MTSU Professors and Guests Talk About Current Events, Drama Around Past U.S. Presidential Inaugurations, Upcoming Events and More

Mar 20, 2023 at 09:04 am by Producer

Guests (L to R): Dr. John Vile, Dr. Dennis Mullen, Ginger Freeman

GUEST: Dr. John Vile, political science professor, dean of the University Honors College and a constitutional history expert with the Free Speech Center at MTSU
TOPIC: Two of Vile’s most recently published books:

  • “The Drama of Presidential Inaugurations and Inaugural Addresses from Washington through to Biden”
  • “The Bald Eagle and Its Legacy: An Encyclopedia of a High-Flying American Icon in U.S. History: Nature, Law and Culture”
  • In the first book, Vile takes on the challenge of researching “the drama” of all 46 inaugurations and presidential addresses.

“There are lots of compilations of presidential inaugural addresses but not that many analyses. I hope my summaries encourage readers to read the original speeches,” he said.

After describing what such occasions from the inauguration of President George Washington through to that of Joe Biden have in common and how they have changed, this book provides a chronologically arranged summary of each such inaugural ceremony and accompanying events, as well as an analysis of each speech, including some that are “rhetorical masterpieces.”

All addresses provide snapshots of American ideals that will interest citizens, historians, and political scientists, and be of service to reference librarians.

  • In the second book on the bald eagle, Vile presents numerous A to Z entries about the bald eagle and its place in American culture. The bald eagle is one of the nation’s earliest and most persistent symbols and has been so even before it was chosen to be placed on the Great Seal of the United States.

It remains ubiquitous in American statuary, advertising, art, and rhetoric and is a popular symbol not only for the nation but for a variety of sports teams. It is engraved on the emblems of numerous governmental branches and agencies and is a prominent architectural motif, especially on government buildings.

The eagle is a fitting symbol for the strength and majesty of a freedom-loving nation that seeks not only to protect its own but democracies throughout the world. It serves as a further symbol of the nation’s aspirations, while also representing environmental resilience and the manner in which the nation can intervene to protect its natural resources. This book presents information about all these topics in an easy-to-access format.

GUEST: Dr. Dennis Mullen, chair of the MTSU’s Department of Biology
TOPIC: MTSU STEM Summer Camp for high school students

MTSU’s College of Basic and Applied Sciences is offering a one-week Summer STEM Camp for high school students entering the 9th through 12th grade for the 2023-24 academic school year. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The in-person camp will run Monday-Friday, June 19-23, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Registration is now open.

Monday through Wednesday, June 19-21, attendees will select an activity each day limited to 15 students on a first come, first served basis. Thursday, June 22, is a field trip day where students will be transported to the Murfreesboro Airport to visit our Aerospace Department and the MTSU Creamery on campus, part of our Agriculture Department, where we make our delicious chocolate milk.

Finally, on Friday, June 23, students will present their learned findings in a five-minute group presentation. Activities are fun, hands-on, and age appropriate.

Early bird registration costs $200 and lasts until April 15, when the price rises to $250. Registration closes May 15 and space is limited! Register at

GUEST: Ginger Freeman, director, MTSU Alumni Relations Office
TOPIC: MTSU Alumni Spring Showcase and call for nominations for Distinguished Alumni awards

  • The 2023 MTSU Spring Showcase will be April 6–15.  

Spring Showcase is an annual opportunity for alumni, family and community members to visit campus and actively participate in MTSU’s culture. The past couple of years there have been in-person and virtual programs to spotlight MTSU’s programs and facilities for alumni and friends.

Among activities available this year are public guest lectures, sporting events, photo and art gallery exhibits, a Tucker Theatre musical, an MTSU symphony concert and other events to be determined.

Anyone with questions can call the Alumni Relations Office at 800-533-6878 or email with questions.

  • Nominations are now being sought and accepted for the 2023-24 Middle Tennessee State University Distinguished Alumni. The deadline to submit is Friday, March 31.

The awards, which will include an overall Distinguished Alumni recipient and Young Alumni Achievement honoree, recognize those with prolonged records of achievement who have made outstanding contributions to society and who exemplify the ideals for which MTSU stands in extraordinary ways.

People are encouraged to nominate someone online for an award. Criteria and nomination forms and other information can be found at Alumni, MTSU faculty and staff and university friends are welcome to submit nominations.

This year marks the 10th year for the True Blue Citations of Distinction.


Citation categories include: The David Cullum Award for Service to the University; Achievement in Education (MTSU Faculty); Achievement in Education (Non-MTSU Faculty); Service to Community; and Military Service.


Recipients will be announced later this year and recognized during MTSU Homecoming events Sept. 22-23.