Table of Contents (Fall 2011)

Feature Stories

Cover Story: 100 Things We Love About MTSU
A Centennial-themed list of the best things about “Tennessee’s Best” University
by Drew Ruble

MTSU’s Crown Jewel
The Center for Popular Music gets the notice it deserves on its 25th anniversary
by Drew Ruble

School’s in for Summer
Governor signs bill at MTSU opening Hope Scholarship dollars for 2012 study
by Tom Tozer

Grade A Grads
Introducing the 2011–2012 class of Distinguished Alumni
by Gina K. Logue, Drew Ruble, and Randy Weiler


Five Minutes with the President
The Next 100 Years

Letters to the Editor

Ask an Expert
Beat Generation
by Drew Ruble

The Middle of It All
Nashville’s Black Eye
by Allison Gorman

Keeping it Clean
by Bill Lewis

Standing Out Among the Masses
by Tom Tozer

“I’m One!”
Sister Act
by Drew Ruble

Building Blocks

Class Notes

Letter from the Editor

A Century in the Making

My office is located in the Tom Jackson Building, one of MTSU’s original four buildings when it opened 100 years ago in 1911. Right outside the front door is the Veterans Memorial plaza. It is one of the things I personally love most about MTSU.

Veterans-MemorialIn 2002, two MTSU alums, Pierre Piche (’00) and Ken Ballard (’02), died in overseas conflicts. Two MTSU political science professors, Dr. Andrei Korobov and Dr. Robb McDaniel, were inspired to action. Along with military science professor and war veteran Dr. Derek Frisby (’94), the group approached MTSU’s development office about seeking funding for a memorial. What started out as a vision for a monument snowballed into a plan for a plaza.

With roughly two-thirds of the needed $100,000 raised entirely through private support, MTSU’s development office got a phone call from MTSU alum John Harris (’74), a retired Army officer and Florida-based businessman. He said he’d cover the remaining cost of the project to get it done. Harris’s inspiration? “I think it’s so important for there to be a spot on campus where students can be reminded of the sacrifice people in the service make that ultimately allows them the privilege of being a student at a place like Middle Tennessee.”

MTSU Centennial CakeBoth big and small gifts from alumni are what make MTSU great. Featured on page 27 is a cake designed by Murfreesboro celebrity cake designer and MTSU graduate Jay Qualls. Qualls and his staff donated the cake out of his deep appreciation for his alma mater, which he credits for all his wild successes in life.

Qualls, a recent cast member on the TLC cable television hit The Next Great Baker, recently launched a new fondant product that is sure to shake up the cake-making world in a big way. (Qualls is a graduate of the Jennings A. Jones School of Business at MTSU, so he knows a thing or two about entrepreneurship.) The cake, which kicks off “100 Things We Love About MTSU,” is currently on display in Walker Library on the MTSU campus.

What says birthday more than cake and gifts? As such, let this Centennial-themed edition of MTSU Magazine serve as a part of the kickoff to MTSU’s Centennial year, which officially begins next month on Sept. 11. All together now: “Happy Birthday to MTSU . . .”

Drew Ruble
Sr. Editor of University Publications

MTSU’s Centennial book is now available.

Place your order at now!