Golden Raiders, Distinguished Alumni share homecom...

Golden Raiders, Distinguished Alumni share homecoming spotlight Oct. 25

Golden Raiders — the classes of 1969 and older — and Distinguished Alumni will be celebrated Friday, Oct. 25, during MTSU‘s 2019 homecoming festivities.

The Class of ’69 Golden Raiders Reunion and Induction Ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Friday in the MT Center in the Sam H. Ingram Building, 2269 Middle Tennessee Blvd. The event location is the former site of the North Boulevard Church of Christ.

Golden Raider Inductee Ronnie Eakes (Class of ’68, ’72, and ’77), left, jokes with Guy Wilson (Class of ’77), MTSU National Alumni Association president, during the 2018 Golden Raider Induction ceremony. The 2019 ceremony is set for Friday, Oct. 25. (MTSU file photo by Kimi Conro)

The event and induction ceremony celebrate MTSU alumni who graduated 50 years ago or more.

The induction is set during the reunion held at homecoming each year, said Rhonda King, an assistant director for MTSU’s Office of Alumni Relations.

“It’s a nice way to celebrate graduating from college,” King said.

Events for Golden Raiders include a bus tour featuring buildings that house their former classrooms as well as newly constructed facilities around campus. They’re served lunch, and the induction ceremony follows.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, National Alumni Association President Shawn Johnson (’93) of Murfreesboro and Alumni Relations Director Ginger Freeman will induct the alumni into the Golden Raiders Society.

King said it’s not only “a trip down memory lane but an opportunity to reconnect with the university.”

Jeremy Cowart, MTSU alumnus, photographer and entrepreneur

Jeremy Cowart

Dr. Aaron Shew, MTSU alumnus (2019 Arkansas State photo)

Dr. Aaron Shew

At 4 p.m., the 2019-20 Distinguished Alumni award recipients will be recognized.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni recipient is Jeremy Cowart of Franklin, Tennessee,  an internationally acclaimed photographer and an entrepreneur.

The Young Alumni Achievement Award, given to a graduate age 35 or younger making a positive impact in the world, will be presented to Dr. Aaron Shew, a Murfreesboro native now working at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. He’s spent more than a decade working in international development and agribusiness.

Dr. Carroll Van West

Dr. Carroll Van West

True Blue Citations of Distinction honorees include:

• Achievement in Education (MTSU faculty) — Dr. Carroll Van West of Murfreesboro, who serves as director of the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and the Tennessee State Historian since 2013 as well as a professor of public history and author.

• Achievement in Education (non-MTSU) — Dr. G. Edward Hughes of Union, Kentucky, who retired in 2015 after 42 years as a higher education teacher and administrator in Tennessee, Illinois, Arkansas, New York and Kentucky.

• Service to Community — Meagan Flippin of Murfreesboro, the president and CEO of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties since 2013 and president of Rutherford CABLE.

You can learn more about each of the honorees and their accomplishments here.

Dr. G. Edward Hughes

Dr. G. Edward Hughes

Meagan Flippin

Meagan Flippin

Homecoming events are scheduled to continue all day Saturday, Oct. 26, leading up to the 2:30 p.m. kickoff for the Blue Raiders-Florida International University homecoming game.

For more information, call 615-898-2922 or visit For Student Government Association homecoming events, visit

—Randy Weiler (