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MTSU Alumni Summer College ‘Greatest Hits’ awaits June 21-23 attendees

The 10th year of Alumni Summer College at MTSU will combine the best of the previous nine years, as music, food, athletics, history and more await an expected 100 attendees.

Alumni Summer College graphic“Greatest Hits: A Remix of ASC Classics” will be the theme for the June 21-23 event, which will be held at on- and off-campus venues.

Alumni Summer College is an annual three-day program presented by MTSU’s Office of Alumni Relations. Alumni and friends are invited to campus to connect with the university, learn about interesting subjects and have loads of fun, said Rhonda King, alumni assistant director.

MTSU faculty, alumni, and local experts present information in an “edutaining” way through classroom lectures and interactive field trips, King said.

Included are the classes, field trips, tour admissions, meals and traveling by coach buses. Lodging reservations are the responsibility of the participants.

Tuition is $250 per person. Space is limited, and there is a May 15 registration deadline. To learn more, visit www.mtalumni.com or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 615-898-2922.

Alumni Summer College participants are scheduled to hear from Hugh Berryman, nationally recognized forensic scientist. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Alumni Summer College participants will hear from Dr. Hugh Berryman, nationally recognized forensic scientist. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Each year focuses on a different theme that showcases MTSU’s work and study in that particular field, King said. Past themes have included “Exploring Our History,” “How Things Work,” “A Song’s Life,” “Wide World of Sports, “A Century in the Making,” “Whodunnit?”, “Stories from the American Civil War,” “The Science Around Us” and “Food for Thought.”

Here’s a sample of “classes” this year:

  • Touring Davis Science Building and Wiser-Patten Science Hall, which reopened in January after two years and $20 million in renovations.
  • An update from Dr. Hugh Berryman, nationally recognized forensic scientist, on the Mexican-American War Dead Identification Project. Remains of soldiers, most likely Tennesseans, were discovered in Mexico and returned to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2016 after five years of negotiations, sparked by Berryman’s urging.
  • Insights on MTSU men’s and women’s basketball success from head coaches Kermit Davis and Rick Insell.
  • Learning about the MTSU Center for Coaching and Student Success from Department of Health and Human Performance professor Colby Jubenville. The College of Behavioral Sciences center has been designed to address the challenging gap between approaching graduation, graduation and securing gainful employment.
  • Scheduled visits to the Ryman Auditorium, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and Studio A and dinner at Five Senses Restaurant.

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

The world famous Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville will be a stop for those attending the 2017 MTSU Alumni Summer College June 21-23. (Photo by Chris Hollo)

The world famous Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville will be a stop for those attending the 2017 MTSU Alumni Summer College June 21-23. (Photo by Chris Hollo)

MT Engage celebrates student participation with inaugural reception

MT Engage, MTSU’s most recent Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, is igniting interest in students across academic disciplines wanting to further their education beyond the classroom.

The program honored students who completed at least one 2016-17 MT Engage course with the first MT Engage Student Reception, held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. Students received refreshments, complimentary professional photos for the early arrivers and tokens of appreciation, including water bottles and T-shirts.

Students taking MT Engage courses were treated to T-shirts, refreshments and complimentary professional headshots at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

An MTSU student displays one of the T-shirts that MT Engage program participants received at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. Student participants also received water bottles, refreshments and complimentary professional photos. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

The event also allowed the 80-plus students who attended to ask questions about what to expect if they continue with MT Engage, which has a motto of “engage academically, learn exponentially, showcase yourself.”

MT Engage logo-webUniversity Studies professor Scott McDaniel, assessment coordinator for MT Engage, noted that students who enroll in MT Engage-based classes receive hands-on experience that allows them to apply the knowledge they already have.

“My colleague who teaches statistics had her students go to ‘Scholars Week’ and report on some of the posters and statistics that were used there, and they had to reflect on it,” McDaniel said.

Program officials expect students in these courses to learn and/or develop skills in self-assessment and reflection and connect their new knowledge to their experience.

“Other things we want professors to try to instill in students (are) making connections between disciplines, from statistics to biology or from history to English and even history to statistics,” he said.

McDaniel shared one exciting aspect of MT Engage called the e-Portfolio, an electronic record created by students throughout their academic journey to serve as an important tool in marketing themselves toward a career or graduate degree.

