Wednesday, August 30, 2006


MTSU Fraternity Brothers Put Sweat and Muscle into New Home

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

(MURFREESBORO) –After some seven years as an Interfraternity Council organization without an official brick-and-mortar home, Pi Kappa Phi has moved to Greek Row, the contemporary housing for MTSU fraternities and sororities on Rutherford Boulevard.
The national Pi Kappa Phi was founded in 1904 at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. According to the group’s Web site, it boasts 126 active chapters and 11 associate chapters, more than 91 alumni chapters and more than 95,000 initiated brothers.
“They’re consistently number one or number two among all MTSU fraternities in terms of grades,” Gentry McCreary, director of Greek Life, says of the MTSU chapter.
McCreary adds that the Pi Kapps meet all qualifications, including support from the national organization and local alumni, chapter size, and the ability to fill or almost fill the house. Local brothers estimate this semester’s pre-rush total of brothers to be between 20 and 25.
A committee made up of representatives from the Division of Business and Finance, the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of University Counsel and other university officials reviewed requests to fill the space vacated when Kappa Sigma’s national chapter revoked the local chapter’s charter in January 2006.
“We were looking for chapter performance in terms of community service, GPA (grade point average), leadership, things like that,” McCreary says.
McCreary says the Pi Kapps have signed a one-year lease with an option to renew for a second year. While no extensive modifications will be made to the exterior of the house immediately, banners are being provided to cover stonework.
The Pi Kapps have spent the last several weeks painting and overseeing minor repairs to the house such as replacing locks and some minor plumbing. James David, the local chapter’s treasurer, says he’s excited about the move.
“It just means, hopefully, that we’ll be able to grow, and we’ll have a central meeting place where we can all go,” David, a junior from Franklin, says.
House Manager Jimmy Miller, a sophomore from Phoenix, Ariz., also is looking forward to the Greek Row experience.
“It will just be a lot of fun to live with the brothers and establish relationships with other fraternities,” Miller says.
The national service association with which the Pi Kapps are affiliated is Push America, a group whose purpose is to raise awareness of people with disabilities and to help improve their quality of life. Each spring, the fraternity teams with a sorority to conduct an “empathy dinner” during which able-bodied students must eat blindfolded, with one arm behind the back or with a similar impediment.
Another Pi Kappa Phi service project is Push America’s annual Bike Across America. The annual cycling excursion raises money for people with disabilities. The cycling team stayed with the local Pi Kapps during their stopover in Murfreesboro last year.



CONTACT: Robert W. McLean School of Music, 615-898-5903
or Claudette Northcutt, 615-898-5924

Tickets Now Available for Second Annual Fund-raising Dinner/Dance Event

(MURFREESBORO)—Members of MTSU’s Friends of Music committee recently announced that the group’s second “Evening of Swing” gala, a dinner/dance event, will be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building on the MTSU campus.
The evening’s entertainment will feature the big-band music of the 1930s and ‘40s as performed by MTSU’s two jazz ensembles, with MTSU music faculty members Don Aliquo and Jamey Simmons directing.
“The Friends’ inaugural gala last year was such a great success, drawing 350, with great big-band music and lots of dancing, that our committee decided that a repeat event was in order,” said George T. Riordan, director of the Robert W. McLean School of Music at MTSU.
“The Tennessee Room is a great place for dancing and enjoying the music and the evening,” he added. “People were very impressed with the authentic and danceable swing provided by our students in the MTSU jazz ensembles … (so) this is a wonderful forum to introduce the high quality of our musicians to people who haven’t yet enjoyed concerts at the McLean School of Music.”
Riordan said the Friends of Music was designed to encourage community members to take advantage of the 180 concerts presented annually at MTSU and to enable the McLean School to better provide services and opportunities to music students, as well as provide guidance to the school by providing a community perspective.
“We have an active and dynamic leadership committee who are really excited about this event,” he remarked.
MTSU’s Friends of Music organizing committee members include Jane Blakey, Martha Curl, Bobbie and John Duke, Brenda McFarlin, Shirley LaRoche, Liz Rhea, Margie Spangler and Ernestine Thomas, with Robert W. McLean serving as the committee’s honorary chairman. Representing MTSU on the committee are Riordan, Aliquo, Anne Sloan, Connie Huddleston, Robyn Kilpatrick, Patience Long and Claudette Northcutt.
McLean previously donated 54 Steinway pianos to the School of Music, which honors him by carrying his name, Riordan noted.
“Our committee did a great job at putting together our first event in 2005. So many people took part in the dancing that we’re planning to enlarge the dance floor on this, our second time around,” Riordan said. “Last year we filled all of our tables, and we’re well on track to selling out already for 2006.”
• TICKETS: Individual tickets for “Evening of Swing,” which include dinner and a gala evening of music and dancing, are $75 per person ($35 is tax-deductible. Tables seating 10 are available for $750 ($350 is tax-deductible) and patron tables are $1,000 ($600 is tax-deductible).
For more information on “Evening of Swing” or the Friends of Music, including ticket inquiries, please contact Claudette Northcutt at 615-898-5924.



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

Nearly Two Decades of ‘Wearable Art’ Created by Gann-Smith Focus of Exhibit

(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—Nearly two decades of costumes and wearable art created by Lori Gann-Smith, an assistant professor in MTSU’s speech and theatre department, will be on display Sept. 1-28 at the Alabama A&M University Art Gallery (AAMU) in Norman, Ala.
Regarding her current exhibit of art apparel—which features pieces made of hand-dyed silk and peacock feathers as well as wire and garbage bags—Gann-Smith said, “Most people on earth wear some type of clothing on a regular basis from within the first hours of birth until they die.
“In fact,” she added, “most of us are laid to rest in clothing. For centuries, clothing and adornment have been the indicators of status and station, of conformity and rebellion, of tastes and attitudes. Acceptance, disguise, impression and recognition all hinge in some degree upon what we wear. …”
An award-winning artist and costume/makeup/props designer, Gann-Smith said, “The show is basically a retrospective of my work, representing pieces that I designed and created as far back as during my undergraduate days here at MTSU and throughout my professional career.
“The work includes both costumes designed for specific show as well as pieces of wearable art,” she continued. “Most of the wearable art is very whimsical and playful, as I see what we wear as a reflection of our personalities or character, and I tend toward the whimsical and playful.”
Gann-Smith—whose on-campus office also displays a few of her costume designs—said that although she had not pursued a formal exhibit opportunity, when the invitation to show her pieces was extended by AAMU, she was delighted to share her art with others.
“Some of the wearable pieces reflect my interests in playing with what is acceptable and unacceptable in our culture and what things should be like as opposed to the way they are,” she noted. “I think there is a very fine line between clothing and costume.” Related to this, the Murfreesboro-based designer remarked, “As we examine clothing, or costume, throughout history, we see patterns in ‘periodic style’ and identify the clothing of an age with that prevalent style and not by the individual's choice of what he or she would like to have worn. People wore what was proper. … . Or improper. Even ‘radicals’ had a dress code that set them apart and served as an identifier of their politics, religious preference or some other predilection.
Gann-Smith, who maintains a private studio where she creates art apparel and commissioned works, has designed for a number of producing organizations and production companies including the Georgia Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Repertory,

Nashville Shakespeare Festival, University of Georgia, MTSU Theatre, Georgia College and University, and the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, among many others.
Additionally, her work is contained in the 2005 comedy titled “Tom and Francie,” a feature film recently released on DVD. Gann-Smith also garnered a Tennessean Theatre Award for best Costume Design for the designs she created for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
The AAMU Art Gallery, located in the Morrison Fine Arts Building, is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends by appointment. Admission is free and open to the public, including an artist’s reception in honor of Gann-Smith, which will be held 6-8 p.m. on the closing night of the exhibit, Sept. 28.
For more information regarding Gann-Smith’s exhibit at AAMU, including directions to the gallery, please contact the gallery directly at 256-372-4072.



