Friday, April 28, 2006


McKee Farm is 24th in County to be Recognized for Agricultural Contributions

CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947

(MURFREESBORO)—The McKee Farm in Sumner County has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reports Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms program at the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), which is located on the campus MTSU.
Just more than 100 years ago, on March 5, 1906, John William “Jack” McKee and Marcus “Mark” Lafayette McKee established the McKee Farms, which is located east of Gallatin in the early settlement of Greenfield. The farm was originally a parcel of the land grant of more than 6,000 acres originally awarded to Col. Anthony Bledsoe.
Jack married Salley Murphey and Mark married Hattie Bobo. Both of the couples had six children. The family has many stories that have been passed down through the generations that have lived on this farm. When Mark and Hattie returned from their wedding trip to Nashville in 1911, they set up housekeeping in a dogtrot log house. When the first of their children came, the doctor told Hattie that the house, which had little chinking between the logs, was a “wonderful place to raise children because there was plenty of fresh air.” This house burned in 1923 and the current farm residence was built to replace it.
One of the first cash crops produced by the McKees was hay. which was put on a railcar in Rogana, just north of the farm, and shipped to Scottsville, Ky. Because this was the best way to market, later Jack bought a small parcel of land beside the railroad tracks where he could hold his livestock until they were ready to be shipped to Louisville, Ky. In 1909, Jack constructed a stock barn. According to the family, when the barn was being raised, a severe windstorm blew through, causing the framing poles to lean. Since no one knew how to straighten the poles, the barn was built leaning, as it does to this day (though it has been braced by the current owners).
Mark McKee, while working the farm, also carried mail from 1925 until 1958 for the Castalian Springs community. During a severe drought in 1936, the farm was able to survive because a portion of Bledsoe Creek runs through the property. The family recalls that cows had to be driven to the area daily while water was carried to the hogs. During World War II, the army conducted maneuvers in the Castalian Springs area. Later, the soldiers would be among those who fought in the D-Day invasions.
In April 1952, Mark McKee Jr. bought the farm across the road from his father. Mark married Twyla Ellis and they had two children, Michael and Mark III. After Mark Sr.’s death in 1983, Mark Jr. and his son Mark McKee III purchased 181 acres. Today, Mark III lives in the 1920s house, where he and wife Melissa (Carothers) rear their three sons. Currently, the farm produces cattle, corn, wheat, soybeans, hay, pasture and tobacco.
The McKee Farm is the 24th farm in Sumner County to be certified as a Century Farm.

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About the Tennessee Century Farm Program

The Tennessee Century Farm Program, now 30 years old, recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have continuously owned, and kept in production, family land for at least 100 years. Since 1984, the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU has been a leader in the important work of documenting Tennessee’s agricultural heritage and history through the Tennessee Century Farm Program, and continues to administer this program.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) began the Tennessee Century Farm Program in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial. Today, the TDA provides a metal outdoor sign, noting either 100, 150 or 200 years of “continuous agricultural production” to Century Farm families.
To be considered for eligibility, a farm must be owned by the same family for at least 100 years; must produce $1,000 revenue annually; must have at least 10 acres of the original farm; and one owner must be a resident of Tennessee. There are more than 1,000 Century Farms across the state and all 95 counties are represented.
“The Century Farmers represent all the farm families of Tennessee,” Hankins said, “and their contributions to the economy, and to the social, cultural, and agrarian vitality of the state, both past and present, is immeasurable. Each farm is a Tennessee treasure.”
For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit its Web site at The Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted via mail at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132, or by telephone at 615-898-2947.

• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview with the farm’s current owners, please contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 615-898-2947.


Rocky Field Farm 42nd Farm in County to be Recognized for Agricultural Contributions

CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947

(MURFREESBORO)—The Rocky Field Farm in Greene County has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm, reports Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms program at the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), which is located on the campus of MTSU.
In 1796, the same year that Tennessee became a state, Joseph White obtained 40 acres of land north of Greeneville, on the sinking branch of Lick Creek, as a purchase from land-grant holder John Smith.
Married to Margaret Duncan in 1805, the Whites had six sons and two daughters. At Joseph’s death in 1841, Margaret inherited all property. In April of 1852, their son Jacob bought the shares of three of his brothers; only the sons inherited property at their mother’s death. Jacob and his wife Rebecca Thompson, who he married in 1833, had six children, Isaac, Susan, Eliza, John, Sarah and Aby.
When Jacob and Rebecca died, the land passed to their children, including their daughters. John White and wife Elizabeth White (a cousin) married in 1861 and had seven children. Their son, also named Jacob after his grandfather, acquired the property in the 1890s. Along with his wife Salome, Jacob cultivated corn, wheat and hay and raised cattle, horses, mules, sheep, hogs and poultry. Their son, Arthur, died of typhoid fever in the 1920s and the land passed directly to his children, Clara and Evaline White, granddaughters of the founders.
Clara White became the sole owner of the farm in 1938. Clara married Dorsey Hobart Hughes and they had four children. Under their ownership, the farm supported similar livestock and crops were raised by the founders, with the addition of hogs and tobacco.
In 1978, the land was acquired by Clara and Dorsey’s son, Bobby Wayne Hughes and his wife Helen M. Hughes, who owned the property until 1993 when Herbert Wayne Hughes obtained it. Today, Wayne and wife Pamela Hughes raise beef cattle, horses, tobacco, hay and corn. In addition to the owners, other members of the family, including Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hughes and children, Mrs. Helen Hughes and Mark Hughes live on the farm. These three generations continue the farming traditions on the land their family has owned for as long as Tennessee has been a state.
The Rocky Field Farm is the 42nd farm in Greene County to be certified as a Century Farm.
Hankins said the farm’s owners would especially like to thank Mrs. Betty Black who “provided invaluable information as our family historian to identify key links enabling us to trace the ancestry/ownership to the earliest possible date.” Also, the Hughes family acknowledges the kind assistance of Mrs. Marie Harmon, county historian, whose knowledge of the resources of the Elmer T. Cox Genealogy and Historical Library helped to trace the family and farm history.

