Tennessee State University

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Tennessee State University
Former names
Tennessee A & I College
Tennessee Normal School for Negroes
Motto Think. Work. Serve
Established June 19, 1912 (1912-06-19)
Type Public
Endowment $47 million[1]
Chancellor John Morgan
President Glenda Baskin Glover
Provost Mark Hardy
Academic staff
Students 9,027 (Fall 2014)[2]
Undergraduates 7,073 (Fall 2014)
Postgraduates 1,954 (Fall 2014)
Location Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
36°10′00″N 86°49′50″W / 36.16667°N 86.83056°W / 36.16667; -86.83056Coordinates: 36°10′00″N 86°49′50″W / 36.16667°N 86.83056°W / 36.16667; -86.83056
Campus Urban, 903 acres (4 km²)
Colors TSU Blue and White
Athletics NCAA Division IOVC
Nickname Tigers
Affiliations APLU
Website www.tnstate.edu
Tennessee State University logo.png
Tennessee State University Historic District
WTN PeepHoles 052.JPG
Location 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Architect Marr & Holman, et al.
Governing body Tennessee Board of Regents
NRHP Reference # 96000677
Added to NRHP June 14, 1996

Tennessee State University (TSU) is a land-grant university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. TSU is the only state-funded historically black university in Tennessee. The University is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


TSU was originally organized as the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School for Negroes in 1909 and began serving students on June 19, 1912. Its status was raised to a four-year teachers' college in 1922, and two years later it was renamed the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal College.[3] In 1927, "Normal" was dropped from its name.[3]

It was elevated to university status in 1951, renamed the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial University, and got full-fledged land-grant university status by the Tennessee State Board of Education in 1958.[3] In 1968, the state legislature dropped the words "Agricultural and Industrial" in favor of "Tennessee State University."[4] Since 1972, it has been operated under the auspices of the Tennessee Board of Regents.[3][5]

The present-day Tennessee State University exists as a result of the court-ordered merger on July 1, 1979, of Tennessee State University and the former traditionally white institution, the University of Tennessee at Nashville, which had begun as an extension of the Knoxville-based University of Tennessee.[3] This resulted in a downtown campus known as The Avon Williams Campus. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University has grown dramatically from a small college to two campuses: the 500-acre main campus and the downtown Avon Williams campus, which is located in the heart of Nashville near the State Capitol. The diverse student population of more than 9,000 represents 46 states and 45 countries.

Tennessee State University is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational land-grant university offering 45 bachelor’s degrees and 24 master's degrees. Seven Doctoral programs include biological sciences, psychology, public administration, computer information systems engineering, administration and supervision and curriculum and instruction.


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[7] Tier 2
Washington Monthly[8] 56[6]

The university is currently accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award 45 baccalaureate degrees, 24 master's degrees, and doctoral degrees in seven areas (Biology, Computer Information Systems Engineering, Education, Psychology, and Public Administration), as well as the two-year Associate of Science degree in nursing, and dental hygiene.

The University Honors Program (UHP) is an academic program founded in 1964 that caters to select academically talented and highly motivated students at Tennessee State University.[9]

The College of Business is accredited by AACSB, the Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International or AACSB International; the first in Nashville to earn dual accreditation of both the undergraduate and graduate programs in 1994. The Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and the Teacher Education program by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The College of Engineering has developed corporate partnerships with NASA, Raytheon and General Motors. The School of Nursing boasts a 100% first-time pass-rate for students taking licensure examinations. The College of Health Sciences (formerly the School of Allied Health) has recently added much-in-demand programs such as the Masters in Physical Therapy and the Bachelor of Health Sciences.

College of Engineering[edit]

The TSU College of Engineering is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), offering baccalaureate degrees in the areas of Architectural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Aeronautical and Industrial Technology, and Mathematical Sciences; graduate degrees in the areas of Computer and Information Systems Engineering, General Engineering (M.E.), Biomedical, Civil, Environmental, Electrical, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Engineering; with the Ph.D. in Computer and Information Systems Engineering with concentrations in Computer Communications and Networks, Control Systems and Signal Processing, Robotics and Computer Integration, and Manufacturing.

It is also accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT), offering the B.S. in Aeronautical and Industrial Technology with concentrations in Aeronautical Technology (through Academic Common Market), Aviation Management, Aviation Flight, and Industrial Electronics Technology (through Academic Common Market).

