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UTSI to hold 23rd Annual African American History Celebration

The University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) will observe its Annual African American History Celebration on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. “African Americans in Times of Crisis” is the theme for the 2018 observance of Black History Month. Sydney A. McPhee, President of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) will be the guest speaker.

A native son of The Bahamas, Sidney A. McPhee was appointed in 2001 as the tenth president of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Prior to his arrival at MTSU, McPhee was executive vice chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents system (TBR) in Nashville. In addition, he served as the TBR’s chief academic officer and interim chancellor.

McPhee attended Highbury High School in Nassau, Bahamas and spent one year as a student at The Bahamas Teachers College before transferring to Prairie View A&M University in Texas, where he earned his bachelor’s degree with highest honors, summa cum laude. He received his master’s degree from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, and doctorate in applied behavioral studies in education from Oklahoma State University. He is also a graduate of the Harvard University Management Development Program and has completed professional development programs at St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, Texas, and Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed, and the U.S. Senate confirmed, McPhee to the National Council for the Humanities. He was also Outstanding American University President of 2002 by the American Football Foundation. In 2003, he was listed by Nashville Post business magazine as one of Tennessee’s 100 Most Powerful Individuals, and in 2004, he was ranked by Business Tennessee magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Powerful African Americans in the State of Tennessee. In 2006, McPhee was listed by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the seven university presidents in the U.S. who is shaping intercollegiate athletics on a national scale. In May 2007, China Agricultural University in Beijing, one of the country’s top universities, awarded McPhee its highest academic award (Honorary Professor).

As an academician, McPhee’s scholarly publications and presentations are extensive. His publications have appeared in local, national and international professional journals. In addition, he is the senior author of a book, Understanding the Campus Culture: An Introduction to College, and has co-authored a chapter for a major college textbook on academic advising.

During McPhee’s presidency, MTSU has witnessed considerable growth and progress. Student enrollment increased significantly during his tenure and, as a result, MTSU is the largest undergraduate university in the state and the No. 1 choice for undergraduates.

McPhee is widely sought after as a consultant to assist organizations from a broad range of sectors, throughout the United States and around the world, on matters related to leadership development, team building, effective organizational structure and change management.

President McPhee is married to Elizabeth McPhee, and they have two adult children, Seneca and Sidney-Anthony and two grandchildren Asiah and Langston.

The celebration will be held in UTSI’s auditorium, and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Institute’s lobby. Please contact UTSI Human Resources at 931-393-7226 for additional information.