CONTACT: Lon Nuell, gallery director, 615-898-2505

Variety of Media on Display by MTSU Alumni from 1960 through 2004

(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—For the first time ever, MTSU’s Department of Art will sponsor an exhibit featuring the works of 24 of its alumni, announced Lon Nuell, MTSU art professor and director of the university’s Todd Gallery.
Nuell said the upcoming exhibition is the first in an ongoing series designed to recognize art department graduates for their ongoing commitment to art making, sharing not only their work, but also the passion they have for their discipline.
The artists participating in the inaugural alumni show, which is free and open to the public, represent a range of years beginning with 1960 and ending with a more recent graduate of 2004.
“(The artists) are active educators in higher education, professionals in graphic design or independent artists,” Nuell observed. “Their works are seen across the country and internationally in galleries and museums, are found in private collections, and seen in regional and national publications.”
Opening Monday, Sept. 18, in the Todd Gallery on the MTSU campus, the show will run through Friday, Oct. 6, and include a closing reception for the artists from 4 to 7 p.m. in the gallery lobby.
Paintings, prints, clay work, sculpture and graphic design imagery will be among the media featured in the show, with each artist represented by at least three images.
The MTSU art department’s first graduate, Howard Hull, now a retired professor of art education living in Louisville, Tenn., will be among those whose works are presented as part of the alumni show, as will Jere Chumley, the art program’s second graduate and now a retired professor of fine arts, who resides in Cleveland, Tenn.
Regarding the art department’s beginnings, “Seventy years ago, in 1926, Hester Rogers Ray was hired to teach art education courses at Middle Tennessee State Teachers College to elementary education majors,” Nuell explained. “But it was not until 1960 that Howard Hull became the first graduate of the art department, receiving a B.S. in art education, with Jere Chumley following in the next year.
“Both (Hull and Chumley) studied with David LeDoux, retired professor of art, and the late Fred Reubens, who was chairman of the two-person department,” added Nuell, who notes that art has since grown to a faculty of 24, with more than 200 majors in three degree areas—namely, a bachelor of fine arts in the areas of painting, clay, printmaking, graphic design and sculpture; a bachelor of science in art education; and a bachelor of arts program in art history.
Since its first graduates, all of whom “passed through that famously unique Art Barn” until 2005, Nuell said, the Department of Art has undergone growth in not only faculty but facilities, with hundreds of students and graduates earning degrees in studio art, art education, graphic design, and most recently, art history.
Aside from 1960-61 graduates Hull and Chumley, the alumni show will feature works by ‘70s graduates Charles Massey Jr., printmaking professor at Ohio State University; photographer E.K. Waller of Los Angeles; Janet Gilmore-Bryant, an artist/teacher in Richmond, Va.; jewelry designer Margaret Ellis of Nashville; artist/teacher Vicky Randall; comics artist/author/teacher Carol Tyler of Cincinnati; Wayne White, a Los Angeles-based artist and video production designer; and the late Mary Stanley, a sculptor.
Artists who graduated from MTSU’s art program in the ‘80s who will participate in the alumni show are John Marshall, an art coordinator and painter residing in Meridian, Miss.; Julie Jack, professor of visual arts at Tennessee Wesleyan; and artist Janet McNutt of Cleveland, Tenn. Additionally, participating alumni who graduated during the ‘90s will include artist Steve Sanders; graphic designer; Kevin Leonard of Oak Park, Ill.; Knoxville-based artist Dawn Kunkel; painter Tim Hooper of Nashville; graphic designer Jeff Porter; and Aaron Grayum, a painter/writer/graphic designer residing in Nashville.
More recent art department alumni, all of whom graduated between 2000-2004, also will take part in the alumni show, including clay artist Dawn Perault of St. Paul, Minn.; printmaker Tracey Goodrich of Minneapolis; Nashville’s Hans Schmitt-Ratzen, an artist and preparator for the Frist Center for Visual Arts; painter Dan Hall; and Patrick Brien of Nashville, an artist and preparator for the Cumberland Gallery.
• Gallery Hours: The Todd Gallery at MTSU is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each Monday-Friday and closed on all state holidays. Admission is always free.
For more information regarding the alumni show or its individual artists, please contact Nuell at 615 898 2505.



EDITORIAL CONTACT: Beverly Keel, 615-898-5150

Alumna Will Guide Free Speech, First Amendment Discussions

(MURFREESBORO)—Respected entertainment journalist, professor and MTSU alumna Beverly Keel will lead the university’s Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies into its third decade as the chair’s new director, officials announced today.
Keel, a Nashville native, earned her bachelor's degree in mass communication from MTSU and her master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is a professor in MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry, where she teaches courses in entertainment journalism, music publicity and artist management and has twice been named to “Who's Who Among American Teachers,” and also is a nationally recognized arts/entertainment journalist and entertainment industry expert.
"Professor Keel's appointment is a significant milestone in the contributions of the Seigenthaler Chair at MTSU,” said Dr. Anantha Babbili, dean of the College of Mass Communication. “She will bring new insights into programming and vitality to the many activities of this important facet of the College of Mass Communication.
"Her feel for American journalism, her professional standing in the journalistic community, and her Columbia J-School pedigree of cutting-edge journalistic practice puts her in this unique position to enhance the Chair's contributions to the democratic health of the nation."
Keel’s work has appeared in “USA Today,” “Entertainment Weekly,” “Rolling Stone,” “New York” and “InStyle” magazines, among others. Music publications for which she has written include “Music Row,” “Country Music,” “Gavin,” “Guitar World,” “EQ,” “New Country” and “Country Weekly.” A correspondent for “People” magazine for nearly a decade, Keel also is editor of “CMT Life. Set to Music,” a monthly country music newspaper supplement with a circulation of 250,000.
A former music industry columnist for the “Nashville Scene” and “Nashville Banner” newspapers, Keel’s journalism has received awards from the Associated Press and the Association of American Newsweeklies. She is a contributing author to books such as “The Encyclopedia of Country Music” and “A Boy Named Sue” and a regular commentator on popular music for such media outlets as VH-1, A&E, National Public Radio, E! Entertainment News and Bravo.
A participant in Leadership Music, Keel served two terms on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Keel also is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as the Country Music Association and The Recording Academy.

In her new role, she intends to “increase the (program’s) presence on a national level and allow it to facilitate discussion of current events in journalism.
“I want the Seigenthaler Chair to reflect the life’s work of John Seigenthaler, which has been to promote discussion of First Amendment issues and demand excellence in journalism,” Keel added.
In 1986, the university instituted The John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, honoring veteran journalist John Seigenthaler's lifelong commitment to free expression. The Seigenthaler Chair funds a variety of activities related to freedom of the press and other topics of concern for contemporary journalism, including programs featuring distinguished visiting professors and visiting lecturers at MTSU, research related to free expression, and seminars and meetings related to the study, promotion and defense of free speech and First Amendment values.
The chair has brought to the university the nation’s most distinguished print and broadcast journalists and journalism educators for seminars and lectures to debate and discuss topics ranging from the future of news in a market-oriented society to how free expression intersects with public opinion to the changing marketplace for journalism education.
It was created under the Tennessee Chairs of Excellence program with an initial endowment of approximately $1.3 million, an amount that has grown to more than $3 million today.
“Beverly’s background in both scholarly and professional journalism will mean that the Chair will continue to have outstanding leadership and direction,” Seigenthaler said of the new director. “She has the creativity and the dedication and the commitment to keep the Chair on the cutting edge of both journalism education and professional journalism.”
One of the largest programs in the nation, the MTSU College of Mass Communication offers degree concentrations in 14 major areas—ranging from journalism to digital media and media management to recording industry management—and is accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.


ATTENTION, MEDIA: For a color JPEG of Keel, please contact Gina E. Fann in the Office of News and Public Affairs via e-mail at or by calling 615-898-5385.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Date: Aug. 29, 2006

Editorial contact: Tom Tozer, 615-898-2919
Enrollment contact: Dr. Sherian Huddleston, 615-898-2828
Enrollment/Student Affairs contact: Dr. Bob Glenn, 615-898-2440
Academic Affairs contact: Dr. Kaylene Gebert, 615-898-2880

(MURFREESBORO) — (MURFREESBORO) — University faculty, staff and administrators welcomed a record 22,543 students for Day 1 of fall 2006 semester classes that began today (Aug. 28), said Dr. Sherian Huddleston, associate vice provost, enrollment services,.
This is an increase of 290 students from Aug. 29, 2005, when 22,253 students were registered on the first day, she added. MTSU anticipates a 3 percent enrollment increase this fall, based on the midnight Aug. 27 data.
First-day enrollment totals include 15,479 returning students, 3,374 new freshmen, 1,927 transfers, 1,162 re-enrolling students and 2,079 graduate students, she said.
Final enrollment totals will not be available until after the 14-day census date, which will fall on Sunday, Sept. 10. They will be made public soon after being sent to the Tennessee Board of Regents.
Huddleston said the lowering of hours for undergraduates to graduate from 132 to 120 several years ago “is contributing to our not-so-fast increase (in enrollment).” The recent August commencement was 11 percent higher than 2004 and the May ’05 graduation saw a 15.7 percent increase from May ’04.
“We shall continue to aggressively pursue our Academic Master Plan goals,” President Sidney A. McPhee said during the Fall Faculty Meeting Aug. 25. “We shall continue to seek approval for new selected academic programs at the undergraduate levels, renovate existing facilities and construct new ones, manage enrollment growth and resources and pursue new opportunities that advance our mission.”
Other than higher roadway congestion because of commuting students and employees, few problems were encountered early in the day, university officials said.

Anyone who has not registered can register through Aug. 29 and pay a $100 late fee without getting special permission, Huddleston said. After Aug. 29, prospective students must receive special permission from the course instructor when registering.
Students already registered can add classes through Thursday, Aug. 31, Huddleston added.

MTSU Enrollment Number Comparisons
(As of midnight Aug. 27)

Fall 2005 Fall 2006 Difference


First-time freshmen 3,198 3,374 + 176
New transfers 1,948 1,927 - 21
Returning students 13,860 15,479 +1619
Re-enrollees 1,121 1,162 +41
Other new undergrads* 49 30 -19
Concurrent H.S. 8 9 +1

Total 20,184 20,464 +280

Graduates 2,069 2,079 +10

Composite total 22,253 22,543 +290 (1.3%)

* — Special undergraduates (non-degree seeking students)
** — Currently enrolled high school students taking courses for college credit

Source: MTSU Enrollment Services


Monday, August 28, 2006

038 President Sidney A. McPhee's State of the University Address


Good morning. Welcome to the start of a new and exciting academic year. I hope that you have had a restful and productive summer and are as eager as I am to get this fall semester under way.

I always look forward to this gathering, where I have the privilege of welcoming back to campus our many faculty and staff and bringing greetings to our new employees.

As I begin my sixth year as President of this fine institution, I continue to be pleased with the progress our university is making toward accomplishing the goals and objectives of the Academic Master Plan. It is my sincere belief that we are an institution of distinction and are achieving great things because of the extraordinary people who work here.

