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True Blue Tour wrap: Prospective students from Ala...

True Blue Tour wrap: Prospective students from Alabama strongly consider MTSU

Jordyn Lee is a student in the Jefferson County, Alabama, International Baccalaureate program at Shades Valley High School.

Lee wants to pursue a degree in video and film production. She knows Middle Tennessee State University has an outstanding program in this field. Lee applied and has been accepted at the Murfreesboro school, where she also plans to compete for an Honors College Buchanan Fellowship — the best scholarship MTSU offers.

College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson and prospective student Jordyn Lee discuss video and film production.

MTSU College of Media and Entertainment Dean Ken Paulson, left, talks about the video and film production opportunities with prospective student Jordyn Lee, right, Nov. 8 during the True Blue Tour visit to Birmingham, Ala. Listening to their conversation are college adviser Lucille Wilcox, second from left, and Roxie Lee, the mother of Jordyn Lee, who is a Jefferson County International Baccalaureate student at Shades Valley High School. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

The Vestavia resident and daughter of Roxie and Brad Lee was one of many Alabama (and a few Tennessee) residents attending the university’s True Blue Tour events in Birmingham Nov. 8 and Huntsville Nov. 7. They were the last of 12 tour events across the South as MTSU recruits prospective students for 2018 and beyond.

“I like the campus and the video and film production is better than any I’ve seen,” said Lee, who visited in November 2016 and also received a private tour. “The campus is big, but not too big, and everyone is really nice.”

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee ended the Birmingham student reception at the Embassy Suites Hoover-Birmingham by offering Taylor McGill, 17, a senior at Vestavia Hills High School, a $5,000 scholarship. She has a 3.45 GPA and scored a 26 on her ACT.

Currently undecided but strongly considering forensics or criminal justice as her major, McGill visited MTSU for the Nov. 4 fall preview day “and was blown away by all of the science buildings.” Alli McGill, her mother, called the scholarship “a blessing” and said her daughter’s “been talking nonstop about visiting MTSU.”

Brought by her aunt and uncle, Sandra and James Harris, Katie Smith, 16, of Cullman and a Holly Pond High School junior, attended both Huntsville and Birmingham events. In Birmingham, James Harris told the audience that in his 30 years as an educator he had never witnessed a recruiting event conducted as well as the two he attended back-to-back nights.

School of Music Director Mike Parkinson shows Casie and Matthew Joens information about the Band of Blue.

MTSU School of Music Director Mike Parkinson, left, shows Matthew Joens of Madison, Ala., where to find the contact for the Band of Blue marching band in the information being provided. The exchange occurred Nov. 7 during the True Blue Tour event in Huntsville, Ala., at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Observing the exchange was Casie Joens. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

David and Deanie Yoest brought grandson David Shoulders, 18, of Statesville, Tennessee, in Wilson County, quite a distance to attend in Huntsville. Shoulders is a Watertown High School senior.

MTSU military science alumni William N. “Bill” Phillips (Class of 1976), a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general living in Madison, Alabama, and Keith Cromartie (’74), a retired lieutenant colonel also living in Madison, were among the Huntsville attendees at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Cromartie recalled running track for Dean Hayes, who has coached at MTSU for more than 50 years.

McPhee and Division of Student Affairs Vice President Deb Sells and Linda Olsen, director of undergraduate recruitment, discussed the Dec. 1 application for eligible students being considered for scholarships. The president touted MTSU’s new and prominent programs and numerous other features about the campus. Feb. 15 is the deadline for transfers to apply.

For more information, call email admissions@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-2233.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee visits with Cesar Sr., Cesar Jr. and Maria Juarez of Birmingham.