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About the Century Farm Program

The Tennessee Century Farms Program recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have continuously owned and kept in production, family land for at least 100 years. Since 1984, the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU has been a leader in the important work of documenting Tennessee’s agricultural heritage and history by administering this statewide program. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) began the Tennessee Century Farm Program in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial and provides a metal outdoor sign to the Century Farm families following certification by the Center.
To be considered for eligibility, a farm must be owned by the same family for at least 100 years; must produce $1,000 revenue annually; must have at least 10 acres of the original farm; and one owner must be a resident of Tennessee. There are more than 1,000 Century Farms across the state and all of the state’s 95 counties are represented.
“The Century Farmers represent all the farm families of Tennessee,” Hankins said, “and their contributions to the economy, and to the social, cultural and agrarian vitality of the state, both past and present, is immeasurable. Each farm is a Tennessee treasure.”
For more information about the Century Farms Program, please visit its Web site at The Center for Historic Preservation also may be contacted via mail at Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37132, or by telephone at 615-898-2947.

• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview with the farms’ current owners, or to request a jpeg of the farm and its current owners for editorial use, please contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 615-898-2947.


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919

(MURFREESBORO)—Some 16 MTSU alumni and several faculty members have made significant editorial contributions to the newly published “Encyclopedia of Appalachia,” a comprehensive reference guide that encompasses many facets of Appalachian culture.
The new title, with more than 2,000 entries, “serves as a one-stop reference for students, teachers, scholars and the general public as they seek information about Appalachia's land, people, economics, cultures and institutions,” according to the encyclopedia’s Web site (
Members of the MTSU community became involved with the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) project after Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), was contacted by its sister Center of Excellence—the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at ETSU.
“I had occasion to meet with (ETSU center representatives) and help in initial planning for the project,” West said. “I also agreed to be the section editor for architecture and … I turned to many of our past M.A. historic preservation students that have built successful careers throughout the region” to contribute to the encyclopedia.
West said he agreed to undertake the assignment not only because of his research interests in southern architecture, but also out of the conviction that Appalachia particularly suffers from stereotypes.
“All architecture in Appalachia is not composed of log cabins, as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park suggests,” West observed, regarding the Appalachia region that refers to the entire area along the Appalachian Mountains and stretches from northern Alabama to Maine.
“The section certainly includes an entry on log buildings,” West remarked, “but it also includes such key American architectural landmarks as Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water in Pennsylvania and the Grove Park Inn in North Carolina.”
Southern architecture aside, however, the CHP-related contributions to the “Encyclopedia of Appalachia” serve to highlight the academic endeavors of MTSU’s history department and programs.
Dr. John McDaniel, dean of MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts, said, “The newly published encyclopedia on the historical roots and cultural accomplishments of Appalachia is an important addition to what can be broadly called Southern Studies—an addition to which the faculty and students in our

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history department and Center for Historic Preservation have made significant
“With mentoring and partnering from senior faculty in the MTSU Public History Program,” McDaniel noted, “graduate students have had a unique opportunity to experience the rigors and delights of researching and publishing in a volume sure to have national significance as a scholarly reference work.”
And West couldn’t agree more.
“The ‘Encyclopedia of Appalachia’ is not only a document of the well-recognized research and expertise of the Center for Historic Preservation,” he said. “(but) it is also a testament to the quality of our graduate assistants and how we always try to advance their research and careers by involving them in experiential learning experiences.”
In addition to West and former historic preservation graduate students, Drs. Bren Martin and Kris McCusker, associates professors of history at MTSU, and the late Dr. Charles Wolfe, English professor and historian, also contributed to the Appalachian reference work, among others.
Published by the University of Tennessee Press, the “Encyclopedia of Appalachia” was unveiled at the Appalachian Studies Association's conference March 17-19 in Dayton, Ohio.
• For more information about the “Encyclopedia of Appalachia,” please visit the Center for Appalachia Studies and Services Web site at or contact Cheryl Carson at the University of Tennessee Press at (865) 974-4440.

406 Tennessee Environmental Education Summit

* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *

Date: April 27, 2006 Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Summit contacts: Cindi Smith-Walters, 898-5449
Karen Hargrove, 898-2660
Cynthia Allen, 898-8133

(MURFREESBORO) — Media invited to cover the first ever Tennessee Environmental Education Summit with the Tennessee Environmental Association today and Friday.
State and out-of-state experts will discuss the environment and its role in education, the future direction of environmental education in Tennessee, common concerns and more.

When: today (1 until 5:30 p.m.) and Friday (9 a.m. until 1 p.m.)
Where: Fairview Building, 820 Fairview Ave., just off Greenland Drive.

Principle speakers today:
Paul Sloan, deputy commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, keynote address at 2 p.m.;
Tami Coleman, Conservation Education Now for Tennessee Students, “National EE Curriculum Projects in Tennessee/Recruitment and Training of Workshop Facilitators,” 2:45 p.m.;
Jennifer Arnold and Ken Voorhis, Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont, 3:15 p.m.;
Linda Jordan, Tennessee Department of Education, “No Child Left Behind Implications,” 4:15 p.m.;
Kim Bailey, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, “Resource Sharing/Southeastern EE Web site Project,” 5 p.m.

Principle speakers Friday, April 28:
Vera Vollbrecht, Warner Park Nature Center, and Ken Voorhis, GDNR, “Non-formal EE Opportunities and Challenges,” 9:15 a.m.;
Jane Eller, Kentucky Environmental Education Council, “What’s Going on in Other States: Certification,” 10:45 a.m.;
Kim Bailey, GDNR, “What’s Going On in Other States” and “What’s Going On at the National Level,” 11:30 a.m.

