Friday, October 28, 2016

[149] MTSU’s True Blue Tour draws hundreds to Knoxville student recruiting event

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — At part of the site for the 1982 World’s Fair, mother and daughter Judy and Kelli Hurt of Powell, Tennessee, proudly walked into the Middle Tennessee State University True Blue Tour gathering wearing a long-sleeve MTSU T-shirt (Judy) and a ¾ zipper pullover (Kelli).

University administrators took notice of the apparel Oct. 19 at The Foundry on the Fair Site. Mom and daughter purchased the tops at Phillips Bookstore during visits to tour the Murfreesboro campus. The “impression” she made on MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee landed her a $1,000 scholarship and an iPad if she becomes a Blue Raider.

One of the largest True Blue Tour crowds thus far, with several hundred prospective students and family members on hand, and twice as many attending in Knoxville as did in 2015, MTSU made another successful recruiting trip to East Tennessee. Knoxville marked the fifth stop on the tour as the university travels statewide and also to Atlanta, Huntsville, Alabama, and Bowling Green and Louisville, Kentucky.

Kelli Hurt, 17, a Powell High School senior, said she is interested in studying athletic training.

“It’s very competitive,” she said. “I like the challenge you get and, ultimately, it’s my dream degree.”

The Hurt family has toured MTSU twice. They also came for the 2015 Blue Raider-Vanderbilt football game. Kelli Hurt said she liked the campus a lot and finds it very open.

When not studying, she is captain of the tennis team, president of the Health Occupational Student Association, active in Young Life and interacted and observed the Powell High athletic trainer.

If athletic training is Hurt’s dream major, then MTSU is Tattiana Lopez’s “dream college.” The 17-year-old Clinton (Tennessee) High School senior discussed the forensic science program with College of Basic and Applied Sciences adviser Eric Miller. She also talked to military science recruiting operations officer John Bautch about the ROTC program.

During the tour student receptions, McPhee, interim Provost Mark Byrnes, deans from the eight academic colleges, advisers, admissions and MT One Stop personnel and others answer questions and share information with attendees.

The events are free, but students should register in advance at

To learn more about MTSU’s 150 programs, visit For admissions information, call 615-898-2233 or visit

Next up on the True Blue Tour: MTSU goes to Franklin Wednesday, Oct. 26, to entertain counselors and community college staff with an 11:30 a.m. luncheon and hosts a student reception at 6 p.m. The Williamson County events will be held in the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd.

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