College of Business[edit]

College of Liberal Arts[edit]

  • Art
  • Music
  • Social Work

College of Education[edit]

College of Health Sciences[edit]

College Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences[edit]

  • Family and Consumer Sciences

College of Public Service and Urban Affairs[edit]

  • Public Administration
  • Social Work


The 450 acres (1.8 km2) main campus has more than 65 buildings, and is located in a residential setting at 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd in Nashville, Tennessee. The Avon Williams campus is located downtown, near the center of the Nashville business and government district. Tennessee State offers on-campus housing to students. There are on campus dorms and two apartment complexes for upperclassmen. On campus facilities include dormitories Wilson Hall, Watson Hall, Eppse Hall, Boyd Hall, Rudolph Hall, Hale Hall, as well as the Ford Complex and New Residence Complex, TSU's two on-campus apartment complexes.

Student activities[edit]


Tennessee State University sponsors seven men's and eight women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports.[10] The school competes in the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision and is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.

Fraternities and sororities[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


Name Class year Notability References
U. L. "Rip" Gooch Commercial Pilot (20,000+ hours) and Certified Flight Instructor; FAA-Designated Flight Examiner; Owner/President, Aero Services, Inc., Wichita, Kansas; regional distributor (Kansas and adjacent), Mooney Aircraft; Member, Wichita Airport Authority; Member, Aviation Advisory Committee, Kansas Dept. of Transportation; 1993 Kansas Governor's Aviation Honor Award; Inductee, Black Aviation Hall of Fame [11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Civil Rights[edit]

Name Class year Notability References
Xernona Clayton 1952 Civil rights activist [20]
U. L. "Rip" Gooch Civil rights activist; Commissioner, Kansas Commission on Civil Rights; (also see : "Politics" below) [11][13][14][21]


Name Class year Notability References
Dr. Glenda Glover 1974 Eighth president of Tennessee State University [22]

Music and Entertainment[edit]

Name Class year Notability References
Jimmy Blanton jazz musician [23]
Hank Crawford jazz musician [24]
Moses Gunn actor [25]
Carla Thomas singer [citation needed]
Leon Thomas jazz singer [citation needed]
Rufus Thomas singer (attended one semester) [citation needed]
Oprah Winfrey 1987 talk show host/actress/entrepreneur [26]


Name Class year Notability References
James Clayborne, Jr. 1985 Member of the Illinois Senate [27]
Harold Ford, Sr. Member of the U.S. Congress [28]
John Ford Member of the Tennessee Senate [citation needed]
Howard Gentry, Jr. politician [29]
U. L. "Rip" Gooch Member, Kansas Senate (oldest serving Kansas state senator at 2004 retirement); Member, City Council of Wichita, Kansas; (also see : "Civil Rights" above) [11][13][14][21][30][31][32]
Thelma Harper Member of the Tennessee Senate [33]
Harvey Johnson, Jr. Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi [34]
Dr. C. O. Simpkins, Sr. dentist in Shreveport, civil rights activist, and member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1992 to 1996 [35]
A C Wharton Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee [36]


