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MTSU president meets with prime minister in native Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas — The prime minister of the Bahamas visited with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis just before the Blue Raiders played Thursday in the first of three preseason exhibition games at the Commonwealth’s national gymnasium.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, right, meets with the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Prime Minister Perry G. Christie, center, and Allyson Maynard Gibson, left, attorney general and minister of legal affairs of the Bahamas, just before the Blue Raiders men's basketball team played Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in the first of three preseason exhibition games at the CommonwealthÕs national gymnasium. (MTSU photo)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, right, meets with the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Prime Minister Perry G. Christie, center, and Allyson Maynard Gibson, left, attorney general and minister of legal affairs of the Bahamas, just before the Blue Raiders men’s basketball team played Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in the first of three preseason exhibition games at the CommonwealthÕs national gymnasium. (MTSU photo)

Bahamian Prime Minister Perry G. Christie met with McPhee, Davis and the team’s assistant coaches Wednesday night at the team’s hotel. On Thursday, the president went to the prime minister’s office to confer with Christie and several of the country’s top ministers.

Christie asked McPhee and Davis about the university’s academic specialties, international collaborations and athletics programs. The Blue Raiders were set to play three different Bahamian squads on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during their seven-day trip to the Commonwealth.

“It was an honor to meet the prime minister and share with him the accomplishments of MTSU’s faculty, students and student-athletes,” McPhee said.

The prime minister also praised McPhee, a native of the Bahamas, for his career in higher education, as well as MTSU’s recent accolades for its Quest for Student Success initiative. A top priority for the university, the initiative aims to improve student retention and graduation rates in support of Gov. Bill Haslam’s emphasis on increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary credentials.

“It is important for us not only just to salute him, but to do it in the context so that the country is aware and has reason to manifest its pride in what he has achieved,” Christie said of McPhee.

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

Bahamas map

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, meets with the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Prime Minister Perry G. Christie just before the Blue Raiders men's basketball team played Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in the first of three preseason exhibition games at the CommonwealthÕs national gymnasium. (MTSU photo)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, meets with the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Prime Minister Perry G. Christie just before the Blue Raiders men’s basketball team played Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in the first of three preseason exhibition games at the CommonwealthÕs national gymnasium. (MTSU photo)

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