University Studies professor Scott McDaniel, right, assessment coordinator for MT Engage, checks in a student at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

University Studies professor Scott McDaniel, right, assessment coordinator for MT Engage, checks in a student at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

“It’s hard to assess someone’s knowledge from just one snapshot,” he said. “Now we enter the e-Portfolio.”

As McDaniel explained, the e-Portfolio digitally adds completed works through a student’s time at MTSU, allowing them to create presentations for different audiences or future employers.

“Say they want to apply for a job and send not only their resume but also their e-Portfolio — it’s like the next best thing to meeting me.”

Current and future students will be able to learn more about the benefits of the latest QEP and the future of MT Engage during MT Engage Week, which will be held in September, and during through CUSTOMS new student orientations.

The QEP is a requirement by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC, the regional accreditation body for higher education institutions in the South.

Also joining McDaniel at the reception were MT Engage Director Mary Hoffschwelle, who also is an MTSU history professor, and assistant director Lexy Denton.

Hoffschwelle said the student reception will become an annual event.

For more information about MT Engage, visit http://mtsu.edu/mtengage, email mtengage@mtsu.edu or call 615-904-8281.

— Jayla Jackson (news@mtsu.edu)

Students enjoy refreshments at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Students enjoy refreshments at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception April 20 in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

MTSU Creative and Visual Services photographer Andy Heidt photographs an MT Engage student during the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU Creative and Visual Services photographer Andy Heidt photographs an MT Engage student during the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception April 20 in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Students enjoy refreshments at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Students enjoy refreshments at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Students were eligible for door prizes at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception held Thursday, April 20, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

This photo shows some of the door prizes students were eligible to receive at the inaugural MT Engage Student Reception in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

MTSU entertains public, fights hunger at April 24 ‘End of Semester Show’

MTSU’s entertainment community is coming together Monday, April 24, for an “End of Semester Show” aimed at showcasing campus talent and industry partnerships with an eye toward helping hungry fellow students, too!

End Semester Show 2017 poster webThe program, set for 7 p.m. April 24 in Tucker Theatre, features MTSU recording industry songwriters opening for The Acorn People, a Nashville-based rock band of MTSU alumni.

Admission is a can of nonperishable food, which will be donated to the university’s Student Food Pantry.

CME-logo-webOrganizers from the College of Media and Entertainment, who say this year’s show may be the largest ever, note that the event involves teamwork from students, faculty, organizations, departments and colleges across campus as well as nonprofits and industry donors and partners in the community. For example:

  • Students in a recording industry Sound Reinforcement class are working alongside a Theater Lighting class from the Department of Theatre and Dance to plan and provide sound, lighting and production for the show.
  • Master of Fine Arts students in recording industry will be creating multitrack recordings of the performances.
  • Animation students from the Department of Electronic Media Communication are creating content for a $1.5 million video wall, again donated by veteran EMC partner VER Nashville and most recently used for the MT Raiders Choice Awards, that will be assembled on stage and used during the show.
  • Student-run radio station WMTS and AMP Entertainment, MTSU’s student-run entertainment organization, are providing event promotion.

In addition to VER’s video wall equipment donation, Nashville-based entertainment lighting systems company 4Wall and audiovisual supplier LMG Nashville are also donating equipment for this year’s show.

For more information about the event, email Rachel Helms, coordinator for the College of Media and Entertainment, at rachel.helms@mtsu.edu.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU collects more than 92 pounds of unwanted medications

Dominic Cooper was one of dozens of MTSU employees and area residents bringing their old, unwanted medical prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs to campus Thursday (April 20).

It was for the annual MTSU Drug Take-Back Day, a 5½-hour collection held adjacent to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center on the east side of campus.

Campus Pharmacy's Tabby Ragland accepts unwanted prescription drugs from Don Daniel April 20 at the collection site adjacent to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Campus Pharmacy’s Tabby Ragland accepts unwanted prescription drugs from Don Daniel April 20 at the collection site adjacent to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

It was part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s overall national efforts to remove excess drugs from communities where they could be abused or misused, diverted into the wrong hands or disposed of in environmentally unsafe ways.

By the end of the collection period, MTSU officials collected 92.2 pounds — a 20 percent increase from fall 2016.

A relatively new MTSU employee, Cooper said it was his first time to bring his unwanted medications to the university.