404 Public Historian will lead forum -- “Rethinking the Civil War at 150 Years”

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919

June 22 Discussion Features Several Well-Known Civil War Experts; Free to Public

(MURFREESBORO)—“Rethinking the Civil War at 150 Years” is the title and focus of an upcoming public forum at MTSU that will be led by Dr. Dwight Pitcaithley, the 2006 Visiting Distinguished Public Historian for MTSU’s Department of History.
The free and open discussion will be held 7-8:45 p.m. June 22 in the State Farm Lecture Hall in the university’s Business Aerospace Building.
“The topic of the public forum, ’Rethinking the Civil War at 150 Years,’ gives us an opportunity to spotlight two important developments in middle Tennessee: the opening of the new visitors center at Stones River National Battlefield last spring and the current effort to establish a national battlefield park in Franklin to commemorate the Battle of Franklin,” said Dr. Rebecca Conard, MTSU history professor.
“It also is an opportunity for anyone interested in Civil War history to participate in a discussion with several well-known Tennesseans who will be involved in planning for the sesquicentennial of the Civil War,” she added.
In addition to Pitcaithley, former chief historian for the National Park Service (1995-2005), the June 22 event will feature a panel of well-known local and regional Civil War experts, all of whom will discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with commemorating the upcoming sesquicentennial (2011-2015) of the Civil War.
Dr. John Coski, author of The Embattled Emblem: The History of the Confederate Battle Flag, will serve as moderator for the panel, which also will include Nancy Bassett, former director of the Carnton Historic Plantation and spokeswoman for the United Daughters of the Confederacy; state historian Walter Durham; Robert Hicks, author of the best-selling Widow of the South and a leader in the movement to establish the Battle of Franklin historic site in Williamson County; Norman Hill, chairman of the Tennessee Historical Commission; Stuart Johnson, superintendent of Stones River National Historic Battlefield; and Wayne Wilson of the Rutherford County chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Conard said the relevance of the June 22 discussion will be enhanced by its focus on the Civil War’s sesquicentennial.
“If you remember,” Conard observed, “the civil rights movement overshadowed the centennial of the Civil War, which likely will add significance to the sesquicentennial as a historical milestone.”
As for Pitcaithley’s June 5-July 7 residency as MTSU’s 2006 Visiting Distinguished Public Historian, during this time he will teach Current Issues in Public History Practice, a course for M.A. and Ph.D. students in the public history program that will examine the strategies that the three National Historic Battlefields and two museums have adopted in recent years to interpret a broader history of the Civil War.
“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Pitcaithley is joining us this summer to teach a graduate course examining real-world strategies for telling a more complex story of the Civil War at historic places,” remarked Conard, who is the director of MTSU’s public history program.
“Many of our graduate students are actively involved in the efforts of local museums and historic sites to broaden the interpretation of the Civil War, so the opportunity for them to study with the chief architect of the National Park Service's battlefield reinterpretation initiative is of immense value.”
For more information regarding the June 22 forum or Pitcaithley’s visit, please contact Conard at 615-898-2423.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Date: April 26, 2006
Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Event contact: Valerie Avent, 615-898-2718

(MURFREESBORO) — Darrell S. Freeman Sr., president and chief executive officer of Zycron Computer Services Inc. in Nashville, will be the featured speaker for the African-American Awards Ceremony. The event will be held starting at 5 p.m. Friday, May 5, in the Tom H. Jackson Building (Alumni Center).
“I am excited to have the opportunity to recognize these extraordinary individuals,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said. “They have all demonstrated outstanding achievements, and I am proud they are students and alumni of this great institution.”
The student scholarship awards are held in honor of the late Al Wilkerson (B.S. ’73, M.A. ’79, Ed.S. ’92), who was an MTSU alumnus and former faculty member who helped establish the Office of Multicultural Affairs on campus and the first MTSU African-American alumni organization.
This marks the first year the event will recognize both student and alumni award recipients at the same ceremony.
The alumni award recipients include: Mark Gwyn (B.S. ’85), director, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; Dr. Forrest D. Toms (B.S. ’74, M.A. ’76), CEO, Training Research Development Inc.; Dr. Susan Hill West (B.S. ’81), associate vice president for presidential affairs at Belmont University; and attorney Luther D. Wright (B.S. ’92), partner, Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry PLC.
Freeman (B.S. ’87, M.S. ’90) founded his company in 1991 a year after earning his master’s at MTSU. Zycron employs more than 100 people.
Freeman serves on boards for the Boy Scouts of America, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Small Business & Labor Advisory Council and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. He serves as chairman of the board for StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna, where he and his wife, Gloria, and their four children live, chairman of the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee and member of various other organizations.
An avid golfer and member of the Governors Club of Tennessee, Freeman enjoys flying (he is an instrument-rated pilot) and successfully has completed four marathons.
Tickets will be $10 per person and $5 for students, and can be purchased by calling 1-800-533-MTSU (6878) or visiting
Media welcomed.


Date: April 26, 2006
Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919

(MURFREESBORO) — Ten Middle Tennessee high school seniors who have overcome hardships to find success in their young lives will be honored for their perseverance Wednesday, May 3, during the eighth annual Neill-Sandler Strive for Excellence Banquet at MTSU.
The invitation-only event will start at 6 p.m. in the James Union Building’s Tennessee Room.
The 10 students, who have been nominated by their schools and school systems, have recovered from tough times. In spite of their situations, they have performed well in the classroom and on their college entrance tests, and exhibited leadership skills in and out of school. Some have worked to financially assist themselves and family members.
Scholarships provided through the Neill-Sandler Foundation and The Danner Company, a Nashville-based business led by Chairman Ray Danner, will go to the deserving students who come from the following county school systems: Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Franklin, Rutherford, Warren, Williamson and Wilson, and Tullahoma City Schools.
This year’s honorees will include:
Wartrace resident Danee Crosslin of Cascade High School; Bradyville resident Michelle Pruett of Cannon County High School in Woodbury; Jamey Hurst of Coffee County Central High School in Manchester; Dowelltown resident Bethany Davis of DeKalb County High School in Smithville; Jeff Sanders of Huntland High School; Elizabeth D. Allen, a Murfreesboro resident, of La Vergne High School; Chelsea Beaty of Warren County High School in McMinnville; Franklin resident Kasey Stannard of Page High School; Wesley Frazier of Watertown High School; and Stephanie McGowen of Tullahoma High School.
One scholarship recipient will receive the Ray Danner Scholarship, which has a total award of $10,000. Another student will receive the Elizabeth and Sidney McPhee Scholarship, with a total award of $7,500. The other eight winners will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
“This fall, MTSU will welcome 10 additional Neill-Sandler Scholars to campus,” said Kippy Todd, assistant director for annual giving in the Office of Development. “These students have weathered many losses and hardships with great courage and determination. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments.”
Todd acknowledged the assistance and effort by businessmen Gary Neill of Knoxville and Mike Sandler of Murfreesboro in maintaining the scholarship program. “We are grateful to Mike Sandler and Gary Neill as they continue to assist students in making a college education possible,” she said.
The program, which has awarded 75 scholarships, was established in 1999 through the efforts of Neill, Sandler and Randy Morton of the Neill-Sandler Foundation.
For more information about the Neill-Sandler Scholars at MTSU program, visit For information about other scholarships or admission to MTSU, call the admissions office at 615-898-2111 or visit
Media welcomed.


CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919

(MURFREESBORO)—MTSU student William C. Fancher was named as the national winner of the distinguished O’Neill Critic’s Institute (OCI), an initiative of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), during an evening ceremony on April 22.
A native of Cordova, Tenn., Fancher was the Region IV KCACTF winner and represented the region at the national festival, which was held April 18–23 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Fancher, who is a graduate of Cordova High School, is a marketing major and has taken several courses in the university’s speech and theatre program. Most recently, he portrayed Mason Marzac, a passionate new baseball fan, in the MTSU production of playwright Richard Greenberg’s award-winning baseball drama titled “Take Me Out.”
“This is a great honor for MTSU Theatre,” said Jeff Gibson, assistant professor, speech and theatre. “We appreciate Will’s hard work and dedication in representing us.”
Each year, the regional competition of the American College Theatre Festival holds an O'Neill Critics Institute. OCI was established to assist in elevating the level of arts criticism and to provide writers the opportunity to grow at the same pace as the artists, whose work they review and interpret. To accomplish this, the American College Theatre Festival sponsors workshops at each regional festival where students write daily critiques of plays in round-table discussion sessions.
As the national winner, Fancher will attend the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center during its national playwriting conference in July 2006, where he will work with leading professional newspaper and magazine critics from across the United States.
“As you can imagine, this is an incredible opportunity for a student to meet and work with leading critics and theatre professionals from across the country,” remarked Gibson, who adds that several past winners now work for major newspapers and national magazines.
For more information regarding MTSU Theatre, please access the program’s Web page online at or by calling (615) 898-5916.

• ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview with Fancher, please contact Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs at MTSU at 615-898-2919.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

401 Terry Gross rescheduled for September 19, public urged to keep tickets

Due to illness, “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross was not be able to fulfill her previously scheduled commitments at MTSU. Her appearance has been rescheduled for September 19.
Marc J. Barr, Electronic Media Communication professor, says new tickets will not be printed, and persons with the original April 17 tickets are encouraged to keep them for the September event.
“Fresh Air with Terry Gross” won the Peabody Award in 1994 for what the Peabody Board called its “probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight. It also captured the Ohio State Award in 1987 and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award for “Best Live Radio Program” in 1981.
Gross embarked on her radio career in 1973 at WBFO, a public station in Buffalo, N.Y., where she hosted several programs. In 1975, she was hired at Philadelphia’s WHYY-FM as producer and host of “Fresh Air.” The daily interview and music program went national with a half-hour edition in 1985 and expanded to a one-hour edition in 1987. “Fresh Air” now air on 160 stations.

For more information, contact Barr at 615-898-5118 or at

Friday, April 21, 2006


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919

(NEW YORK/MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—MTSU alumna Holli Harrison, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., recently was named one of the top-five winners in the 52nd Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals, where she showcased her “dark and mezzolike” soprano voice, as described by The New York Times, and took home a $15,000 prize.
Now a resident of New York City, Harrison—since her big win—is juggling auditions and eyeing her opera-related options.
“Right now I’m taking things one step at a time,” said Harrison, who earned a bachelor of science degree in music, with an emphasis in vocal performance, from MTSU in 1997.
“So far, (winning) has meant being able to pay for a lot of lessons and coaching and music … (and) one shopping trip,” Harrison said, commenting on the perks of her recent success.
In addition to the financial relief and notoriety, Harrison said she received an abundance of the thing that she enjoys most about singing.
“I love the thrill of a live audience,” she remarked. “They could have paid me $1 that day after having sung on that stage, with that orchestra, and I would have been happy.”
Harrison said that one of the people who, in part, is responsible for helping her get to that stage is MTSU music professor Ralphael Bundage, who helped direct the young singer toward opera.
“I grew up singing gospel—I am from the South, after all—and didn’t get into opera until I got to college,” Harrison explained.
Harrison said that after she met Bundage, she was accepted into the Nashville Opera chorus, which is directed by Bundage
“After that,” Harrison said. “I was hooked. … What could be better than getting paid to dress up and be someone else?”
Regarding Harrison’s latest prestigious opera win, Michael Linton, a professor with MTSU’s McLean School of Music, said, “The (Metropolitan Opera) competition is the world's leading competition for young singers, and for a MTSU alumna to win the award is a tremendous accomplishment for her.”
For more information regarding MTSU’s music school, please contact Tim Musselman at 615-898-2493.

ATTENTION, MEDIA—For editorial needs regarding Harrison, please contact Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs at or by calling 615-898-2919.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


April 19, 2006
CONTACT: Tom Tozer, 615-898-2919

MURFREESBORO—Both morning and afternoon Spring Commencement ceremonies at Middle Tennessee State University, which will be held at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 6, in Murphy Center, will once again be available via Webcast on the university Web site.
For those people who will not be able to attend in person and have access to the Internet, the following steps will provide the Webcast link:

1. Go to the university home page:
2. Click on the “Spring 2006 Commencement” photo at right.
3. Under “Live Events,” click on the “Spring 2006 Commencement” text. This will launch your previously installed Windows Media Player.

If your computer lacks Windows Media Player, click on the “Windows Media Player” option at right. The link will take you to a Webpage that contains all the available computer versions. Select the appropriate one for your computer, download it, and install it. Then retry by clicking on “Spring 2006 Commencement.”
Please note that on the day of commencement, the link will not be active until approximately 15 minutes prior to the start of each commencement ceremony.
Candidates from the College of Graduate Studies, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, and College of Education and Behavioral Science will receive their degrees in the morning ceremony. That afternoon degrees will be conferred on candidates in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Mass Communication, and the College of Continuing Education and Distance Learning.
The Right Honorable Perry Gladstone Christie, current prime minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, will be the guest speaker for the 9 a.m. ceremony. Christie, who also serves as the minister of finance, was sworn in as the third PM of an independent Bahamas on May 3, 2002, following his triumph in a free general election.
Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, now in his second term as mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville, will be the featured speaker for the 2 p.m. ceremony. Purcell was firts elected in 1999, then re-elected to a second mayoral term with a record-setting 84.8 percent of the vote.
The May 6 commencement will celebrate the graduation of another record-setting number of spring graduates at 2,042 undergraduate candidates (1,736) and graduate candidates (306). No tickets will be required to attend the ceremonies in Murphy Center.



