by Drew Ruble
When I left mainstream media in late 2010 and took the job of University Editor at Middle Tennessee State University, I did so based on my belief that MTSU was on the verge of great things. From new facility development to program enhancements to exciting, ground-floor research opportunities to an increased role in Nashville business and workforce development, I felt confident the University was on its way up.Two years later, I have not been disappointed. Dynamic new initiatives have taken shape, $400 million in new facilities have come out of the ground or are now under construction and, perhaps most importantly, a renewed spirit of what it means to be part of the MTSU family has emerged. Blue Raiders young and old are proudly embracing a shared appreciation of the great works that can be accomplished at MTSU. And there is an increasing confidence in the role that MTSU plays in the region. You can feel the difference. People are believing in the great promise of this University.What’s the key to all that success?In my mind, it is the fact that despite MTSU’s impressive growth through the years, it has never lost sight of its sense of community that stems from its roots as a small, regional college. In the words of MTSU Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Sells, MTSU came from a culture where it was educating our neighbors’ kids, “and somehow, as our population grew, we never lost sight of that.”
Nearly every day I find out about something exciting a student or faculty member at MTSU is achieving that is connected to MTSU’s focus on student success. This edition of MTSU Magazine is chock full of such stories. As a former business editor in Nashville, I find a few of these stories particularly relevant at a time when state policymakers are getting focused on achieving the right balance between the state higher ed system’s dual roles of educating people and also preparing a workforce.
Profiles here of MTSU’s horse science, electronic media communication, and songwriting programs reveal just how hard MTSU faculty is already working to help students turn their professional dreams—no matter the discipline—into a professional reality that benefits us all.
MTSU turned 100 years old in 2011. Grounded in outstanding tradition, the future has never been brighter for MTSU as it enters its second century of service to middle Tennessee. As someone who covered the institution as a journalist and who now works for it day to day, I’m glad to say I believe those words even more today than I did when I first came to work at MTSU in 2010.