Maria Juarez, right, of Birmingham, Ala., tells MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, how much her son, Cesar Juarez Jr., enjoyed visiting the Murfreesboro, Tenn., campus earlier this year, as Cesar Juarez Sr., second from left, listens. They talked Nov. 8 during the True Blue Tour visit to Birmingham. Cesar Juarez Jr., 17, is a senior at Hoover High School. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

MTSU College of Liberal Arts adviser Jay Rlley, left, tells Azariah Cardwell-Jefferson of Huntsville, Ala., the various options available to her Nov. 7 during the True Blue Tour visit at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Cardwell-Jefferson, a freshman at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, is undecided on a major, but plans to transfer to MTSU, (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)


True Blue Tour: Atlanta, Chattanooga prospective students rank MTSU high on list

Nov. 3, 2017

Clarence Nisbett left home in Marietta, Georgia, at 4 a.m. with a friend one in March, heading to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to visit Middle Tennessee State University. What happened that day might change his life forever.

Nisbett, 17, then a junior at Kennesaw Mountain High School, discovered a world of opportunities in the College of Media and Entertainment’s recording industry program. His mother, Jeanna Searcy, said “he kept texting me pictures while he was there all day.”

Prospective MTSU student Clarence Nisbett explains how he and a friend came to MTSU in March and discovered programs they liked.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, right, and Jeanna Searcy, left, listen as her son, Clarence Nisbett explains how he and a friend left at 4 a.m. last March to drive to MTSU, tour campus and see the recording industry department facilities. It came during the Nov. 2 True Blue Tour visit to Atlanta. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Now a senior, Nesbitt briefly shared his story publicly Thursday, Nov. 2, during the MTSU True Blue Tour visit to the Atlanta area at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, one day before his family heads back to Murfreesboro for MTSU’s Fall Preview Day Nov. 4 on campus.

The university travels across the South each fall, visiting 12 key cities — seven in Tennessee and five out of state — as it recruits prospective students for 2018 and beyond. To register for special events, including the True Blue Tour, visit www.mtsu.edu/rsvp.

“I toured the facilities and fell in love with my major,” said Nisbett, who has applied and received early admission. In addition to a 25 ACT score and 3.1 GPA, he qualifies for the Academic Common Market, giving him a significant break in out-of-state tuition for the recording industry degree he wants to pursue..

On Nov. 1 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a large number of students and their guests from across the city, Cleveland, South Pittsburg and other communities came for the True Blue Tour event at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

Nya Royal, 17, a STEM School Chattanooga senior, also plans to visit Nov. 4 for the preview day after visiting the Murfreesboro campus with her school. She wants to pursue psychology. She has applied and expects to learn about her acceptance soon.

“I love it,” she said first impressions about MTSU. “It’s a great fit for me. I’m excited to be a part of it. I like how there’s a lot to do on campus.”

Nya Ray learns about MTSU campus life from senior Maddy Horton.

STEM School Chattanooga senior Nya Ray, 17, second from left, listens as she and her mother Chrise Jones, left, and MTSU senior math education major Maddy Horton talks about her days at the university Nov. 1 during the annual True Blue Tour at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Also pictured is Nadiya Royal, 12. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

From what she observed during the Chattanooga recruiting event, Chrise Jones, Nya Royal’s mother, said she “liked how much energy there is, how the staff is very welcoming and enthusiastic and the positive feel” there is about MTSU.

MTSU wraps up the True Blue Tour Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 7-8, in Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama.

MTSU will have 11:30 a.m. luncheons for high school counselors and community college partners and 6 p.m. receptions for students and their guests Nov. 7 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, 1 Tranquility Base, in Huntsville, and Nov. 8 at the Embassy Suites Birmingham-Hoover, 2960 John Hawkins Parkway.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Theresa White and her parents learn more about MTSU.

Larry, Patti and daughter Theresa White of Duluth, Ga., listen as MTSU’s Peter Cunningham discusses her potential academic path should the prospective student attend the Murfreesboro university Nov. 2 during the annual True Blue Tour visit to the Greater Atlanta area. Theresa White, 18, is a senior at Lambert High School in Suwannee, Ga. Cunningham is vice provost for academic programs. He is knowledgeable in the Academic Common Market and Regional Scholars Program for Georgia students. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Chattanooga's prospective MTSU students turned out for the True Blue Tour event.

