Wednesday, February 19, 2014

[387] MTSU Alumni Association expands awards for distinguished alumni

MURFREESBORO — While currently seeking and accepting nominations for the Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2014, the MTSU Alumni Association recently announced it is expanding the honors.

The awards will recognize those with sustained records of achievement who have made outstanding contributions to society and who exemplify the ideals for which MTSU stands in extraordinary ways.

People are encouraged to nominate someone for an award. Criteria and nomination forms can be found at Nominations for all awards are due Saturday, March 29.

The alumni recognition now will be in two tiers, an overall Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and the new True Blue Citations of Distinction.

“We’ve undertaken a two-year process with our committee to review the old awards process, research other processes at other schools and develop a new plan for MTSU,” said Chip Walters, an alumnus, committee chair and “voice of the Blue Raiders” in football and basketball.

“Because of the explosion of the number of alumni and how widespread they are over the past 25 years or so, we were able to expand the program with several objectives in mind,” Walters added.

The True Blue Citations of Distinction will include awards for the following categories:

• Young Alumni Achievement;

• Achievement in Education — MTSU Faculty;

• Achievement in Education — Non-MTSU Faculty;

• Service to Community; and

• The David Cullum Award for Service to the University, named in memory of the former National Alumni Association, Blue Raider Athletic Association and MTSU Foundation president, who died May 2, 2013.

Walters said the committee wanted to “honor more alumni, clearly define the awards and raise the bar for being a Distinguished Alumni.” He added that university President Sidney A. McPhee initiated the idea for the expansion of the awards and wanted to see where the group would take it, and hoped the awards would be reflective of the global university MTSU has become.

Walters said he and the committee were excited to see the establishment of the two awards for educators, particularly since his alma mater became Middle Tennessee State Teachers College in 1925 and what ensued was the university having a rich tradition of producing teachers.

Honorees will be announced in late summer or early fall, and only be asked to participate during one special weekend — homecoming — when they will attend a reception, ride in the parade and attend the football game, where they will be joined by McPhee and introduced to the crowd.

For more information or if you have questions regarding the nomination process, call 615-898-2922.

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