I want you to know how much I appreciate your service.

Over the years it has been the tradition at this meeting for me to accomplish 3 things:
* First - introduce the executive staff,
* Second - provide highlights of last year’s accomplishments by faculty and staff
* And Third - outline some of the challenges and opportunities for the coming year.


I will begin by introducing my Executive staff. These individuals serve as Senior Advisors to me and are key decision makers on the campus.
* First, Dr. Kaylene Gebert, Provost and Executive Vice President
* Mr. John Cothern, Senior Vice President
* Dr. Bob Glenn, Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost for Enrollment and Academic Services
* Ms. Lucinda Lea, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
* Mr. Joe Bales, Vice President for Development and University Relations,
* and Ms. Kimberly Edgar, Executive Assistant to the President.

Please join me in acknowledging this great group of executives

I also want to introduce, Dr. Tony Johnston, Associate Professor in Department of Agribusiness and Agriscience and the 2006-07 President of the Faculty Senate


* The Honorable Bill Ketron, Senator of the 13th district
* The Honorable Jim Tracy, Senator of the 16th district
* The Honorable John D. Hood, Representative of the 48th district.
* The Honorable Kent Coleman, Representative of the 49th district.
* My childhood friend – Father Harry Bain, Archdecon from the Bahamas and his wife Anne


In preparation for my remarks today, I reviewed my notes from my speech last year and saw that I spoke about several challenges that we were facing for the 2005-06 academic year. Some of the challenges I listed were
o Operating the university with limited resources from the state
o Managing the university’s enrollment growth
o Implementing a new administrative system (Banner)
o Improving graduation and retention of students
o And workload issues….just to name a few.

While we have made some progress in addressing these issues last academic year, many of these challenges remain. However, I am confident that we will give the same level of effort this coming year in tackling these challenges.

Let me begin with an update on our budget and salaries.

The 2006-07 fiscal year budget appropriated by the state to colleges and universities provided for the first time in many years new operating funds. MTSU received $4.3 million in new operating funds, which was the highest amount allocated to a TBR institution. This was due to our recent enrollment increases and the THEC funding formula that factored in enrollment growth in the distribution of funds. The state legislature also funded this year, $15 million for the planning and infrastructure work on our badly needed new science building. In addition, $4.3 million in State funds were provided for capital maintenance projects. I would like to thank our legislative delegation for their support of the enhancement dollars and the planning funds for the Science Building.

On the matter of salaries, I wish to remind you that when I became President over five years ago, I promised that one of my top priorities would be improving faculty and staff salaries and strengthening our academic programs. I hope my actions regarding faculty and staff salary increases over the past 5 years demonstrate my commitment to this promise.

In the past, budget challenges have prevented us from moving ahead as quickly as I would have liked in improving faculty and staff salaries. However, we have made some progress in this area. Since July 2000 all employees at MTSU have received a combined total of 16% across-the-board salary increases funded jointly by the state and the University. Additionally, due to prudent budget management and enrollment growth, the University funded for the faculty an additional 2% in July 2001 and 3% January 2003 and for classified and administrative employees an additional 1% in July 2001 and 2% in January 2003. This has resulted in a 21% aggregate faculty salary increase and 19% aggregate classified and administrative employee salary increase during this period. Moreover, in August 2000 and January 2005, market salary increases were given to some employees. These salary increases were the largest given in the TBR university system during this period.

As for this fiscal year, salary increases from the state was 2% effective July for non-faculty and August for faculty. The university was mandated to fund the increase from new state appropriations, fee increases and reallocation of current funds. Despite this challenge, I am pleased to announce that, again due to good budget management at your university, I have requested the Tennessee Board of Regents to consider at its September Board meeting my recommendation to give MTSU faculty and staff who were employed as of June 30, 2005, a one-time - 1% bonus or $500, whichever is greater, to be paid in October. Our bonus would be in addition to the state funded $350 bonus that will also be paid in October. Also, I have requested the Board to consider at its September meeting additional salary increases for employees who were on the payroll as of June 30, 2005. The proposed permanent salary increases are based on our approved compensation plan that considers our new peer salary data for faculty and the increases will be effective January 1, 2007.

Extramural Funding

On another important initiative, we continue to make significant progress in increasing the university’s extramural funding. Another exceptional year of raising external funding for MTSU followed in FY 2006. Funding totaled $38,495,290, an increase of $17,055,669 over FY2005. The increase occurred in all areas including instruction, research, and public service. You will recall that in 2001, our research and grants funding stood at approximately $6 million annually. Today we are at $38 million.

Alumni / Development

In the areas of Alumni Relations and Development, I am again pleased with the efforts of our staff.

Our Alumni Relations Office has begun working closely with the Admissions Office in hosting receptions connecting student recruiting with our alumni in selected geographic areas of the state. Last year events were held in Kingsport, Knoxville, Jackson and Memphis and were very well attended. The receptions provide an opportunity for our alumni to interact with prospective students and their parents.

Also, the university’s Development office has made tremendous strides over the years. Last year, we had one of our most successful fund raising years ever, with over $13 million in gifts to the University and the MTSU Foundation. This is the second largest total in University history and the outright cash gifts from our alumni and friends were the third highest ever. This support is directly opposite of national trends showing decreasing support from alumni.

Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center
After a successful launch last year, the Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center, a joint endeavor of the academic affairs and information technology divisions, continued to grow with the establishment of a number of important faculty development initiatives.

Computer Replacement Plan
As part of our annual computer replacement and renewal project, over 900 computers were replaced in 2005-2006 making sure that students, faculty, and staff have the up-to-date technology needed to fulfill their roles in accomplishing the university’s mission. While 2006-2007 will be the third year for the faculty and staff desktop replacement program, it is the first year that we have established full recurring funds for this project.

Implementation of the New Administrative System and Banner

The University has also made good progress in implementing the Finance, Human Resources, and Advancement systems of Banner. Student admissions will be completed next year. Despite some challenges, the MTSU conversion and implementation teams continue to lead the Tennessee Board of Regents in this very important system-wide effort.

In the area of physical facilities, we have much to report.
* Construction and renovation has begun Middle Tennessee Building and is scheduled to be complete in spring, 2007. It will house the graduate school, human resources, and payroll.
* Planning of the new Science Building has begun.
* The Nursing Building expansion is scheduled for completion this fall
* Phase 1 of the Parking and Transportation construction improvements is nearing completion, and Phase 2 design is underway.
* The Naked Eye Observatory and Observatory Plaza north of Cope Administration Building is complete.
* We are in the in the fifth year of a ten year project to renovate all residence halls.
* The Buckner House which was purchased last year has been renovated and is now the Alumni office
* Athletic Facilities Enhancements have been made or are in process for the following:
o Track and field
o Soccer
o Baseball stadium
o Softball
o Football stadium turf replacement

For more details on each of these projects, please check my Newsletter next week.


Partnerships is one of MTSU’s three major goals. Middle Tennessee State University affirmed its commitment to Goal 3 of the Academic Master Plan last year by establishing a Community and University Partnerships Office on February 1, 2006. The mission of this new initiative is to encourage the development of important bonds and connections that lead to a sharing of knowledge and resources to facilitate better coordination of efforts university-wide.
You are encouraged to visit the new “MTSU PARTNERSHIPS WEBSITE”: to learn how your partnership can be catalogued, formally documented, and earn appropriate credit and recognition.


Like every other area of the university, athletics has been a major area of focus for improvements.

I am pleased with the progress being made in Athletics under the leadership of Chris Massaro who has completed his first year in his new role. With the help of Chris and his outstanding staff, I have some good news to report. MTSU’s Athletics Program received recertification, based on its recent year-long self-study, from the NCAA in July 2006. The recertification speaks to the quality of the Athletics Program in academics, student welfare and governance.

Athletic Academics
You will recall that last year at this meeting, I reported to you that during the spring of 2005, the football program - in particular, and the athletic department – in general, received some negative public attention with the announcement of the NCAA Academic Progress Report. I also told you candidly that it was an embarrassment to us all and promised you improvements. Well, I am pleased to report to you that this past year, the athletic department’s overall APR score has improved significantly and will be no lower than 950. The NCAA benchmark is 925.

In comparison, last year we were at 926, and 905 the year before. The football APR score for the last academic year should be near 940. In the past two years, their score was 812 and 892, much below the benchmark. This past year, four programs that have perfect APR scores are baseball, men's tennis, women's tennis, and men's golf.

I am also pleased with the academic performance of many of our student athletes from a variety of sports. Special recognition should be given to Chrissy Givens and Krystal Horton from our Women’s Basketball team. Both of these athletes have excelled on and off the court.


At this time I wish to recognize a select number of faculty who have distinguished themselves in their disciplines. This past year – much like these select faculty members, many of our university employees have shown great resilience and have continued to make extraordinary accomplishments.
I am pleased to recognize…
Assistant Professor of Aerospace, Joe Hawkins. Joe Hawkins made aviation history in Tennessee by being selected as the state’s first National Aviation Technician of the Year in 2006. He was nominated by the Tennessee Aviation Association’s Maintenance committee. Joe Hawkins, please stand and be recognized.

Now, most of you don’t know Holli Harrison, a 1999 graduate, but Holli was one of only five top performers in a contest in New York hosted the 52nd Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals this past spring. She attributes much of her success to Dr. Raphael Bundage and Dr. Stephen Smith from the McLean School of Music. Would Dr. Bundage and Dr. Smith please stand?