Part of the crowd attending the MTSU True Blue Tour event Nov. 1 at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga, Tenn., enjoying the festivities while listening to university President Sidney A. McPhee share about the various programs and offerings at the Murfreesboro university. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)


Prospective East Tenn. students praise MTSU in Knoxville, Johnson City

Oct. 27, 2017

KNOXVILLE and JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Ben Boney is one multitalented and focused young man.

Boney, 17, an L&N STEM Academy senior, plays music (cello, bass and percussion) with his high school orchestra and with the Knoxville (Tennessee) Symphony Orchestra. He attended the 2017 Governor’s School for the Arts on the Middle Tennessee State University campus in Murfreesboro.

The Knoxville resident was one of numerous outstanding students attending the MTSU True Blue Tour events held in his hometown at The Foundry on the Fair Site Oct. 26 and in Johnson City Oct. 25 at The Millennium Centre.

Ben Boney, left, a senior at the L&N STEM Academy in Knoxville, Tenn., listens as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee asks about his interests and what he would study if he chooses to attend the Murfreesboro university. The exchange happened during the MTSU True Blue Tour event Oct. 26 at The Foundry on the Fair Site in Knoxville. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Ben Boney, left, a senior at the L&N STEM Academy in Knoxville, Tenn., listens as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee asks about his interests and what he would study if he chooses to attend the Murfreesboro university. The exchange happened during the MTSU True Blue Tour event Oct. 26 at The Foundry on the Fair Site in Knoxville. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Knoxville and Johnson City were the seventh and eighth stops on the 12-city tour, which travels across Tennessee and out of state to recruit students for 2018 and beyond.

Boney, who already made an official campus visit, has applied and been accepted at MTSU, where he wants to carry his 3.4 GPA and 29 ACT into the recording industry field in the College of Media and Entertainment.

“MTSU’s definitely one of my best and favorite options,” said Boney, who is considering MTSU’s affordability compared to private school options. In his spare time, he also works for a Mexican restaurant.

In the upper East Tennessee tour event, Daniel Boone High School senior Aidan Orchard and Walters State Community College sophomore Emily Earl were thrilled about their futures at MTSU.

Orchard, 17, plans to study mechanical engineering or mechatronics engineering at MTSU. He was among a group of students and parents sharing their thoughts about MTSU.

“It’s a beautiful and clean school,” said Orchard, who visited campus recently. “The campus is amazing. There are all kinds of activities to participate in and the education is superior to schools in the area.”

Greeneville, Tennessee, resident Earl and her mother, Kitty Earl, spent quality time with College of Education Dean Lana Seivers, an East Tennessee native from Clinton and MTSU alumna, who told them “our faculty model what we teach.” Emily Earl plans to study elementary education to be a K-5 teacher.

“I’m pretty set on MTSU,” Earl said. “I want a good education department, and being able to smoothly transfer all my Tennessee Promise credits.”

MTSU will hold its second Fall Preview Day Saturday, Nov. 4. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Linda Olsen, undergraduate recruitment coordinator, both highlighted the Dec. 1 deadline to apply and be in line for guaranteed scholarships if academic requirements are met. The deadline for transfer students is Feb. 15, 2018.

Next up for the MTSU recruiting team are back-to-back Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 1-2, visits to Chattanooga and Atlanta, Georgia.

An 11:30 a.m. high school counselor and community college staff luncheon and 6 p.m. student reception in Chattanooga will be at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Place, in Chattanooga. MTSU will have an 11:30 a.m. luncheon for counselors and community college staff and 6 p.m. student reception at Crowne Plaza Perimeter at Ravina, 4365 Ashford Dunwoody Drive, in Atlanta.

The True Blue Tour events are free. To register, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php.

