Friday, January 31, 2014

[348] Acclaimed Beegie Adair radio show begins rebroadcasting Feb. 9 on WMOT-FM 89

MURFREESBOROMiddle Tennessee Public Radio, WMOT-FM 89.5, will rebroadcast the beloved radio talk/music show “Improvised Thoughts” with jazz piano legend Beegie Adair beginning Sunday, Feb. 9, in its original 7 p.m. weekly time slot.

“Improvised Thoughts” is hosted and co-produced by jazz piano legend Beegie Adair and jazz radio veteran Greg Lee. Recorded at WMOT-FM from 1991 to 1997, the popular program featured local and international jazz artists, including such greats as Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marian McPartland, Benny Golson and Helen Merrill.

Most shows will air as they were originally heard in the 1990s with updated information available on the station’s website,

“Improvised Thoughts” will replace “Music City Roots,” which has been airing in the 7 p.m. Sunday time slot on the 100,000-watt FM public radio station at Middle Tennessee State University. You can listen live to “Improvised Thoughts” each Sunday night over the air at 89.5 FM or online at beginning Feb. 9.

“The WMOT audience and fans of Beegie Adair will enjoy ‘Improvised Thoughts,’” said Lee, who is program director for WMOT. “Ms. Adair is an accomplished musician, loved by fans worldwide, and is a terrific interviewer.

“Good music and conversation about good music by the people who make it is a delight to hear. To have such an influential musical figure at the helm, interviewing some of jazz’s most iconic players, along with those who were then rising-stars, is well worth a visit to WMOT on Sunday nights at 7. Many will remember the series when it was in production in the ’90s, but an entirely new listenership should have the opportunity to hear it, too.”

Adair added that she’s “incredibly pleased that ‘Improvised Thoughts’ is about to be rebroadcast with all the wonderful musicians and singers I was privileged to interview back then. I'm very proud of this project.”

“Improvised Thoughts” will be formatted for radio, live streaming and on-demand for fans worldwide at, where a complete list of programs and more details can be found. More information on Adair can be found at

Adair, a Steinway Artist who lives in Franklin, Tenn., cites George Shearing, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner among her influences. She has recorded and appeared on more than 100 CDs — including 35 recorded with her million-selling Beegie Adair Trio — ranging from Cole Porter standards to Frank Sinatra classics to romantic World War II ballads. Her six-CD Centennial Composers Collection of tunes by Rodgers, Gershwin, Kern, Ellington, Carmichael and Berlin became an instant collectible classic.

WMOT-FM, founded in 1969, is a listener-supported, educational and public service of MTSU. Its 100,000-watt signal reaches the entire Metropolitan Nashville area, and it is the flagship station for the Blue Raiders athletics network.

For more information, to listen live anytime and anywhere, and to support the station’s programming and mission, visit or call WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

[347] Black History Month at MTSU focuses on ‘Civil Rights in America’

Ticket deadline nears for Feb. 11 Unity Luncheon

MURFREESBORO — Reflections on the sacrifices that made America a more inclusive society form the focal point of this year’s Black History Month celebration at MTSU.

Documentaries, speeches, sing-a-longs and other activities are on tap under the theme of “Civil Rights in America,” said Black History Month Committee co-chairs Vincent Windrow, interim assistant vice provost for student success, and Jonell Hinsey, interim director of the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center.

“This year we celebrate the people, places and important occasions that created the movement for equality in America,” Hinsey said.

• The campus community is invited to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the so-called “black national anthem” composed by James Weldon Johnson, at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, on the Keathley University Center knoll, in the Student Union Courtyard and outside Peck Hall.

• “Eyes on the Prize,” the award-winning PBS documentary about the history of the civil rights movement, will be shown in four parts from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 in the Keathley University Center Theatre.

• Students will maintain an information table from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, on the first floor of the Student Union. Free HIV/AIDS testing will be available then and throughout the month.

• Michael McDonald, MTSU’s first African-American student government president, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Unity Luncheon at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Student Union ballroom. The event will pay tribute to community leaders James L. Butler, Pearlie Mae Martin and Phyllis Hickerson-Washington.

Tickets for the luncheon are $20 for adults and $10 for students and may be purchased by contacting Hinsey at 615-898-5797 or The deadline for reserving tickets is Wednesday, Feb. 5.

• Dr. Cleveland Sellers, president of Voorhees College in Denmark, S.C., will deliver an address titled “A Voice from the Movement” at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, in Room 116 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors College Building.

An advocate for nonviolent social change, Sellers was the only person arrested at the “Orangeburg Massacre,” a violent clash between students and state police on the campus of South Carolina State University on Feb. 8, 1968. Three young men were killed and 27 other people were wounded.

Sellers spent seven months behind bars on rioting charges while the white officers involved in the shooting were acquitted. He received an official pardon 25 years after his release.

• A presentation based on some of the “Myths of the Movement” is slated for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. This event focuses on how some written and oral history skews the truth about the civil rights movement.

• Walks through the “Tunnel of Oppression” are scheduled from 1 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Tom Jackson Building. It is designed to introduce participants to current-day concepts of oppression, privilege and power. This event coincides with the World Day of Social Justice as declared by the United Nations.

• The Scholars Academy, in conjunction with the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center, will host “Sista and Brotha, You Rock!,” a celebration slated for 6 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, in the Student Union ballroom. MTSU students of color will receive awards honoring them for their contributions to the community.

