Rousing start propels MTSU’s expanded True Blue To...

Rousing start propels MTSU’s expanded True Blue Tour recruiting efforts [+VIDEO]

Middle Tennessee State University kicked off its 2018 True Blue Tour with a rousing start for the first time on its Murfreesboro campus and prospective students already are enthused about the opportunities should they choose to attend MTSU.

Stewarts Creek senior Desmond Campbell of Smyrna, Tennessee, and Coffee County Central senior Sara Dove of Manchester, Tennessee, were among the 160-plus high school students — and nearly 340 people total — attending the tour event, held Tuesday, Aug. 21, in the Student Union Ballroom.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee revs up the crowd attending the Aug. 21 True Blue Tour event in the Student Union Ballroom with scholarship and iPad incentives. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The university’s recruiting tour travels from Memphis to Johnson City in Tennessee and to Louisville and Bowling Green in Kentucky, Birmingham and Huntsville in Alabama and to Atlanta, Georgia. After opening night, MTSU next ventures to Clarksville, Tennessee — the other new addition — Tuesday, Sept. 25.

The True Blue Tour events are free. To register, visit Student receptions begin at 6 p.m. local time. Area high school counselors and community college staff are invited to attend 12:30 a.m. luncheons at every site except Johnson City.

Campbell, 17, has visited MTSU multiple times. Considering computer science with other interests in history and education, she “is impressed with the modern facilities on campus.”

“I’m interested in MTSU because it is close to home and provides me with a good education while still being affordable,” Campbell said. She added the True Blue Tour event “is very informative about the opportunities at MTSU and lets me know exactly what is offered here.”

Dove, 17, visited MTSU for the first time and considers it her No. 1 choice, with the plan to study psychology. She has friends who attend MTSU and its near her hometown.

Honors College Dean John Vile and Sara Dove

University Honors College Dean John Vile, left, shares information about the college’s Buchanan Fellowship with Sara Dove, a senior from Coffee County Central High School in Manchester, Tenn., Aug. 21 during the kickoff to the annual True Blue Tour in the Student Union Ballroom. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

“I think it’s really interesting,” Dove said of the campus and its facilities. “And it looks cool inside, especially the library.”

Her reference is to the James E. Walker Library, which features quiet and collaborative spaces, reference desk, Tutoring Spot, Writing Center, Technology Services and services to assist undergraduate and graduate students and faculty — plus a Starbucks.

After meeting and speaking with Campbell and Dove, University Honors College  DeanJohn Vile  said he believes both are academically qualified to apply for the Buchanan Fellowship — the top scholarship offered by MTSU.

McPhee said $143,000 in scholarships were awarded to students attending tour events in 2017. He encouraged attendees to visit campus “to fully appreciate the incredible wealth of resources designed and developed to enhance the academic experience” and extended a personal “True Blue welcome to visit our amazing MTSU community.”

The resources include Student Success initiatives, the Science Corridor of Innovation, $800 million in campus improvements and more.

Fall 2018 MTSU True Blue Tour luncheon/reception sites include:

  • Sept. 20 — Middle Tenn. counselor/community college luncheon at MTSU, Student Union Ballroom, 1768 MTSU Blvd., Murfreesboro.
  • Sept. 25 — Wilma Rudolph Event Center, 1190 Cumberland Drive, Clarksville.
  • Oct. 2 — Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd., Franklin.
  • Oct. 4 — Millennium Maxwell House, 2025 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville.
  • Oct. 10* — Holiday Inn University Plaza, 1021 Wilkinson Trace, Bowling Green, Kentucky.
  • Oct. 11 —Louisville Marriott East, 1903 Embassy Square Blvd., Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Oct. 16 — Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza, Chattanooga.
  • Oct. 17 — Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina, 4000 Summit Blvd., Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Oct. 23* — The Millennium Centre, 2001 Millennium Place, Johnson City.
  • Oct. 24 — The Foundry, 747 World’s Fair Park Drive, Knoxville.
  • Oct. 29 — U.S. Space & Rocket Center, 1 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, Alabama.
  • Oct. 30 — Birmingham Marriott, 3590 Grandview Parkway, Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Nov. 6 — Esplande Memphis, 901 Cordova Station Ave., Cordova.
  • Nov. 7 — Jackson Country Club, 31 Jackson Country Club Lane, Jackson.

*  — 6 p.m. student reception only

Tour events include 12:30 p.m. luncheons for high school counselors and community college staff and 6 p.m. student receptions.

The first of three fall preview days will be Saturday, Sept. 22. Two more happen Saturday, Oct. 6, and Saturday, Oct. 13. Visit to register. Guided campus tours are available daily. Schedule a tour at or call 615-898-5670.

Christan Lee shows emotion after receiving scholarship from President Sidney A. McPhee

True Blue Tour guest Christan Lee, left, of Christiana, Tenn., reacts with emotion after receiving a $2,500 scholarship to MTSU from Provost Mark Byrnes, center, and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. Lee, who attends Centennial High School in Williamson County, has grown up attending MTSU sporting events and other campus activities. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Prospective students need to submit their application for admission and accompanying documents by Dec. 1 to meet the guaranteed scholarship deadline. To apply, visit

The university’s Regional Scholars Program allows select non-Tennessee resident students who live within approximately 250 miles of MTSU and meet specific academic requirements to attend MTSU at a greatly reduced rate and qualify for the Freshman Academic Merit Scholarships.

Qualifying students receive a reduced tuition rate roughly half of the standard out-of-state rate. Students participating in the Academic Common Market program may receive even lower rates.

To learn more about the Regional Scholars Program, visit To learn about the Academic Common Market, visit

To learn about MTSU’s more than 300 programs, visit

— Randy Weiler (

Watertown seniors receive scholarship from MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee

Watertown High School seniors Christopher Clifford, left, and Leighton Bolton listen as MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee prepares to give them a scholarship after calling them up to the front during the True Blue Tour recruiting event in the Student Union Ballroom Aug. 21. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)