— Randy Weiler (randy.weiler@mtsu.edu)

Austin-East High School senior Josue Rosales, left, who told College of Media and Entertainment adviser Christina Haygood he had “applied, was accepted and is coming to MTSU in August 2018, listens as she explains the variety of offerings. They talked Oct. 26 during the True Blue Tour event in Knoxville, Tenn., at The Foundry on the Fair Site. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Austin-East High School senior Josue Rosales, left, who told College of Media and Entertainment adviser Christina Haygood he had “applied, was accepted and is coming to MTSU in August 2018, listens as she explains the variety of offerings. They talked Oct. 26 during the True Blue Tour event in Knoxville, Tenn., at The Foundry on the Fair Site. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Aidan Orchard, left, a Daniel Boone High School senior, tells the audience at the MTSU True Blue Tour event Oct. 25 in Johnson City, Tenn., about his “awesome” experience when he toured the Murfreesboro campus recently. Listening at right is MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Aidan Orchard, left, a Daniel Boone High School senior, tells the audience at the MTSU True Blue Tour event Oct. 25 in Johnson City, Tenn., about his “awesome” experience when he toured the Murfreesboro campus recently. Listening at right is MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)


MTSU True Blue Tour: Prospective Memphis, Jackson students fill MTSU event venues

Oct. 20, 2017

JACKSON AND MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Jackson (Tennessee) North Side High School senior had just had her name drawn by Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee for a $3,000 scholarship during the Oct. 18 True Blue Tour event at the Jackson Country Club.

Jackson was the sixth stop on the 12-city True Blue Tour as MTSU travels all across Tennessee and out of state to Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama, recruiting students for 2018 and beyond with nighttime student receptions and luncheons for counselors and area community colleges.

Samaria Yarbrough discusses her goal to study criminal justice.

Samaria Yarbrough, right, talks about her ambition to study criminal justice in college and eventually become a criminal lawyer as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee listens Oct. 18 during the True Blue Tour visit to Jackson, Tenn. McPhee drew Yarbrough’s name and offered her a $3,000 scholarship. She is a North Side High School senior. Also pictured is admissions recruiter October Henson, (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

“I’ve been praying hard, hoping I’d get a scholarship,” said Yarbrough, who wants to study criminal justice and eventually become a criminal lawyer. She added she has applied but not been accepted, and plans to attend MTSU’s second Fall Preview Day Saturday, Nov. 4.

One hundred students and 165 guests attended in Jackson, but one of the largest crowds ever for an MTSU True Blue Tour event — 359 students and almost 600 guests — nearly filled event venue Esplande Memphis in Cordova, Tennessee, to capacity Oct. 17.

At the Memphis event, Aaqilah Dearman, 17, a senior at Bartlett (Tenn.) High School, said MTSU is her first choice for a college.

“I have visited and I liked it. I felt like it was a good fit for me and fell in love with the campus,” said Dearman, who has a 4.0 GPA and plans to study psychology. “I’m really interested in learning about human behavior … how people think.”

MTSU Media Arts Chair Billy Pittard admires photos taken by Central High's Christian Fouche.

Christian Fouche, left, a senior at Central High School in Memphis, Tenn., shows MTSU Department of Media Arts Chair Billy Pittard some photographs he has taken. The exchange occurred Oct. 17 during the MTSU Memphis True Blue Tour stop in Cordova, Tenn. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Steven Pettigrew, 17, a White Station High School senior with a 3.6 GPA said his interest was in MTSU’s aerospace program. McPhee drew Pettigrew’s name and offered him a $2,000 scholarship.

“Ever since I was a kid, I have always wanted to be a pilot,” said Pettigrew, who plans to apply soon to MTSU. “Seeing planes in the sky really inspired me. I can’t fly like Superman, but I can fly an airplane.”

While in Jackson, McPhee and Jackson State Community College President Allana Hamilton signed a memorandum of understanding to reaffirm their partnership in easing the transition of prospective transfer students from the college to the Murfreesboro university.

