by Taki Raton
The Tennessee State University National Alumni Chapter Milwaukee will present their third annual Scholarship Luncheon Sunday, October 9 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in Brown Deer, 8900 North Kildeer Court.
The Milwaukee chapter is one of the largest Tennessee State University (TSU) alumni chapters in the country with over 300 graduates. Over 500 students from the Milwaukee and greater Southeastern Wisconsin area are presently in attendance on the TSU campus according to Milwaukee chapter president, Gregory T. Williams.
This event will be a special occasion for a former honoree and current TSU student Laquita Grinnage. She was the Boys and Girls Club of Milwaukee Youth of the Year in 2008-09 and Midwest Region Youth of the Year.
A sophomore with a 3.0 GPA majoring in Pre-Med, Grinnage received a scholarship from the TSU Milwaukee alumni chapter in 2009. She comes from a family of 12 and is the first in her family to graduate from high school and the first to attend college.
“Our chapter has awarded a total of six scholarships this year amounting to $5,000,” says Williams. “We are hopeful that this annual luncheon will enable us to raise additional scholarship funds,” he adds.
WMCS 1290 “Evening Rush” talk show host Earl Ingram will serve as the luncheon’s keynote speaker. Often referred to as “a son of Milwaukee,” Ingram was a part of the golden era of manufacturing working at A.O. Smith /Tower Automotive for over three decades. He recently resigned from the City of Milwaukee Housing Authority as an Assistant Education Specialist.
He is a volunteer at his Alma-Mater, Washington High School where every February for Black History Month he brings as presenters Black leaders from all walks of life. His goal in this sharing is to demonstrate success resulting from education, determination and a dedicated vision.
He further works with the school staff to provide funding for the city wide “Special Needs Prom” which is described as “one of the most beautiful events of the year.”
As president of the Neighborhood Children’s Sports League (NCSL), Ingram over the past 12 years has successfully provided over 700 boys, ages 6 to 14 years of age, with the opportunity to participate in the largest youth tackle football league in the state of Wisconsin. This exemplar not-for-profit offering builds leadership through teamwork. During his tenure as president, two of the NCSL players have gone on to play professionally and a significant number have continued on to pursue their degrees in colleges and universities throughout the country.
He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Allie, for more than 30 years. They are the proud parents of three sons, Dwane, Jason, and Julius along with raising their special needs nephew, Jahmaree.
Ingram has national radio affiliation as a frequent guest host on the Warren Ballentine Show, a nationally syndicated broadcast airing Monday through Friday. His awards include the Ahmadiyya Muslim Service Award, the Benedict Center Extraordinarily Committed to Justice Award, and the Black Child Development Institute, Incorporated Children Legacy Award. In 2008, Ingram was the recipient of the Top Ladies of Distinction’s Celebrating Fathers and Mentors Award, Milwaukee County’s Outstanding Father and Mentor Award, the U.S. House of Representatives Accommodation Award and a Commendation from former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.
His local and nationwide popularity is reflected in his mantra as noted on his website – “Talk To Me Milwaukee… I’m Speaking Nothing But The Truth.”
Located in Nashville, Tennessee, TSU was founded in 1912 as an African American normal school. It became a 4-year school in 1922 and received university status in 1958. The institution as it is known today was the result of a 1979 merger between Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville. The campus awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Tennessee State describes its mission in part as one of “providing quality academic programs which are broadly comprehensive at the baccalaureate and masters levels.” The University’s most popular majors include Business Administration, Nursing,
Statistics, and Biology. Cooperate partnerships provide experience and contacts beneficial to students upon graduation when students are seeking employment.
The total enrollment of 8,254 students are able to major in a number of different schools and colleges such as the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, Technology & Computer Science, the College of Health Sciences, the School of Agriculture & Consumer Science, and the School of Nursing.
There is additionally a School of Graduate Studies and Research, and the Institute of Government.
Distinguished TSU alumni include talk show host Ophrah Winfrey, Myra Edwards and Kimberly Montgomery, both of the Mayor’s Office, City of Milwaukee, historian and UWM professor Dr. Harold Rose, actor Moses Gunn, NBA player Anthony Mason, Hall of Famers Richard Dent and Ed “Too Tall” Jones, journalist Carl Rowan, Senator Harold Ford, gospel producer Bobby Jones, singer Yolanda Adams and Ron Brown, former Secretary of the Department of Commerce.
Tickets for this Third Annual Tennessee State University Alumni Chapter Milwaukee Annual Scholarship Luncheon are $35 and $350 per a table of ten. Individuals interested in attending this event, desiring additional information, or who may wish to make a tax deductable donation to the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association – Milwaukee should contact Mr. Williams at 841-2036.