Tennessee State chief visits Detroit
Detroit —The president of one of the nation's historically black colleges visited Detroit on Saturday to help raise scholarship funds for local students to attend Tennessee State University.
President Glenda Baskin Glover made her first visit to Detroit where an intimate fundraiser was held in the home of TSU alumnus Ken Sanders, an independent financial strategist. About 60 people, including a dozen prospective students, attended the event held at Sanders and his wife's historical home in the University District.
The afternoon gathering was attended by TSU alumni and others —including Motown singer and former Detroit City Councilwoman Martha Reeves and Packard Plant owner Fernando Palazuelo.
Donors contributed $5,000 for the Tennessee State University Alumni Association Foundation. Since it was established in 2004, the foundation has provided scholarships to more than 50 Detroit students to attend the Nashville-based public university.
Going to a black college changes the trajectory of any African American student, Sanders said.
"It nurtures and helps them," said Sanders, who graduated from TSU in 1986. "Professors have the same kind of life experiences. The top 5 to 10 percent of African Americans graduated from black universities."
Jim Jenkins, owner of Jenkins Construction, said TSU is committed to seeing students succeed.
"They really tried to make sure you get out of school," said Jenkins, a TSU alum. "They adopt you and treat you like family. Once you graduate you have a chance at corporate America and a better life."
There are more than 100 historically black colleges in the nation, public and private.
Southeast Michigan is home to 500 TSU alumni, according to Rita L. Jordan, TSU Alumni Association Foundation president.
Other distinguished alumni of Tennessee State University include media mogul Oprah Winfrey and cardiac surgeon Dr. Levi Watkins, who performed the world's first human implantation of the automatic implantable defibrillator.