Dr. Don Morgan, Professor of Health and Human Performance, is the primary investigator of a 2-year, $311,000, NIH-funded study aimed at determining the impact of an aquatics-based treadmill walking program. In this project, participants walk on an underwater treadmill to improve their cardiovascular endurance and to strengthen their legs. It is hoped that data collected from this investigation will form the basis for future grant submissions that will allow this program to expand to other research and clinical sites throughout the United States. Dr. Morgan – let us recognize you?

Dr. Carroll Van West, Director of the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, hosted the prestigious International Heritage Development Conference in Nashville in 2005. The conference brought together experts from across the country. Dr. Carroll Van West – stand so we may recognize you.

Dr. Bill Ford, Chairholder of the Weatherford Chair of Finance, made 16 appearances in 2005 on national and worldwide business television shows, including Bloomberg Business News and CNBC / TV. The chair established working relationships with a number of banks that have entered the local market recently, including Fifth Third Bank, BB&T
Bank, and First Bank System of Tennessee. Dr. Ford serves as director of the National Association for Business Economics. Dr. Ford, please stand?

Dr. Jo Edwards, Chair of the Center for Health and Human Services was awarded a $300,000 grant in 2005 along with a $450,000 grant in 2004 and she now has 3 Tennessee Department of Health grants for more that $750,000. These projects included cancer control, death scene investigations, and tobacco use prevention programs. Is Dr. Edwards with us?

The MTSU Mass Communications program received accreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications which accredits only 10 percent of the programs in the country. Would all those from the College of Mass Communication, please stand?

Now, let me tell you about a few other successful projects…

Under Dr. Allen Hibbard’s leadership, the Middle East Center at MTSU has been established . The Center draws on existing programs in all colleges across the campus. This past spring the University Curriculum Committee approved a new 18-hour interdisciplinary Minor in Middle East Studies, and this fall,
first-year Arabic and Hebrew will be offered for the first time at MTSU, as part of the Minor. These activities and others related to the Middle East will be supported over the next two years by a Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages grant. Dr. Allen Hibbard and his colleagues are currently developing a cohort Middle East Studies program which will be the first comprehensive, cohesive program in the state of Tennessee. Dr. Hibbard please stand?

SACS Reaffirmation

This past academic year, the university hosted the SACS review team to examine the University’s readiness for its
re-accreditation. As a result of many hours of good work and commitment from a number of faculty and staff. I am confident that MTSU will receive reaffirmation by SACS at its annual meeting in December.

I would like to recognize
* Dr. Jill Austin, from Management and Marketing
* Dr. Richard Detmer from Computer Science
* Dr. Jan Leone from History
* Dr. Sheila Otto from English
* and Faye Johnson from Academic Affairs for coordinating efforts.
Would the 5 of you please stand?

Please join me in recognizing once again, all of theses outstanding faculty for their commitment to excellence.


Finally, as we approach this new academic year, we shall continue to aggressively pursue our academic master plan goals. We shall continue to:
o Seek approval for new selected academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels
o Renovate existing facilities and construct new ones
o Manage enrollment growth and resources
o And pursue new opportunities that advance our mission

As I conclude my remarks, I wish to announce an exciting initiative for this coming year.

For years, we have known of the benefits of regular physical activity and proper nutritional habits on health and quality of life of our faculty and staff. Now, for the first time in this university’s history, there is a new “MTSU Faculty-Staff Health and Wellness Program” that will be offered to all university full-time faculty and staff over the 2006-2007 academic year. Each program will consist of 10 weeks of testing and coaching in the areas of exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle change. It will be the only university in the state of Tennessee that will be providing virtually 100% financial support. To ensure the commitment of each participant, there will be a nominal fee of $20.00 - which includes a t-shirt for those who remain in the program.

The program will be directed by MTSU Professor, Dr. Mark Anshel. My thanks to Dr. Tony Johnston, MTSU Faculty Senate President, for initiating this program. He and Dr. Anshel submitted a program proposal early summer that I felt was in the best interests of the university. I hope you take advantage of this rare opportunity.

Remember, the program is limited to 100 full time faculty and staff in each of three sessions, fall, spring, and summer, so watch for its promotion over campus-wide e-mail as early as next week and there be more details in my newsletter as well.
Now, will the faculty helping with this great program please stand and be recognized?

I also want to encourage you to participate in the many campus activities going on now and throughout the year. Please attend the Freshman Convocation on Sunday to hear Greg Critser, author of the book, Fat Land, and the many other events associated with Welcome Week. Also, take part in athletic events, theatre and musical programs and lectures. You are part of the MTSU family!!


It is easy to see and understand why I am so excited about the future of this great university. I believe that working together we can move this university to great heights while maintaining our status as Tennessee’s best comprehensive university. I am absolutely, positively shameless in promoting this university – our university – and so should you. I wish each and every one of you a great new academic year.

Fall Faculty Meeting
August 25, 2006
Page 20

Revised: 8/28/2006 9:09:11 AM

Middle Tennessee State University
Fall Faculty Meeting
August 25, 2006


Johnson’s Background is in Women’s Studies, Community Service

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

(MURFREESBORO) – Terri R. Johnson, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., will assume her new duties as director of MTSU’s June Anderson Women’s Center Sept. 5.
Johnson will replace Dr. Carol Ann Baily, who has served as interim director since the departure of Dr. Susan Trentham in August 2005.
Calling her new job “too good to be true,” Johnson says she would like to “hit the ground running” by networking without making changes too abruptly.
Johnson has held her current position at Saint Mary’s since August 2000. Her duties include creating community-wide programs, forums, training and educational programs to facilitate multicultural awareness. Previously, Johnson was a project coordinator at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., as well as a volunteer specialist with the American Red Cross, a community liaison/job coach with Michigan Ability Partners, coordinator of student placement at Ross Technical Institute, and a vocational counselor at a women’s center, all in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“You can work with different groups in the region and combine that with a love and passion for women’s issues,” Johnson says of how her experience will enhance her JAWC directorship. “It takes that human relationship. You have to bond with people.”
Johnson says she wants her tenure as director to focus on the “whole woman” in health, career, business, international relations and all aspects of life. She says she wants the JAWC to “broaden the vocabulary of what it means to be a woman.” To that end, Johnson says she wants to work closely with student groups and to be inclusive of various elements of the campus community.
“People were wonderful,” Johnson says of the individuals she met during her job interview. “Their passion for MTSU and their caring made me feel so welcome.”

A native of Rayville, La., Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and her master’s degree in women’s studies from Eastern Michigan. Her honors include the 2003 “Women Honoring Women” award and the 2002 Student Leadership Appreciation Award from Saint Mary’s College.
The June Anderson Women’s Center was created in 1977, making it the oldest university women’s center in Tennessee. Among the programs and events sponsored by the center are free legal clinics, brown bag luncheon speakers on professional development topics and educational campaigns about sexual assault and domestic violence. For further information, call 615-898-2193, or send an e-mail to


ATTENTION, MEDIA: To arrange an interview with Terri R. Johnson, contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or


Date: Aug. 28, 2006 Editorial contact: News and Public Affairs, 615-898-2919

(MURFREESBORO) — MTSU will be closed on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 4), university officials announced. All offices will be closed. No classes will be held.
Classes will resume Tuesday, Sept. 5. All offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Sept. 5.
Certain areas of the campus will be open part of the weekend, including:

The James E. Walker Library, which will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sept. 2, will be closed Sept. 3-4. It will be open from 7:30 a.m. until midnight Sept. 5. For information, call 615-898-2772.
The Campus Recreation Center will be closed Sept. 2-4, according to its Web site. For information, call 615-898-2104.
ARAMARK Dining Services will offer these dining options during the holiday weekend to accommodate students who live in campus housing and who stay in Murfreesboro for the holiday weekend:
• McCallie Dining Hall will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sept. 2-3;
• Cyber CafĂ© will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 2-3 and resume regular hours (11 a.m. Sept. 4 to 2 a.m. Sept. 5);
• Dining services in the James Union Building and Keathley University Center will be closed Sept. 2-4.
All dining services will resume their normal operating hours on Sept. 5. For information about dining services, call 615-898-2675.
Information technology’s Help Desk will close at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 3 and reopen at 8 a.m. Sept. 5, said Robin Jones, director, IT Communication Support Services. For more information, call 615-898-5345.
As always, MTSU Public Safety (Campus Police) has personnel available 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. For information, call 615-898-2424.


