Monday, November 03, 2014

[165] MTSU Memphis, Jackson True Blue Tours end on a high note

MURFREESBORO — Southwest Tennessee resident Cole Plunkett has dreamed of being a pilot since age 6 or 7.

Drawing closer to that potential career path, the homeschooled teenager said MTSU is the number one school he is considering attending.

Plunkett, who lives in Williston, Tennessee, in Fayette County, was among 400-plus students and family members who attended the Memphis True Blue Tour event at Memphis Botanic Garden Oct. 22. And another 160 people attended the True Blue Tour event in Jackson Oct. 23 to conclude the six-city statewide fall recruiting caravan for 2014.

At the student recruiting events, academic departments and Student Affairs personnel man tables with information and answer question. The tour stops include receptions to recruit prospective students for the 2015-16 academic year and beyond and court high school counselors and community college advisers with a luncheon in hopes they will encourage their outstanding students to apply to MTSU.

Homeschooled and under Jackson-based HomeLife Academy, Plunkett had a keen interest in attending the Memphis event to learn more about the MTSU aerospace program.

“They’ve got a program I want, and with all the scholarships (Hope Lottery and potential for a Chancellor’s or President’s scholarship) I can get — and it’s close to home — financially it makes sense (to attend MTSU),” he said.

Accompanied by his mother and teacher Angela Plunkett, the teen visited both the campus and MTSU Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport in July.

Wednesday night in Memphis, Cole Plunkett met associate professor and university pilot Terry Dorris, who provided a wealth of information for the young man to consider about not only MTSU, but also exploring other career options.

“This is your decision — one of the first major life decisions you’ll ever make,” Dorris said to Plunkett, who also met and talked with senior aerospace professional pilot Nathan Mooney of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

At both Memphis and Jackson, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success Vincent Windrow and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer shared the student reception program spotlight with Dr. Deb Sells, vice president of Student Affairs and vice provost for Enrollment and Academic Services.

Windrow encouraged students to explore any and all opportunities.

“Make sure your opportunities are expanding,” he said.

Humorous throughout his presentation, Windrow carefully explained the Student Success Advantage and “Graduate in Four (years) and Get More” program for students starting in fall 2015. The program adds a total of $1,000 back to eligible Hope Scholarship recipients during the first two years ($500 each year), guarantees scholarships to eligible transfer students and returns tuition increases to eligible students who stay on track to graduate in four years.

Fischer not only raved about his academic home — the $147 million Science Building, which opened this semester — but urged students to “show up for class, be prepared and be engaged.”

MTSU senior Kai Pruitte of Jackson and junior Clinton Knox III of Memphis talked to students one-on-one, in small groups and in front of the entire audience in their respective cities. They also appeared in video productions shown at the reception and luncheons.

MTSU also visited Chattanooga, Johnson City, Knoxville and Nashville this fall.

MTSU offers a Fall Preview Day from 8 a.m. to 3 p .m. Saturday, Nov. 1, starting in the Student Union. To register, visit The priority deadline to apply and receive scholarship consideration is Dec. 1.

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