Home 2019 Fall Commencement Speaker Roland Martin encourages fall graduates to travel their own path

Speaker Roland Martin encourages fall graduates to travel their own path

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By Kelli Sharpe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Parents and friends were welcomed to a festive fall commencement ceremony for nearly 800 Tennessee State University graduates Saturday morning.

Speaker Roland Martin urges graduates to “do you.” (TSU Media Relations)

Speaker Roland Martin wouldn’t have it any other way. The award-winning journalist and political analyst had the band director strike up the band before delivering his keynote address.

With the theme of “do you,” Martin encouraged graduates to follow their own path and be proud of having attended TSU.

“The people who are willing to take risks in life are the folks that are often brought back and are celebrated for being distinguished alumni of this university,” said Martin.

Speaker Roland Martin encourages fall graduates to travel their own path
Merna Henin, a business administration major, graduates with the highest GPA. (TSU Media Relations)

“You’ll never be happy if you’re unwilling to do you. You can’t
let fear drive your decision-making.”

TSU President Glenda Glover presided over the winter graduation that consisted of
513 undergraduates and 260 graduate students. Among them was Merna Henin, a
business administration major with the distinction of having the highest GPA.
 A native of Egypt, the Nashville resident had the honor of introducing
Martin to the capacity filled crowd because of her academic achievement.

Speaker Roland Martin encourages fall graduates to travel their own path
Approximately 773 graduates  participated in the TSU 2019 Fall Commencement Ceremony.  (TSU Media Relations)

Kalid Truitt, an interdisciplinary major with a concentration in
health science and healthcare administration, said Martin’s message resonated
with him as he prepares to leave TSU and Nashville. 

“What he said hit home for me,” said Truitt. “It was my last time
to soak up the feeling that I’m at TSU. His energy and his words were exactly
what I needed to see and hear, especially the parts about his own life
experiences.” 

Truitt is off to Atlanta in a few days to pursue an acting career, but said he has a backup plan, something his professors and advisors stressed throughout his college experience. The Memphis native believes he got the perfect send off from TSU.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

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Speaker Roland Martin encourages fall graduates to travel their own path0

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