TSU Holds Largest Freshman Convocation in University History With Class of 2026

By Alexis Clark

Tennessee State University officially welcomed its largest class ever of first-year students during the Fall 2022 Freshman Convocation held on Sept. 16. More than 3,400 new students poured into the Gentry Center complex in all-white attire and were formally introduced by TSU faculty and staff as official TSU tigers.

The annual assembly for freshmen marks the beginning of their academic journey at the University and their transformation as college students.

TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed the students to the university with words of encouragement.

“As young college students, you are heading in the right direction,” Glover said. “Keep on being excellent. Keep shinning and be strong … strong enough to know your purpose of why you are here.”

A very talented freshman, Autumn Parker, blew everyone away with her rendition of Hero by Mariah Carey. The political science major from Michigan says the experience was one to remember because she had never performed in front of such a large crowd. Parker adds she has been singing her entire life but sharing her vocals to thousands was a first.

“I was very excited to be able to share my God-given gift with my class,” Parker said. “It also brought me a sense of comfort to be surrounded by people who look like me. I was able to see Black excellence personified, which was incredible.”

During the convocation the students pledged to commit themselves “to serious intellectual and cultural efforts,” and to conduct themselves “with honor and dignity to become better prepared to live a full and useful life in society.”

TSU freshman Tyler Cole, a mass communications major whose parents are TSU alumni, said during the event he reflected on his parents undergraduate journey at TSU, which made his experience at the convocation even more special.

“It made me think about what my parents went through here and how successful they turned out,” Cole said. “And seeing all my classmates together gave me hope … it felt natural to be there.”

TSU freshman Autumn Parker blew everyone away with her rendition of Hero by Mariah Carey during the Fall 2022 Freshman Convocation. (Photo by: Aaron Grayson)Terrence Izzard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success said the convocation is an annual opening assembly that marks the beginning of the academic journey of the record-breaking, first-time freshmen. It is the official start of the transformation and growth that will transpire within the lives of our newest TSU Tigers.

“The University is pleased to welcome over 3500 new first-year students,” Izzard said. “It remains committed to providing holistic care and support to ensure that each student has access to resources and services that will help them succeed both academically and personally.”

TSU’s history making class of first-year college students outnumbers the total African-American population at some institutions. The freshmen class average GPA is 3.38. While the largest population of incoming students are from Tennessee, and neighboring states like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio, there is huge a surge of students from as far as California, Texas, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

STEAM majors in agricultural sciences, engineering and health sciences, along with business, and education continue to be the most popular among the new freshmen class.