“I have been trying to get rid of these,” said Cooper, a West Tennessee admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions. “I would rather they be in safe hands than at my house sitting in the bathroom medicine cabinet.”

Cooper said one of his medicines, a strong pain pill, was one that was prescribed for him after dental work, but he really did not need it because he’s “good with pain.”

Assisting Campus Pharmacy director Tabby Ragland and Health Promotions director Lisa Schrader in the spring collection were Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy doctoral students Kara Stockdale and Kaylee Cerminara. Both are from Nashville.

The drug take-back event is a joint venture between the pharmacy and Campus Police.

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

MTSU pharmacist Tabby Ragland, foreground, and Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy doctoral students Kaylee Cerminara, left, and Kara Stockdale, inspect medications collected during the April 20 MTSU Drug Take-Back Day next to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU pharmacist Tabby Ragland, foreground, and Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy doctoral students Kaylee Cerminara, left, and Kara Stockdale, inspect medications collected during the April 20 MTSU Drug Take-Back Day next to the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

 

Walker Library exhibit showcases memories of Welty’s life, work

Dr. J. Lee Owen reminisced about his passion for searching for and collecting vintage books, especially first edition print copies by southern author Eudora Welty from his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.

Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University, squeezed decades of research and insight regarding Welty, who wrote about the American South, especially her native Mississippi, into a captivating 40-minute talk.

With images of the southern author in the background, Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling shares stories about Eudora Welty. (MTSU photos by James Cessna)

With images of the southern author in the background, Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling shares stories about Eudora Welty. (MTSU photos by James Cessna)

Owen, Kreyling and others spoke on the occasion of the opening of the “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit that will continue through Thursday, May 4, in Special Collections, Room 444, in and the James E. Walker Library.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. To find the library and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. To learn about visitor parking regulations, including free parking in the Rutherford lots, purchasing a one-day parking permit and more, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visitors.php.

Owen and his wife, Sophia, who live in Murfreesboro, knew Welty, who died in 2001. J. Lee Owen, a pediatrician in Jackson for 50 years, became charmed with her works.

“Miss Welty was a wonderful and gifted Mississippi lady,” Owen said. “… She got everything (award-wise) except one thing — a Nobel Prize — and she should’ve gotten that.”

He shared a story of attending a used book sale and finding a signed, first edition Welty book. The price marked was $2.

“I thought I’d found a pot of gold,” said Owen, knowing the true value of the book. He quickly grabbed some cookbooks for his wife, and in the final exchange needed one more item to finish the $13.75 transaction he paid with in cash. “I bought a $3,500 book for $2 and a (25-cent) doughnut.”

Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling, left, discusses various photographs of author Eudora Welty with MTSU Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips and Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

Vanderbilt University Professor Emeritus Michael Kreyling, left, discusses various photographs of author Eudora Welty with MTSU Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips and James E. Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen during the opening of the exhibit.

After being introduced by Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, Kreyling told the audience, “I wish I could’ve found that book.” Owen’s quick response: “Everything has a price.” It generated laughter from attendees.

Kreyling, who met Welty for the first time in 1973, retraced the author’s career through research-based stories and online images from the 1930s forward.

“She was just like a (regular) person more than a (famous) author,” he said.

Walker Library Dean Bonnie Allen said she is just thrilled the collection was made available for 30 days.

“I hope our students take advantage of this excellent opportunity,” she said. “It’s a valuable collection of a southern author and a great one at that.”

Phillips recognized the efforts of his research assistant, Megan Donelson, a doctoral English student from Wooster, Ohio, who was co-curator with him, and Susan Lyons, who befriended the Owens and learned about the Welty collection.

Laura Owen of Nashville and Margaret Showalter of Murfreesboro, two of the Owens’ four children, attended the opening event.

The exhibit is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, Honors College and Walker Library.

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

Dr. J. Lee Owen, right, who has a collection of southern author Eudora Welty’s works, shares stories with MTSU Honors College students Hannah Berthelson, left, and Benjamin Koulas. The Welty collection continues through May 4 in Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library.

Dr. J. Lee Owen, right, who has a collection of southern author Eudora Welty’s works, shares stories with MTSU Honors College students Hannah Berthelson, left, and Benjamin Koulas. The Welty collection continues through May 4 in Special Collections in the James E. Walker Library.

