Tuesday, October 29, 2013

[211] True Blue Experience Day: ‘Friendly’ website leads Illinois family to visit MTSU

MURFREESBORO — Looking to find a college in the South for her daughter, Shirley Repking discovered MTSU because of its website.

“It is very easy and friendly. All of the information was great,” Shirley Repking said as she and Emily Repking began their “True Blue Experience Day” Oct. 25 in the MTSU Student Union.

Just as the MTSU fall semester was beginning in late August, the university unveiled a new-look website that would be more appealing to teenagers — the next wave of future MTSU students.

The True Blue Experience Day gives prospective MTSU students the opportunity to visit campus, take tours, meet with deans, directors and others from admissions, financial aid/scholarships, housing and more. The colleges within the university also have information and their representatives can answer questions posed by the students and their parents or guardians.

The Repkings are from Godfrey, Ill., which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo. Emily Repking is a senior at Market Catholic High School in Alton, Ill., and said she plans to study accounting.

“I like the size of the university and it’s in a southern area,” Emily Repking said of why she likes MTSU. 

MTSU admissions had another good turnout of prospective students for the event.

Other upcoming events this fall include:

• A Fall Preview Day from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. Along with the campus visit, attendees will have an opportunity to attend the MTSU Blue Raiders football game against Florida International (kickoff at 3 p.m.) as part of Salute to Armed Services events; and

• The final “True Blue Experience Day” of the fall will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, targeting transfer students, but also open to all prospective students.

Go online to http://tinyurl.com/truebluetour to register for any of the special tours or just come to the Student Union, where tours begin. Daily campus tours will continue through Friday, Dec. 13. Visit the site to check availability and to register.
Students who apply for MTSU admission by Dec. 1 receive priority consideration for scholarships.

[210] MTSU fall drug take-back event yields 23 pounds

MURFREESBORO — The second MTSU Prescription Drug Take-Back Day proved almost as successful as the first one, event organizers said.
As part of a national initiative, the drug take-back day was held outside the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. Campus Pharmacy, Public Safety and Health Promotions co-sponsored the event.
Campus Pharmacy Director Tabby Ragland said 23 pounds of prescription drugs and over-the-counter items were turned in by the campus community and public. In April, more than 29 pounds was collected.
"We had a good turnout of people and 23 pounds is still a good amount that was collected," Ragland said.
This event allows the MTSU community and general public the opportunity to dispose of expired or unneeded prescriptions and over-the-counter medications responsibly, said Lisa Schrader, director of MTSU Health Promotions.  
"We appreciate the support of campus in public health-related events like these," Schrader added. "People who brought medicines to our event can know they really contribute to a safer and more environmentally friendly community."
October is Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, and the campus drug take-back event gives the MTSU community an opportunity to get medicines they no longer need out of their homes and out of danger of being misused, Schrader added.
Organizers requested people keep medications in their original packaging when possible, and black out any personally identifying information on the labels.
Ragland said the organizing committee will determine a date for the spring drug take-back day.
For more information, call Schrader at 615-494-8704 or email her at Lisa.Schrader@mtsu.edu.

[209] True Blue Tour: Jackson State transfers fired up about coming to MTSU

JACKSON, Tenn. — Jackson State Community College freshman Rachel Leach and alumnus Christopher “Chris” Mugabi can’t wait to continue their college careers at MTSU in 2014.

Leach, 18, of Pinson, Tenn., is on fire for MTSU, and has been ever since her senior year at Chester County High School. For the Oct. 22 MTSU “True Blue Tour” visit to Jackson, Tenn., she wore an MTSU sweatshirt and exhibited a special glow any time MTSU was mentioned.

Jackson was the final stop on the six-city statewide tour in which MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, top administrators and key personnel take to the road to recruit prospective students.

“I’m so excited about MTSU,” Leach said while enjoying the “True Blue Tour” festivities at the Jackson Country Club with her parents, Cindy and Thomas Leach.

