tsuamed the Heiman Street Residential Complex the Harold E. Ford Sr. and John N. Ford Residential Complex. The Ford brothers were joined by other family members for ceremonies help April 18 on the grounds of the complex.
“It is wonderful to see so many senators here today; we can hold a budget meeting right now,” Harold Ford said, as he pointed out dignitaries in the audience. They included Lieutenant Governor John Wilder, Deputy Governor Wendell Moore, Senator Gene Elsea, Senator Doug Henry, Senator James Kyle Jr., and Senator Randy McNally.
After receiving commemorative gifts, the Fords surprised the audience with a gift to Tennessee State of $500,000.
“This is a truly outstanding donation, and the Fords can be sure Tennessee State University will put it to good use,” said TSU President James Hefner.
There are 12 siblings in the Ford family, most of whom graduated from Tennessee State University. On hand for the presentation were brother Joe Ford; sisters Joyce Ford Miller and Ophelia Ford; nephews James Ford Jr. and Edmund Ford; and Autumn Ford, John Fords daughter. Harold Ford Jr., U.S. Representative, relayed his regrets for not being able to attend, as did Governor Don Sundquist and former vice president Al Gore.
“I am proud today,” said Lt. Gov. Wilder. “Is it because of the bricks and mortar we are recognizing today? No, though we need bricks and mortar. Is it because of Tennessee State University? No, though that is reason to be proud.
“I am proud because I look back to Purdy, Tennessee, where Otis Floyd former president of Tennessee State University attended school in a one-room schoolhouse. He let me walk by his side. I am proud when I think of Odell Horton United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee working in a cotton patch in Hardin County. He let me walk by his side. But nothing makes me prouder than this family. I love you; God bless you.”
U.S. Representative Harold Ford Sr. became the first African American from the state of Tennessee to be elected to Congress and served from 1975 until his retirement in 1997.
Senator John N. Ford has served in the Tennessee State Senate since 1974. He has been a key supporter of Tennessee State University throughout his legislative tenure and played a significant role during the development of the $112 million master plan for campus improvement.
Both Congressman Ford and Senator Ford are alumni of TSU who have continually supported the university throughout their careers.
The Harold E. Ford Sr. and John N. Ford Residential Complex is a 122-unit dwelling with single-occupancy, two- and four-bedroom apartments. The $11 million complex has a well appointed Community Center complete with computer lab, beauty salon, exercise room, and activity area. Residents rooms are cable TV- and computer-ready, and computer workstations are part of each fully furnished bedroom.
Tennessee State University is a comprehensive, urban, land-grant university offering 43 bachelor’s degrees, 26 master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in six areas: biological sciences, public administration, administration and supervision, curriculum and instruction, psychology, and computer and information systems engineering. The university has been recognized for the past seven years in U.S. News and World Report’s “Guide to America’s Best Colleges.”
For more information, contact TSU public relations at (615) 963-5331.
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