TSU 10th annual Women of Legend and Merit Awards bestowed deserving honors

Vivica A. Fox takes part in a Q&A session. (photo: Deborah A. Culp)

Vivica A. Fox takes part in a Q&A session. (photo: Deborah A. Culp)

Not only was it an evening to remember, it was a well-rounded, spectacular day to remember too. The TSU 10th annual Women of Legend and Merit Awards honored some deserving local living legends and two other surprise honorees as well. The confirmed honorees included: Dr. Stephanie Hale Walker, Vanderbilt University and esteemed First Lady of Mt. Zion Baptist Church; Cheryl White Mason, Vanderbilt Law School and HCA vice president of litigation’; Teresa Phillips, Tennessee State University athletic director; Yvette Boyd of R.H. Boyd Publishing; and Vicki Yates, WTVF Channel 5 news anchor and TV personality.

TSU’s Gentry Center was transformed into an elegant venue complete with the illusion of glass slippers, the school’s color guard and some of the most well dressed attendees this year. Stunning actress, executive producer and successful entrepreneur Vivica Fox presented a keynote address that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Equally beautiful, multi-talented vocalist (and ordained minister) Angela Winbush captivated the audience with a stellar musical performance. A well-balanced prayer was said before a tasty meal was served. Amid the smiles and soft chatter of networking, the room was laced with power, beauty and the spirit of overall accomplishment. That audience consisted of lay people, movers and shakers, politicians, scholars and entrepreneurs. Some hailed from Nashville others came the necessary distance to be a part of the seemingly magical evening.

In the end it all looked good, but how often does someone take notice of how it all came together including the time necessary to finalize such detailed end results? Earlier that day TSU’s behind the scenes crew, the Faculty Management Movable Property Department, acted as the wind beneath another high profile event. They all put in long, hard hours to set things up for the TSU Distinguished Lecture Series, the SGA question and answer session, and the press conference with Vivica Fox. Supervisor Memphis Swinney and teammates Courtney Evans, James Churchwell, James Rogan and Xavier Shaw laid the basis for those two valuable events.

The event took place at TSU’s Kean Hall gymnasium, and the students eagerly soaked up every nuance of the iconic Fox’s testimonial style speech. It wasn’t hard to see that the department and other TSU faculty and students really put the work in to make the event components paramount for the guests that day. The Distinguished Lecture Series program kicked off with the introduction of Dr. Hodges with a realm of special recognitions. Aaron Freeman introduced Fox, and she nailed the keynote with infused wisdom and humor morphing into the question and answer session. Dean and Rev. Frank Stevenson followed up with panel introductions and closing thoughts.

John Smith of John Smith Marketing, TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover, the media relations team and everyone who had a hand in this year’s successful program may all place a proverbial feather in their caps for a job well done.