“We hear a lot about it (MTSU),” her father said. “She’s ready to go.”

MTSU having a speech pathology program and many student activities — especially Blue Raider football games and the Baptist Student Union — is why she is so gung-ho about coming to MTSU next fall.

Elizabeth Smith, coordinator of the MTSU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, mapped out a path and told Leach that she could transfer to MTSU with 41 credit hours, and that’s what she plans to do.

“I’m so excited. I’m counting the days,” Leach said.

Mugabi, 25, of Jackson, Tenn., is a native of Uganda who graduated from Jackson State in May. He’s just as passionate about coming to Murfreesboro and MTSU.

“MTSU has tremendous diversity and multicultural events,” he said. “I’d like to enroll myself in a bigger place, with opportunities where I can express myself.”

At Jackson State, Mugabi was Student Government Association president. He met and became friends with former MTSU SGA President Coby Sherlock, who “recommended I come (to MTSU),” Mugabi said.

“I look at education as a priority for my life,” Mugabi said, adding that he plans to study computer information systems and earn a minor in business administration.

Mugabi said he wants to get involved with the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

[208] ‘Triple-threat icon’ Barry Gibb thrills MTSU with unique performance-lecture

MURFREESBORO — Music icon Barry Gibb easily traced the genealogy of the Bee Gees classic “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?” for more than 900 fans and friends at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre Monday night.

Poignantly recalling his and his late brothers’ love for country music from their Australian childhood, the singer-songwriter-producer gently began picking out a Hank Locklin country classic on his acoustic guitar while talking with Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry.

“The first country song I ever recall hearing was Johnny Tillotson’s [cover of] ‘Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On,’” Gibb said. “We only got the one radio station in Australia, and the people we heard classified as ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ were Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash.

“‘Crying’ was the first record I ever bought. … We love country. It all comes from the pathos. We always loved a sad story,” he continued, segueing smoothly into “How Can You Mend,” the brothers Gibb’s first U.S. No. 1 single.

The audience, which almost filled the 1,000-seat venue, rose and applauded Gibb for one of several standing ovations offered throughout the evening. Many spent the pre-show time singing along with Bee Gees hits on the PA system, and several called out happily to Gibb as he related family tales, career recollections and music history and played a handful of his hundreds of hits.

“What a fantastic, happy crowd!” Gibb said with a wide smile.

Gibb, one of the world’s most successful songwriters, has a career spanning more than 50 years. He recently concluded the European leg of his first solo tour, “Mythology,” which commemorates his late brothers Robin and Maurice and features performances by the next generation of Gibb musicians.

Monday night’s visit to MTSU, part of the Department of Recording Industry Chair’s Speakers Series, was the first time Gibb has ever sat down for a public conversation and solo performance. John Merchant, a recording industry assistant professor who toured with Gibb for years as part of his concert sound production team, invited his former boss to MTSU.

Before the Tucker Theatre event, professor Merchant’s colleagues Michael Fleming and Matthew O’Brien introduced Gibb to several MTSU students who work on the student record label, Match Records. Fleming also showed Gibb’s son and touring partner, Stephen, and musical director Doug Emery one of the university’s state-of-the-art recording studios inside the Bragg Mass Communication Building.

Gibb and his family and friends also toured the Center for Popular Music in the Bragg building before the show, paying special attention to a colorful display of Bee Gees and Gibb memorabilia prepared by cataloging librarian Rachel Morris.

“That is GREAT!” Gibb said as he peered into the display case, grinning at several unexpected items. “There are lots of memories right there for me, oh yeah!”

The artist also was fascinated by the Center for Popular Music's compact-shelving storage system, a customized archive that stretches more than 10.5 feet high to house the center’s extensive collection.

In a surprise announcement just a few minutes later in Tucker Theatre, the university recognized Gibb as the inaugural Fellow of the Center for Popular Music. You can read full details of that announcement at http://mtsunews.com/gibb-named-inaugural-cpm-fellow.

