Business School at MTSU, the 100-Miles of Hope Blood Drive and the Upcoming MTSU Homecoming

Sep 18, 2023 at 09:55 am by WGNS News

SEGMENT ONE GUEST: Dr. Joyce Heames, new dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business

TOPIC: Her new role and plans for leading one of the nation’s top business schools

Middle Tennessee State University named Joyce Heames as new dean of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business earlier this year following a national search for the next leader of the award-winning college. She began her position on July 1.

Formerly dean of the Campbell School of Business at Berry College, a small private liberal arts institution near Rome, Georgia, Heames views the Jones College as well positioned to build on its reputation as a regional leader in business education and a strong pipeline for workforce development in Middle Tennessee.

“The Jennings A. Jones College of Business is poised for so many wonderful things to happen, and it excites me to think about the connections that we can make with a lot of the new businesses coming into the area,” said Heames, a professor of management. “There’s such a growth in Middle Tennessee right now, and I think that that is one of my strengths, to be able to build relationships. I enjoy that.”

Now a few months into her new role, Heames has been meeting with as many campus stakeholders as possible, ensuring “a healthy balance of both internal and external.” She takes the reins from Dean David Urban, who is returning to a faculty position within the college.

Before coming to Berry College in 2016, Heames was an associate dean of innovation, outreach and engagement at West Virginia University, a large public university with a similar student population to MTSU. Throughout her career, Heames said she’s served in administrative and teaching positions at large and small institutions — University of Mississippi and Samford University before Berry — experience she feels has given her a unique perspective about the academic needs of students.

Heames earned her Ph.D. in management from the University of Mississippi and her MBA and bachelor’s in management from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

As a first-generation college graduate and product of the community college system as a transfer student, Heames said she is thrilled to soon help steer one of top academic colleges at a university like MTSU that caters to those very student populations, often made up significantly of working adult learners.

Heames also pointed to Urban’s incorporation of Dale Carnegie Training as a graduation requirement for Jones College as another example of the college’s strength. She was at one point a Dale Carnegie certified instructor and strongly endorses the benefits of the professional development program that teaches students soft skills.

Learn more at

SEGMENT TWO GUEST: Ray Wiley, MTSU True Blue Blood Drive chairman, associate director of MTSU Campus Recreation and a longtime American Red Cross volunteer.

TOPIC: The upcoming 100 Miles of Hope Red Cross Blood Drive competition between MTSU and Western Kentucky University

The annual 100 Miles of Hope Red Cross Blood Drive competition between MTSU and Western Kentucky University is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 25-27, at the gymnasium of the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center at 1848 Blue Raider Drive.

“The American Red Cross blood drive helps support Rutherford County and the MTSU initiative is one way to partner with the community and give back by collecting as many units of blood as we possibly can,” said Ray Wiley, MTSU True Blue Blood Drive chairman.

MTSU Campus Recreation will have 18 reserved parking spots available in front of their facility each day of the drive for on-campus and off-campus donors. A campus parking map is available at Off-campus donors can also obtain a one-day permit at or park free in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to the KUC.

Previously carrying the theme “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU,” the updated blood drive name is a play on the words of the rivalry between the football teams — dubbed “100 Miles of Hate” — which is the approximate distance between the Blue Raider campus in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and the Hilltopper campus in Bowling Green, Kentucky. But the blood drive committee wanted to focus on the positive aspect of the event with the word “hope” instead of hate.

Whichever university garners the biggest number of donations wins the coveted challenge trophy to display.

In 2022, communities from MTSU and WKU gave over 830 units of blood combined. But the challenge trophy remained with MTSU after supporters donated 480 units to rival WKU’s 351 donated units.

Although MTSU’s 100 Miles of Hope blood drive committee aims to retain the trophy once again by topping WKU’s numbers, everyone wins in this competition.

“Giving blood is life saving and it makes a huge impact in the lives of others,” Wiley said. “And it’s a huge contribution that people make on the behalf of others.”

This year the collection goal is at least 400 units from MTSU donors.

SEGMENT THREE GUEST: Beth Dye, assistant director of MTSU Alumni Relations

TOPIC: Homecoming 2023 activities, earlier date than usual

“Once in a Blue Moon” is the theme for Middle Tennessee State University’s 2023 homecoming celebration.

MTSU students, alumni and Blue Raider fans are preparing for homecoming festivities — taking place earlier than usual — but all building up to MTSU’s 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, game against the visiting Colorado State University Rams at Floyd Stadium.

The MTSU Alumni Association and Student Government Association are collaborating on numerous special events taking place next week. Several of the SGA and Alumni Association events overlap, as they try to get students and alumni involved.

“Homecoming is a celebration of what MTSU means to its students, alumni and community,” said Beth Dye, Alumni Relations assistant director. “It’s a time to welcome home our alumni and to commemorate their milestones and achievements since their time here at MTSU. Homecoming is an opportunity to join in a multitude of festivities across campus, reunite with friends, and to cheer on our Blue Raiders.”

SGA Homecoming Director Kelsey Ladd has coordinated the annual “Paint the Halls Blue” competition on campus, with prizes awarded to winners.

Highlights include Golden Raiders (Classes of 1973 and beyond) induction Friday, Sept. 22, Distinguished Alumni recognition (Friday and various times Saturday, Sept. 23), Mixer-on-Middle Parade Watching Party (10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23), Homecoming Parade (11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23) and more.

The fourth annual MTSU Black Alumni Society Party, set for Friday, Sept. 22, at the Walnut House in downtown Murfreesboro, continues to grow in popularity. The ticketed event is already sold out.

See the full slate of events at

The parade begins Saturday on East Main Street at Maney Avenue, continues down East Main, turns left onto Middle Tennessee Boulevard and ends about the time it reaches Faulkinberry Drive. Alumni Relations staff said the best viewing will be before it reaches Faulkinberry. 

Chip Walters, voice of the Blue Raiders, will call the parade. Popular DJ Tam Clark will provide music.

Dye said the Alumni Association, partnering with the Blue Raider Athletic Association, will host the Homecoming Tailgate Luncheon, to be held in the Alumni House parking lot following the parade-watching party. The event will be catered by Rick’s Barbecue.

Additional tailgating in Walnut Grove will be taking place, plus Raider Walk at adjacent to Peck Hall.