MTSU Reaffirms Campus Values on 11th Anniversary of True Blue Pledge

Diverse Blue Raider community members continue annual tradition

As MTSU’s Fall 2022 semester hits its stride, a diversity of members of the Blue Raider community again produced a special video recitation of the True Blue Pledge to spotlight the university’s values.

In what has become a cherished Blue Raider tradition, a True Blue group of Middle Tennessee State University students, faculty, staff and alumni reaffirmed those values for another academic year.

The pledge, which begins with the simple phrase “I am True Blue,” underscores MTSU’s core values of honesty and integrity; respect for diversity; engagement in the community; and committing to reason, not violence.

It’s been just over a decade since President Sidney A. McPhee convened a university task force to develop the pledge in the wake of the tragic death of Lady Raider basketball player Tina Stewart at the hands of her roommate during an argument at their off-campus apartment.

“A university community is only as strong as its values, and that is why our True Blue Pledge plays such a critical role in shaping the nurturing campus culture that we’ve all come to appreciate over the years,” McPhee said. “‘I Am True Blue’ represents our very identity as an educational institution and will do so for many years to come. I’m thrilled that we continue this annual tradition by spotlighting the diverse voices that make our campus so special.”

The True Blue Pledge is recited each fall at MTSU’s annual University Convocation ceremony, when McPhee, top administrators and faculty formally welcome new students to campus and explain MTSU rituals and traditions.

MTSU Student Government Association President Jada Powell led students and thousands of supporters in reciting the pledge at the Aug. 21 Convocation at Murphy Center.

The True Blue Pledge reads:

“I am True Blue.

As a member of this diverse community, I am a valuable contributor to its progress and success.

I am engaged in the life of this community. I am a recipient and a giver.

I am a listener and a speaker. I am honest in word and deed. I am committed to reason, not violence.

I am a learner now and forever.

I am a BLUE RAIDER. True Blue!”

Those included in the new video, in order of appearance, include:

Jada Powell — senior, aerospace-aviation management; Student Government Association president
Tulsi Patel — junior, psychology
Chandler Tabor — senior, forensic science
Krystal Lee — master of education major, curriculum and instruction
Jillian DeGrie — senior, studio art
Carson Loving — senior, video and film production
Dr. Sam Zaza — assistant professor, Department of Information Systems and Analytics
Dr. Shane McCoy — lecturer, Department of English, Women’s and Gender Studies
Blake Osborn — coordinator, Middle Tennessee Outdoor Pursuits (MTOP)
Izzy Guiterrez — sophomore, journalism
Lane Ratliff — second grader, Homer Pittard Campus School
Finley Akers — second grader, Homer Pittard Campus School
Jalynn Gregory — sophomore, psychology
Jaylin Lane — junior, leisure and sport management
Rosemary Akharume — master of science major, information systems; international student
Yvette Clark — interim vice president, Information Technology Division

For more information about MTSU’s True Blue initiative, visit

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