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Archives: Detail

Spotlight Article
Date: 2012-03-19
Article Title: President Shields Leads Efforts For Tennessee State University Centennial Celebration
Article: In 1912, the doors opened to Tennessee State University (TSU), a school constructed to educate African Americans. The first commencement exercise took place on May 23, 1913. Since that time, TSU has produced many renown graduates and holds the record for more Olympic gold medals than any other University in the United States.
  On January 2, 2011 another milestone was reached when Dr. Portia Holmes Shields assumed the presidency of TSU- the first time a female has led the University in its 100 year history. The former president of Albany State University in Georgia, Shields was chosen from a pool of candidates listed with the Registry for College and University Presidents, a national search service that assists universities and colleges nationwide as they seek leadership during transitional periods. Most recently, Shields served as chief executive officer and chief academic officer of Concordia College in Selma, Alabama from November 2007 to December 2009 where she improved academic programs and institutional effectiveness, raised campus academic standards and enhanced the college’s financial operations as well as helped Concordia address accreditation concerns according to the TBR.
  Since stepping in to lead efforts of the University's 500-acre main campus and downtown campus, many achievements have been noted and recognized over the years. Some highlights include: the exceptional marching band — internationally known as the Aristocrat of Bands; an award-winning NCAA Division I and I-AA athletic program; one of the best forensic debate teams in the nation; and distinguished alumni, including media mogul Oprah Winfrey, U.S. Air Force four-star general Lloyd “Fig” Newton, Johns Hopkins cardiac surgeon Dr. Levi Watkins, cell phone microchip inventor Jesse Russell, and Cantana Starks, the first woman to coach a college men’s golf team, whose life story will be portrayed in a feature film this year by Taraji P. Henson, titled “From the Rough.” among many others.
  In addition, TSU has been consistently listed in U. S. News & World Report’s “Guide to America’s Best Colleges” for more than a dozen years, as maintaining one of the highest graduation rates among the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and the highest in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system. This is no wonder why the school has become one of the nation’s most recognized Historically Black Institutions attracting students from at least 42 states and 45 countries to further their education in more than 75 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral educational programs.
  This year marks an important moment in the University’s history as many events will be planned throughout the year to pay homage to people and momentus milestones which have helped propel the University as a leading Historically Black Institution.
  For more information regarding events Tennessee State University will be hosting this year, please call (615) 963-5000.