Date: April 19, 2006
Contact: Patience Long, 1-800-533-6878


(MURFREESBORO) — MTSU has issued an invitation to alumni and friends to join MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, Director of Athletics Chris Massaro and MTSU head coaches Rick Stockstill (football), Kermit Davis (men’s baskeball) and Rick Insell (women’s basketball).
The event will be held on Monday, May 15, at Temple Hills Golf Club, 6379 Temple Road in Franklin.
The event starts with lunch at 10:30 a.m. followed by a golf scramble at 12 p.m. McPhee and other university officials will be on hand share news about MTSU, which now has the largest undergraduate enrollment of any university in Tennessee.
Following the golf scramble, a reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., which is open to all alumni and friends.
The charge for the golf scramble is $125 per person and includes both the luncheon and reception event. For guests who only want to attend the reception, the cost is $10. Attendees also will receive complimentary MTSU keepsakes.
Reservations must be made by May 8, by calling the MTSU Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-533-6878 or online at



Date: April 19, 2006
Contact: Patience Long, 1-800-533-6878


(MURFREESBORO) — The MTSU Williamson County Alumni Chapter has issued an invitation to alumni and friends in Williamson County to volunteer for Raiders on the Harpeth, a family oriented stream cleanup and picnic.

Volunteers are needed on Saturday, May 13, to remove trash and debris from the stream, along its banks and from areas adjacent to the watershed.

The City of Franklin is providing equipment including work gloves, trash bags, and grabber tools.

Volunteers are asked to gather at 8:30 a.m. at the Aspen Grove Park Pavilion in Cool Springs, at Cool Springs Blvd., near P.F. Chang’s. MTSU will provide free lunch at 12 noon for all participants.

The first 25 people to register will receive a free MT T-shirt, call 1-800-533-MTSU or visit by Thursday, May 11.


395 First-ever Tennessee Environmental Education Summit set for April 27-28 at MTSU

Date: April 19, 2006
Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Summit contacts: Cindi Smith-Walters, 898-5449
Karen Hargrove, 898-2660
Cynthia Allen, 904-8133

(MURFREESBORO) — A wide array of experts from across the state and beyond will gather April 27-28 in the Fairview Building off Greenland Drive for the first-ever Tennessee Environmental Education Summit with the Tennessee Environmental Education Association.
The invitation-only summit will allow key leaders from both environment and education backgrounds to discuss the environment and its role in education, the future direction of environmental education in Tennessee, common concerns and challenges and more, event organizers said recently.
The organizers said they expect 75 key representatives from both environment and education backgrounds across Tennessee to attend. Participants will include state agencies, state-level administrators, natural resource agencies, higher education, K-12 and nonprofit groups.
The keynote address at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 21, will be made by Paul Sloan, deputy commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation since April 14, 2005.
At 2:45 p.m., Tami Coleman, coordinator, Projects CENTS (Conservation Education Now for Tennessee Students) at the state Department of Education, is expected to discuss national environmental education curriculum projects that are active in Tennessee and the recruitment and training of workshop facilitators.
Other April 27 summit presenters will include Dr. Padgett Kelly, professor, biology and mentor of the MTSU Center for Environmental Education team, who will discuss the history of environmental education in Tennessee; welcome remarks by both Drs. Cindi Smith-Walters of the Center for Environmental Education and Sidney A. McPhee, university president; and Linda Jordan, science coordinator for the state Department of Education, who will discuss No Child Left Behind.
The Friday, April 28, session starts at 9:15 a.m. with Vera Vollbrecht and Ken Voorhis discussing non-formal environmental education opportunities and challenges. Vollbrecht is president-elect of the TEEA; Voorhis is executive director of Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.
At 10:45 a.m., Jane Eller, executive director, Kentucky Environmental Education Council, will discuss what’s happening in other states. Karen Hargrove, coordinator, the MTSU Center for Environmental Education, will provide closing remarks.
Media welcomed.


Date: April 18, 2006
Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
CBAS contact: Karen Case, 614-898-5087

(MURFREESBORO) — The College of Basic and Applied Sciences’ Awards Day that will be held starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, in the James Union Building’s Tennessee Room will recognize about 200 students for the 2005-06 academic year, college officials said.
The reception will start at 3 o’clock with the awards being announced starting at 3:30.
State Rep. John Hood will serve as master of ceremonies. For more information, call 615-898-2613.



Date: April 18, 2006

Editorial contact: Office of News & Public Affairs, 615-898-2919
To contact Rebekah Weiler: 615-785-1196

(MURFREESBORO) — MTSU sophomore Rebekah Weiler plays old-time music with men who are more than three times her age.
This weekend, their group, Delmer Holland and the Blue Creek Ramblers, will play their biggest show to date. The fly from Nashville Wednesday, headed to San Diego to play April 22 in the 33rd annual Adams Avenue Roots Festival.
The Blue Creek Ramblers are scheduled to play two 45-minute sets Saturday at the festival that features a mix of music including Irish, Americana/acoustic roots, Texas and Delta blues, cowboy and train songs, Appalachian, their own style of mountain music and others.
The Blue Creek Ramblers were extended the invitation to perform by Adams Avenue Roots Festival music director Lou Curtiss. Curtiss, a longtime music business owner and roots music follower, received an endorsement for the band by the late Dr. Charles K. Wolfe, former MTSU English professor emeritus, folklorist, country music historian and author of more than 20 books on the subject. Weiler performed at the March 14 Wolfe memorial service at MTSU.
“It’s becoming harder to find genuine string bands that are keeping the rich, old-time sound alive and in front of the public,” Curtiss said. “When you listen to the Blue Creek Ramblers music, you know that they are the real thing, and we’re looking forward to having them at our festival.”
Weiler, a three-time dean’s list honoree who is nearing her junior year and a just-declared history major, plays clawhammer banjo for the group that also includes band leader Delmer Holland, 72, of Waverly, on fiddle and lead vocals; his first cousin, Leland Holland, 67, of Waverly, on rhythm guitar; and William Moore, 72, of McLemoresville, on upright bass. At MTSU, she plays with the Stones River String Band.
The Blue Creek Ramblers, reigning State of Kentucky Old-Time Band champion, recorded their second CD, “Ain’t Dead Yet,” in March. On April 15, Weiler won the old-time banjo contest in the 50th annual West Tennessee Fiddler’s Championship and Bluegrass Jamboree in Holladay. Multi-talented MTSU junior recording industry major Tyler Andal placed third.
Weiler and the band have earned numerous awards in the four-plus years they played together. The Blue Creek Ramblers will play June 9-10 during MountainFest in Gatlinburg, at Fall Creek Falls State Park’s Mountaineer Festival Sept. 8-9, in Estill Fork, Ala. (Paint Rock Valley Sept. 16) and other festivals contests this spring, summer and fall.
Moore and the Hollands wear blue overalls and personal choice of hats when they perform. Weiler wears vintage-looking dresses, shoes and trademark white hat and sunglasses.


