MTSU will honor ‘unsung heroes’ at 16th annual Unity Luncheon Feb. 7
FOR RELEASE: Feb. 1, 2012
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Vincent Windrow, email@example.com or 615-898-2831
MURFREESBORO—Since 1996, MTSU has held its Unity Luncheon during Black History Month to honor the “unsung heroes” of middle Tennessee’s African-American community.
The 2012 celebration, planned for Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 11 a.m. in the University’s James Union building, will sing the praises of a trio of honorable women: Thenartis Ellis, Mary C. Scales and Olivia Murray Woods.
Ellis was the first African-American hired in a departmental office at MTSU. She worked as a secretary in the Department of Economics and Finance for 36 years until her retirement. Ellis was also a member of the Clerical Caucus, the Association for Secretarial and Clerical Employees, the Black History Committee and a recipient of the MTSU Secretary of the Year Award.
Scales, MTSU’s first African-American professor, is known for her decades of teaching and civic work, including her longtime membership on the Murfreesboro City School Board and her election as the first black woman on the Murfreesboro City Council. Scales, who also is owner of Scales & Sons Funeral Home, is credited with helping to formulate the “mini-school” concept at then-Central Middle School.
Woods was the first African-American to enroll at MTSU as an undergraduate student. She earned her Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1965 and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction in 1974, teaching second and third grade in the Murfreesboro City Schools until her retirement in 1986.
This year’s Unity Luncheon guest speaker is Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, executive director of the Tennessee Council on Women. Tickets to the luncheon are $20 for adults and $10 for students and are available by contacting Brenda Wunder at 615-898-2591 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominees for each year’s Unity Luncheon honor must be aged 60 or older, have resided in middle Tennessee for at least 25 years and have made outstanding contributions to their community. To nominate an “unsung hero” for 2013, visit www.mtsu.edu/aahm/unity_luncheon.shtml.
For more information about MTSU’s Black History Month events, please visit www.mtsu.edu/aahm.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized MTSU for its outstanding curricular engagement, community outreach and partnerships. As MTSU celebrates its 100th anniversary, Pride, Tradition and Excellence are the cornerstones of "Tennessee’s Best"! For MTSU news and information anytime, visit www.mtsunews.com.
Editors: This release was written by News and Media Relations practicum student Kristy Hardin. Please use her byline if possible. Thanks!