True Blue Experience Day draws top student prospec...

True Blue Experience Day draws top student prospects (+VIDEO)

Siegel High School senior Max Farley has lived his entire life in Murfreesboro. He knows all the ins and outs of MTSU, especially since his father, A.J., is an alumnus.

And MTSU is where Max Farley hopes to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

“It’s phenomenal,” the younger Farley said Friday during a True Blue Experience Day for high-ability students visiting campus. “I went to Governor’s School (for the Arts) here, and you see it one way. You go to games and you see it another way.”

The True Blue Experience puts prospective MTSU students in close touch with advisers and other administrators and staff from the various colleges within the university. They gain a glimpse of college life, and both they and their parents can ask questions and take a campus tour.

Watch video from the True Blue Experience Day and university President Sidney A. McPhee’s conversation with the students below.

Max Farley said his peers at Siegel and around town “take MTSU for granted. The facilities are phenomenal. I had not been in this building (the one-year-old Student Union) before and it’s great. The rec center is the best I’ve seen (among visits to other campuses). The music building has great facilities.”

The younger Farley said he made a recent visit to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University and learned that undergraduate tuition there is $60,000 a year. He added that “for the price, MTSU is great.”

Farley said his choice of study varies from history to writing to music — live sound, recording or performance.

“I’m trying to stay open,” he said, “and liberal arts has the breathing room to change that.”

Farley said he has applied for a prestigious University Honors College Buchanan Fellowship, the highest scholarship award possible.

Faith French, center, of Gatlinburg, Tenn., and MTSU Honors College Dean John Vile, left, laugh during their discussion about French’s interests and the university’s academic offerings Sept. 6 at the True Blue Experience Day on campus. Windy French, Faith’s mother, brought her daughter for the special event. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

For Faith French of Gatlinburg, Tenn., her Sept. 6 visit to campus was her first, but it may not be her last. The university and its personnel made a strong lasting impression.

“I really, really enjoy it,” she said after visiting with Honors College Dean John Vile and staff member Laura Clippard.

“I visited a few other schools over the summer. I like how it’s laid out here. There’s very friendly and informative staff. I just enjoy every aspect of it. It’s one of my favorites.”

French’s mother, Windy, said her daughter is taking dual enrollment classes, both at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School and at the university level. Her daughter told Vile and Clippard that she is considering nursing, teaching or business.

Dr. Laurie Witherow, associate vice provost for admissions and enrollment services, said it “had been an amazing day” for the nearly 25 prospective students and approximately 55 people altogether.

“I was so excited and so were the parents,” Witherow said. “To have so much time with President McPhee was great. He answered so many questions.”

Witherow said that the addition of a career inventory session, led by Career Development Center Director Bill Fletcher and his staff in a Business and Aerospace Building computer lab, was a huge hit.

MTSU College of Liberal Arts adviser Sonja Burk, center, discusses options for prospective student Max Farley, right, to consider as his father, MTSU alumnus A.J. Farley, listens. The Farleys were among about 55 people visiting campus Sept. 6 for True Blue Experience Day.

“The students received it very well,” she said. “It showed what they are interested in, where their aptitudes lie and what majors are connected with their career areas.”

MTSU will have Fall Preview Days on Saturday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 9.

The six-city statewide True Blue Tours will begin Tuesday, Sept. 17, in Chattanooga. Other stops will include Johnson City on Monday, Sept. 23, Knoxville on Tuesday, Sept. 24, Nashville on Tuesday, Oct. 8, Memphis on Monday, Oct. 21, and Jackson on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

High school and community college students and counselors, as well as parents, can register to attend any MTSU Admissions events by going to

— Randy Weiler (