MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — As MTSU’s Fall 2021 semester kicks off, members of the Blue Raider community again produced a special video recitation of the True Blue Pledge, this time marking the 10th anniversary of the pledge’s creation and as the campus returns to a more normal environment amid the pandemic.
Once again, a diverse collection of Middle Tennessee State University students, faculty, staff and alumni reaffirmed the university’s values for a new academic year in what has become a cherished Blue Raider tradition.
It was a decade ago when President Sidney A. McPhee convened a university task force to develop the pledge in the wake of the tragic death of Lady Raider basketball player Tina Stewart at the hands of her roommate during an argument at their off-campus apartment.
The pledge, which begins with the simple phrase “I am True Blue,” underscores MTSU’s core values of honesty and integrity; respect for diversity; engagement in the community; and committing to reason, not violence.
“The staying power of these foundational values are a testament to the many people — students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters — who value the educational mission of this university to develop not only great scholars and professionals, but more importantly great citizens of their communities,” McPhee said.
“As I’ve said numerous times before, ‘I Am True Blue’ is so much more than a slogan. It is truly who we are as a university.”
The True Blue Pledge is recited each fall at MTSU’s annual University Convocation ceremony, when McPhee, top administrators and faculty formally welcome new students to campus and explain MTSU rituals and traditions.
MTSU Student Government Association President Winton Cooper led students and thousands of supporters in reciting the pledge at the Aug. 21 Convocation at Murphy Center.
At the recent Fall Faculty Meeting to start the new academic year, McPhee announced a fifth core value — determination and resilience — in recognition of the efforts during the pandemic to keep campus community safe while maintaining educational quality. That new value will be incorporated into the pledge and subsequent videos.
The True Blue Pledge reads:
“I am True Blue.
As a member of this diverse community, I am a valuable contributor to its progress and success.
I am engaged in the life of this community. I am a recipient and a giver.
I am a listener and a speaker. I am honest in word and deed. I am committed to reason, not violence.
I am a learner now and forever.
I am a BLUE RAIDER. True Blue!”
Those included in the new video, in order of appearance, include:
- Winton Cooper— senior, environmental science; Student Government Association president
- Cecilia Cruz— sophomore, English major
- Thom Coats— professor of practice, director of IGA Office of Professional Sales
- Dr. Jette Halladay— professor, theatre
- Ashlee Dunn– senior, mechatronics engineering major; cheer team
- John Paul Quiampang— senior, aerospace (pro-pilot) major
- Dr. Karen Davis— associate professor, speech-language pathology and audiology
- Andre Madatian— master of music composition major
- Dr. Vincent Windrow— associate vice provost for student success
- Jason Wasilewski— senior, marketing major
- Gracyn Ray— first grader, Homer Pittard Campus School
- Millie Vaughan— first grader, Homer Pittard Campus School
- Courtney Whitson— junior, English major; women’s basketball
- Jarrin Pierce— senior, integrated studies major; football
- Maritza Oceguera— junior, business management major
- Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Keith M. Huber, senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives
For more information about MTSU’s True Blue initiative, visit www.mtsu.edu/trueblue.