Spaces still available to learn about ‘better livi...

Spaces still available to learn about ‘better living’ at 11th MTSU Alumni Summer College

With the June 1 registration deadline quickly approaching and spaces still available, the MTSU Office of Alumni Relations staff is looking forward to bringing “better living” to some of its faithful alumni and supporters during the 11th annual Alumni Summer College on June 20-22.

Highlights of this year’s three-day event will be entertainment by Emmy-nominated comedian Chonda Pierce, a field trip to Ray Stevens’ CabaRay Showroom in Nashville, Tennessee, and a variety of interesting “classes.”

With a theme of “Better Living,” the upcoming Summer College will focus on various aspects of physical, mental and emotional health that can enhance participants’ lives.

Singing MTSU alumni as summer college 2017

Tina Greer (Class of 1967), left, Don Midgett, Aletha Wright (’69) and Linda Creek sing for the Alumni Summer College 2017 class last June. (MTSU file photo by Lynn Adams)

Open to MSTU alumni and friends, this “edutaining” opportunity will be packed with interactive classes and tours specifically created with MTSU alumni in mind, said Rhonda King, alumni relations assistant director and coordinator of the annual college.

Rhonda King

Rhonda King

Comedian Chonda Pierce helps headline 2018 MTSU Alumni Summer College’s activities. (Photo from

Chonda Pierce

Tuition is $250 per person and includes all classes, meals, transportation around campus and field trips. Reserved parking will be available. Lodging reservations are the responsibility of the participants.

Space is limited. To learn more, visit or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 615-898-2922.

Each Summer College has been more successful than the last, noted King, who said she is excited to offer this year’s participants a theme that will amuse, inspire and affect their lives for years to come.

“Mental and emotional wellness is crucial to our overall well-being,” King said. “Our presenters will provide everyone with takeaways and resources that can be implemented to reach and maintain health.”

Special guest Pierce will be sharing her personal challenges and how laughter can be the best medicine. In addition to her positive Southern comedy, Pierce will share how she and her brother, Mike Courtney, use their experiences to help others find hope and healing through the founding of Branches Counseling Center, located near the MTSU campus.

Music can also be good for the soul, and the field trip to Ray Stevens’ CabaRay Showroom will feature great food and a live concert of the entertainer’s various genres of music and comedy.

Richard Key, 2017 Alumni Summer College president

MTSU alumnus Richard Key (Class of 1962) accepts his classmates’ recommendation as 2017 Alumni Summer College president last June. (MTSU file photo by Lynn Adams)

Another highlighted campus session is the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research, led by Elliot Altman, center director, and associate professor Iris Gao. Participants will study the center’s current research processes and findings of hemp and ginseng.

Other sessions at Alumni Summer College will include:

Bethany Wrye, an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, who will present a workshop on how gratitude can affect your health.
Courtney, mentioned above, who is co-founder and director of Branches Counseling Center and will present a session called “Writing a Good Life Story” that relates his story of honesty, hope and healing..
• Dr. Rebecca Fischer, a professor in the Communication Disorders Program, and Elizabeth Smith, coordinator of MTSU’s Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic, who’ll discuss human communication problems and provide a tour surrounding the educational needs of the student clinicians majoring in speech-language pathology and audiology..
• Dr. Cameron Gordon, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, who will lead a session on “Enriching Everyday Experiences with Mindfulness.”

The MTSU faculty speakers all are members of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences

“I’d like to invite everyone to benefit from better living at this year’s Alumni Summer College. It will be a highlight of your summer,” said King. “Summer College offers an environment where attendees connect with each other, form friendships through shared experiences and the common bond of MTSU.”

For more information about the Alumni Summer College event, go to

— Keundrea Simpson (

2018 Alumni Summer College graphic