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

(MURFREESBORO) – A forensic anthropologist at MTSU is one of a select number of scientists to participate in the examination of a skeleton that could force historians to rewrite the story of the entire North American continent.
Dr. Hugh Berryman was one of only 11 experts from across the United States to scrutinize the bones of Kennewick Man, a 9,300-year-old skeleton found 10 years ago along the Columbia River at Kennewick, Wash. They presented a paper on their findings at a February 2006 meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Seattle.
“It’s one of the oldest skeletons, one of the earliest individuals that populated this continent,” Berryman says. “And we have a chance to look at those remains and learn from them what they tell us about the past and who these people were.”
The 380 bones are being preserved at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum under an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which controls the land on which Kennewick was discovered. Berryman says he was between two and three feet deep in the ground. The burial miraculously saved the bones from the elements, the animals, machinery and man for centuries, and ancient deposits of calcium carbonate on the bones allowed the researchers to determine the positioning of the bones in the ground.
“We have evidence that the bones were still in anatomic order,” Berryman says. “He was still articulated, and he appears to have been a burial. So once something is buried, that moves it at a depth that perhaps the coyotes, the wolves, scavengers could not get to it.”
The July 2005 research was very nearly derailed when the Corps initially decided to turn Kennewick over to a coalition of Native American tribes. Eight scientists filed a federal lawsuit to gain permission to study the skeleton. A federal judge, whose ruling later was upheld by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, decided in favor of the scientists after determining that the tribes could not prove a direct cultural affiliation with Kennewick.


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Berryman says the information that can be gleaned from Kennewick came close to being lost forever.
“Since 1990, we’ve lost most of the skeletal remains from groups,” Berryman says. “It’s a shame that a lot of these groups are already gone. We have no way of knowing what kind of movements there were in prehistoric times, where these people came from, who they were related to, what other tribal groups they might be related to.” What the experts were able to ascertain from their brief encounter with Kennewick is that he did not look like a Native American. In fact, Berryman says Kennewick’s facial features are most similar to those of a Japanese group called the Ainu, who have a different physical makeup and cultural background from the ethnic Japanese.
Some Ainu’s facial features appear European. Their eyes may lack the Asian almond-shaped appearance, and their hair may be light and curly in color. However, this does not mean that Kennewick Man necessarily was European in origin. His features more closely resemble those of the natives of the Pacific Rim than those of Native Americans.
Berryman, a fracture expert who was trained in the fine art of picking apart dead people at the University of Tennessee’s “Body Farm,” also documented three types of bone breaks in Kennewick—fractures that were suffered in his lifetime and which healed, fractures that happened after his burial, and fractures that occurred when the skeleton was eroded from the riverbank.
Part of a spear had remained lodged in Kennewick’s right hip bone at a 77-degree angle, but, remarkably, the spear did not cause his death. The cause of his demise remains a mystery. What is known is that this athletic, rugged hunter suffered many physical traumas before finally expiring in his mid-to-late 30s.
“The muscle markings are pretty pronounced,” Berryman says. “He was probably a well-built individual. The bones of the right arm were larger than the left.”
The bigger right arm can be explained by the 18-to-24-inch-long atlatl, or spear thrower, that gave him and his contemporaries the ability to propel a spear up to the length of a football field in order to kill their food. Kennewick died long before the invention of the bow and arrow.
Berryman says Kennewick has only begun to reveal the story of his life and times, and it would be tremendous to have other scientists examine his bones.
“It was a lot slower process than we thought,” Berryman says. “The first day, all day, we looked at one bone, one femur. And then we realized at the end of the day that we were going to be lucky to be able to cover this the way that it should be in a week-and-a-half.”

Age, ancestry, sex, height, pathologies, types of trauma, even whether a woman has given birth—all can be determined just from examining a skeleton, says Berryman, who often is called upon to give expert testimony on bones in criminal trials.
“Bone is great at recording its own history,” he says. “Throughout your life, there are different things that you do, and they may leave little signs in the bone. If you can read those signs, it’s almost like interviewing a person.”

ATTENTION, MEDIA: For photos of Kennewick Man, Dr. Hugh Berryman and his animated PowerPoint presentation on what happened to the skeleton, contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or


CONTACT: Tim Musselman, (615) 898-2493

(MURFREESBORO)—Two MTSU vocal students, Emily Kent and Andrew Radar, won first- and second-place honors, respectively, at the regional (Southeast) auditions for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition on March 31 and April 1 at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.
With more than 300 singers competing from colleges such as Belmont University, University of Tennessee Knoxville, East Tennessee State and Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music, Kent won first place in the Junior Women's category, with Rader taking second place in the Junior Men's division.
A native of Seymour, Tenn., Kent is a junior vocal performance major at MTSU, where she studies with Dr. Christine Isley-Farmer.
"It is really encouraging to me to win this award because I feel that my category was one of the most competitive there," Kent remarked. "There were a lot of wonderful singers there, so this was indeed an honor for me."
Kent said that there were 50-plus women in her category, where she sang three times, each time progressing to another level of the competition. Nine minutes of performing for judges landed her in the semifinal round, where another six minutes of performance carried her into the finalists round.
Second-place winner Radar, a native of Kingsport, Tenn., is a junior vocal performance major at MTSU.
In addition to Kent and Radar, MTSU vocalists Mark Wanich, Megan Tozer, Becky King and Corinne Denny also were selected as semifinalists in the competition.
For more information on Kent, Radar or the Mclean School of Music, please contact Tim Musselman at (615) 898-2493.

ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview with either of the winners or to request a jpeg of the winners for editorial use, please contact Tim Musselman in the music school at MTSU at 615-898-2493.