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Joe Adams CFL football player [37]
Brent Alexander NFL football player [38]
Bennie Anderson 1999 NFL football player [39]
Dick Barnett 1959 NBA basketball player [40]
Ralph Boston Olympic athlete; three time medal winning long jumper [41]
Sam Bowers Gridiron football player [42]
Waymond Bryant NFL football player [43]
Chandra Cheeseborough Olympic runner; gold and silver medalist
Robert Covington 2013 NBA Basketball Player
Dave Davis NFL football player [44]
Richard Dent NFL football player and member of Pro Football Hall of Fame [45]
Lamar Divens NFL football player [46]
Larry Tharpe NFL football player [47]
Cleveland Elam NFL football player [48]
Charley Ferguson AFL football player [49]
Sean Foley golf instructor to PGA Tour players [50]
Ryan Fann Paralympic Runner [51]
Randy Fuller NFL football player [52]
Rogers Gaines NFL football player [53]
Joe Gilliam NFL football player [54]
W. C. Gorden 1952 former head football coach at Jackson State University from 1976 to 1991. Member of College Football Hall of Fame http://www.collegefootball.org/famer_selected.php?id=90149[dead link][55]
Mike Hegman NFL football player [56]
Jarrick Hillery American football player [57]
Claude Humphrey NFL football player and member of Pro Football Hall of Fame [58]
Daniel Johnson NFL football player [citation needed]
Ed "Too Tall" Jones NFL football player [59]
Joe "Turkey" Jones NFL football player [60]
Larry Kinnebrew NFL football player [61]
Anthony Levine NFL football player [62]
Madeline Manning Olympic runner; gold medalist [63]
Anthony Mason NBA basketball player [64]
Edith McGuire Olympic runner; gold and two silver medalist [65]
Steve Moore NFL football player [66]
Lloyd Neal NBA basketball player [67]
Brian Ransom NFL football player [68]
Leonard "Truck" Robinson NBA basketball player [69]
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie NFL football player [70]
Carlos Rogers (basketball) 1994 former NBA basketball player [71]
Wilma Rudolph Olympic runner; first woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics [72]
Simon Shanks NFL football player [73]
Nate Simpson NFL football player [74]
Ahmaad Smith American football player [75]
Ollie Smith NFL football player [76]
Wyomia Tyus Olympic runner; first person to retain the Olympic title in the 100 m. [77]
Charlie Wade NFL football player [78]
Carl Wafer NFL football player [79]
Javarris Williams NFL football player [80]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of May 22, 2013. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.tnstate.edu/ir/Quick%20Facts%202013.pdf
  3. ^ a b c d e Richmond, Peggy A.; Maramark, Sheilah (1997). On the Road to Economic Development: A Guide for Continuing Education Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. DIANE Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7881-3996-3. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  4. ^ http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=1358[dead link]
  5. ^ Vile, John R.; Byrnes, Mark E. (1998). Tennessee government and politics: democracy in the volunteer state. Vanderbilt University Press. ISBN 978-0-8265-1318-2. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  6. ^ "2014 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved May 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ "2015 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ http://www.tnstate.edu/honors/about/index.aspx
  10. ^ Tennessee State Tigers Athletics
  11. ^ a b c Senate Resolution No.1770: A Resolution congratulating and commending Senator Ulysses Lee "Rip" Gooch, Kansas State Senate, 2013
  12. ^ "Gooch and Johnson honored as aviators," Sept. 6, 2001, Wichita Business Journal
  13. ^ a b c Gooch, U.L. "Rip" with Glen Sharp, Black Horizons: One Aviator's Experience in the Post-Tuskeegee Era,2006, Aviation Business Consultants, Wichita, KS. (Self-published autobiography, partially published online at Google Books, and distributed by Amazon.com
  14. ^ a b c U.L. "Rip" Gooch - Legislator, aviator and activist, website of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission, Office of the Governor, State of Kansas, Sept. 13, 2013 (retrieved Oct.29, 2014).
  15. ^ Noble. Horace - "Jayhawk at Skyhook 2014; Senator U.L. "Rip" Gooch attends Skyhook 2014", Sept. 2014, BPA ATIS newsletter, Black Pilots of America, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; notation that Gooch was an original member of the black aviation organization "Negro Aviation International, Inc.," before transferring to the BPA, and notes his attendance at "Skyhook 2014" "the premier event of Black aviation." Reports his May 2014 election as Sergeant-at-Arms of the Jayhawk Chapter of the BPA.
  16. ^ "Salina bankers deny claim they discriminate against minorities,", "Salina Journal, June 6, 1971, page 8, (retrieved Oct.29, 2014 from "Newspapers.com"); includes TEXT identifying "U.L. "Rip" Gooch, president of Aero Services Co., Wichita," as one of the speakers.
  17. ^ Chance, Carl, ed., "Kansas Governors Aviation Honor Awards: U. L. 'RIP' GOOCH,", WingsOverKansas.com, Nov. 12, 1993
  18. ^ Campbell, Jim, ed., "Who Is Rip Gooch And Why Do We Owe Him? 80-Year Old Aviation Pioneer Feted In Wichita,"Aero-News Network online, Sep 15, 2003
  19. ^ Weems, Robert E., Jr., "Commentary: Past and Present Wichita's Black Entrepreneurs", KMUW-FM radio (public radio station at Wichita State University), Feb. 6, 2013]
  20. ^ Malone, Janice (July 28, 2005). "TSU To Honor Media Pioneer Xernona Clayton". The Tennessee Tribune. Retrieved January 2, 2013.  (subscription required)
  21. ^ a b Associated Press, State Rights Commission Aggressive Force, Garden City Telegram, May 6, 1971, page 3
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  31. ^ Associated Press (John Hanna), "Legislature ends session with nod to senator,", May 30, 2003, Lawrence Journal-World
  32. ^ Associated Press, "Senate Honors Oldest Member Before 2003 Adjournment", May 30, 2003, Salina Journal, page 3
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  70. ^ "Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie". 2013 Philadelphia Eagles. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  71. ^ "Carlos Rogers". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  72. ^ Ashley, Dwayne; Williams, Juan; Ingrum, Adrienne (2009). I'll find a way or make one: a tribute to historically Black colleges and universities. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-197693-3. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]