The “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit will continue through May 4 in the James E. Walker Library. Attending the opening event April 4 were Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University; co-curator and MTSU doctoral English student Megan Donelson; collection owner Dr. J. Lee Owen; and Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, an exhibit co-curator.

The “Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy” exhibit will continue through May 4 in the James E. Walker Library. Attending the opening event April 4 were Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University; co-curator and MTSU doctoral English student Megan Donelson; collection owner Dr. J. Lee Owen; and Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips, an exhibit co-curator.


Eudora Welty collection visits Walker Library through May 4

From a friendship with physician J. Lee Owen and his wife, Sophia, MTSU’s Susan Lyons learned about the Owens’ collection of celebrated author Eudora Welty’s works. Now the Owens have brought the collection to campus for a free, public 30-day exhibit.

“Eudora Welty: Her Life and Legacy,” a special exhibition of rare materials from J. Lee Owen’s Welty collection, will be on display from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through May 4 in Special Collections, Room 444, in the James E. Walker Library.

Eudora Welty flyer72

To find the library and nearby parking, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus visitors can obtain a special one-day permit www.mtsu.edu/parking/visitors.php.

Welty, a short story writer and novelist who lived her entire life (1909-2001) in Jackson, Mississippi, wrote about the American South. Her works included “The Optimist’s Daughter,” which was published in 1972 and earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

After college, Welty worked in radio, wrote society columns for the Memphis Commercial Appeal and took photographs as a junior publicity agent for the Works Progress Administration. The photos were exhibited in New York but weren’t published, at her request.

Her first publication of many was a short story, “Death of a Traveling Salesman.”

An opening event held April 4 featured presentations by Owen and Michael Kreyling, professor emeritus of English at Vanderbilt University and an authority on Welty’s life and works.

“Eudora Welty is recognized as one of the great Southern authors and one of the most significant writers of the 20th century,” said University Honors College associate dean Philip Phillips.

He recently went to Jackson with co-curator Megan Donelson, a doctoral English student from Wooster, Ohio, and Lyons, the Honors College’s special events coordinator, to visit the archives, secure photographs and gain additional background for the MTSU exhibit.

“She is best known for her short stories and her novels, including ‘The Optimist’s Daughter,’ a semi-autobiographical work,” he added.

Phillips said the MTSU exhibit “aims to showcase the variety of other work, which also includes original photographs and provides an overview of her life and influences.”

“It’s a really impressive collection that expresses Welty not just as a great writer, but that she had deep, loyal friendships and a great sense of humor,” said Donelson, who has studied museum exhibit design as an MTSU graduate student.

Lyons has known the Owens for two years, meeting them through a monthly technology program Honors College students attend.

“Dr. Owen shared with me about his Eudora Welty collection and introduced me to her stories,” Lyons said. “I knew the collection was special, so I shared about it with Drs. Phillips and (John) Vile.” She eventually introduced Owen to Phillips and Vile, dean of the Honors College.

Lee Owen was a pediatrician in Jackson, Mississippi, for 50 years before he and his wife moved to Murfreesboro.

The exhibit is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, Honors College and Walker Library in partnership with Eudora Welty LLC and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

For information about Special Collections, contact Alan Boehm, Special Collections librarian, at 615-904-8501 or Alan.Boehm@mtsu.edu.

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

Sophia and Dr. J. Lee Owen are shown in their Murfreesboro home. A special exhibition of rare materials from the Eudora Welty collection of J. Lee Owen will be at MTSU from April 4 to May 4. (MTSU photo by

Sophia and Dr. J. Lee Owen are shown in their Murfreesboro home. A special exhibition of rare materials from Lee Owen’s Eudora Welty collection will be at MTSU from April 4 to May 4. (MTSU photo by Susan Lyons)

MTSU hosts tail-wagging 5K trek April 30 to benefit Habitat for Humanity

Human walkers and runners are invited to accompany their furry, four-footed canine companions in the annual fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity set Sunday, April 30, on the MTSU campus.

Two- and four-legged participants make their way around Old Main Circle at MTSU in the 2016 "See Spot Run" 5K Run/Walk for Habitat for Humanity. The 2017 event is set Sunday, April 30. (Photo courtesy of MTSU See Spot Run)

Two- and four-legged participants make their way around Old Main Circle at MTSU in the 2016 “See Spot Run” 5K Run/Walk for Habitat for Humanity. The 2017 event is set Sunday, April 30. (Photo courtesy of MTSU See Spot Run)

The 12th annual See Spot Run 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by the MTSU Office of Student Organizations and Service and the MTSU chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity, is slated for 8 a.m. April 30.