MTSU Visit Features Student ‘Master Classes,’ Public Lectures

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Dr. Bob Wood, 615-898-2532

(MURFREESBORO)—Famed movie recording and mixing engineer Shawn Murphy, the man behind the music of Oscar-winning films like “Schindler’s List,” “Braveheart” and “Saving Private Ryan,” will share his expertise and experiences with Middle Tennessee State University April 24-26 as the 2006 SunTrust Artist-In-Residence.
During his three-day visit to campus, Murphy, who won his own Oscar in 1994 for his sound work on “Jurassic Park” and whose credits read like the Internet Movie Database’s entire database, will present a series of free and open public lectures and “master classes” for students in MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry.
Murphy’s visit is made possible through the support of SunTrust Bank. His scheduled SunTrust lectures, all in Room 101 of the Bragg Mass Communication Building on campus, include:
• Monday, April 24, 7:30 p.m., “The Film Music Industry”;
• Tuesday, April 25, 9:40 a.m., “Surround Mixing for Film”;
• Wednesday, April 26, 9:20 a.m., “The Job Market: What to Expect in the Audio Industry.”
“Shawn has to be considered one of the top film music engineers in the world,” said Dr. Bob Wood, coordinator of production and technology for MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry. “The scope and quality of his work are remarkable. As I look through my list of favorite films of the last 20 years, Shawn recorded or mixed the music for almost all of them.
“We’ve wanted to have Mr. Murphy on our campus for several years, but his schedule is extremely busy,” Wood continued. “He usually moves immediately to a new project as soon as he finishes the current one. We were fortunate that he had a cancellation in his schedule that allowed him to make the trip.”
MTSU audio engineering professor John Hill noted that Murphy’s audio expertise doesn’t preclude him from sharing it with others.
“I first met Shawn during my tenure at the Aspen Music Festival,” Hill recalled. “As a favorite guest lecturer, Shawn demonstrated the uncanny ability to speak casually to a room of experienced audio professionals, grad students and audio novices and have everyone take away something new and valuable.
“His insights on how to break into the competitive world of professional audio should be in a book, but they aren't. That discussion falls under the category of ‘things-they-didn't-teach-you-in-recording-school,’ and it’s only available from a seasoned professional with a rich background in all things audio- and music-related.”
For more information about the visit, contact Wood at 615-898-2532.
MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry in the College of Mass Communication is one of the largest and best equipped in the nation. The Rolling Stone College Guide has called it “one of the preeminent music business programs in the country.”

Monday, April 17, 2006

Terry Gross appearances canceled due to illness


Friday, April 14, 2006


* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *

Date: April 13, 2006 Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919


(MURFREESBORO) — The Army ROTC department will land up to three UH-60 (troop transport) helicopters today (April 13) at MTSU, Lt. Col., Todd Overby, professor, military science, announced. The landing location will be on the open field next to the MTSU soccer field behind the Campus Recreation Center on the east side of campus.
The scheduled landing time will be 9:40 a.m.
Following safety briefings and classes, contracted and enrolled cadets will be airlifted on short rides.
Additionally, up to three UH-60 helicopters will land at 4 p.m. Friday, April 21 and at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, Overby said, adding that the times again could vary by plus or minus 30 minus.


Thursday, April 13, 2006


CONTACT: Tim Musselman (615) 898-2493


(MURFREESBORO)—The MTSU Symphony Orchestra and MTSU Chamber Orchestra will perform their final concert at 8 p.m. April 22 in the T. Earl Hinton Music Hall of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
The program will feature William Walton's Henry V: A Shakespeare Scenario, Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4, Albinoni's Oboe Concerto in D Minor, Tchaikovsky's Final Scene from Swan Lake, Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 10, and Wagner's Entry of the Gods into Valhalla from Das Rheingold.
Henry V will feature MTSU voice professor, H. Stephen Smith as narrator, while two MTSU music majors will be featured soloist in two of the other works. Senior, Angela Lickiss will be the soloist for the final movement of the Albinoni oboe concerto and junior Sean Donavan will be the soloist for the first movement of the Mozart horn concerto.
The April 22 final concert is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Tim Musselman in the McLean School of Music at 615-898-2493.

ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview or a jpeg for editorial use, please contact Tim Musselman in the music school at MTSU at 615-898-2493.


CONTACT: Tim Musselman (615) 898-2493


(MURFREESBORO)—MTSU vocal student Rebecca B. King won the "Student" category Verdi Award of the national Orpheus Vocal Competition held March 4-5 in Hinton Hall of the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
King, a native of Jackson Tenn., is a junior vocal performance major in the McLean School of Music at MTSU and studies with voice professor, Dr. Christine Isley-Farmer.
"This was an exciting opportunity to compete at a national level with such talented singers and win this prestigious prize," King said.
King sang Il segreto per esser felici by Donizetti, Lied der Mignon by Schubert, Then shall the Eyes of the Blind/He shall feed His Flock from Handel's Messiah and The Duchess' Lullaby by Duke for the competition.
Open to vocal competitors on a national scale, this year's competition drew contestants from New York, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, Florida, Massachusetts and Tennessee.
Competitors are screened by taped submission and then by live competition. Singers compete in one of two categories: either Young Artist, which is for ages 25-30, or Student for vocalists ages 19-24. Cash prizes are awarded for each category. Seven cash prizes are awarded for the Young Artist category including the $2,500 grand prize. Six cash prizes are awarded for the student category including the $1,000 grand prize. Two scholarships are also awarded (one in each category) in addition to the cash prizes.
Adjudicators of this years Orpheus vocal Competition were John Kramar, professor of voice at East Carolina University and Assistant Director of Opera Chautauqua; John Keene, music director of LSU Opera; and Dee Ann Gorham, professor of voice at Texas A & M, Commerce.
Upon graduation from MTSU, King plans to attend graduate school and then enter a career as an opera singer.
For more information on King, please contact the McLean School of Music at 615-898-2493.
For more information on Orpheus Vocal Competition, visit its Web site at or call 615-898-2849.

ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview with King or a jpeg for editorial use, please contact Tim Musselman in the music school at MTSU at 615-898-2493.


April 12, 2006

CONTACT: Jonathan Pursley(615) 494-8907


(MURFREESBORO, TENN) – The Middle Tennessee State University Cheerleading Squad came home from Daytona Beach, Fla., this weekend as the national runner-up— the university’s highest finish in four years of competing at the National Cheerleading Association /Chick-Fil-A Collegiate Nationals.
Entering the final round of the NCA Collegiate Nationals in 6th place, the MTSU squad nailed a near-perfect routine in the finals to secure the title of national runner-up in the small coed division, finishing second only to perennial cheerleading powerhouse, the University of Louisville.
“I’m so proud of what this group of students has accomplished,” said MTSU Jonathan Pursley, head cheerleading coach. “We overcame a few minor errors in the early rounds and finished with our strongest routine of the year. This is a shining moment in the history of MTSU’s cheerleading program.”
The MTSU squad was composed of four males and 19 females from the co-ed and all-female squads. Members include: Raquel Sosa, Tara Abernathy, Carling Hughes, Lisa VanSickle, Anna Brogden, Christa Jensen, Amy Koelz, Rose Wamback, Alli Bosley, Stacy Bullock, Mindy Shaffer, Kayla Turner, Samantha Rogers, Ashley Sizemore, David Miller, Jennifer Wilson, Joseph O’Field, Tommy Graham, Kaci Dupree and Orry Clayborne.
The competition is the largest collegiate championship in the country, with more than 200 teams competing in 12 divisions. In securing the title of national runner-up, the MTSU squad beat out 13 other Division I small coed squads from around the United States.
“With this title under our belt, MTSU has placed itself among the premier cheerleading programs in the country,” said Renee Hathaway, assistant cheerleading coach. “The future is bright for this program.”
The competition is set to air on Tuesday, May 2, at 2 p.m. (CST) on Fox Sports Net (check local listings).
Tryouts for the 2006-07’ squads will be held April 21-23, 2006. For more information about the program, visit