034 Free Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class for women offered at MTSU Sept. 7 – Oct. 12.

Aug. 25, 2006
CONTACT: Officer David Smith at 615-494-8855
Tom Tozer, 615-898-5131

MURFREESBORO)—A series of six Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes will be offered at no charge beginning Thursday, Sept. 7 through Thursday, Oct.12, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the MTSU Public Safety Training Room, located at 1412 East Main Street. The class will be open to all MTSU students, faculty and staff as well as to the general public. A workbook/training manual will be provided to each student. Enrollment is limited. For information or to enroll, call MTSU RAD Instructor David Smith at 615-494-8855.
RAD is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. The program teaches women defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault by utilizing easy, effective and proven self-defense/martial arts tactics. The class will provide women with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006


5K Run/Walk Will Generate Money for On-Campus Memorial

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

(MURFREESBORO) – Some of the biggest “steps” toward construction of a veterans memorial on campus will be taken at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 when the MTSU Veterans Memorial 5K Run/Walk gets underway.
The purpose of the event is to raise enough money to build a permanent structure in honor of faculty, administrators, staff and students who perished or went missing while in military service from 1911 to the present.
“The concept is to have a living memorial, a space for reflection and a place for classroom instruction,” Derek Frisby, a history professor and U.S. Marine sergeant who served in Operation Desert Storm, says. “We’ve proposed an amphitheatre-type model that creates usable outdoor event space.”
Dr. Andrei Korobkov, political science, was inspired to formulate a data base of names by the death of 1st Lt. Ken Ballard, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. Ballard was a student in three of Korobkov’s classes.
To date, the Veterans Memorial Committee has collected the names of more than 50 names to be engraved on a wall that will be part of the area. Also, the public will be given an opportunity to purchase walkway bricks engraved with the names of their fallen loved ones.
“We’ve made significant progress in the design process,” Frisby says. “This is the beginning of our push to turn those plans into a reality.”
To contribute to the MTSU Veterans Memorial, go to and click on “Contribute to the MTSU Veterans Memorial.”
In addition, the 278th Tennessee Army National Guard deployed to Afghanistan will collect old, used and new shoes and sneakers for Afghan children and teenagers. Donate shoes at the National Guard booth under Peck Hall next to the 5K registration area.
The 5K run/walk course, which will extend in and around campus, will be marked with water stations and security throughout the route. Entrants may run competitively, run at their own pace or walk.
Awards and prizes will be issued for team entries of registered groups of five or more and individuals in each age division. Drawings will be conducted for door prizes totaling more than $1,000 in value. T-shirts are guaranteed to all pre-registrants on a first-come, first-served basis on race day.
Sponsors of the MTSU Veterans Memorial 5K Run/Walk include AEDC Federal Credit Union, Applebee’s, Bridgestone/Firestone, MTSU Alumni Association, Nashville Predators, Norris Hall Studios, Signature Homes, Tennessee National Guard, Tennessee Titans and The Very Idea.
Registration fees are $15 per person if postmarked by Sept. 10 or $20 per person after Sept. 10, including the day of registration. Make checks payable to MTSU Veterans Memorial 5K, c/o Derek Frisby, MTSU Box 23, Murfreesboro, Tenn. 37132, or register online at
For more information, contact Maj. Chuck Giles at 1-888-682-7682 or


ATTENTION, MEDIA: For e-mailed copies of the race application form and the poster for the donation drive for shoes and sneakers for Afghan children, contact Gina Logue in the Office of News and Public Affairs at 615-898-5081 or


FOR RELEASE: Aug. 24, 2006
EDITORIAL CONTACTS: Dr. Tom Hutchinson, MTSU, 615-513-6278
Michelle Goble, ASCAP, 615-742-5000

New commercial songwriting program to match industry veterans, students

(MURFREESBORO)—Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Recording Industry has joined forces with the Nashville office of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) to create a new commercial songwriting program called “Partners in Craft.”
The program begins this fall at MTSU and will match veteran industry songwriting and publishing mentors with exceptional student songwriters.
Representatives from ASCAP and MTSU’s Recording Industry program will celebrate the new songwriting program with a press conference and reception in the lobby of the ASCAP building at 2 Music Square West in Nashville on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 10 a.m. The press conference will feature performances by MTSU songwriters The Karg Boys, and many professional mentors and MTSU recording industry alumni will be in attendance.
In the past, talented songwriters would pass through the Recording Industry program and set their own agendas for their career paths. The program provides opportunities and specialized courses tailored to students’ career goals.
Partners in Craft grew out of a long-standing relationship between ASCAP and the Department of Recording Industry.
“ASCAP has sent mentors to RIM since the early days of our program to talk about performance rights and help with songwriting and publishing classes,” said MTSU Assistant Professor Hal Newman, who teaches in the new program. “From providing seminars to serving in an advisory capacity, ASCAP is a strong and capable partner.”
“Many of our recent graduates have secured publishing deals and several have had hit songs on the country charts,” said Dr. Tom Hutchison, coordinator of the department’s music business program.
Among the MTSU graduates who have found success in songwriting are Erin Enderlin (“Monday Morning Church” recorded by Alan Jackson), and Adam Dorsey (“Old Green Tackle Box” recorded by Craig Morgan).
“With all the success we’ve had with our alumni songwriters, it was time to formalize our efforts so we can provide this specialized program to more up-and-coming writers,” Hutchison added.
ASCAP Vice Presidents Ralph Murphy and John Briggs worked with Newman and Hutchison to develop the program.
“Education is number one at ASCAP,” said Murphy. “Mentors who work with MTSU students have reported that the students are consistently super-talented.”

ASCAP will continue to provide mentors to guide Partners in Craft students through the songwriting process. Past mentors have included songwriters Fred Knobloch ("If My Heart Had Wings", recorded by Faith Hill), Bonnie Baker ("Ordinary Life," Chad Brock), Mark Irwin ("Here in the Real World,” Alan Jackson), Lowell Alexander ("The Song is Alive," Point of Grace), Mark Beeson ("When She Cries," Restless Heart), Casey Kelly ("The Cowboy Rides Away," George Strait), Walt Aldridge ("Some Things Never Change," Tim McGraw)
ASCAP also hosts a yearly showcase called “Hot on the Row” at Dan McGuinness Pub and each December, they feature MTSU student songwriters. Music industry publishers attend the event to hear—and potentially sign—the best student songwriters. This successful annual event will expand under the Partners in Craft program.
“In Nashville, it’s all about the song,” said Hutchison. “We hope that many of those songs will now begin with the Partners in Craft program.”
About MTSU’s Recording Industry Program
One of the largest communications programs in the nation, the MTSU College of Mass Communication ( offers degree concentrations in 14 major areas—ranging from journalism to digital media and media management to recording industry management—and is accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
The Department of Recording Industry is one of the largest and best equipped in the country. Undergraduate recording industry students choose between two concentrations: music business or production and technology. The department now also offers a unique graduate program in recording arts and technologies.
Established in 1914, ASCAP ( is the first and leading Performing Rights Organization in the U.S., representing the world's largest repertory which totals over 8 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 250,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. Additionally, ASCAP represents the works in the repertories of 70 affiliated foreign performing rights organizations created by many thousand affiliated international members. ASCAP is committed to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works, and then distributing these fees to the Society's members based on performances. Unlike the other American Performing Rights Organizations, ASCAP's Board of Directors is made up solely of writers and publishers, elected by the membership every two years.



Week of Welcome Activities Add Spice to Start of 2006-07 Academic Year

Date: Aug. 21, 2006

Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Student affairs contact: Dr. Bob Glenn, 615-898-2440
Academic affairs contact: Dr. Kaylene Gebert, 615-898-2880
Enrollment management contact: Dr. Sherian Huddleston, 615-898-2828
Week of Welcome ‘Madness’ contact: Rob Patterson, 615-898-2454
Nashville Star Tour contact: Debbie Holley, 615-460-9550

(MURFREESBORO) — Welcome to MTSU new students and faculty. Welcome back returning students and faculty who have been away since early May.
Classes will begin Monday, Aug. 28, for the approximately 23,200 students and more than 900 faculty ready to hit the fall semester and 2006-07 academic year running.
“We should be very close to 23,200,” Dr. Bob Glenn, vice president of student affairs and vice provost for enrollment management, said, referring to what would be about a 3 percent increase in enrollment.
From President Sidney A. McPhee to Vice President and Provost Kaylene Gebert to Glenn, everyone across campus anticipates an exciting year of growth and opportunity.
A full complement of Week of Welcome “Madness” activities will begin with the Aug. 25-26 We-Haul (helping students move into dormitories) and end with the 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 Student Organization Fair in the Keathley University Center Courtyard.
In between, there will be plenty of fun stuff to give students a break as studies start to get serious.
WOW highlights will include:
• Convocation with author Greg Critser (“Fat Land”) at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, in Murphy Center, followed by the President’s Picnic in Walnut Grove;
• The Nashville Star Tour and appearance by Murfreesboro native and former MTSU student Chris Young, who won this year’s USA Network competition, at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28 in Murphy Center;
• MTSU vs. Florida International in a 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, Sun Belt Conference season opener for both teams. It marks the debut of Blue Raiders Coach Rick Stockstill;

• A Murphy Center appearance by comedian Seth Myers, “Saturday Night Live” cast member, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30; and
• The Blue Raider Bash/Big Fat Blue Raider Bake-Off, which will start at 5:45 p.m. beside Cummings Residence Hall.
“The Blue Raider Bash/Big Fat Blue Raider Bake-Off will be geared to spotlight athletics,” said Rob Patterson, coordinator for new student and family programs. All the teams will be in town. There will be tailgating with ribs and barbecue chicken, baked beans a DJ (via student programming).
“This will be a chance for everybody to meet the teams and make a connection to encourage students to attend the ball games.”
Patterson said there would be various games and giveaways, where autographed footballs and basketballs would be awarded to students.
He added that there would be a “big push” made for the MTSU-Florida International game that will air on ESPN+.
“I definitely plan to go to some of it,” junior Brittney Robertson, a 2004 Blackman High graduate and transfer from Columbia State Community College, where she played softball. “These activities will help you become more familiar with the school.”
While attending CUSTOMS earlier this summer, freshman Vashay Conley of Johnson City said he would join the Band of Blue for band camp. He added that he was looking forward to Myers, who is “one of my favorite “Saturday Night Live” characters.”
Aleah Alexander, a freshman from Lebanon High School who plans to be a theater major, said the 6 p.m. Aug. 26 Dinner and Street Fair “sounds good” to her.
Freshman political science major Laqueshia Jones of Memphis, a Millington Central High graduate, said she will attend the Blue Raider Bash to “get to see who’s on the teams.”
Ann-Kirby Burchett of Knoxville, a 2006 Karns High graduate who said she plans to major in psychology or business, said the combination of attending the Dinner and Music on the Quad (Floyd the Barber Band), the football game, the Myers comedy show and Student Organization Fair were “interesting” to her.

