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Tech Connect Alumni e-Newsletter:   March 2015





TTU Alumni Association celebrates new building, new opportunities

  Staff & Tommy Tech

Tennessee Tech alumni have a new home when they come back to campus. The former Varsity Cinema (also known as the Varsity Theater or Varsity Twin) is now Tennessee Tech’s Alumni Center, which houses the Alumni Relations office, as well as the offices of the Vice President for University Advancement, University Development and Advancement Services.

The Alumni Center is located at 705 N. Dixie Ave., on the corner of 7th St. and Dixie Ave. (view on map).

Just one block from the Tech campus, the Varsity Cinema continued operation until closing in 2001. After it was sold, the building was renovated and became the home of MMA Creative advertising, the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and several other businesses. When the building became available again, the TTU Foundation purchased it on behalf of the university to be used as a formal alumni center that would also centralize University Advancement’s offices in one location.

Tennessee Tech Alumni Relations will be hosting an Open House at the Alumni Center tomorrow, from 5-7:30 p.m. The public is invited.

“We are very excited about the new facility and look forward to the opportunities it will provide for the university and our alumni,” said Alumni Director Tracey Duncan.

Read more.

Centennial Celebration begins with Charter Day, March 27

  TTU centennial logo

Charter Day, the first event of the Centennial Celebration, is the 100th anniversary of Tennessee Tech's charter signing. Join the campus community, city and county, and state political and educational leadership for a ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 27, in Derryberry Hall Auditorium.

In honor of the event, the Tennessee Board of Regents is holding its quarterly meeting on campus that day. Joining President Oldham onstage will be Gov. Bill Haslam, Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson, leadership from THEC and TBR, and Emeriti Presidents Arliss Roaden, Angelo Volpe and Bob Bell.

The ceremony, lasting about 45 minutes, includes a dramatic skit and presentations of proclamations and a House Joint Resolution proclaiming March 27 "Tennessee Tech University Charter Day" in Tennessee, Putnam County and Cookeville.

Guest parking will be available next to the Intramural Field on Willow Avenue; shuttles will run continuously to and from Derryberry Hall from 9:30 to 11:30 that morning. The program will also be streamed live at .

For additional information, visit and .

Read more.

TTU students named University Innovation Fellows by NSF-funded Epicenter

  TTU students

Two from Tennessee Tech University will join the ranks of a national group of students selected to bring more entrepreneurial activities to their campuses.

The University Innovation Fellows program is directed by Epicenter, an organization directed by Stanford University and funded by the National Science Foundation.

Read more.

Artist, students to collaborate on environmental art installation at TTU

  Environmental art

Tennessee Tech University students will have the chance to work with environmental artist Bryant Holsenbeck to create a large-scale art installation.

During the week of March 23-27, students and Holsenbeck will create a waterfall of 3,000 plastic bottles in the lobby of the Roaden University Center.

During her time at TTU, Holsenbeck will provide a demonstration from 1 to 4 p.m. and speak at the Appalachian Center for Craft at 4:30 p.m. March 25.

Read more.

TTU computer science organizes national women in cybersecurity conference

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing fields globally. From 2007 to 2013, cybersecurity job postings increased 74 percent.

While half of the United States' workforce are women, women represent less than 15 percent of the cybersecurity workforce.

To help to meet that need, one Tennessee Tech University computer science associate professor is organizing a conference to bring together industry professionals and higher education faculty and students.

“This conference is to help to recruit and retain aspiring women in cybersecurity, and advance their careers in this field,” said Ambareen Siraj, founder and chair of the Women in Cybersecurity conference. “Cybersecurity is a growing field and increasing the participation of women and minority groups is absolutely critical to bridge existing gaps and help the workforce to perform better.”

Read more.

TTU to open virtual reality, prototyping and design lab

  TTU virtual reality lab

Some of the books once housed in Tennessee Tech University’s Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library have made way for a different kind of learning environment.

Behind a glass door on the third floor is a technology lab that allows anyone to step into a human heart, jump into a polluted river, and design, build and test devices and prototypes.

