TSU kicks off 2016 Homecoming

Parade goers and TSU supporters celebrate on campus immediately following the Homecoming parade on Jefferson Street in 2015. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Parade goers and TSU supporters celebrate on campus immediately following the Homecoming parade on Jefferson Street in 2015. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

It’s time for Homecoming, and this year Tennessee State University is fittingly “celebrating a legacy of pride and progress.”

That’s the theme for the 2016 celebration that kicks off Sunday, Oct. 9, and ends Saturday, Oct. 15, with the game between TSU and Ohio Valley Conference rival Eastern Kentucky University.

This year’s celebration marks TSU’s 104th anniversary. Organizers say the theme embodies the “true meaning” of TSU Homecoming.

“It is a time for TSU students, alumni and the community to celebrate the university’s 104-year impact on educational excellence,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Affairs and co-chair of the Homecoming Committee. “Homecoming is a time when the ‘Big Blue’ spirit is celebrated through well-planned academic and social events.”

The planned festive activities include a scholarship gala, the coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU, a parade, and Greek reunions and events, among others.

The university will also celebrate the contributions of several former students and numerous supporters, including Burnece Walker Brunson, a 101-year-old member of the Alumni Cheerleading squad, who will serve as co-grand marshal for the Homecoming parade.

“I’m really looking forward to (this year’s) homecoming,” Brunson said in a recent interview.

She will be joined as grand marshal by Damon Lee III, who along with his sister Kimberly Lee-Lamb, earlier this year contributed $250,000 to the university on behalf of their late parents Damon and Rachel Lee, who attended TSU 80 years ago.

Honorees for the Homecoming include Yvonne Y. Clark (affectionately referred to as ‘TSU Lady Engineer’) served the university for 55 years as instructor and associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Edward L. Graves, retired professor and bandleader for 35 years.

Celebrations will kick off at 3 pm, Sunday, Oct. 9, with the Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center. The Founder’s Day celebration on Tuesday will start at 9 am, also in the Floyd-Payne Campus Center, to be followed at 7 pm by the Blue Sapphire Awards in Poag Auditorium.

The coronation of Mr. TSU and Miss TSU will take place Wednesday at 7 pm in Kean Hall. On Friday, activities will begin with the Breakfast of Champions in the Farrell-Westbrook Complex at 8 am. The Charles Campbell Fish Fry will follow at 10 am on the President’s Lawn.

The annual Scholarship Gala and Silent Auction will take place later Friday at 6 pm in the Presidential Ball Room at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

The cost is $150 per person or $1,500 for a table of 10.
Homecoming events will culminate Saturday with the parade along Jefferson Street starting 9 am, to be followed by the Homecoming football game at Nissan Stadium.

For a complete schedule of events, parking details, ticket information and how to purchase tables for Homecoming 2016, go to <http://www.tnstate.edu> or contact <speters@tnstate.edu>.