like MTSU, he said, since many students must work part-time or full-time jobs in order to pay for their educations.

The transfer fellowship “allowed me to concentrate my efforts in scholarly pursuits,” said Hulsey, noting his opportunity to study in three different countries, study four different languages and pursue a five-month internship in Peru.

“This funding changes lives,” he said. “It opens up a lot of doors.”

For more information about becoming an MTSU donor, go to www.mtsu.edu/development and choose from the selection of tabs about giving on the left.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

 

Keith McCluney, standing, associate athletic director for development, greets long-term MTSU donors Faye Brandon, left, and Martha Turner at the 1911 Society Luncheon at the MT Center at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

Keith McCluney, standing, associate athletic director for development, greets long-term MTSU donors Faye Brandon, left, and Martha Turner at the 1911 Society Luncheon at the MT Center at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Darby Campbell)

Forrest Hall name change recommendation headed to TBR

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee on Thursday accepted the recommendation by the Forrest Hall Task Force to change the name of the building that houses the university’s Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program.

McPhee, in a letter to Dr. Derek Frisby, chair of the task force and an MTSU global studies instructor, said “the values and goals we share in 2016 as a comprehensive university with international reach are not best reflected by retaining a name affixed in 1958 when we were a small local college that rarely extended beyond our region.”

“It is clear that there are many wide-ranging and contradicting views about the life and legacy of Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest,” McPhee said in the letter. “I do not feel it is my role to discern the appropriateness or relevance of his actions prior, during or after the Civil War.

Built in 1954, Forrest Hall houses MTSU's Army ROTC program. (MTSU file photo by Jimmy Hart)

Built in 1954, Forrest Hall houses MTSU’s Army ROTC program. (MTSU file photo)

“It is appropriate, however, for me to assess whether the decision made in the middle of the 20th century to name the building for General Forrest remains in our best interest in the second decade of the 21st century.”

The president also said he has asked MTSU Professor Carroll Van West, who serves as Tennessee’s state historian, to develop a historical timeline, with a primary source set, that “encapsulates the life, legacy and impact that General Forrest had upon our state, region and nation.” It would be housed in the Albert Gore Research Center.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

McPhee noted that he felt “the best place for commemorating heritage is on the hallowed ground where it occurred, and that is what MTSU has done.”

He added that the university’s Center for Historic Preservation, under Van West’s direction, has helped install more than 400 interpretive Civil War markers throughout Tennessee.

The 17-member task force announced its consensus April 19, with duly noted objections by some members, that the structure dedicated to Forrest be renamed. The task force held three public forums and two open deliberations in making its recommendation.

The task force’s recommendation will go next to the Tennessee Board of Regents, MTSU’s governing body, for consideration. Regents could decide as soon as their June meeting whether to forward it to the Tennessee Historical Commission for action.

Forrest Hall is the only MTSU building named for an individual without any ties to the university. Current TBR policy reserves such commemorations for those with a clear connection to the university.

Forrest Hall was built in 1954 to house the ROTC program, but was not dedicated until 1958, when the name became official. Forrest, who died in 1877, had no connection to the university’s founding as Middle Tennessee Normal School in 1911.

In 1958, McPhee said, the university was still Middle Tennessee State College and had an enrollment of just 2,539 students.

“We were decades away from the far-reaching and inclusive opportunities that would become our hallmark,” he said, adding that the university frequently used Forrest’s image in its activities during that period.

Members of the Forrest Hall Task Force listen to resident remarks during a public forum held Feb. 24 at the Lane Agre-Park in west Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Members of the Forrest Hall Task Force listen to resident remarks during a public forum held Feb. 24 at the Lane Agri-Park in west Murfreesboro. (MTSU file photo)

However, as MTSU “grew in size and stature, so did our sensitivity of the controversial connotation that our use of General Forrest and other Confederate symbols had upon our goal to mature into an institution with broader reach and scope,” McPhee said.

Today, the president continued, MTSU “is the largest in the Tennessee Board of Regents system with an enrollment of almost 23,000 students. We recruit students and faculty from across the nation and world and many of our academic programs and industry partnerships attract global attention. We have 39 international partnerships in 18 countries.

“We must acknowledge our past, but we must remain focused on our future.”

The president said, however, that MTSU “understands history should never be erased,” and he underscored the university’s longtime support of “research, programs and projects that tell the stories of how the Civil War transformed Tennessee.

“In Murfreesboro, the university has assisted in developing displays that stand at the Rutherford County Courthouse and Oaklands Mansion, informing residents and visitors of General Forrest’s actions,” he said.

“We remain committed to supporting fully these, and many other, important efforts on behalf of Tennessee’s Civil War past.”

McPhee, in reflecting upon the public forums, also said he was “disappointed by the lack of civility” and “that certain moments were unruly and disrespectful. This does not represent who we are as a university.

“But I also know that our freedom allows for such discourse. Free speech covers views that you find disagreeable as much as it does for those views you embrace.”

You can read a PDF version of the full letter here.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

‘Preserving African-American Historic Places’ is site’s focus

Individuals and groups that want to save important remnants of African-American history now have a new resource to guide them, thanks to MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation.

Griggs Hall, the first building constructed in 1923 on the campus of Nashville’s American Baptist College, is on the cover of a new online research guide, “Preserving African-American Historic Places: Suggestions and Sources," prepared by MTSU's Center for Historic Preservation.

Griggs Hall, the first building constructed in 1923 on the campus of Nashville’s American Baptist College, is on the cover of a new online research guide, “Preserving African-American Historic Places: Suggestions and Sources,” prepared by MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation.

“Preserving African-American Historic Places: Suggestions and Sources” is an omnibus online site with information on collections care, museum management, heritage tourism and fundraising. You can find it here.

“It ties in with our philosophy of working with communities throughout the state on their preservation needs and interpretive needs,” said Dr. Antoinette Van Zelm, assistant director of MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation.

Dr. Antoinette Van Zelm

Dr. Antoinette Van Zelm

One example of a site the CHP already has helped to preserve is Griggs Hall, the first building constructed in 1923 on the campus of Nashville’s American Baptist College.

A marker erected by the Tennessee Historical Commission details how the school was an incubator for civil rights activism during segregation.

Other potential preservation sites include businesses, cemeteries, churches, farms, homes, neighborhoods and lodges.

Over the years, center staff and students have compiled numerous links to historic structure reports, heritage development plans, nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, driving and walking tour brochures and posts from the CHP’s blog, “Southern Rambles.”

“We want to make sure that people have access to different projects and programs that are similar to what they may want to do,” said Van Zelm.

CHP logo webSome organizations tie their preservation of the past to the enlightenment of future generations by setting aside an area for continuing education, she added.

“For example, some of the African-American schools that no longer exist after integration … have alumni associations, and they’re interested in preserving the school or opening up a heritage classroom,” Van Zelm said.

For more information, contact Van Zelm at 615-898-2947 or Antoinette.VanZelm@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Alumni of the Sitka Rosenwald School in Gibson County, Tennessee, pose in front of the building with Amanda Barry, back row left, a Center for Historic Preservation graduate research assistant. (Photo submitted)

Alumni of the Sitka Rosenwald School in Gibson County, Tennessee, pose in front of the building with Amanda Barry, back row left, a Center for Historic Preservation graduate research assistant. The former students shared their experiences at the school with Barry for community history purposes. (Photo submitted)