Week of Welcome ‘Madness’ Events

Friday, Aug. 25
All day – We-Haul
6 p.m. – Dinner and Music at the Quad, with Floyd the Barber Band
8 p.m. – Movie, “Top Gun”

Saturday, Aug. 26
All day – We-Haul
10 a.m.-6 p.m. – Information booths
6 p.m. – Dinner and Street Fair behind Corlew Residence Hall

Sunday, Aug. 27
2 p.m. – Convocation, with guest speaker Greg Critser (“Fat Land”), Murphy Center
After Convocation – President’ Picnic, Walnut Grove

Monday, Aug. 28
11 a.m.-1 p.m. – MTSU Department Fair, KUC Courtyard
Noon – Free cookies, KUC
8 p.m. – 2006 Nashville Star Tour, Murphy Center (doors open at 6:30 p.m.); MTSU students with IDs admitted free, $10 for all others

Tuesday, Aug. 29
10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Meet Murfreesboro, KUC Courtyard
5:45 p.m. – Blue Raider Bash/Big Fat Blue Raider Bake-Off, beside Cummings Hall

Wednesday, Aug. 30
10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Meet Murfreesboro, KUC Courtyard
8 p.m. – Comedian Seth Myers (“Saturday Night Live”), Murphy Center

Thursday, Aug. 31
6 p.m. – MTSU vs. Florida International college football game, Floyd Stadium

Monday, Sept 4
Labor Day Holiday (no classes)

Wednesday, Sept. 6
10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Student Organization Fair, KUC Courtyard



EDITORIAL CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947

Farms Among those to be Honored at County Fair Event on Aug. 24

(MURFREESBORO)—Three Wilson County farms—Baird Farm, Haley-Murphy Farm and Peach Farms—have been designated as Tennessee Century Farms, reports Caneta S. Hankins, director of the Century Farms program at the Center for Historic Preservation (CHP), which is located on the MTSU campus.
Hankins said these farms, along with others certified in the past 12 months, will be honored at the annual Century Farm Luncheon at the Wilson County Fair on Aug. 24, which is co-sponsored by the Wilson County Fair Board, the Farm Credit Service and the Wilson County Farm Bureau.
• Blake Rutland established the Baird Farm, one of the rare 200-year-old family farms, in 1801. Married to Martha “Patsy” Watson, the couple had nine children. On 640 acres they raised wheat, corn and cattle. According to CHP records, this family founded the Rutland community before Mt. Juliet came into existence.
In addition to managing the farm, the family also owned one of the first mills in the western part of Wilson County. Rutland also donated land for the Rutland Baptist Church, the Rutland School and the Colored Rutland School. Today, a nearby school is named for this early settler and community leader.
The next owners of the farm were Blake’s son-in-law, John Cawthon and his wife, Parthenia Watson Rutland. John and Parthenia reared five children, and their son, John Rutland Cawthon, became the third owner of the land. John was married Ruth Alford and they had three children.
Eventually, the land was passed to the couple’s son, Francis Marius “Frank” Cawthon. As time moved on, the land was acquired by Herman Tyler Burnett and Perry Turner Burnett, descendents of the founders through their mother, who was a Cawthon. During their ownership, they built a five-acre lake on the southwest end of the farm. According to the family, the lake was stocked with game fish and was the site of many baptisms before the Center Chapel Church of Christ baptistery was installed at the church in 1953.
Today, the land is owned and managed by Woodrow Baird, who is the widower of the fourth great-granddaughter of the founder. The land is worked by Barry Graves, a cousin. Currently, the farm produces beef cattle and hay. Baird lives in a house that was constructed by a family member in the 1890s. His daughter, Austelle, and her husband, Don Smartt, and their family also live on the farm.
• In 1821, David Young came from North Carolina and began farming on 247 acres, part of which is now known as the Haley-Murphy Farm. Married to Sarah “Sally” Phillips Young, the couple had 14 children. On Clendenan Branch, the family raised wheat, corn, hay, cattle, mules and horses.
The founders’ son, David Young Jr., acquired the property following his father’s death in 1856. Along with wife Mary “Polly” Calhoun Young, they reared seven children—Thomas Calhoun, Amanda, Sally, Tennessee, Frances, David E. and Adeline.

Add 1

Thomas was the next owner of the farm. He married Mary A. Carter Young and they had four children. In addition to managing the farm, Thomas was a member of the Big Springs Presbyterian Church. His son, Thomas Lee Calhoun “TLC” Young, was the next owner of the property.
Under TLC’s ownership, the farm produced corn, hay, wheat, tobacco, jacks, jennets, mules, horses, cattle and sheep. According to the family, TLC was a pioneer breeder of five-gaited and three-gaited American Saddlebred horses. The family reports that he was the first man in Tennessee to sell a gaited hose for $10,000. He showed and judged saddlebred horses throughout the south and southwest, and was considered a leading judge in the middle Tennessee area. TLC married Sonora “Nora” Bradshaw Young and they had 10 children.
The farm passed to their daughter, Kate Eula Young Murphy, and then the great-great-great-grandson of the founder, Charles Young Haley, who was married to Margaret H. Phillips, eventually obtained it. The Youngs produced wheat, corn, hay, cattle, horses and tobacco. The daughters of Charles and Margaret, Mary Grace Haley Gregory and Sarah Carolyn Haley Hogue, acquired the farm in 1997. The acreage is currently leased to Jerry and Earl Burton.
• In 1848, Gasaway Peach established the Peach Farm near Mt. Juliet. On the 75 acres, he produced corn, cattle and poultry. In addition to managing the farm, Gasaway served as one of the first trustees for the Pleasant Grove Methodist Church in 1852. Married three times, he fathered six children.
The second owner of the farm was Gasaway’s son, Madison Lee “Matt” Peach. During the Civil War, Matt served in the Company H 46th Tennessee Infantry. Along with his wife, Elizabeth C. “Bettie” Telford, the couple had three children, although one infant daughter died in 1873. The family recalls that Bettie told her grandchildren about the Civil War and how she watched from her porch as soldiers marched along the old Stewarts Ferry Pike.
Mattie Anthony Peach, daughter of Bettie and Matt, and her husband, Perry Turner Burnett, acquired the land in 1917. The couple raised cattle, poultry, corn and mules. Perry was a widely known breeder of mules and he played an important role in establishing the industry. While they managed the farm, Perry and Mattie were also very active in their community, with Perry serving as the sheriff of Wilson County from 1936 to 1940 and as an elder at Center Chapel Church of Christ. Mattie was a member of the Hamilton Hill Home Demonstration Club and the “Granny Club.” In addition, they were both members of the Wilson County Farm Bureau and the Wilson County Livestock Association. Perry and Mattie had two children, Eleanor Austelle Burnett and Myra Myrtle Burnett.
In 1974, the current owner of the farm, Myra Burnett Bates, obtained the land. Today, the farm is worked by Myra’s great-nephew, Jack Simms, who mainly raises beef cattle. Myra and husband Verna are members of the Wilson County Farm Bureau and she currently serves on the Women’s Farm Bureau Board. She also is a past member of the Hamilton Hill Home Demonstration Club and her husband is a member of the Wilson County Livestock Association.
“Currently, Wilson County has more Century Farms than any other county in Tennessee,” reports Hankins, “and their annual luncheon, as well as their Century Farm museum on the fairgrounds honoring the farm families, is a model for other counties to follow.”

The Century Farm 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 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 to Century Farm families, noting either 100, 150 or 200 years of “continuous agricultural production,”
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,” said Hankins, “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 owners of these farms, or to obtain jpegs of the farms for editorial use, please contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 615-898-2947.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Japan-U.S. Program Hosts Fun-Filled Feast for Students in Related Fields of Study

EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081

(MURFREESBORO) – The Japan-U.S. Program of MTSU will host a reception to welcome new Japanese students, their friends and all students enrolled in Japan-related courses from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1 in the SunTrust Room of the Business Aerospace Building.
A follow-up party, or niji-kai, will be hosted by Dr. Kiyoshi Kawahito, program director, at his home, 202 Eventide Drive in Murfreesboro, at 7 p.m. that evening. Kawahito says the second party has become very popular and has attracted 70 to 80 persons in recent years.
The target guests for the evening’s festivities are exchange students “from partner institutions in Japan, Korea and the Philippines, new independent students from Japan, new non-Japanese students taking Japan-focused courses (e.g. Japanese language),” Kawahito says. “But it appears that many returning Japanese students take this as a ‘welcome back party’ for them and as a great occasion to eat good foods—as much as they want. During the second party, I keep cooking, cooking and cooking.”
All interested parties are invited. Dress is casual. Any contribution of snacks for the niji-kai will be appreciated.
For further information, especially about directions and parking, call the Japan-U.S. Program at 615-898-2229 or send an e-mail to



EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-494-8857 or

Researchers Say Bullying Destructive to the Bullied and Bullies, Intervention Crucial;
Girls Just as Likely to Bully as Boys During Middle School Years, Report Educators