Next up for the MTSU recruiting team are back-to-back Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 25-26, visits to Johnson City and Knoxville, Tennessee. The 6 p.m. ET student reception in Johnson City will be at The Millennium Centre. MTSU will have an 11:30 a.m. ET luncheon for counselors and community college staff and 6 p.m. ET student reception at The Foundry at the Fair Site in Knoxville.

The True Blue Tour events are free. To register, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

An enthusiastic crowd in Jackson, Tenn.

An enthusiastic crowd in Jackson, Tenn., listens as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee draws for scholarships and iPads Oct. 18 at the Jackson Country Club. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

One of the largest-ever True Blue Tour crowds attended Memphis event.

One of the largest MTSU True Blue Tour crowds ever covers nearly all of the event room area at the Memphis stop Oct. 17. (MTSU photo by Rob Janson)


Kentucky students discover programs, fee options

LOUISVILLE and BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Prospective Middle Tennessee State University student Grayson Thurman came to the university’s True Blue Tour event in Louisville, Kentucky, from Frankfort, the state capital. Others came from Fairdale, Shelbyville and other local communities.

Clayton Karsner, 16 drove to Bowling Green with his mother and father, Ramona and Steve Karsner, from about two hours away in Danville. Others came to Bowling Green from other adjacent counties and from Gallatin and Greenbrier, Tennessee.

They came from near and far to learn about the higher education opportunities available to them at MTSU. In addition to Kentucky, the tour visits Atlanta, Georgia, and Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama, and seven Tennessee cities from Memphis to Johnson City. MTSU hosts student receptions and counselor luncheons.

Madeline, Lana and Michael Campbell listen to MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee talk about the university.

Madeline, left, Lana and Michael Campbell of Fairdale, Ky., listen as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee discusses the university’s offerings and opportunities Oct. 12 during the True Blue Tour visit to Louisville. Madeline Campbell, 16, is a junior at Oldham County High School in Buckner, Ky. (MTSU photo by David Foster)

“We appreciate you all coming here (to Louisville),” said Amy Medley, a counselor at duPont Manual High School, and mother of Jackson Medley, 16, a sophomore at Christian Academy of Louisville, whom she brought to the student reception. Her son is interested in the Department of Aerospace professional pilot program.

In both Louisville and Bowling Green, Peter Cunningham, vice provost for academic programs, shared about the Regional Scholars Program and Academic Common Market for qualifying students from the Bluegrass State.

Academic Common Market programs available to Kentucky students include aerospace’s unmanned aircraft systems (drones), Concrete Industry Management, animation and recording industry’s audio production, commercial songwriting and music business.

Students interested in these programs, which are not offered at Kentucky colleges or universities, may qualify for in-state tuition at MTSU.

MTSU administrator Petter Cunningham, left, talks to the Michael Karsner family of Fairdale, Ky., about the university's Academic Common Market.

Peter Cunningham, left, MTSU vice provost for academic programs, shares information about the Academic Common Market, with Clayton Karsner and his parents, Ramona and Steve Karsner, Oct. 11 during the MTSU True Blue Tour visit to Bowling Green, Ky. Clayton Karsner, 16, is a junior at Boyle County High School in Danville, Ky. His older sister, Madi, is a sophomore in the MTSU College of Education. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

The Regional Scholars Program allows select Kentucky students living within 250 miles of the Murfreesboro campus and meeting specific academic requirements to attend MTSU at a greatly reduced rate (about 48 percent) as well as qualify for freshman academic merit scholarships.

For more on the Academic Common Market, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/acm/. To learn more about the Regional Scholars Program, visit

http://www.mtsu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/regional-scholars.php.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Linda Olsen, undergraduate recruitment director, also promoted the Saturday, Nov. 4, Fall Preview Day and Dec. 1 deadline to apply and be considered for major scholarships.

To register for other tour events, visit www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php. 

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Adviser Irina Novohilova, left, gives information to Terence Pettus Jr. as Terence Pettus Sr. listens during True Blue Tour event in Louisville.

MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences adviser Irina Novohilova, left, shares the name of a fellow adviser with Terence Pettus Jr., 15, a junior at Shawneed High School Magnet Career Academy, as Terence Pettus Sr. observes. The exchange took place Oct 12 during the True Blue Tour visit to Louisville, Ky. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Josh Sampson provides Jones College of Business information to Cameron Harrison and his mother, Octavia Pendleton.

MTSU Jones College of Business adviser Josh Sampson, left, explains about the variety of programs — accounting, finance and more — offered by the college to Cameron Harrison, right, his mother, Octavia Pendleton, and sister Cameera Harrison, Oct. 11 at the True Blue Tour event in Bowling Green, Ky. Cameron Harrison, 16, is a junior at South Warren High School. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)


MTSU True Blue Tour makes ‘amazing’ Nashville visit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Taylin Meneese likes the idea of studying abroad some day as a Middle Tennessee State University student. The East Literature Magnet School senior also is interested in MTSU’s internationally recognized video and film production program in the College of Media and Entertainment.

University President Sidney A. McPhee made life a lot more interesting for Meneese when he drew her name, offered her a $1,000 scholarship and presented her with an iPad Thursday, Oct. 5, during the MTSU True Blue Tour Nashville event at the Millennium Maxwell House.

Mother and daughter Shavonne and Taylin Manesse celebrate with a selfie.

An excited Shavonne, left, and Taylin Meneese, take a mother-and-daughter selfie after MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee offered Taylin a $1,000 scholarship and presented her with an iPad during a drawing Oct. 5 during the True Blue Tour visit to Nashville at the Millennium Maxwell House. Taylin Meneese, 17, is a senior at East Literature Magnet School. (MTSU photo by Eric Sutton)

Nashville was the second stop on the tour, as MTSU travels from Memphis to Johnson City in Tennessee and then out of state, to Louisville and Bowling Green, Kentucky; Atlanta, Georgia; and Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama, interacting with thousands of prospective students for 2018 and beyond.

“It’s crazy and amazing,” said Meneese. “If I had not come here for the event, I wouldn’t have won a scholarship and an iPad. It’s really big. I’m really excited and really shocked. I wasn’t expecting it.”

Meneese, 17, took an MTSU campus tour last spring.

“I really like the campus,” she said. “It’s the perfect size. I like the diversity, and it offers a communications program. It’s right up my alley.”

The young woman attended with her mother, Shavonne Meneese; brother, Paul; sister, Mylah; and friend Savion Davis, who also is a senior at East Literature.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee visits with seniors at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, right, visits with a group of friends and senior classmates at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School in Nashville Oct. 5 during the True Blue Tour visit at the Millennium Maxwell House. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Trinity Payton, 17, a senior at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School, has visited MTSU’s Murfreesboro campus multiple times. His interests are in theater in the College of Liberal Arts and visual art in the College of Media and Entertainment.

“We look forward to getting you to campus permanently,” McPhee said during a conversation with Payton and his mother, Darlene Payton. Trinity Payton’s name later was drawn for an iPad.

Earlier in the day, MTSU entertained area high school counselors and community college staff with a luncheon. McPhee offered several thousand dollars in scholarships the counselors and community college staff can award to their students.

Next up for the MTSU recruiting team is a Wednesday, Oct. 11, visit to Bowling Green. Both the 12:30 p.m. luncheon and 6 p.m. student reception will be held at the Sloan Convention Center/Holiday Inn University Plaza, 1021 Wilkinson Trace.

To register for other tour events, visit www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php. 

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Trever Thomas offers advice to Trinity Payton at Nashville True Blue Tour event.

MTSU College of Media and Entertainment adviser Trever Thomas, left, consults with Trinity Payton, 17, a senior at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School Oct. 5 during the MTSU True Blue Tour student reception at the Millennium Maxwell House Nashville. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Nashville-area students learn about MTSU study abroad opportunities from Lisa Eddy.

