University gives back to community during Fall Day of Service

Tennessee State University students Joteshia Medaries and Amber Jones worked to improve the campus of Caldwell Elementary during a recent TSU Service Day. The university will hold this year’s annual Fall Service Learning Day Saturday, Aug. 24. photo: John Cross, TSU Media Relations

Tennessee State University students Joteshia Medaries and Amber Jones worked to improve the campus of Caldwell Elementary during a recent TSU Service Day. The university will hold this year’s annual Fall Service Learning Day Saturday, Aug. 24.
photo: John Cross, TSU Media Relations

More than 80 years ago, Laura M. Averitte penned the moving words to the alma mater of Tennessee State University, stating that “…by the Cumberland’s fertile shore stands a school for greater service,” a tradition the university continues to honor today.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, TSU will continue the tradition of service as they partner with Hands on Nashville in an act of giving back to a community that has embraced the university for more than 100 years when students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members take part in the annual 2013 Fall Service Learning Day.

During the day, the university will see volunteers from throughout the campus pitch in at more than eight different organizations that help needy, hungry and homeless people in the Greater Nashville area. Volunteers will not only help at the university, but also Second Harvest Food Bank, Hands On Nashville Farm, Good Food for Good People, Earth Matters and Cumberland River Compact.

“We’re shooting for 600 participants, and we’re well on our way,” said Dr. Linda Guthrie, acting director of the Center for Service Learning, noting that 159 volunteers have already pre-registered. “We have a rich tradition of service at the university and try to instill in our students an ethic of caring and a sense of responsibility for making our world a better place. We have a lot of students, especially freshman, interested so far, but we want to engage as much of the University community as possible, and there are still plenty of spots left for those who want to serve that day.”

The service-day event takes place from 7 am until 1 pm. Volunteers will gather at the Gentry Center for transportation to area work sites, departing at 8:30 am and returning by noon. TSU officials encourage volunteers and students who are required to complete service learning hours are encouraged to sign up at <www.hon.org/tsu> . Use invitation code TSU to view the project descriptions and to volunteer.

Service learning and community service is nothing new to the students, faculty and staff at the University. According to the Center for Service Learning <www.tnstate.edu/servicelearning/> , TSU offered 93 service-learning courses last year, while more than 2,000 students performed 20,000 community service hours at an estimated value of $400,000. Just recently, TSU was named for the fifth year in a row to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

For more information, contact Marc Anthony Peek at 615-498-5124 or <marcanthony@hon.org>.

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the university online at <tnstate.edu> .