(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—Being bullied in school is not merely a “normal part of life” that many children must just learn to deal with. Instead, it’s a socially unacceptable behavior that must be swiftly and properly addressed, because it carries destructive effects to both the bully and the victim, reports Dr. Ellen Slicker, MTSU psychology professor.
Defined as doing, saying or acting in a way that hurts someone else or makes him or her feel bad on purpose, bullying comes in many forms—from name-calling, punching or pushing, leaving someone out of a game or group on purpose, and stealing someone’s money or other possessions, to using the Internet, computers or mobile phones to bully another.
Among its numerous problem-causing issues, bullying also is regarded as a barrier to learning in our schools, observes Dr. Doug Winborn, associate professor of health and human performance at MTSU, who notes that it is crucial for school personnel to expediently address bullying situations. Yet equally important is how they address such scenarios, he adds.
“Adults who address bullying by bullying the bullies will not solve the
problem,” he warns. “While the bullying behavior is unwanted, the bully must be helped along, too. And there are ways to accomplish this (through educational) programs. …”
According to one survey from, a nonprofit Web site created to help people deal with issues surrounding bullying, “Other kids are watching 85 percent of the time when one kid bullies another (but) … teachers or parents hardly ever see a bully being mean to someone else.”
Moreover, various studies and reports have established that at least 15 percent of students are bullied regularly or are the initiators of bullying behavior, with bullying increasing throughout the elementary years and peaking in middle school or junior high.
Although bullying is not a new occurrence, it is an ongoing problem that is finally getting a much-needed spotlight, says Winborn, an organizer of the upcoming Fit for the Future Conference, a two-day event on Oct. 16-17 at Middle Tennessee State University that will include participation from Operation Respect, a nonprofit organization whose representatives actively work to transform schools, camps and organizations focused on youth into more compassionate, safe and respectful environments.
Bullied himself as a child, Winborn says bullying is a multi-faceted problem that “has been going on for years.” However, “In this era, someone somewhere has chosen to stand up. The bullied are coming forward and speaking out and a new generation of parent has entered the scene.
“At one time,” Winborn continues, “kids were ashamed to share what was happening to them with parents. Now, though, they are speaking out and parents are becoming involved, kids are finding help among adults in the schools and, as evidenced by the growing number of bullying and violence curricula, it has become a priority in schools.”
Although organizations such as Project Respect have done much to raise awareness about the need to properly address bullying situations, many myths continue to surround the age-old problem. For instance, according to information contained on, one of the most prevalent misconceptions about bullying is that it’s just a part of life that many children must undergo. However, per the experts, nothing about being bullied “is normal,” nor is it socially acceptable.
“Some kids will fake illness in order to stay home; I did,” reveals Winborn, who says any illness that can’t be measured by a thermometer—such as stomach or headaches—are common claims among children who are bullied at school.
Slicker, who helps train school counselors, said that although some children may resist going to school because they’re being bullied, “it behooves administrators and parents to forget the ‘boys will be boys’ attitude and look at the destructive effects to both the bully and the victim.”
Winborn agrees, and outlines humiliation, school non-attendance, sadness and fear as some of the most immediate effects exhibited by those being bullied. However, he adds, in rare cases, those being bullied can become fed up and retaliate with weapons to "even the playing field," especially if the bullied person is small.
Also, some bullied children will gravitate toward a safe person or safe space at school, he continues. And hiding under bleachers or misbehaving so that recess is taken away are additional strategies that victimized children employ to
avoid bullies, he notes.
As for whether there are sure-fire ways for parents, school personnel or other adults to tell which children are most likely to be bullied, both Winborn and Slicker agree the answer is both yes and no.
“It seems that children with certain physical attributes receive bullying more than others who are more attractive,” confirms Slicker, who recently conducted research focusing on bullies and the bullied.
“Kids that are different can become bully targets depending on
how the kids have been taught, what is tolerated,” Winborn explains. “Fat kids, skinny kids, pale kids, dark kids, kids with glasses or braces—all may be targets. And it also depends on how kids respond to ‘harmless’ remarks that are not taken well.
“One kid might be teased because of their appearance and blow it off while another might be shattered,” he adds, “(but) some of this can be solved through communication and creation of an atmosphere of compassion.”
“Bullying has always been around,” agrees Slicker, “and I don’t believe it’s necessarily getting any worse but we are just more aware of it and realizing now the damage that it can do.
“The only part that is getting worse recently is the increased availability of and use of weapons,” she notes. “In older children and adolescents, if weapons are involved it kicks bullying up several notches to an even more serious level.”
Spotting bullies, however, isn’t always easy, because there is no cookie-cutter model for such individuals, experts say. In fact, “Girls are just as good at bullying as boys are but we call it ‘relational aggression,’” notes Slicker. “Girls can be extremely mean to each other through spreading rumors and socially ostracizing (someone) who was yesterday’s good friend.”
Still, it’s important to remember that bullies—like those they target for abuse—also have numerous issues at play, including bullying others to avoid being bullied, Winborn says.
“Another (issue for bullies) is that they are being bullied in some other setting and translate that onto their victims,” he shares. “And, as stated before, this conduct works for them.
“For some, there is a ‘high’ or ‘rush’ related to the bullying, even a sense of power—albeit, unauthentic power—and superiority. But again, the bully is in need of help.”
Indeed, confirms Slicker, “Bullies are at as much risk as the victims for negative affect later on. The psychological control inflected on them by their parents could cause such a feeling of victimization and anger in them that they feel a need to pass that meanness on; perhaps because that is the only way they have learned to interact with others.”
As a result, bullies, subsequently, “tend to be ‘rejected’ children with whom no one wants to associate, so they are quite lonely and sad,” she says.
In short, adds Winborn, “Unless corrected, the bully learns that she or he can get what they want through physical and emotional intimidation. Later in life they find that employers, spouses (and others) do not tolerate that conduct.”
As for those who survive the bullies, “Long term, (they) fare better than the bullies,” Winborn reports. “They have emotional scars, but press on and are much more successful in life than their bullying counterparts.”
For more information or educational resources about bullying, please contact the Operation Respect by e-mailing or by calling (212) 904-5243.


***ATTENTION, MEDIA: To obtain an interview with Drs. Slicker or Winborn, please contact Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs at MTSU via e-mailing or calling 615-494-8857.


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

Argentina’s President Hugo Chavez “Unfairly Demonized” by the Press, Franklin Says

(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.)—Dr. Sekou M. Franklin, assistant professor of political science, recently traveled to Venezuela as part of his information-gathering efforts for a book chapter that he is authoring.
Franklin said his 10-day sojourn to Argentina yielded an abundance data for the edited book project that will focus African Americans, race and the Venezuelan experience.
“My trip focused specifically on Afro-Venezuelan issues,” explained Franklin, who visited with leaders and activists of the Afro-Venezuelan Network, which is a coalition of 30 community-based groups that are working to introduce a host of civil rights, anti-racism policies and legislation in that country.
In addition to attending the historic San Juan festival, a three-day cultural/religious ceremony that was a product of the slavery period, Franklin said he also spent a considerable amount of time meeting with community leaders in the Barlovento region of Venezuela, including two towns founded by runaway slaves, where most people of African descent are located.
A member of MTSU’s faculty since 2003, Franklin said, “The second component of the trip focused on the social and anti-poverty reforms that are going on in Venezuelan and are being implemented by the Hugo Chavez administration.
“Some of these reforms include the cooperative movement, moving toward a system of universal health care and the development a cooperative movement, and government subsidized supermarkets and higher education. These anti-poverty reforms,” he added, “are being subsidized by profits from the oil industry.”
Aside from his visits with a number of social activists and community
Leaders, Franklin said he also met with an opposition group called SUMATE, the primary group opposed to President Chavez.
According to Franklin, it’s important to note that Chavez has been “unfairly demonized by the American press over the last four or five years and called a ‘dictator.’” However, he added, such portrayals are “factually inaccurate and a distortion of major proportions.”
Instead, he observed, “The real angst about Chavez is that he has taken the oil industry profits, which have historically served the interests of the top 5-10 percent in the country, and is now using it to serve the interests of the poor,” a populous that comprises between 60-80 percent of Venezuela’s citizenry, Franklin said.
“Furthermore,” he continued, “Venezuela is the fifth-largest oil producer in the world and supplies the United States with about 12-15 percent of its oil. Given this backdrop, there is a major campaign to discredit Chavez, as well as fears among the American foreign policy establishment that his political methodology—what Venezuelans call the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’—will spread to other Latin American countries.”

To date, three major attempts to remove Chavez from office already have taken place, said Franklin, who adds that “99 percent of the Venezuelans and
many nonpartisan foreign-policy specialists believe (these removal attempts) were backed by the United States.”
Franklin said his trip to Venezuela was organized by Global Exchange, an 18-year-old international human rights organization dedicated to promoting political, economic, environmental and social justice.
“In recent years, several prominent African Americans have visited the country to observe its social programs, which they believe, if implemented in the United States, could help the poor,” he remarked.
• For more information about Global Exchange or its educational trips abroad, please visit is Web site at


ATTENTION, MEDIA: For editorial needs, including interview requests with Dr. Franklin, please contact Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs via e-mail at or by calling 615-898-2919.


