MURFREESBORO — Looking around the Student Union Ballroom on the MTSU campus, alumnus and U.S. Army Major Gen. Terry M. “Max” Haston quickly studied an audience of primarily seniors who will be graduating Saturday, May 10.
“I graduated from a great program,” he said of MTSU ROTC, which led him to a lifetime of service and leadership to his country. “There are a lot of other great programs here at the university, and what a beautiful place (the nearly 2-year-old Student Union). Just like Dr. (Sidney A.) McPhee, I’ve been all over the world. You can be proud to call yourself a Blue Raider.”
Haston, who makes frequent campus appearances, spoke briefly during Senior Day, an MTSU Office of Alumni Relations-sponsored event that was expected to draw 100 to 200 students to not only recognize them, but also provide graduate school opportunities, job-hunting preparation and show them how to remain connected as alumni.
Haston, the adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard in Nashville, had a special reason for attending, not just the invitation by McPhee. Travis Haston, the son of Max and Anne Haston of Knoxville, Tenn., will be graduating with a degree in electronic media management.
“It makes me proud,” the elder Haston said of his son’s pending achievement. “I work in Nashville; we live in Knoxville. He could’ve easily gone to the University of Tennessee, which my wife is a graduate of. We gave him the option. This (MTSU) is where he selected. It really speaks to the quality and character of this university.”
Max Haston said his son, who was born three months prematurely, overcame physical and health issues and learning challenges.
Travis Haston, who started at MTSU in the fall of 2008 majoring in recording industry, switched to broadcasting and finally to electronic media management. He said he has landed a summer internship with Charlotte, N.C.-based Hendrick Motorsports, but the former Eagle Scout also was offered an internship with the Boy Scouts of America.
The younger Haston also will take his graduate record exam, or GRE, Friday, May 2, and will consider grad school — something McPhee emphasized several times when he spoke to the seniors.
“I’m proud of you,” McPhee said to the seniors. “… We have a great graduate program. I’d love for you to consider our graduate program.”
The College of Graduate Studies and Career Development Center were among the offices with personnel staffing tables for the MTSU seniors to visit.
Approximately 2,300 students — more than 1,900 undergraduates and nearly 400 graduate students — will be awarded diplomas in May.