Lisa Eddy, right, coordinator with the MTSU Education Abroad program, shares the many possibilities students have to study overseas as an attentive group of prospective Blue Raiders and their families listen. The exchange occurred Oct. 5 during the annual True Blue Tour visit to Nashville at the Millennium Maxwell House.

Prospective students attend the 2017 Nashville True Blue Tour.

A crowd of prospective students attends the MTSU True Blue Tour event Oct. 5 at the Millennium Maxwell House Nashville, the second stop on the 12-city tour to recruit in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama.


MTSU True Blue Tour: University leaders’ visit thrills Williamson students

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Sporting an MTSU T-shirt saying “Everyone Looks Better in True Blue,” Christan Lee of Franklin, Tennessee, attended her third consecutive True Blue Tour event, virtually confirming her status as sold-out for Middle Tennessee State University.

Logan Sizemore of Nolensville, Tennessee, attended the prospective student recruiting reception Tuesday, Oct. 3, wanting to learn about MTSU’s Engineering Technology Program, particularly mechatronics. He and his father, Les, were among the first to arrive and happened to walk in with university President Sidney A. McPhee.

Williamson County high school students show enthusiasm at the Oct. 3 MTSU True Blue Tour in Franklin, Tenn.

High school students from Williamson County show enthusiasm as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee awards scholarships, iPads and other items Oct. 3 during the True Blue Tour visit at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. (MTSU photo by David Foster)

Those were just two of many individual stories from the event held at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, the first of 12 True Blue Tour events to be held in seven Tennessee and five out-of-state cities. MTSU goes on the road each year across the South to recruit undergraduate, transfer and graduate students.

Lee, 16, a junior at Centennial High School, has visited the Murfreesboro campus before, attending previous Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science conferences. They feature STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — experiments and inform girls and young women about career opportunities in those areas.

Lee’s mother, Genia Lee, also wore a True Blue Tour T-shirt she won at a prior event. “I have seen the progress of the campus and it blows my mind and how the university invests in students,” she said.

Centennial High junior Christan Lee learns about College of Behavioral and Health Sciences programs.

Christan Lee, 16, left, a junior at Centennial High School in Franklin, Tenn., learns about the MTSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences from adviser Natalie Neel. Their discussion took place Oct. 3 during the annual True Blue Tour at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, the first of 12 such visits across the South. It marks Lee’s third straight tour event in Franklin. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

“They are always adding something new on campus and make you feel that ‘it’s all about you,’” Genia Lee said. “They make it better. It’s how you can get there and accomplish your goals.”

Lee added that College of Education Dean Lana Seivers “has been so supportive in relation to dual enrollment. Any questions you have, they are very prompt in answering.”

In addition to one-on-one time with McPhee, Logan Sizemore and his father talked with College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer and adviser Susanna Wassom.

“It’s really interesting, very informative and made me think about what I want to plan for my future,” said Sizemore, 16, a Nolensville High junior who moved to Tennessee from Florida about a year ago.

“I definitely want to keep an open mind. MTSU is a good option.”

Les and Logan Sizemore learn more about the engineering technology and mechatronics programs at MTSU.

Father and son Les, left, and Logan Sizemore listen and learn more about the MTSU engineering program from College of Basic and Applied Sciences adviser Susanna Wassom. The interaction occurred Oct. 3 during the True Blue Tour recruiting visit to Franklin, Tenn. Logan Sizemore, 16, is a junior at Nolensville High School. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

He’s fascinated with mechatronics, a design process that includes a combination of mechanical, electrical, control and computer engineering.

McPhee made MTSU an even sweeter option by awarding young Sizemore a scholarship, as he did for Caitlyn O’Brian, 19, a Columbia State Community College sophomore planning to study occupational therapy, and several other prospective students.