“We are working, as a university, to integrate our respective academic silos and find more ways to combine the curriculum with experiential education,” said Thomas Payne, dean of the TTU College of Business. “iCube was designed to combine engineering and business, to allow students and faculty to collaborate, communicate and create together across disciplines.”

Read more.

TTU’s Center for Craft opens doors, studios for annual Celebration

  TTU students glass blowing

Flowers will bloom from colorful wool, sparks will fly off bright orange metal and shapely pots and bowls will rise from slabs of clay at this year’s Celebration of Craft.

Hosted by Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft, the celebration features hands-on workshops for children of all ages, live music and an auction, as well as food from a variety of vendors to satisfy many tastes. Celebration is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

Read more.

Ties strengthen between TTU, Indian universities

Ties between Tennessee Tech University and several institutions in India are growing stronger.

In recent weeks, several of TTU’s administrators and faculty have travelled more than 8,000 miles in response to invitations to build partnerships and exchanges.

“All the top universities are doing this; these days everything is global,” said Mohan Rao, chairman of TTU’s mechanical engineering department. “It’s good for their students and our students to have these interactions. Also it creates faculty exchange and research opportunities.”

Joseph Rencis, dean of TTU’s College of Engineering, Vahid Motevalli, associate dean of the College of Engineering, and Rao traveled around the South Asian nation to visit several universities.

The trio met with officials from the Vellore Institute of Technology and the Automotive Research Association of India and College of Engineering, Pune, to discuss building a one-plus-one graduate program. The program will allow select Indian students to receive master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from VIT or Pune and TTU by doing one year of study in India and a second here.

Read more.

Tennessee Tech tuba ensemble releases 27th recording

  Dr. Oldham & TTTE group

Tennessee Tech University’s award-winning tuba ensemble recently released a recording of music the group performed at its eighth appearance in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

The CD, “Evolutions (Carnegie VIII),” is the group’s 27th recording since TTU tuba professor R. Winston Morris founded it 50 years ago.

The recording includes a composition by Cookeville composer and TTU graduate Ben McMillian, pieces by music professors Greg Danner and Joshua Hauser, as well as another TTU alumnus, Kenyon Wilson, tuba professor at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

Read more.

Colleges, TTU to expand higher ed options in Cookeville

  higher ed administrators

A new higher education center in Cookeville will soon make it easier for students to earn job training and college degrees in the Upper Cumberland.

Tennessee Tech University, Nashville State Community College, and Volunteer State Community College are joining forces to expand higher education programs and transform the way education is offered to the region by becoming partners in a learning center.

It will also provide more opportunities for students in the region to take advantage of the Tennessee Promise, a last-dollar scholarship available to Tennessee high school graduates to cover the cost of tuition at a community or technical college or other eligible institution offering an associate degree program.

Read more.


Alumni Center Open House

Tommy Tech display

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 5-7:30 p.m.

TTU Alumni Center, 705 N. Dixie Ave., Cookeville, TN 38501

Come and see the NEW Tennessee Tech University Alumni Center!

We're having an Open House on March 26, from 5-7:30 p.m. Please plan to stop by and visit the beautiful building, which houses the offices of Alumni Relations, University Development and Advancement Services.

Enjoy refreshments, tour the building and meet the staff. Be sure to visit the TTU Memorabilia Room and recall fond memories from your time at Tech or learn about Tech Traditions and how life was "back then."

If you have memorabilia you'd like to donate, please talk to one of our staff. We are fortunate to have several complete sets of year books, so we are looking for other items to continue to build our collection.

We're excited to be in our new home and look forward to many new opportunities to welcome alumni back to campus!

Read more.

Charter Day

Old Derryberry

Friday, March 27, 2015, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Derryberry Auditorium, William L. Jones Blvd., Cookeville, TN 38501

As part of Tennessee Tech's Centennial, the university is celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of its Charter Day, when in 1915, Gov. Tom Rye signed the charter establishing Tennessee Polytechnic Institute.

Join us for a ceremony, which begins at 10:30 a.m. in Derryberry Auditorium.

Read more.

