MTSU ‘Out of the Blue’ TV show highlights Honors C...

MTSU ‘Out of the Blue’ TV show highlights Honors College’s 50th anniversary [+VIDEO]

MTSU Out of the Blue promo

University Honors College Dean John Vile discusses the college’s 50th anniversary this year and celebration of the first honors college on a public university campus during the August edition of Middle Tennessee State University’s “Out of the Blue” television magazine program.

Vile shares highlights of the golden anniversary for the college with host Andrew Oppmann, MTSU vice president of marketing and communications, on the broadcast.

Dr. June Hall McCash, professor emerita
Dr. June Hall McCash

What is now the University Honors College began as an honors program in 1973 under the leadership of June McCash, the first director and professor emerita in Foreign Languages and Literatures (now World Languages, Literatures and Cultures), before transitioning to college status in 1998. Gifts from brothers Paul and Lee Martin led to the building of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building, opening in 2004. 

The main celebration will take place Friday, Sept. 22, with a special Honors Board of Visitors Luncheon at the Miller Education Center, featuring the debut of a full color 50th anniversary Honors College book, and special guests that is part of Homecoming Weekend activities.

Dr. John Vile
Dr. John Vile

“We serve the entire university,” said Vile, who became dean in 2008. “We’re a community within a community. We try to have smaller, more interactive classes. Our Undergraduate Fellowships Office works really closely with students on trying to get them national and international scholarships and help them get admitted to graduate or professional schools and inform students of Research Experiences for Undergraduates, or REUs.”

Vile, a political science professor, prolific author and sought-after constitutional expert by news media, said Honors College faculty “are engaging, but there’s something very special about the atmosphere, the smaller classes and topics maybe go a little deeper.”

Viewers can watch “Out of the Blue” anytime online on MTSU’s YouTube channel and on MTSU’s True Blue TV, airing on Murfreesboro cable Channel 9 daily at 6 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Central and on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, as well as on NewsChannel5+ at 3:30 p.m. Sundays.

The show is available as iTunes and Google Play podcasts and on other Middle Tennessee cable outlets, so check local listings. Enjoy previous editions of “Out of the Blue” here in our archives, too.

Interview segments of the monthly “Out of the Blue” TV show are also released weekly as individual podcasts on Spotify. You can find them at

To learn more about the Honors College, call 615-898-2152 or visit the website.  

— Randy Weiler (