MTSU parent Jennifer Behling of Brentwood, Tennessee, the mother of current MTSU physics student and University Honors College Buchanan Scholar Max Behling, informed the crowd her son “told me recently he’s never been so happy in his life.”

“Hearing it from a parent, you cannot put a value on it,” McPhee said.

The president took a few minutes to address concerns about campus safety, noting that “very few issues happen on campus” and mentioning the $1.2 million MTSU has invested in safety measures and equipment to keep students, faculty, staff and guests more secure.

Earlier in the day, MTSU entertained high school counselors and community college staff with a luncheon. McPhee offered about $4,500 in scholarships the counselors and community college staff can award to their students.

Next up for the MTSU recruiting team is a Thursday, Oct. 5, visit to Nashville. Both the luncheon and 6 p.m. student reception will be held at the Millennium Maxwell House, 2025 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.

To register for other tour events, visit www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php. 

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU School of Music faculty members share about the program with prospective students and parents.

MTSU School of Music professor Jennifer Vanatta-Hall, left, talks with a prospective student and her mother Oct. 3 during the university’s True Blue Tour event at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. (MTSU photo by John Goodwin)

Steven Madanat discusses his son's love for flying.

Steven Madanat, left, discusses his son’s interest in becoming a pilot as his wife, Angel, son, Sami, and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee listen. The visit took place Oct. 3 during the True Blue Tour stop at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. (MTSU photo by David Foster)


MTSU True Blue Tour headed to Franklin, Nashville soon

Sept. 28, 2017

Middle Tennessee State University’s admissions team, administrators and staff from multiple departments will kick off the 2017 True Blue Tour with stops in Franklin, Tennessee, and Nashville.

MTSU goes on the road to recruit prospective undergraduate, graduate and transfer students Tuesday, Oct. 3, in Franklin and Thursday, Oct. 5, in Nashville.

The Franklin/Williamson County True Blue Tour event will be held at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd. It features a 12:30 p.m. luncheon for area high school counselors and community college staff and a 6 p.m. reception for students and their families.

MTSU then ventures to Nashville, where an 11:30 a.m. luncheon for counselors/community college staff and 6 p.m. reception for students and families will be held at the Millennium Maxwell House, 2025 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Provost Mark Byrnes will join other administrators and deans from the university’s eight academic colleges, advisers and counselors from the admissions and financial aid offices on the tour. They will be on hand to answer questions from prospective students, potential transfer students and their parents at the events.

The events are free. To register, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/schedule-a-visit/special-events.php. 

The True Blue Tour expands to 12 cities across Tennessee and the region. MTSU added Birmingham, Alabama, as a recruiting stop — Wednesday, Nov. 8, the final destination as the university prepares for 2018 and beyond.

Other out-of-state locations include Bowling Green (Wednesday, Oct. 11) and Louisville (Thursday, Oct. 12); and Atlanta, Georgia (Thursday, Nov. 2).

MTSU promotes its Regional Scholars Program and Academic Common Market in Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky.

In Tennessee, MTSU also visits Memphis Tuesday, Oct. 17; Jackson Wednesday, Oct. 18; Johnson City Wednesday, Oct. 25; Knoxville Thursday, Oct. 26; and Chattanooga Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Linda Olsen, director of undergraduate recruitment, encourages prospective students and their families to “plan to join MTSU as we visit a city near you. We will be traveling from our campus in Murfreesboro to share our True Blue spirit with those who want to learn more about MTSU.”

“The True Blue Tour is a great opportunity to come out and meet President McPhee, our college deans, departmental advisers and enrollment staff who can help show you how to join our MTSU family,” Olsen added.

McPhee calls the True Blue Tours “the highlight of our recruitment events.”

Last year, MTSU’s contingent “traveled to these tour stops to present information about admissions, scholarships, financial aid and academic programs to nearly 3,000 prospective students and family members,” he said.

McPhee said alumni and friends of the university from across Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky are welcome.

For more information, call email admissions@mtsu.edu or call 615-898-2233.


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