Movie Watch Party (new date)

Lyfe's Journey movie

Thursday, April 9, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Room 401, Johnson Hall, A St., Cookeville, TN 38501

TTU's College of Business, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Alumni Association are hosting a movie watch party for the UP Original Movie Lyfe's Journey at 6:30 p.m. on April 9 (rescheduled from Feb. 26, due to inclement weather), in Johnson Hall, Room 401. The screenplay was written by TTU finance alumnus, Corey A. Prince.

At 11 a.m., Prince will speak in the Black Cultural Center, 2nd floor of the Roaden University Center. Alumni are invited to attend.

The UP Original Movie LYFE’S JOURNEY, an emotional, timely drama 

Read more.


Show your Golden Eagle Pride and get rewarded!

TTU credit card

We are pleased to introduce the new Tennessee Tech University Alumni Association Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card, issued by NASA Federal Credit Union — the official credit union of NASA Headquarters. but you don't have to be an astronaut to participate.

This is much more than a credit card with a low rate, no annual fee and no balance transfer fee. It's a way for you to help support Tennessee Tech. 

With each credit card issued, a contribution is made to help support the Tennessee Tech University Alumni Association.And, with every purchase, you earn points that you can redeem for Tennessee Tech Alumni Association donations and events, along with brand-name merchandise, gift cards, and travel!

Earn 1 point for every $1 in purchases and double rewards points for Tennessee Tech-related purchases, including memberships, conferences, events and donations.

Read more.

Enjoy Tennessee Tech award-winning wines

TTU wines

If you enjoy wine, but haven't yet tried DeMonaco Winery's award-winning Tennessee Tech wines, now is a great time to try something new.

The popular red and white wines were crafted to appeal to a range of palates.

  • Espiritu de Oro (Golden Spirit) - This delicate dry white wine exhibits fresh citrus and tropical fruit aromas, carrying over to fruity green apple flavors on the palate, complemented by a refreshing acidity.
  • Dulce Nectar Morado (Sweet Purple Nectar) - This crimson red sweet wine opens with earthy berry notes on the nose, carrying over to strawberry and raspberry flavors on the palate and ends with a smooth, round, lingering finish.

Made in partnership with Tennessee Tech, part of the proceeds go to support the university.

To learn more about Tennessee Tech wines or to make a purchase, visit 

Find DelMonaco TTU Wines in a store near you or order online

Read more.

Official TTU ring, pendant and limited edition centennial ring and pendant

TTU rings & pendants

The official Tennessee Tech ring and pendant represents the special memories and traditions of your years at Tennessee Tech — hearing the Tech Hymn played by the Derryberry tower carillon or the Golden Eagle Marching Band at football games, hanging out on South Patio with your friends between classes and classes, discussions and time spent with your favorite professors. This ring is a tangible connection to your past, present, and future.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Tennessee Tech in 2015, we have designed a limited edition centennial ring and pendant. The ring and pendant will be available through 2016.

Show your TTU Pride by wearing an official Tennessee Tech ring or pendant.

Read more.

Travel the passage of Lewis & Clark on the American Empress

American Empress


AMERICAN EMPRESS | Clarkston to Portland | View photos and map | Details

Follow the passage of Lewis and Clark’s fabled expedition to the Pacific coast as you journey through a geological masterpiece of astounding landscapes. From verdant forests and magnificent mountains to breathtaking gorges and sparkling waterfalls, experience the natural majesty of the Pacific Northwest while cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard the American Empress, the largest and most elegant riverboat west of the Mississippi.

Read more.

Pre-order the new TTU license plate

TTU plate - order now

Tennessee Tech alumni and friends who have the current TTU license plate or any Tennessee residents who would like to show Purple Pride are encouraged to pre-order the new TTU license plate.

The university created the new tag that will allow TTU to earn $15 per plate, but the plate is NOT yet available at your county court clerk's office. The State of Tennessee requires that 1,000 plates be sold before it will produce and distribute the new specialty plate.

Show your Tech Pride and pre-order your new Tech specialty plate today!

Visit to pre-order your plate or click "order now."

Read more.

Tennessee Tech University Alumni Relations

Box 5157, Cookeville, TN 38505
Phone: 931-372-3205  ·  Toll free: 1-800-889-8730

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