(LaVERGNE, TN) At 10:00 o'clock Monday morning, the 8th Annual Remembrance Ceremony was held at La Vergne City Hall.
MTSU President Dr. Sidney McPhee, the university's tenth president was the keynote speaker. He has been an integral part of the University's growth and success over the last two decades.
The tribute included a moving talk from recently retired Dr. Gloria Bonner. She was granted the prestigious title of Dean Emeritus in recognition of her 32-year career of distinguished leadership and service to Middle Tennessee State University and has been tireless in her commitment to community service activities. La Vergne Mayor Jason Cole and Aldermen Calvin Jones and Matt Church also spoke.
"Today we honor who Rev. King was, the vision that he set, and his legacy that will live on well past our own days," says Mayor Cole. "Keeping him in the forefront of our minds will help us as we strive to fulfill his vision and find love in our hearts for everyone we come into contact with every day."
About Dr. Sidney A. McPhee
Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, the tenth president of Middle Tennessee State University, has presided over one of the most remarkable periods of growth and progress in the institution's century-plus of service. McPhee's presidency, which began in 2001, has led MTSU through a period of unrivaled growth and success. His efforts have enabled MTSU to ascend to a position of higher education leadership, not only in Tennessee, but to positions of national and international prominence, with world-class programs that attract students from across the country and around the globe. During his tenure, the university has grown in both student numbers and physical facilities, with today's campus hosting almost 23,000 students. Since McPhee's arrival, MTSU has successfully raised admission standards and significantly increased enrollment of high-ability students. Prior to his arrival at MTSU, McPhee was executive vice chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents system. In addition, he served as the TBR's chief academic officer and interim chancellor. McPhee also served in various senior-level administrative capacities at several major universities, including Oklahoma State University, University of Louisville and University of Memphis.
About Dr. Gloria L. Bonner
Dr. Gloria L. Bonner retired as Assistant to the President in the Office of University Community Relations and a member of the President's Cabinet at Middle Tennessee State University. On August 24, 2017, she was granted the prestigious title of Dean Emeritus in recognition of her 32-year career of distinguished leadership and service to the University and the academy of higher education. In her previous role, she has worked on strengthening outreach initiatives and collaboratives with the greater community to advance the University's mission of academic quality, student-centered environment, and partnerships. Dr. Bonner has fulfilled many roles during her tenure in higher education that are indicative of the excellence in leadership, service, and research that emeritus status is designed to honor. With 44 years in professional education and a tenured professor in the Womack Family Educational Leadership Development at MTSU, Dr. Bonner was the first African-American dean of an academic unit. Additionally, Dr. Bonner has been tireless in her commitment to community service activities, including the Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital Board of Trustees, Main Street: Murfreesboro/Rutherford County, Inc. Executive Board, Center for the Arts, Inc. Board of Directors, ETHOS Youth Ensemble Board of Directors, and others.
About Mayor Jason Cole
Longtime La Vergne resident Jason Cole was elected as Alderman in November 2016. Prior to this, he had served on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board helping to develop the La Vergne Farmers Market and the initial phases of the Veteran's Memorial Wall. He also served as the Vice-Chair of the Beer Board before being elected to office. As an Alderman, he has served as Chairman of the Local Emergency Planning Committee helping the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Emergency Plan for La Vergne. As Chairman of the Greenway Advisory Committee, he helped to oversee the completion of the Hurricane Creek Greenway which opened in August 2018. In 2018, Mr. Cole was elected to the office of Mayor in La Vergne. He ran on responsible spending, economic outreach, and an open and transparent government. He now serves as the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Committee and is on the Planning Commission.
About Alderman Calvin Jones
Alderman Jones moved to La Vergne in 2001. He is a notary public and has been employed for more than 25 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Alderman Jones is a former Tennessee State Trooper. He received his education from multiple universities, both during his military tour overseas and in the United States. The main disciplines of study for Alderman Jones were criminal justice and public relations. Alderman Jones is the former Chairman of the La Vergne Planning Commission and a past member of the Citizen Review Board and the Board of Zoning and Appeals. An army veteran, Alderman Jones sought public office because, "I feel La Vergne has a lot of potential and I want to be a part of it. When I see something that is worth being a part of I give my all and this city is worth it to me. I look forward to serving this city for many years to come."
About Alderman Matt Church
In 2018, Mr. Church was elected as an Alderman of the City of La Vergne. Alderman Church was appointed by the Mayor in 2018 as the Board of Mayor and Alderman representative on the La Vergne Planning Commission and is the chairman of the Local Emergency Planning Committee. Mr. Church works as an operations manager for MSR, LLC in Lebanon, TN. He has a background in water distribution and emergency response mitigation as well as working with city, state and federal regulatory groups throughout the southeast. "It is my responsibility to never forget I was elected to be a servant of the people of La Vergne," says Alderman Church. "My goal is to leave my post one day in better shape than I found it."