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MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee helped congratulate nearly 500 Riverdale High School seniors Friday (April 5) on the occasion of the school’s inaugural College and Career Signing Day event in Johnny Parsley Memorial Gym.
Invited as the keynote speaker, McPhee said he wanted “to recognize and celebrate the important decisions made by so many in Riverdale’s 2019 class of graduating seniors to continue their studies beyond this magnificent high school by attending a higher education institution” and other career choices.
Riverdale chose to honor and publicly celebrate all of its seniors for their post-secondary choices and accomplishments. These include those who have committed to serve in the military, those who have acquired the skills necessary to be successful leaders in the workforce and those choosing to pursue Tennessee College of Applied Technology, or TCAT, community college and four-year colleges and universities, including MTSU.
“Apply yourself, take advantage of every opportunity and don’t waste time — when you’re waiting five minutes for a friend, take time to read a book,” McPhee said to the attentive and enthusiastic audience that included parents and family members, Riverdale faculty and staff and others.
“For those of you planning to attend MTSU (130 Riverdale students have been accepted), you’re going to get the full attention of our faculty, staff and administration,” McPhee added. “We don’t behave like a large university. We are about people and programs.”
The president received applause when he shared about an NBC Nightly News story that aired earlier this year about the recording industry program’s Grammy connections.
McPhee also informed attendees about a visit to campus this week by Siemens officials because of a huge in-kind software grant to the mechatronics engineering program; the aerospace-Delta Propel partnership where the airline will hire professional pilot majors who meet requirements and in a shorter amount of time; and this weekend’s trip by students and administrators to the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Keith Carrion, 18, plans to study film production at MTSU. He said he found McPhee’s remarks “very interesting, motivating and impactful.” He added he had been accepted by another university, “but I plan to go to MTSU.”
Trevor Ewing’s name was drawn for a $2,500 MTSU scholarship, one of several scholarships available to selected Riverdale students if they decide to officially become Blue Raiders. The 17-year-old Ewing said he’s “thinking about going straight into the workforce (as an actor), but I don’t want to necessarily say no to $2,500.”
Athletic mascot Lightning mingled with the students and posed for photos with the president and students who have applied and been accepted by MTSU, which was among several universities in attendance for the event.
MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.