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Beverly Keel, 615-898-5150

(MURFREESBORO)—Legendary singer/songwriter John Hiatt will discuss his songwriting and career and perform a few songs at Middle Tennessee State University on Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m.
The event, held in the State Farm Room of the university’s Business and Aerospace Building, is free and open to the public.
Hiatt, who is recognized as one of the nation's best songwriters, is the 2006 participant in MTSU’s Tom T. Hall Writers Series, which celebrates songwriters, authors, poets and screenwriters.
"We are fortunate to have a speaker with the national stature of John Hiatt," said Dr. Anantha Babbili, dean of the College of Mass Communication. "In addition to an impressive recording career that has spanned several decades, Mr. Hiatt has also enjoyed tremendous success as a songwriter. A quick look at the list of artists who have recorded his songs—from Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt to B.B. King and Iggy Pop—proves that Mr. Hiatt is considered a ‘songwriter's songwriter.’
"Students and faculty of mass communication at MTSU are extremely fortunate to have him on campus," Babbili added. "His insights and experience will be highly useful as our students enter the industry and society. It is certain to be a night that we will never forget."
Hiatt, a native of Indianapolis, is known for hits such as "Slow Turning," "Perfectly Good Guitar," "Riding with the King", "Cry Love" and "Have a Little Faith in Me.” He wrote his first hit, “Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here,” which was recorded by Three Dog Night, while still in his teens. He began his solo career in the early 1970s and continues to record and tour to this day.
There are more than 200 covers of Hiatt's compositions by more than 50 artists, including Bob Dylan “(The Usual”), Conway Twitty (“Heavy Tears”), Bonnie Raitt ("Thing Called Love"), Earl Thomas Conley (“Bring Back Your Love to Me”), The Jeff Healey Band (“Angel Eyes”), Roseanne Cash (“The Way We Make a Broken Heart”), Ronnie Milsap (“True Believer”), Rodney Crowell (“She Loves the Jerk”), Dr. Feelgood (“I’m a Real Man”), Suzy Bogguss (“Drive South”), Iggy Pop (“Something Wild”), Linda Ronstadt (“When We Ran”), and B.B. King and Eric Clapton (“Riding with the King”).
For more information about the Tom T. Hall Writers Series and Hiatt’s April 19 performance, please call 615-898-5150.

ATTENTION, MEDIA: For a color JPEG of John Hiatt, contact Gina E. Fann in the Office of News and Public Affairs via e-mail at Thanks!


(MURFREESBORO) –“Sexual Assault Awareness: What is Happening? and What Can We Do About It?” will juxtapose the perspectives of the mother of a rape victim and an actor who will illuminate the attitudes of men in back-to-back events starting at 7 p.m. TOMORROW, April 12, in Tucker Theatre.
In “Kristin’s Story,” sponsored by Delta Delta Delta and Alpha Chi Omega, Andrea Cooper will recount the life of her 20-year-old daughter, who committed suicide on New Year’s Eve 1995. Only after Cooper read Kristin’s journal and poetry and talked to her friends did she realize that her daughter had been the victim of an acquaintance rape. When Kristin finally was able to tell her boyfriend, he rejected her and she spiraled into a deep depression.
Following “Kristin’s Story,” Ben Atherton-Zeman will present “Voices of Men,” a 50-minute multimedia play that he bills as “an educational comedy.” Atherton-Zeman, who has worked in domestic violence programs and rape crisis clinics for 13 years, does celebrity voice impressions of movie characters James Bond, Rocky Balboa and Austin Powers, forcing each character to deal with his attitudes toward women and make them realize how they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the June Anderson Women’s Center at 615-898-2193 or

383 National Public Radio’s Terry Gross to Speak at MTSU

(MURFREESBORO) – One of the media’s premier interviewers, Terry Gross, host of National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” will lecture at 8 p.m. Monday, April 17, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. The talk is free and open to the public.
Gross’ appearance at MTSU is co-sponsored by the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies of the College of Mass Communication, the Department of Electronic Media Communication (EMC), the National Women’s History Month Committee and the Distinguished Lecture Program.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to have a nationally recognized award-winning interviewer come here to talk,” Marc J. Barr, EMC professor, said. “She has come to be one of the best interviewers, if not the best interviewer, out there in media.”
Earlier on the day of the lecture, Gross is slated to speak to journalism and EMC students at 3 p.m. in Room 103 of the John Bragg Mass Communication Building.
“Fresh Air with Terry Gross” won the Peabody Award in 1994 for what the Peabody Board called its “probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight. It also captured the Ohio State Award in 1987 and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award for “Best Live Radio Program” in 1981. “Fresh Air” now air on 160 stations, including Nashville’s WPLN-AM (1430) and WPLN-FM (90.3).
While the Monday night lecture is free, tickets are required for admission. Tickets are available now in the EMC department office, Room 250 of the John Bragg Mass Communication Building Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or through Barr in Room 147 of the same building.
For more information, contact Barr at 615-898-5118 or at

ATTENTION, MEDIA: For a black-and-white jpeg or tif photo of Terry Gross, please contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or at

382 Summer Discovery Institute

The Summer Discovery Institute at MTSU could be a life-changing experience for rising high school juniors and seniors, and it is absolutely free. But the registration deadline is May 1st! The program offers two weeklong sessions for African-American high schools students who want to get a taste of college life. In Flight! will take place June 4th through 10th and will introduce eager learners to the world of aerospace. On Stage! will be held July 16th through the 22nd, and participants will explore the exciting world of theatre. Winner of the Spirit of Geier Award, this program is open to all eligible students in Tennessee. But hurry! The deadline to register for either program is May 1st. To enroll, call 615-898-5342. 615-898-5342.