Middle Tennessee State University celebrated students planning to attend the university this fall or are strongly considering major scholarship offers from MTSU on Presidents Day.
The University Honors College, Office of Admissions and Office of the President held three major events Monday, Feb. 21, for potential students and their parents.
The Honors College hosted nearly 20 students who have been offered Buchanan Fellowships, the highest-awarded scholarship available to an MTSU student. Admissions held an open house for about 75 students looking to be a part of the Honors College. President Sidney A. McPhee concluded the day with a Celebration of Scholars for 100 major scholarship recipients.
Scholarship recipients must accept the offers by May 1, said Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for Admissions and Enrollment Services.
As an added treat, McPhee asked invited guests to visit he and first lady Elizabeth McPhee at their home after the Celebration of Scholars.
In light of the lingering pandemic, masks were recommended for those attending the events.
A Buchanan prospect with variety of interests
Zoe Critchlow of Clarksville, Tennessee, and others considering the Buchanan Fellowship offer, received personal attention from Dean John Vile, and his Honors staff and students in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.
Critchlow, 17, visiting with her father, Daniel Critchlow, has a keen interest in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment’s highly popular audio production program, the Campus Recreation Center’s MTOP (Middle Tennessee Outdoor Pursuits) for kayaking outdoor trips and the university’s recycling efforts.
“I like that there are smaller classrooms (in Honors). It will be nice to be able to talk to your teachers and not have to grab for attention,” Zoe Critchlow said.
Two Buchanan hopefuls came from Georgia, one from Texas and Connecticut and the rest were from Tennessee, Vile said.
“I think it’s as strong of a group as we’ve had, with lots of quality — musicians, artists, people interested in the natural sciences and athletes,” Vile said. “Typically, they have multiple interests. … Test scores are higher than we’ve ever had before
For the first time, Vile and his staff accepted early applications for Buchanan scholarships.
“We offered it to three people and all took it, so it seems to be working,” he said.
An ‘amazing’ open house
Ananya Arcot, 17, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a Brentwood High senior who is undecided on a college major, was among more than six dozen potential students visiting campus — the Student Union and other facilities — with their high schools was off for the holiday.
Arcot, who previously had visited MTSU one other time, said she likes “that it’s (MTSU) a diverse campus and has a lot of opportunities, and I want to be a part of the Honors College.” She visited along with her mother, Aparna Arcot.
Witherow called it “an amazing day. It was a really nice turnout. I think the students enjoyed it when they came out, and I really know we enjoy having them on campus.
“There’s nothing that seals the deal like seeing the MTSU campus and feeling what a family environment it is. I’m pleased Dr. McPhee invited them to his home. I think that’s really special.”
Celebrating scholarship recipients
Destiny Henderson of Murfreesboro wants to be a medical missionary one day. Specifically, a surgeon, performing operations for people with cleft palates or needing amputations. She would become the third generation medical provider in the family, following her mother, Deanna Kolak, and grandmother, Cyndie Beard, both nurse practitioners.
Should all go as planned, Henderson’s plan to become a surgeon will fulfill her dream of a commitment to service. At Providence Christian Academy, she is the community service leader for the Student Council and a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. She’s “really excited to get involved in the community here (at MTSU) and bring a new outlet of service in the community.”
Henderson, 17, received and accepted a Presidential Scholarship. She will pursue a premed route — and finally visited the Science Building on Monday, attending with her grandfather, Ronald Beard of Gallatin, Tennessee.
“Oh, it’s beautiful,” she said of the facility. “It will be a great place to study and learn.”
In the Student Union Ballroom, McPhee told the scholarship recipients they are “future leaders. You are going to be doing something in this world. … If you continue on the path you’re on, the sky’s the limit.”
They received a medal from him “as a gift from the university recognizing your outstanding accomplishments and achievements,” he said.
The third-year TEBA Chorale, which is open to students across the university who sing tenor or bass, kicked off the Celebration of Scholars with three musical pieces.
Conductor and School of Music instructor Angela Tipps invited the audience to attend the 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, SOAL (soprano-alto chorale) concert. It also will be livestreamed on the School of Music YouTube channel.
Upon arrival, each student received a copy of the 2022 summer reading book, “Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time,” by author Andrew Forsthoefel. It is for all new MTSU students.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)