True Blue Experience Day attracts prospective stud...

True Blue Experience Day attracts prospective students to MTSU

Nearly 60 high school students, many of them underclassmen, were among the 120 participants in the April 12 True Blue Experience Day on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.

MTSU academic counselor Becky Garrett, far right, explains academic advising guidelines to prospective MTSU students and guests during the April 12 True Blue Experience Day. In front, from left, are parent Philip Bennett of Chapel Hill, Tenn., Forrest High School senior Brandon Beech and Forrest junior Ali Bennett. In back are Oakland High School junior Kaylan Burgess, left, and Lee Rumble of Nashville, a transfer from Nashville State Community College. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Melinda Thomas, director of recruiting in the MTSU Office of Admissions, said the last of the 2012-13 recruitment period ended on a strong note.

“True Blue Experience is our opportunity to let prospective students and their families see how great of an institution we have,” Thomas said.

“We have over 100 major programs and lots of student organizations, but people don’t get to see what MTSU is all about until they actually get here, so that’s what True Blue Experience is.

“Today (Friday), we’re wrapping up our last preview day of the recruitment season, and it’s gone extremely well. We had a lot of positive feedback from parents and students. We hope to continue the event next year.”

Students came from across the region to view university facilities and talk to advisers, admissions personnel, faculty, administrators and staff. Separate sessions were held for students preparing to enter the College of Mass Communication and the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

For some, like Raven Wright, a senior at Smith County High School in Carthage, Tenn., it was the first visit to MTSU’s 500-plus-acre campus with more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Oakland High School junior Kaylan Burgess and Forrest High School junior Ali Bennett of Chapel Hill, Tenn., were among the other students that attended the event.

Transfer student Tina Warren-Shang, left, listens to MTSU Honors College representative Laura Clippard discuss fall classes. Shang is transferring from Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma.

Participant Tina Warren-Shang of Tullahoma, Tenn., will be one of 15 students receiving the inaugural Honors Transfer Fellowship, a new program that represents MTSU’s highest scholarship given by the University Honors College to a transfer student.

It parallels the Buchanan Fellowship, which is awarded annually to 20 of the highest-achieving students entering the university.

A nontraditional student, Shang, who is transferring from Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, is married to Mark Shang and has five children: Heather Warren, 22; Clint Warren, 18; Gabriel Warren, 12; Connor Shang, 6; and Walker Shang, 4. Her husband and two youngest children joined her on the campus visit.

Shang, who works full time as a reporter for the Winchester Herald-Chronicle, said she plans to major in journalism. She met with Honors College Dean John Vile and staff member Laura Clippard during an advising session.

For rising seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen, MTSU will hold a preview day on Saturday, June 1, starting at 8 a.m. Visit to register.

— Randy Weiler (