Registration will begin at 6:45 a.m. race day at Peck Hall. The entry fee before Monday, April 24, is $30, and on race day, the fee will be $35.

Each entry fee includes dry-fit style shirts for all participants and awards for the top age-group finishers. All proceeds will support the MTSU Habitat Blitz Build and Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity.

A discounted group rate of $25 per person is available for organizations that have 15 or more participants. Organizations must pre-register by 4:30 p.m. April 24 in Room 330 of the MTSU Student Union to qualify for the discount.

Although participants aren’t required to run or walk with a dog to enter, those who do bring their pets must provide valid rabies tag numbers. Retractable leashes are prohibited.

See Spot Run logo web

Chip timing is available for all participants. A map of the race route is available online here.

Racers may register online at www.active.com or by mailing in a printable registration form, found here, with payment to MTSU, 1301 E. Main St., P. O. Box 39, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132.

For more information, contact the Office of Student Organizations and Service at 615-898-5812 or visit www.mtsu.edu/sos/see-spot-run.php.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU students exhibit interior design ideas at Saturday showcase

Professional interior designers-in-training at MTSU are ready to display what they’ve learned about creating viable work and living spaces in a free showcase open to the public.

Design Student Showcase 2017 flier webThe 2017 Interior Design Student Showcase, presented by the MTSU student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, is slated for 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the McWherter Learning Resources Center.

A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

“The evening is going to be fabulous!” said Deborah Belcher, chair of MTSU’s Department of Human Sciences.

“We have some wonderful student work, a great vendor, door prizes and the jazzy tunes of local band Les, Chuck and I.”

Student projects on display will include creative and innovative use of textiles, light fixtures, furniture, space planning, construction drawings and computer-aided drawings.

The students will show off their ideas in LRC Rooms 108, 109 and 112 as well as the center’s corridor, lobbies and resource library.

For more information about the 2017 Interior Design Student Showcase, contact Belcher at 615-898-2302 or deborah.belcher@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

An array of textiles and other materials invites visitors to examine the stylistic possibilities at a previous MTSU Student Chapter ASID/IIDA Interior Design Showcase. (Photo courtesy of MTSU Department of Human Sciences)

Psychologists, students discuss narcissism, research at spring meeting

The Middle Tennessee Psychological Association will explore the psychology of narcissism this Saturday, April 22, when MTSU hosts the group’s spring 2017 meeting.

Dr. Alexander Jackson

Dr. Alexander Jackson

Dr. Alexander T. Jackson, an assistant professor of psychology at MTSU, will deliver the keynote address, “Why and When Narcissists Dismiss Advice,” at 10 a.m. April 22 in the State Farm Lecture Hall of the Business and Aerospace Building.

A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

“People often pay incredible sums of money to acquire advice, and, when used, advice tends to lead to more optimal decision-making,” said Jackson. “However, some people seem entirely unwilling to use advice.”

The gathering of the regional group, which is slated for 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and is open to the public, will enable MTSU psychology majors to display their posters, discuss their research with academics and other professionals and to make valuable contacts that could benefit them in their post-college careers.

“The meeting provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to present their efforts to colleagues from other colleges and universities,” said Dr. William Langston, an MTSU psychology professor.

The registration fee is $5 for students and community members and $15 for faculty and professionals. Community college and high-school students may attend for free if they register in advance.

All conference events will take place in the Business and Aerospace Building. For more information, contact Langston at 615-898-5489 or william.langston@mtsu.edu. Online registration is closed, but participants may register on site.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

MTSU, Blackman Collegiate Academy honor top scholars at ‘Signing Day’

Signing Day wasn’t just for athletes at Blackman High School this year, and Middle Tennessee State University was on hand to help the Murfreesboro school recognize graduating members of its Collegiate Academy who plan to become Blue Raiders this fall.

MTSU rolled out the True Blue carpet for about a dozen prospective students during BHS’s inaugural Academic Signing Day for its Collegiate Academy graduates.

