Tennessee state alumni celebrate fifth annual scholarship banquet

Kaitlin Vantrease • Jun 5, 2017 at 6:31 PM

Tennessee State University’s alumni association held its fifth annual scholarship banquet Friday night.

The Wilson County Alumni Chapter of TSU gathered at the East-West Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center to celebrate scholarship recipients Chekenna Fletcher, Tatiana Butler and Aliyah Barr.

The Wilson County chapter was chartered in June 2012 and founded by Emma Tapley-Stafford, a 1964 TSU graduate. She pushed to start the chapter because she believed Wilson County was growing, and that it is imperative for children to have well-rounded homes, churches and school. She also believed the church should be more involved in the lives of children.

The chapter participates in fundraising events throughout the year such as silent auctions, a souvenir book sale, membership dues and donations to be able to give out scholarships to deserving students. Members issue two $1,000 scholarships and one $250 book scholarship.

Keynote speaker, the Rev. Roland Scruggs Sr. is from Chattanooga. He attended public schools in Chattanooga and dropped out of high school. He went into the Air Force and also had a factory job before he realized education was important. He went back to high school at 22 years old. After graduating high school, he attended a junior college in Chattanooga before he transferred to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He earned a bachelor’s degree there all while he was pastoring two churches and raising a family.

The theme of the banquet was “Real Fathers, Real Men.”

“A real father is committed to family development and the love of their children,” Scruggs said. “They should teach their children how to be good parents and citizens.”

Michael Neal served as master of ceremonies. Robert Moxley, senior past president of the Wilson County TSU Alumni Chapter gave the welcome. Thomas Marks Jr. gave the invocation. Chekenna Fletcher, a junior at Tennessee State, and Ernest Newson provided musical entertainment. Dorothy Scruggs introduced the speaker. Aniece McClure and J.W. McGuire gave the scholarship presentation to Darlene Harris-Vasser, TSU Mid-South region vice president, offered closing remarks.

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