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947

Young Farm and Stonewall Heritage Farm Recognized for Ag. Contributions

(MURFREESBORO)—Two Smith County farms have been designated as Tennessee Century Farms, 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.
Both located in the Stonewall community, Hankins said the Young Farm and the Stonewall Heritage Farm join 41other certified Century Farms in Smith County.
In 1878, Lewis Hartford Young founded the Young Farm of Stonewall. A Civil War veteran, Lewis was in Company K of the 13th Tennessee Calvary. A man of many talents, Young was a steamboat captain on the Caney Fork River, running from Carthage to Sligo, and also served as a deputy sheriff in Smith County.
Married to Frances Elizabeth Armistead Young, the couple had one son, Lewis Joshua Young. The Young family produced corn, hay and tobacco and raised cattle, hogs and sheep. In 1904, Lewis Joshua Young acquired the farm. Along with his wife, Evelyn Jane Smith, the couple reared three children—Ossye Sue Young Nixon, Thelma Elizabeth Young Manning and Loyd Donald Young.
In 1956, Loyd and his spouse, Mary Sue Young, bought out his sisters’ share of the property. From 1963 to 1992, the family worked and lived elsewhere, but Loyd continued to supervise the farm. During this time, a tenant lived on the land and cared for livestock and raised a variety of crops.
In 1996, Mary Sue and Loyd’s son, Donald, built a house on the farm and is clearing fields and fencerows with plans for part-time farming after retirement. Another son, Kevin Scott, is currently making plans to also build a house on the land.
Today, the farm maintains a zinc lease with the Mossy Creek Mining Company and participates in the tobacco buy-out program. In 2001, Loyd passed away and Mary Sue became the sole owner of the farm. With the return to the farm of their sons, the family will continue ownership and agricultural production for a fourth generation.
James Hargrove Smith Jr. founded the Stonewall Heritage Farm in 1896. On 50 acres, he raised hay, corn, tobacco and cattle and in 1898, he donated land for Stonewall Methodist Church. While managing the farm, James and his brother owned and operated Smith Brothers General Store in the community, a popular marketplace for local produce that also was one of the first places in the county to sell mechanized farming equipment.
James was married to Carrie Dossett Brimm Smith and they had five children. James’ son-in-law, Will Orange, married to Mae Smith Orange, acquired the farm in 1939. As the parents of four children, the Orange family cultivated corn, tobacco and hay and raised cattle.
In 1946, Robin Bellar and Era Orange Bellar, granddaughter of the founders and daughter of Will and Mae, became the third owners of the property. During the Bellars’ ownership, the farm produced cattle, hay and tobacco. Robin and Era had four children and their daughter, Shirley Bellar Jones, became the owner in 1993.

Today, Shirley Jones leases the farm to brother Jacky Bellar, who raises cattle on the property. Shirley also reports that the farmhouse is being remodeled by the fifth generation of the family, her daughter Janice and husband Bob Givens.
The Century Farm 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 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 to Century Farm families, noting either 100, 150 or 200 years of “continuous agricultural production,”
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,” said Hankins, “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 owners of these farms, or to obtain jpegs of the farms for editorial use, please contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 615-898-2947.

Friday, August 11, 2006


CONTACT: News and Public Affairs, 615-898-2493

County-by-County Listing of Summer 2006 Graduates Available Online Aug. 11

(MURFREESBORO)—Beginning Aug. 11, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) will release the names and hometowns of those students who will graduate during the summer 2006 commencement ceremony, which will be held Saturday, Aug. 12, in Murphy Center on the MTSU campus.
More than 900 degree candidates will graduate during the 94th summer commencement. Of the term’s graduating class, 688 are undergraduates and 252 are from the College of Graduate Studies, including two graduate certificate recipients, as well as 226 master’s degrees, 17 educational specialists (Ed.S.) candidates and seven Ph.D. candidates.
The August commencement will feature Dr. Rebecca Fischer, interim chairwoman of the Department of Speech and Theatre and the current MTSU representative of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Faculty Subcouncil, delivering the commencement address. Following Fischer’s opening remarks, candidates from the College of Graduate Studies, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, and College of Education and Behavioral Science, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Mass Communication, and the College of Continuing Education and Distance Learning will be conferred with their degrees.

 HOW TO OBTAIN YOUR COUNTY’S STUDENT LIST: To obtain a list for editorial use of those students from your county who graduated during MTSU’s spring 2006 commencement, please access this information on the News and Public Affairs (NPA) Web site at and click on the “MTSU Graduation Lists” link on the upper, left-hand side of the page.
Next, click on the “Summer” link, which will include an alphabetical, county-by-county listing of those MTSU students who graduated on Aug. 12.
***Please note that this Web page also contains directions on how to download and save your county’s list for editorial use in your publication.



Date: Aug. 8, 2006

Editorial contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-2919
Alumni relations contact: Patience Long, 615-898-8198

(MURFREESBORO) — MTSU alumni and staff will operate a booth Aug. 18-26 at the Wilson County Fair at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.
The event, which is regarded as the No. 1 fair in the state and one of the best in the nation, is listed in the Top 20 Events in August by the Southeast Tourism Association, festival officials said. It drew 411,068 people in 2005, according to the Tennessee Association of Fairs.
MTSU Wilson County alumni will join MT athletics, athletic marketing and alumni office personnel in manning the booth, which will be open at 5 p.m. on week days (Aug. 18 and Aug. 21-25) and virtually all day on two Saturdays, Aug. 19 and 26, and Sunday, Aug. 20.
“We will distribute MTSU memorabilia and free goodies,” said Patience Long, assistant director of alumni relations at MTSU. “And MTSU alumni will receive a special gift while supplies last.”
The fair will open at 5 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Aug. 20. Admission will be $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens 60-over, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for 5-under.
The fairgrounds are one mile off Interstate 40. Festival goers should take I-40 to exit 239B, then U.S. 70 West.
For more information, call the alumni office at 800-533-MTSU (6878) or visit



EDITORIAL CONTACT: Caneta Hankins, 615-898-2947

Bowen/Creech-Moody Farm Recognized for Agricultural Contributions

(MURFREESBORO)—The Bowen/Creech-Moody Farm in Grainger County recently was 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 MTSU campus.
On Dec. 10, 1900, Effie M. Phillips-Rucker established a farm of 350 acres east of Rutledge on U.S. Highway 11 West. Married to John Frank Rucker, the couple produced alfalfa, hay, corn, oats, tobacco, wheat, apples, beef cattle and chickens.
According to CHP records, prior to Highway 11 West’s creation, the dirt road than ran in front of the family home became very muddy when it rained or snowed. Travelers, whose wagon or automobile became stuck, came to the family’s house for help. The Ruckers provided assistance, day or night. When 11 West was being built, the farm provided water for the survey and construction crews who filled their containers from the spring that continues to be the main source of water for the house.
Hankins said that the family recalls that the farmhouse was the first and only place in the community that had a telephone. Neighbors came to the house to use this then-new piece of technology to call a doctor or for other emergencies or needs. The farm supported from five to seven tenant families and also hired nearby landowners who needed extra money during the year.
In 1926, James Oscar Rucker, the founders’ only son, acquired the farm. Married to Jessie E. McDaniel-Rucker, the couple had two children, Hazel L. and John Frank Rucker. In 1929, the house had the first electricity in the community installed in the family’s home. In addition to installing electricity, the company also encouraged the family to display Christmas lights on two tall cedar trees in the yard. The family reports that people came from Morristown, Rogersville and Jefferson City to see the lighted trees.
Upon the death of James in 1931, his wife inherited the property. Jessie and her children and their families worked the land for the next 20 years, establishing a Hereford cattle operation. In 1950, the land was divided between Hazel and John Frank Rucker.
During the ownership of Hazel L. Rucker and her husband Benjamin A. Creech Jr., the farm’s major cash crop was burley tobacco. In addition, the farm supported cattle, hogs and sheep. Over the next two decades, Hazel and Ben made improvements to the farm, including the construction of a new tool shed, a screened-in front porch on the house and reconstruction of some log houses for their home and for Ben’s woodworking business.

While the couple managed the farm, they also were active in the community. Ben was a member of the Tennessee Livestock Association, the local cattlemen’s association, the Farm Bureau and the local Farmer’s Cooperative. He also served on the Board of Directors of the TVA & I Fair Association in Knoxville from 1947 to 1984. Hazel, meanwhile, was a charter member of the Avondale Community Club and the local association of cattlewomen. Hazel’s brother, John Frank Rucker, built his family home on the south side of the farm and raised cattle until his late ‘80s. He remained on the farm where he was born until 2004, when he died at age 92.
In 2003, the great-granddaughter of the founder, Alice Creech-Moody, acquired the farm. She is the daughter of Hazel and Benjamin Creech. A 4-H Club member from 1949 to 1958, her interest was raising and showing beef claves. Alice, along with her husband, James R. (Rick) Moody, manages the farm but lease it to Donny Hixon.
Today, the main house, part of which dates to 1866, as well as a barn, a blacksmith ship, a spring house, a scale house, a cattle barn and a smokehouse—all of which were built in the early 20th century—are among the buildings on this farm.
“This well-documented farm is one of Grainger County’s most historic places and the family continues to preserve its stories, buildings, and the land,” Hankins says.
The Bowen/Creech-Moody joins seven other certified Century Farms in Grainger County.
The Century Farm 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 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 to Century Farm families, noting either 100, 150 or 200 years of “continuous agricultural production,”
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,” said Hankins, “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 owners of this farm, or to obtain jpegs of the farm for editorial use, please contact the Center for Historic Preservation at 615-898-2947.