Gibb and his brothers have been topping the charts since the 1960s, becoming the only group in pop history to write, produce and record six straight No.1 hits. The Bee Gees had 16 Grammy nominations and nine Grammy wins.

Gibb also has had No. 1 songs in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s 1990s and 2000s and is the only songwriter in history to write four successive U.S. No.1 hits.

“It's obviously not possible for us to cover your entire career in one night, so the only solution is for you to come back again,” Keel said to the broadly smiling Gibb after that presentation.

“You’re a singer, a songwriter, a producer — most people would kill to have your level of success in just one of those fields. You’re a triple-threat icon.”

“Well, Maurice and Robin should be here tonight, too, but it’s just myself …” Gibb said softly.

He began smiling again as he launched into a list of artists he’d just seen inaugurated into the Country Music Hall of Fame the night before and how much he enjoyed their work.

“I love to be around people whose work I admire. … And I love being here.”

[207] Singer-songwriter Barry Gibb named inaugural fellow of MTSU’s Center for Popular Music

MURFREESBORO — Legendary singer and songwriter Barry Gibb was honored Monday as the inaugural fellow of The Center for Popular Music at MTSU’s College of Mass Communication.

Gibb, a founding member of the pop-sensation Bee Gees, received the honor before speaking at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre for an event billed as his first lecture and performance combination.

The artist came to campus at the invitation of John Merchant, an assistant professor in MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry who toured with Gibb for years as part of his sound production team.

“Barry Gibb’s career has been characterized by its breadth, depth and consistently high quality, embracing shifts in popular music with intuitive ease — and emerging at the top of the charts in five different decades,” said Ken Paulson, dean of the college, who helped present the honor to Gibb.

“We are pleased to honor his singular achievements in popular music.”

The fellowship recognizes Gibb’s extraordinary accomplishments as a performer, songwriter and producer. He is cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most successful songwriter after Paul McCartney.
Gibb and his brothers have been topping the charts since the 1960s, becoming the only group in pop history to write, produce and record six straight No. 1 hits. The Bee Gees had 16 Grammy nominations and nine Grammy wins.
Gibb also has had No. 1 songs in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s 1990s and 2000s and is the only songwriter in history to write four successive U.S. No. 1 hits: The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” in 1978, replaced by youngest Gibb brother Andy’s single, “Love Is Thicker Than Water,” followed by the Bee Gees’ seven-week run for “Night Fever” and Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You.”
The Bee Gees’ and Elliman’s singles all originated with one of the top-selling albums of all time, the film soundtrack from “Saturday Night Fever.”
Dr. Dale Cockrell, director of the Center for Popular Music, said Gibb’s honor is the first of its kind conferred by his organization.

“The Center for Popular Music has long provided special opportunities for the study of popular music and encouraged his appreciation and enjoyment,” Cockrell said. “With its Fellow program, it begins to recognize those who have made special contributions to its development.

“No one deserves this inaugural honor more than Barry Gibb, who has for five decades provided the soundtrack to American lives.”

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said Gibb’s honor also underscored the important work by the center, which was established in 1985 as a state-sponsored Center for Excellence with a mission to promote research in American vernacular music.

McPhee said the center works to “foster an understanding and appreciation of America’s diverse musical culture.”

“The Center for Popular Music is a premier, singular element of our university,” the president said. “Mr. Gibb’s record of accomplishment and body of work reflects the very best of what our center was established to study and preserve.”

Recording Industry Chair Beverly Keel said she was pleased that Gibb’s appearance at MTSU provided an opportunity for the center — and the entire university community — to connect with the legendary performer.

“We take pride in providing top-notch opportunities for our students to learn from the best,” Keel said. “Professor Merchant’s ties to Mr. Gibb allowed the university to benefit from one of the greatest musical talents in popular music.”