TSU’s ‘Tied to Success’ initiative promotes self-esteem and dress etiquette for male freshmen

NASHVILLE (August 21, 2019) – Tennessee State University first-time male freshmen will pack Poag Auditorium Thursday, August 22,  for the fourth annual “Tied to Success,” a rite of passage for all incoming male students. A highlight of the program is when the young men are given ties. The program is from 6 – 7 p.m. on the main campus.

As a welcome into the “Big Blue Brotherhood,” the young men are given TSU blue ties with the name of the university. For some, it will be the first one they’ve owned. University officials, upperclassmen, and community leaders will be on hand to assist those who need help tying the perfect knot. However, before the tie tying and male bonding, officials and student mentors will talk to the freshmen about proper campus behavior and how to present themselves in general.

“As these students embark on their college careers and prepare for the professional world, we want to help them develop good character and avoid anything that could hinder their future success,” said Frank Stevenson, TSU’s dean of students and interim vice president for Student Affairs. ‘’Tied to Success’ is a step in that direction; we’re preparing them now.”

Coreyontez Martin is looking forward to the event. The freshman health science major from Louisville, Kentucky, knows how to tie a tie, but wants to be an encouragement to fellow freshmen who don’t know.

“Knowing how to tie a tie gives them an opportunity that can help them later in life or in their careers,” Martin said. “This gives us an opportunity to learn something that classroom really can’t teach you.”

Rickey Scott, an electrical engineering major from Detroit, loves seeing “folks” nicely dressed, but “I didn’t think it was cool for me.” He’s never worn a tie before.

“I am looking forward to learning,” Scott said. “I appreciate the orientation and hope other institutions will emulate TSU.”

State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a TSU alum, and a regular participant in “Tied to Success” for the last three years, said Scott is the kind of individual the initiative targets. He said it reinforces that TSU is intentional about the incoming students’ success, academically, as well as socially.

“We talk about the African American male and the struggle they often have when they first arrive on a college campus,” Love said. “It is initiatives like this that allow them to make the transition easier. It instills in them that the TSU community as a whole is concerned about them, and more specifically, we want to give them the skill they need to be successful when they graduate.”

According to organizers, about 400 male students are expected to participate in this year’s Tied to Success, which is coordinated by the Men’s Initiative Office in the Division of Student Affairs. Overall, there are nearly 1,400 new freshmen at TSU for the fall semester.


  1.  First-time male freshmen learn the art of tying the perfect knot at the 2018 ‘Tied to Success” ceremony.
  2. State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., shows two incoming freshmen how to tie the perfect knot, during last year’s Tied to Success.
  3. Dean of Students Frank Stevenson makes opening remarks at the 2018 “Tied to Success” ceremony in Poag Auditorium, as student leaders and upperclassmen demonstrate the look of a man dressed for business.
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