All events except the Unity Luncheon are free and open to the public. For a complete list of Black History Month events, go to For more information, contact Hinsey at 615-898-5797 or

[346] MTSU involvement helps fashion ‘Wedding Dresses Through the Ages’

MURFREESBORO — When Chloe Calhoun was choosing her wedding gown, she said she had no idea it would become part of an award-winning annual exhibit.

The MTSU admissions coordinator, who married Colin Calhoun in October 2013, is one of several women whose bridal fashions are on display in “Wedding Dresses Through the Decades” at Oaklands Historic House Museum, 900 N. Maney Ave. in Murfreesboro.

Chloe Calhoun’s dress, which is on exhibit at Oaklands, is a traditional Amsale gown accented with French Alencon lace and seed pearls.

Also on display is the veil, a cathedral-length lace mantilla also accented with French Alencon lace. The veil was made by her mother, Teresa King, an MTSU professor of fashion merchandising, and was worn by King at her own wedding.

King’s wedding dress and the military tuxedo worn by her groom, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Michael King, are on exhibit in the McWherter Learning Resources Center, along with the emerald dress King wore to her daughter’s wedding.

“This is the third year for the exhibit, and we are exceptionally pleased with the partnership,” said Deborah Belcher, chair of MTSU’s Human Sciences Department.

Van Westmoreland, a sophomore textiles, merchandising and design major from Nashville, designed the display on view in the Ellington Human Sciences Building.

That window features Belcher’s wedding dress, which she describes as a mermaid with sweetheart bodice, pearls and lace overlays, as well as her travel dress. She wed Roy Hoffman in 2008 at Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

The dress worn by Belcher’s mother, Patsy Pockett Belcher, when she married Robert William Belcher in 1961, is on view at Oaklands. It is a knee-length design indicative of the changing styles of the time.

Dr. Sharon Whiteside, an MTSU nursing professor, renewed her vows in 2013 after 30 years of marriage wearing a strapless sweetheart corset with pickup, swagged skirt and chapel train in a traditional organic pattern with beads and crystals.

The wife of Harold “Terry” Whiteside, dean of MTSU’s College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, also wore a hat with a veil. She said the hat was made by an Italian designer, and she knew the moment she saw it in an Indianapolis store that she had to have it.

Whiteside’s dress and veil are on view in the Oaklands exhibit, which features fashions from the mid-1800s to the present day.

“We borrowed half of the dress forms and some of the sign holders from the Department of Human Sciences this year,” said Oaklands Educational Director Mary Beth Nevills.

“Wedding Dresses Through the Decades” will be open at Oaklands 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays through March 2. Admission is $5 per person.

For more information, contact Oaklands at 615-893-0022 or

[345] Puerto Rican nationalist to speak at MTSU Feb. 3

MURFREESBORO — An advocate for independence for the United States territory of Puerto Rico is scheduled to address the topic at MTSU.

Ricardo Jimenez, who spent nearly 20 years in maximum-security prisons following a conviction for seditious conspiracy, will speak at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, in Room 204 of the James Union Building.

Jimenez originally was sentenced in 1981 to 90 years in prison for his connection to a series of bombings. No fatalities or injuries were attributed to any of the bombings.

President Clinton commuted Jimenez’ sentence to 25 total effective years served in 1999. Nine other imprisoned members of a Puerto Rican nationalist group also received clemency.

Raquelle Seda, a coordinator of the National Boricua Human Rights Network in Detroit, will join Jimenez. They are active in the struggle to free Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has spent the last 32 years in prison. Rivera refused Clinton’s clemency offer because it was not also extended to a fellow prisoner who ultimately was released in 2010.

In addition, Jimenez is an HIV/AIDS counselor for the Latino HIV/AIDS support agency Vida/SIDA, a project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by MT Solidarity, an MTSU student organization that describes itself as “a democratic, revolutionary socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization.”

For more information, go to the group’s Facebook page at

[344] MTSU Honors College hosts Feb. 17 Presidents’ Day Open House

MURFREESBORO — High school and transfer students and their families from across Tennessee are invited to the fifth annual Presidents’ Day Open House at Middle Tennessee State University’s Honors College and Student Union from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17.

The University Honors College fosters the academic excellence and nurturing environment of a small, selective liberal arts college within the setting of a major university, said Laura Clippard, Honors College adviser. The free exchange of ideas and the opportunity to learn from one another in small classes taught by expert faculty make the Honors College experience rich and meaningful, she added.

Visit for a detailed schedule and to register. The Student Union and Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building are located on the east side of campus. A printable campus map can be found at

High school students must have a 25 ACT or higher and 3.5 GPA or higher to be qualified to participate in the Honors College. Transfer students must have a college GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Clippard said there will be a combination of educational events, optional tours and fun activities for prospective students.

After Honors College Dean John Vile provides a welcome, attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about admissions, financial aid, housing and many other areas on campus.

Opportunities will include tours of the Honors College, housing and residential life, James E. Walker Library, aerospace’s air traffic control lab, mass communication and a regular campus tour.

The visitors also can attend a mock trial demonstration, visit a “mad science” presentation and join the spring Honors Lecture Series class’s “Health and Happiness” presentation. A scholarship drawing will be held and students will have an opportunity to take a presidential quiz and win prizes.

Contact Clippard at 615-898-5464 or if you have a group larger than five. Each student who attends will receive three tickets to dine on campus during the visit. Parking information will be emailed to participants after registration.