Blackman Collegiate Academy senior Dominique Diallo, center, signs a special certificate confirming her plan to attend Middle Tennessee State University this fall during the April 12 Academic Signing Day at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro. Shown with Dominique are her parents, Mohamed and Roma Diallo. Behind them are MTSU admissions counselor Joey Clark and Blue Raider mascot Lightning. Dominique plans to major in public relations and advertising. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Blackman Collegiate Academy senior Dominique Diallo, center, signs a special certificate confirming her plan to attend Middle Tennessee State University this fall during the April 12 Academic Signing Day at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro. Shown with Dominique are her parents, Mohamed and Roma Diallo. Behind them are MTSU admissions counselor Joey Clark and Blue Raider mascot Lightning. Dominique plans to major in public relations and advertising. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Held April 12 in the BHS cafeteria in conjunction with athletic scholarship signings that day, the new event allowed academy scholars to be recognized publicly for their academic excellence and resulting scholarships to their school of choice as family, friends, supporters and teachers looked on.

MTSU entered into a special partnership with the Blackman Collegiate Academy in 2015 in which juniors and seniors who meet eligibility standards can take up to six hours of university courses taught by MTSU instructors at Blackman at no cost. The credits will count on high school and college transcripts.

The recent signing day included 13 scholarship-eligible academy students heading to MTSU, the highest representation among the group of just over 60 academic honorees. Those prospective MTSU students are eligible for $112,000 in guaranteed scholarships once enrolled, according to Joey Clark, MTSU Admissions counselor for Rutherford, Sumner and Wilson counties.BCA Academic Signing Day 2017-prep-web

Dr. Leisa Justus

Dr. Leisa Justus

Clark was on hand along with transfer coordinators Shayna Kyle and Zach Thompson, who pulled double duty as Blue Raider mascot Lightning, to staff a special table for MTSU signees. As BHS Assistant Principal Ken Reed called out each honoree, the students, joined by those parents able to attend, were photographed signing a special certificate and also received an MTSU banner and a True Blue pledge poster.

“They’ve worked just as hard as any athlete, just in the classroom,” Clark said. “It’s something for them to be excited about. … It’s neat to be a part of this process to promote these students, to encourage these students to continue their excitement about coming to MTSU.”

BHS Principal Leisa Justus said BHS plans to hold the academic signing day annually.

“We just wanted to give them the celebration just like we do with our athletic signings,” she said. “Today, we happen to have both going on at the same time, so there’s a lot of energy. … We really appreciate the support.”

BHS senior Dominique Diallo, who plans to major in public relations and advertising at MTSU, said she became interested in coming to the university during a language competition she attended on campus a few years ago and became further impressed through the academy’s dual-enrollment classes.

MTSU provided special certificates, shown here, to be signed by Blackman Collegiate Academy seniors planning to attend MTSU this fall during the April 12 Academic Signing Day at Blackman High School. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU provided special certificates, shown here, to be signed by Blackman Collegiate Academy seniors planning to attend MTSU this fall during the April 12 Academic Signing Day at Blackman High School. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

“I feel honored to be recognized in this way because I actually chose to focus on my academics,” she said, “so being recognized for being in the Blackman Collegiate Academy and working hard, I really appreciate that.”

Her parents Mohamed and Roma Diallo, were all smiles as she signed the certificate, with mom later echoing her daughter’s feelings about the signing day as “a wonderful idea to showcase academics.” She’s thrilled Dominique plans to join the Blue Raider community this fall.

“I really like it; it’s a really good school,” she said, before another smile sprang forth: “And I kind of wanted her to go close to home … we’ve moved a lot.”

For more information about MTSU, visit www.mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Pictured are Blackman Collegiate Academy seniors (along with MTSU mascot Lightning in the center) planning to attend Middle Tennessee State University this fall at the April 12 Academic Signing Day at Blackman High School. MTSU admissions staff presented the students with special certificates, an MTSU banner and a poster of the university’s True Blue pledge.<br /> Pictured, from left, are Clay Sewell, Dominique Diallo, Josh Radnoti, Cameron Almonrode, Colton Tincher, Denice Paredes, Lightning, Tomy Chet, Evan Foulks, Cameron Loomis, Reece Rich, Michele Carden and Edward Thomason. Dominic Perratta was not able to attend. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Pictured are Blackman Collegiate Academy seniors (along with MTSU mascot Lightning in the center) planning to attend Middle Tennessee State University this fall at the April 12 Academic Signing Day at Blackman High School. MTSU admissions staff presented the students with special certificates, an MTSU banner and a poster of the university’s True Blue pledge.
Pictured, from left, are Clay Sewell, Dominique Diallo, Josh Radnoti, Cameron Almonrode, Colton Tincher, Denice Paredes, Lightning, Tomy Chet, Evan Foulks, Cameron Loomis, Reece Rich, Michele Carden and Edward Thomason. Dominic Perratta was not able to attend. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

BHS Principal Leisa Justus, far left, speaks to students and parents during the April 12 Academic Signing Day in the cafeteria at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

BHS Principal Leisa Justus, far left, speaks to students and parents during the April 12 Academic Signing Day in the cafeteria at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU plays role in new museum honoring former slave’s ‘hard bargain’

A rare aspect of American history is on display thanks to the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and MTSU students and staffers.

The McLemore House African-American Museum, located in Franklin, Tenn., sits on the corner of 11th Avenue North and Glass Street, across from Johnson Elementary School, in the city's renowned "Hard Bargain" neighborhood. A new historic display, created with help from MTSU students and staff, will be unveiled April 19. (Photo courtesy of VisitFrankin.com)

The McLemore House African-American Museum, located in Franklin, Tenn., sits on the corner of 11th Avenue North and Glass Street, across from Johnson Elementary School, in the city’s “Hard Bargain” neighborhood. A new historic display, created with help from MTSU students and staff, will be unveiled April 19. (Photo courtesy of VisitFranklin.com)

“Building a Future — The Journey from Slavery to Freedom” was unveiled April 19 at the McLemore House African-American Museum, 446 11th Ave. N. in Franklin, Tennessee.

The museum will open for tours on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Friday, April 21.

Harvey McLemore was a slave owned by former Confederate cavalry officer W.S. McLemore, who also was a lawyer and judge.

In 1880, as a free citizen, Harvey McLemore purchased land from the judge and built the home where the museum is now located. The house served as home to Harvey McLemore and his descendants for 117 years.

McLemore later purchased more lots, subdivided the 15-acre property and began selling building lots to other former slaves, creating an entire middle-class African-American neighborhood of teachers, carpenters, masons and farmers around the McLemore House.

Because McLemore reportedly had driven a “hard bargain” with the judge for his land, the neighborhood, bordered by 11th Avenue North, Mt. Hope Street, 9th Avenue North and Green Street in Franklin’s downtown area, became known as “Hard Bargain.”

Harvey McLemore’s daughter, Mary McLemore Matthews, seated, and Harvey’s great-granddaughter, Ora Mai Hughes Manier, pose for an undated snapshot. (Photo courtesy of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County)

Harvey McLemore’s daughter, Mary McLemore Matthews, above, and his great-granddaughter, Ora Mai Hughes Manier, pose for an undated snapshot. (Photo courtesy of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County)

“Harvey McLemore’s success anchored the Hard Bargain neighborhood and played a key role in Franklin’s recovery after the Civil War,” said Laura Holder, federal liaison for the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, which is administered by MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation.

This sign erected near the McLemore House African-American Museum in Franklin, Tenn., by the Williamson County Historical Society explains the history of the "Hard Bargain" neighborhood.

This sign erected near the McLemore House African-American Museum in Franklin, Tenn., by the Williamson County Historical Society explains the history of the “Hard Bargain” neighborhood.

Residents, neighbors and other supporters created an organization in 2006 called the Hard Bargain Association, which focuses on preserving the historic neighborhood by rehabbing existing homes, building affordable new homes and turning a cemetery caretaker’s old house into a popular community center called “Ty’s House.”

Heritage Area staff and MTSU students wrote the text for the new McLemore House Museum display with research assistance from the African-American Heritage Society, and MTSU’s Office of Creative and Visual Services designed the display.

“The Harvey McLemore story is a remarkable one, and we are grateful to the MTSU team and others for their hard work and for the great job they have done working with us on this project,” said Alma McLemore, president of the African-American Heritage Society, a nonprofit organization that administers the McLemore House museum.

Other partners in creating the exhibit include the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, the Battle of Franklin Trust and Franklin’s Charge Inc.

For more information about the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, contact Dr. Antoinette Van Zelm, assistant director of the Center for Historic Preservation, at 615-898-2947 or antoinette.vanzelm@mtsu.edu.

To learn more about the McLemore House African-American Museum, call 615-305-0904.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

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